I hope you all enjoyed the long holiday weekend! Even though it still feels like summer, it is nice to be back in the routine of work and school. We have some truly outstanding events lined up for you this Fall. Our committees have really outdone themselves, and we all owe them a huge vote of thanks for their work! Many events are space limited, so please register early to avoid disappointment.
A 2006 Time Magazine article identified America’s 10 best senators. They were given titles like ‘The Debater,’ ‘The Wise Man,’ ‘The Dealmaker’ and “The Statistician.’ In the entire lengthy article, there was not one mention of their figure, their sartorial choices or anything other than their professional attributes. So fast forward to 2014 and an advance review of Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s upcoming book Off the Sidelines where she recounts the following: “One male colleague passed by as she was in the gym. “Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!” He commented. A southern congressman remarked, “You know, Kirsten, you’re pretty even when you’re fat.” An admired senior senator squeezed he waist and said, “Don’t lose too much weight, now. I like my girls chubby.”
All politics aside literally and figuratively, I think author Dave Schwartz’s comments hit the nail on the head: “Maybe her male colleagues were trying to reassure or flatter Gillibrand. Maybe they thought they were lightly teasing a friend. But men need to realize that the only time women want to be reminded that men are looking at their bodies is when there is a mutual romantic interest. Otherwise, women would prefer to operate under the illusion that men only pay attention to their intelligence and talent. No woman in the halls of Congress should be the target of comments regarding her physical appearance. If it happens in places of power and government how are women supposed to fight it elsewhere?” You can find the full article here: http://www.viralglobalnews.com/u-s-stories/senator-kirsten-gillibrand-recalls-sexist-comments-made-in-congress/15648/
And another article on the same subject: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/08/29/why-kirsten-gillibrands-story-didnt-surprise-any-woman-on-capitol-hill/ I would hope that Senator Gillibrand’s sharing of this story would make people aware that comments like these are not workplace appropriate.
TXWSW is also pleased to announce the formation of chapters in San Antonio (lead by Neala Moore) and Fort Worth (lead by Shoshana Thoma-Isgar and Allison Westmoreland). We will be holding 4 events a year in each city for our members there. If you would like to volunteer for a committee, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!