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Looks Like Capitol Hill Is Up Next As Over 50 People Describe Sexual Harassment And A "Creep List"

CNNBe extra careful of the male lawmakers who sleep in their offices — they can be trouble. Avoid finding yourself alone with a congressman or senator in elevators, late-night meetings or events where alcohol is flowing. And think twice before speaking out about sexual harassment from a boss — it could cost you your career.

These are a few of the unwritten rules that some female lawmakers, staff and interns say they follow on Capitol Hill, where they say harassment and coercion is pervasive on both sides of the rotunda.

There is also the “creep list” — an informal roster passed along by word-of-mouth, consisting of the male members most notorious for inappropriate behavior, ranging from making sexually suggestive comments or gestures to seeking physical relations with younger employees and interns.

CNN spoke with more than 50 lawmakers, current and former Hill aides and political veterans who have worked in Congress, the majority of whom spoke anonymously to be candid and avoid potential repercussions. With few exceptions, every person said they have personally experienced sexual harassment on the Hill or know of others who have.

The wave of sexual harassment allegations has set its sights on perhaps the most predictable target — Capitol Hill. CNN published this piece detailing conversations with 50+ people who describe different instances and degrees of sexual harassment at the hands of elected officials in our nation’s capital.

I gotta be honest, this is the most obvious shit ever right? DC as a hotbed for powerful men sexually harassing young women? It’s incredibly wrong and incredibly fucked up. It’s incredibly unfair to women. Anybody who actively, physically or verbally or whatever, pursues someone against their will to the point of harassment is a real shitbag. Just look at the ingredients in DC. We’ve got hundreds of the nation’s most powerful men, living far away from their homes, their spouses, their families, their friends, surrounded by hundreds of young women staffing everything they do. We’ve got late hours, cocktail parties, all laced with an undeniable romanticism around doing the nation’s important work. Many men fully aware of the hundreds of younger women seeking to climb the ladder; unfortunately, with those numbers, you’re going to get plenty of shitbags taking advantage of this situation.

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It’s a recipe for disaster, as CNN describes with this:

In an environment with “so many young women,” said one ex-House aide, the men “have no self-control.” “Amongst ourselves, we know,” a former Senate staffer said of the lawmakers with the worst reputations.

And this:

In conversations with CNN, multiple women pointed to the elevators on Capitol Hill as a place where staff and members prey on women and say they have been advised to avoid riding alone with men if possible. One woman said years after leaving her job in Congress, she still feels anxious about being alone in elevators with men.

And this:

“A lot of it has to do with being in a place where people who have power try to exert it to get what they want,” one Senate staffer said, adding that a lot of the most egregious examples happen “on the cocktail circuit” — where powerful men intermingle with younger staffers outside of the Capitol.

It’s “people using their power without any self-control,” a former House staffer said. “There are a lot of tales of these guys going out and behaving very badly with younger staffers.”

And even this:

“There’s a little bit of a sex trade on Capitol Hill. If a part of getting ahead on Capitol Hill is playing ball with whatever douchebag — then whatever,” said one female political veteran who worked on Capitol Hill.

(this female political veteran who worked on Capitol Hill fucks)

Even a Congresswoman claims she’s been the victim of sexual assault from her colleagues.

The female congresswoman who told CNN that she has been sexually harassed by her male colleagues numerous times said she believed there is little upside to speaking out.

“I need these guys’ votes,” she said. “In this body, you may be an enemy one day and a close ally the next when accomplishing something. … So women will be very cautious about saying anything negative about any of their colleagues.”

Surely and sadly this will not be the last we hear of such claims.

Anyway, all of this Capitol Hill/young women talk has me thinking of the GOAT. One of my top-5 favorite movies of all time, about one of the most legendary politicians of all time.

RIP Charlie Wilson.

And, of course, RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.