The New York Democrat did not name the offenders

Well this is an ugly item: Ashe Schow at the Washington Examiner passive-aggressively trashing Kirsten Gillibrand for talking about harassment without naming names.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced bills to combat sexual assault on college campuses and in the military. An important emphasis of her legislation has been to encourage the victims of these crimes to come forward and report them.

But when it comes to sexual harassment in her own life, the New York senator sings a different tune.

Gillibrand disclosed in her new book, Off the Sidelines, that she has often been sexually harassed in the U.S. Senate. She said that one male colleague called her “porky,” and another told her not to lose weight because he likes “my girls chubby.” He told her this while squeezing her waist from behind.

The New York Democrat did not name the offenders in her book, and she still refuses to name them when asked. On Tuesday morning, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski asked Gillibrand on “Morning Joe” why she wouldn’t “name names.”

“The reason why I used these examples is to illustrate the broader point,” Gillibrand said.

Hey, you notice what that first quoted paragraph says about her legislation? An important emphasis of her legislation has been to encourage the victims of these crimes to come forward and report them. Emphasis mine. To encourage them, not to force them.

You know something? Naming offenders can make life hell for the namers. It’s not the business of other people to get censorious about it.

How did I see this? Guess.

Christina H. Sommers @CHSommers · Sep 9
How odd that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will not name harassers whose behavior she says “devastated” her.

How odd that Sommers spends so much time trashing feminism.


  1. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    And yet, if she had named them, it would be all “Libel! Slander! Defamation of character! ARGLEBARGLERAWR!”

  2. quixote says

    Argle-etc-indeed! And the other thing KG is right about: if she named the jerks it would become all about those specific jerks, not the legislation she’s trying to pass.

    Anything, anything, anything to make it about a weirdness and to not look at the whole culture erasing women.

  3. bigwhale says

    This doesn’t negate her proposed bills, it only emphasizes the need.

    If I proposed a bill to put murderers in jail, no one would point out that I didn’t personally put my mother’s murderer in jail. In fact, the murderer on the loose is the reason for the bill.

    The fact that she doesn’t feel comfortable naming her harassers only emphasizes the need for her bills and more.

    Logic fail.

  4. AsqJames says

    I’ve seen a couple of interviews Gillibrand has given on this, and she’s repeatedly said that the incidents of harassment in the Senate did not “devastate” her. She has said that being a US Senator puts her in a position where she feels she has enough power and independence to shrug off them off and not be bothered by them.

    By contrast, in both interviews she specifically mentions an incident when she was a young lawyer which did “devastate” her. While I haven’t heard her name this individual either, I have heard her give enough details for any decent investigative journalist to narrow the field down to a handful of suspects. And that’s just what she’s said in interviews, I’m guessing there’s more in the book.

    In short, Sen Gillibrand probably has identified the one person she says is responsible for an act of devastating harassment against her. If people are so concerned that actual names be published, why don’t they do it?

  5. Uncle Ebeneezer says

    Apparently it never dawned on Schow and Somers that naming her offenders may have jeopardized Gillibrand’s career and she wouldn’t have had the chance to try to pass this legislation. Things don’t always go so well for women who go public. But I suppose for Schow and Somers avoiding denying the reality of Rape Culture is a pretty crucial part of maintaining their anti-feminist worldview.

  6. hexidecima says

    “Naming offenders can make life hell for the namers.”

    and it can further the hell for everyone who comes after. What is better?

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