On Thursday, Democratic Congresswoman Katie Hill said her final goodbyes from the floor of Congress as she recently resigned amid allegations she was having a sexual relationship with her staff.
In her speech, Reuters reports Hill blamed “misogynistic culture” for her departure.
She also said, “right-wing media” was participating in “gutter politics” for leaking naked photos of her with the staff in question.
“I’m leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality, and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching,” Hill said during the speech.
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 1, 2019
Here’s more from Reuters:
Hill, who is going through a divorce, has blamed her husband for a “smear campaign” against her, and has said she is pursuing legal options.
She said Thursday marked the first time she had left her apartment since the photos were published earlier this month, adding that thousands of “vile threatening emails, calls and texts” had made her fear for her life.
Hill has apologized for having an “inappropriate” relationship with a campaign staffer before entering Congress. But she has denied other accusations that she had a relationship with a congressional staffer.
For Hill, having a sexual relationship with subordinates is career-ending but fellow Democratic congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar alleged the outcome would be different for a male member in her position.
Omar shared her support for Hill in a tweet that wished her well on future endeavors.
“Best of luck on your new journey @KatieHill4CA, we got you,” Omar said in the tweet.
“To all the women/girls out there, do not be deterred from pursuing your dreams. We must and will create a society where you cannot be defamed, smeared and kept from your career aspirations because of smear campaigns,” she added.
Best of luck on your new journey @KatieHill4CA, we got you ✊🏽
To all the women/girls out there, do not be deterred from pursuing your dreams. We must and will create a society where you cannot be defamed, smeared and kept from your career aspirations because of smear campaigns! pic.twitter.com/aXcPuNRWWj
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 31, 2019
According to Ocasio-Cortez, Hill is a victim.
“This doesn’t happen to male members in the same way — revenge porn in this respect. It’s horrific,” the New York congresswoman said per the Washington Examiner.
“I don’t think we’re really talking about how targeted and serious this is,” she continued. “We’re talking about a major crime … being committed against her.”
Rep. Katie Hill is resigning is because she broke House ethics rules by:
– Having sex with her staff
– Sexually/emotionally abusing her staff
– Procuring her staff for sexual abuse by her husband
– Making graphic sex jokes about her staff
Hill is the abuser — NOT the victim. https://t.co/pQpuogqQ0u
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 31, 2019
The Washington Examiner reports male members in similar situations similarly were forced to resign:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
Male members of Congress and other high political offices have also been stripped of their political careers due to sex scandals. New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was famously stripped of his political career after he inadvertently shared a photo of his crotch on his Twitter account. He had intended to only send it to one woman who indicated that she was offended by the photograph. Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011, and after an unsuccessful bid for mayor in New York City, he admitted to continuing to “sext” multiple women after he left Congress. He was convicted of sending sexually explicit photos to a teenage girl he knew to be 15 years old and was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.
Texas Rep. Joe Barton was also shamed out of his political career in 2017 after self-taken naked photos of the GOP congressman were shared on social media. Barton admitted that the photos were of him and did not seek reelection at the end of his term.