LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer, one of only two women to have been a legislative leader in Michigan, says the male-dominated Capitol has a “locker room” atmosphere in which it’s not uncommon for female lawmakers and employees to confront sexual harassment.
Whitmer, who was a legislator for 14 years, recounts once having to combat “very lewd” and “totally inappropriate” comments directed at her by a male senator in the Senate chamber. She was Democratic leader at the time.
Whitmer told The Associated Press of her experiences at a time that sexual misconduct allegations have rocked the worlds of entertainment, media and politics. She says a major contributing factor toward the locker room dynamic in which bad behavior occurs is that there aren’t enough female legislators in Lansing.