WIUM Tristates Public Radio

sexual harassment

If I Were a Man

Feb 14, 2018

If I were a man, I'd be embarrassed and insulted right now. 

Over the past few months, thousands of women have spoken publicly about what's been done to them - sexual assault, physical and verbal harassment, derogatory comments -because they are women. 

In the midst of the national #metoo phenomenon, Illinois women wrestle with their own experiences.

Illinois lawmakers acted quickly last month in response to sexual harassment allegations at the statehouse.  But several female legislators say this isn't a quick fix.  They say the process was rushed and not enough thought was given to explore alternative options.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat, says the new policies were not inclusive of everyone affected by the issue—such as legislative staff and lobbyists. She says she hopes newly formed legislative task forces in the House and Senate will resolve this concern. 

Since this past weekend, women and men have been sharing their accounts of sexual violence with the hashtag #MeToo. While many assumed the movement started with actor Alyssa Milano's tweet about Hollywood producer/mogul and alleged sex offender Harvey Weinstein, some are pointing out that a black woman named Tarana Burke used the same terminology for a project also mean to address sexual assault.