Sen. Gillibrand: Male Colleagues Have Made Sexist Comments

Image: Sen. Gillibrand: Male Colleagues Have Made Sexist Comments (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 09:09 PM

By Cathy Burke

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New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she has endured boorish remarks from fellow lawmakers – including a warning from one male colleague about getting "porky."

Gillibrand, whose book "Off the Sidelines" will go on sale next month, writes about the time she was working out in the congressional gym when an older lawmaker blurted out: "Good thing you're working out, because you wouldn't want to get porky!" according to an excerpt quoted by People magazine.

Gillibrand has struggled with her weight, jumping from size 4 to size 16 after having a baby, notes the New York Post, which also quotes excerpts of her book.

She recounts how one union leader told her: "When I first met you in 2006, you were beautiful, a breath of fresh air. To win [the special election], you need to be beautiful again."

"I knew I was too heavy for my own health," she writes.

Gillibrand served in the House from 2007 to 2009, when Gov. David Paterson appointed her to the Senate. She later won re-election in a special election in 2010.

Then there was the time a Southern congressman, while walking her down the chamber's center aisle, told her: "You know, Kirsten, you're even pretty when you're fat."

After Gillibrand says she dropped 50 pounds, however, a Senate colleague squeezed her belly and said, "Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!"

"It was all statements that were being made by men who were well into their 60s, 70s or 80s," Gillibrand, 47, told People magazine.

"They had no clue that those are inappropriate things to say to a pregnant woman or a woman who just had a baby or to women in general."

One of the more infamous remarks made to Gillibrand came from Majority Leader Harry Reid, who called her "the hottest member" of the Senate at a 2010 fundraising event, according to Politico.

"Harry was just trying to be nice," she said, Business Insider reports.

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