Tags: Kirsten Gillibrand | sexism in workplace | Gillibrand memoir

Gillibrand Mum on Sources of Sexist Remarks to 'Elevate' Debate

By    |   Tuesday, 09 September 2014 01:02 PM

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she wouldn't tell who made sexist remarks to her, as described in her new memoir, because she wanted to "elevate" the conversation about gender bias and not let the focus turn to one individual.

"The reason why I used these examples is to illustrate the broader point. I want to elevate the debate. It's not about a specific insult of one person. It's about what has been said to you," the New York Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday.

While Gillibrand said her book was "all about the challenges working moms face every single day," it's been her chapter on appearances that has received attention, where she detailed sexist remarks colleagues made to her in the workplace.

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The comments by male colleagues focused on her weight and looks, and included one man who squeezed her stomach and said, "Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby." Another she said told her, "Good thing you're working out because you don't want to get porky."

"I told these stories specifically to illustrate a much broader theme about how are women treated in the workplace. When does appearance affect a certain career? In politics it does have an impact," she said.

Gillibrand said she didn't consider the comments harassment because "they are not my bosses, they didn't affect me." She said she mentioned the episodes to help young women meet life's challenges.

"The reason why I specifically go into all this is because the young woman reading the book, she's going to have her own challenges. And, she's going to have to figure out how do I move ahead and be successful," she said.

The memoir, "Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World," is due for release Tuesday.

On a different topic, Gillibrand called the threat to the United States by the Islamic State (ISIS) a "serious problem," and said it was "wise that (President Barack Obama) is looking at a multilateral, multi-pronged approach" to combat the terrorist organization.

"This is not something that's going to be easy. It's not going to be a short-lived thing. And, I think it's important that (Obama) lay out that strategy for, not only Congress, but the American people on Wednesday, so we can understand more fully what his approach is going to be," she said.

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she wouldn't tell who made sexist remarks to her, as described in her new memoir, because she wanted to elevate the conversation about gender bias.
Kirsten Gillibrand, sexism in workplace, Gillibrand memoir
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 01:02 PM
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