Missouri GOPers To Solve Sexual Harassment By Telling Interns How To Dress

The Missouri legislature has had a bit of a problem recently with its intern program. It seems Missouri legislators just can’t seem to stop sexually harassing their interns! This year alone, State Sen. Paul LeVota (D) resigned after two interns accused him of sexual harassment, and House Speaker John Diehl (R) stepped down after it was revealed that he was sexting with his 19 year-old intern.

“How to solve this problem?,” they wondered!

First, Missouri state Rep. Kevin Engler (R) sent out a fairly sane seeming memo detailing some suggestions, like requiring all legislators and interns to attend sexual harassment training. This seemed like a pretty good start.

Then, State Rep. Bill Kidd (R) responded back with his fancy idea of creating an “Intern Dress Code.” State Rep. Nick King agreed, and then Engler was like “Yes! That is a fantastic idea! Let’s do that!”

In an email, Rep. King wrote “We need a good, modest, conservative dress code for both the males and females. Removing one more distraction will help everyone keep their focus on legislative matters.”

You see, these fellas figured out that the problem lies not with the “distracted” legislators who were harassing these college students, but with the college students themselves who were cruelly tempting them with whatever it was they were wearing to intern. Which surely involved pasties, hot pants and lucite heels.

However! U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) was not so hep to their jive, and suggested that perhaps–just perhaps–the fault lies not with what the students were wearing, but with the legislators themselves.

I refuse to stand by idly while any suggestion is made that victims of sexual harassment in the Missouri State Legislature is the responsibility of anyone other than the legislators themselves. It is the responsibility of you and your colleagues to uphold the law, protect the young people working in our state’s capital, and confront and change a culture that excuses sexual violence. This problem has nothing to do with how interns are dressed.

Shocking, I know. It may also shock you to know that nothing a woman can wear can actually compel you to sexually harass them against your will! Not only that, but crazy as this sounds–women can and do get sexually harassed regardless of what they are wearing. It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world we live in, I tell you.

[Talking Points Memo]