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Letter to editor icon 3

One sexual harassment report is too many

"Sex and the session," the Helena IR print headline is eye-catching, although misleading. Sexual harassment is not primarily about sex. It's about power, with victims distrustful of the "system's" ability to protect them. Senator Sales apparently measures its seriousness by the number of reports. Sexual harassment is like an iceberg, the size of which is mostly below the surface.

He says women in the Legislature can "handle themselves, they're intelligent, they're accomplished, they know and should know the law. They're assertive." It's "shame on them," if victims fail to report.

Evidently, in the entertainment industry, business, the media, and politics, one's intelligence is no guarantee of protection from predators, even those who may claim the greatest IQ ever, but, alas, exhibit a serious case of "decency-deficiency."

Rep. Eck recommends exploring ways harassment claims are reported; using a third party, independent of the Legislature, to investigate claims; and making sexual harassment training mandatory. Makes sense!

Perhaps sexual harassment policy and reporting procedure also ought to be posted on the state of Montana website.

My goodness, what legislator would object?

If any member of my family, a friend, or colleague was sexually harassed, Senator, ONE report would be one too many.

-- John Ilgenfritz, Helena

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