Carly Fiorina: Congress Must Change How It Handles Sexual Harassment Claims

By Melanie Arter | November 27, 2017 | 1:50 PM EST

Former GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina (Screenshot of Fox News video)

( - Former Hewlett Packard CEO and GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina told “Fox News Sunday” that the way Congress handles sexual harassment claims is designed to protect the perpetrator, not the victim, and that needs to change.

“I tell you the most helpful thing would be for Congress to change its own process and procedures. If someone wants to come forward and allege harassment or abuse in Congress, they must go through a mandatory 30 days of counseling, mandatory mediation led by a lawyer whose express purpose is to protect the institution, and then maybe if they are lucky they get a secret settlement paid for by taxpayers from the Treasury,” Fiorina said.

“That whole process is designed to protect politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, to protect the institution and to make it next to impossible for a woman, or in some cases a young boy page, to come forward. That ought to change. That would actually help,” she said.

Fiorina said sexual harassment has goes on all the time “in politics, in the workplace, in athletics, and when we politicize it - it’s not my team versus your team, Republicans and Democrats alike are guilty of it.

Fiorina said the question is when will this behavior stop being tolerated and when will men who commit these acts stop being respected, “because all of these men have been respected, despite the fact that people knew.”

She said it will be “a watershed moment” once men withhold respect from men who sexually harass people.

“Men, not most, but enough abuse their positions of power in return for sex, and what happens is, women step up, but men continue unfortunately into many instances to respect the men who were behaving this way,” Fiorina said.

“Every single one of the men who has been exposed in the last several weeks has been respected. And so, I think men need to decide, I’m not going to respect a man who disrespects women. I’m going to withhold my respect from him, unless he respects others, that will a watershed moment,” she added.

When asked whether she was sexually harassed, Fiorina said, ““Of course I was. Every woman I know was. I don't mean I’ve been raped or assaulted in some of the ways these women have, but was I groped by a friend of my family? Of course. Was I propositioned? Of course. Was I introduced as a bimbo? Of course.

“Did I have on occasion men banging on my hotel room door and then lying about it the next morning? Of course. This is common occurrence, unfortunately, and that is my point. My point is not that most men are bad. Most men are good and respectful, and many, many men have helped many women, myself included,” she said.

“And all women are not victims, but the perennial abuse of power by men over women has been with us for a long time, and everyone knows it. Women know it, and men know it,” Fiorina added.

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