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Sanders Wants a ‘Revolution’ in How We Treat Women

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to the press in December in Washington, D.C. (Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images)

After calling for a political revolution during the Democratic presidential primaries, Bernie Sanders called for a revolution of a different kind—in the way we treat women and handle sexual harassment and assault—in a Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

As sexual harassment and assault allegations against powerful men have made major media headlines, more women have gone public with their own #MeToo experiences. Sanders says the movement has shown that high-profile people are not the only ones impacted by sexual harassment and assault; rather it is an issue that impacts people of all circumstances.

“State of the Union” host Jake Tapper asked if Sanders regrets calling for Al Franken’s resignation from the Senate, as had some other senators.

“Look, Al Franken indicated that he was going to resign, and I think what Franken did touches on an issue of enormous consequence for this country,” Sanders replied. “And what I worry about … it’s not just what happens with regards to famous people. Right now, as we speak, in restaurants all over this country, in offices all over this country, there are folks who are not famous who are harassing women, making demands on women that are obscene. We need a revolution in the way we treat women in the workforce from the bottom on up.”

Mic reports:

Sanders’ call for a “revolution” seems to reflect the country’s current desire to take on the issue of sexual harassment; a poll conducted by SSRS Solutions from Dec. 14 to Dec. 17 found that 49% of Americans find sexual harassment to be a “very serious” problem in the country today, with 19% calling it an “extremely serious” problem.

One of the men who has remained largely unscathed despite the recent rise in sexual harassment allegations, however, is President Donald Trump, who remains in office despite being accused of sexual assault or other sexually violating behavior by nearly 20 women. Sanders has been one of several senators to call on the president to resign as a result of his behavior — a stance that he reiterated on Sunday.

“If Al Franken felt he acted inappropriately, you have a president who was on TV in a largely seen tape boasting about his assault of women,” Sanders said. “If Franken could resign, I think it would be appropriate for the president to do the same.”

Sanders has spoken to other news outlets about the widespread nature of sexual harassment and his concern for those who are harassed by men outside the limelight. In an interview on “CBS This Morning,” he said, “I think what we have got to recognize as a nation, that this is a problem impacting not only high-profile men. What I worry about right now as I speak is that in restaurants, in offices all over this country where you have bosses that are not famous, there is harassment, women are being intimidated, and we need a cultural revolution in this country.”

Emily Wells
​Emily Wells is an Ear to the Ground blogger at Truthdig. As a journalist, she began as a crime reporter at the Pulitzer-winning daily newspaper, The Press-Enterprise...
Emily Wells
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