W O M E N , P O W E R , A N D R A P E C U L T U R E 10 investigation would proceed and who could give testimony. And in this case, as in many others historically, men both made and benefitted from the rules. Though men might be disadvantaged by their race or other attributes, such as sexual preference, they nonetheless enjoy the privilege of maleness in proximity to power. To wit, Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, and Clar- ence Thomas prevailed during his nomination process for the Supreme Court in the face of Anita Hill’s accusations of sexual harassment, despite each having had to contend with the hurdles of racism and relatively humble beginning as, respectively, the biracial son of a single mother and the grandson of a sharecropper.55 In such positions, men often defend the status quo of power, sometimes through legal technicalities or other procedural boundaries, such as statutes of limitations, that limit women’s opportunities for representation in the public sphere. The playbook of men in positions of power engaging in sexual mis- conduct, discrediting their accusers, and favoring policy mechanisms that limit women’s ability to report and seek redress can be seen as beginning its narrative arc in the campus context, where star athletes or fraternity brothers enjoy a surplus of concern and credibility, while women who accuse them are often seen as suspect or blameworthy and only rarely see perpetrators held to account. Upon graduation to higher levels of power, the central theme of the playbook is evident in upper echelons of institu- tions throughout and beyond government. In the legislature, as in the exec- utive branch and the judiciary, accusations and anecdotes of abuses have accrued over time, escalating in the aftermath of the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings and the MeToo movement tipping point in 2017. In our chapter “Congressional Culpability and Legislative Legacy,” we review a sampling of such cases of sexual misconduct among members of Congress, including senators and congressmen, democrats and repub- licans, over the time period between the Hill-Thomas hearings and the MeToo era. As in our other chapters, we consider the primary policy mechanisms at play to analyze the advancements and limitations atten- dant to those policies as they pertain to the potential for improved wom- en’s representation. The Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 and its reform in 2018 provided some mechanisms of accountability for discrim- ination and harassment in the workplace by members of Congress, with the latter reform alleviating some of the onerous reporting mechanisms that characterized the earlier version. We relate data from the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights (OCWR) on the amount and number of related settlement awards to relay some sense of the tangible costs of
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