Democratic congresswoman says victims have ‘responsibility’ to prevent sexual assault, harassment

Democratic congresswoman says victims have ‘responsibility’ to prevent sexual assault, harassment
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) says that women bear a responsibility in preventing sexual harassment and assault. (Image source: KXAS-TV video screenshot)

A Texas congresswoman made headlines after telling the media that she believes victims have a role to play in staving off sexual assault and harassment.

What did she say?

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) spoke with Dallas-Fort Worth’s KXAS-TV Wednesday about the sex scandal swirling around Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, a major Democratic donor and supporter.

“I grew up in a time when it was as much the woman’s responsibility as the man’s — how you were dressed, what your behavior was,” said Johnson, 81.

She said that she’s “from the old school” and that women can exhibit “behaviors that appear to be inviting.”

“It can be interpreted as such,” Johnson continued. “That’s the responsibility, I think, of the female.”

Should it really be about how women dress?

KXAS asked Johnson if she felt that a conversation about women’s dress should be included in a greater address of sexual assault and harassment.

“I think we also need to start talking about the power that women have to control the situation,” Johnson answered.

She continued, “There’s law enforcement, you can refuse to cooperate with that kind of behavior. I think that many times, men get away with this because they are allowed to get away with it by the women.”

“When you have an expectation that that might happen and that’s how you gotta do it to make it, that’s a mental thing that has to change with the woman,” Johnson said.

KXAS reporter Diana Zoga relayed the message that Johnson believes men should act professionally at all times, and should be punished when they do not.

The outlet also reported that Johnson was disappointed that more of Weinstein’s victims didn’t come forward and make their allegations public sooner.

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