#MeToo Archives - Colorado Politics
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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 28, 20184min1890

Swanee Hunt, a woman of tremendous privilege, philanthropy and leadership, has known the same struggles as many other women in the workplace today.

“I have had two presidents — not Bill Clinton — make passes at me,” she told Colorado cable TV talker Aaron Harber as he interviewed the former U.S. ambassador to Austria and longtime Denver resident. “And I have had a Nobel Prize winner stick his tongue down my throat when we were on a sidewalk and I was saying goodbye and about to get into a cab — stick his tongue down my throat.

“I had another Nobel Prize winner who banged on my hotel door and called my room wanting to come in until I said to him, ‘I am calling security if you do not leave me alone. And so if that’s happening to me, and all these #MeToo people are saying ‘Yes, it happens to me,’ what about the people of color, the women of color, who aren’t even a part of this movement? They are the ones. What about the waitresses, who get this all the time all the time, and their tips are going to be decided by whether they let a man pat them on them butt?”

She said the #MeToo movement is transforming into a political movement.

“Our country will never be the same,” she told Harber.

Click here to watch more of the interview.

An author and expert on women in politics, Hunt is a daughter of the late Texas oilman H. L. Hunt, one of the richest men in the world in his lifetime, she has a master’s degree in religion and a doctorate in theology from Iliff School of Theology in Denver.

Currently, Hunt is the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and the founding director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the school.

Her bio at Harvard notes:

During Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, she co-organized Serious Women, Serious Issues, Serious Money, a Denver symposium widely considered the first time such diverse women gathered to provide major financial backing for a national political campaign. In 2008, she convened Unconventional Women, a day-long program featuring more than 20 female political leaders for an audience of 3000 in Denver, concurrent with the Democratic National Convention.

She also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Ambassador Swanee Hunt revealed the harassment she endured to emphasize how difficult it is for women in socio-economic strata different from her who do not have the resources Hunt has,” said Harber.

“The Aaron Harber Show” airs primarily on KCDO-TV Channel 3, an over-the-air broadcaster, as well as Channel 3 on COMCAST, DirecTV, and DISH. The show is carried on cable channels across the state, as well as much of Wyoming and Nebraska. Click here for local listings.

(Editor’s note: This story was updated to add a comment from Harber, as well as more viewing options.)


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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 6, 20174min8063

Rivalry-free bipartisanship was a feature of the #MeToo Leadership Rally Sunday afternoon on the steps of the state Capitol.

Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik, R-Thornton, were among the speakers who joined with advocacy groups to draw attention to sexual harassment and physical assault.

Winter is challenging Martinez Humenik in the Senate District 24 race next year. (First, she will meet Thornton City Councilman Adam Matkowsky in the Democratic primary.)

Winter told Colorado Politics Monday that some issues rise above partisan politics.

“I was proud to stand with my rival for the most competitive Senate seat in the state, Beth Martinez Humenick, to bring much needed attention to #MeToo movement,” she said in an e-mail. “Sexual assault and harassment is blind to politics and blind to economic status. We are all impacted by #MeToo. We all need to take action to change our culture.”

Martinez Humenik said the renewed attention #MeToo, a 10-year-old initiative, is receiving is bringing out more victims and more awareness.

“This issue is not a partisan issue, it is a people issue,” she told Colorado Politics. “Sexual assault knows no socioeconomic boundaries, however, ethnic minorities are most often affected. Often individuals in households with domestic violence are also subject to sexual assault.”

She cited statistics that indicate 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are victims of sexual violence at some point, while less than 10 percent are ever reported.

“Individuals with a lifetime of sexual assault are more likely to have chronic health issues. It is the responsibility of all Coloradans to create an environment in their homes, in our schools, in our faith-based community, in police departments, in medical offices and community organizations where survivors of sexual assault can report sexual assault or harassment,” Martinez Humenik said. “We must continue to inform children, teenagers, adults, and the disabled community members, that it is safe to tell. It is very important to work together to make sure that the stigma, the shame, the fear of telling someone else about a sexual assault or a sexual harassment incident that has occurred is ok, that it must be reported to prevent it from happening to others.

“The fear and stigma of reporting a sexual assault trauma or experiencing sexual harassment must end. There are many organizations and resources available to help victims work through their fear, PTSD or other triggers that cause victims distrust and to struggle on a daily basis as a result of experiencing sexual assault. Every person is important and each individual has a voice. I encourage women and men who are victims to speak up, use your voice so the perpetrators of this violence can be stopped. Blaming victims for their assault will not end sexual assault, however, the behavior of the offenders must and will continue to be addressed in Colorado for the safety and well being of all of our citizens.”