Clinton Chose Not to Fire Her Advisor for Sexual Harassment

In light of the #MeToo campaign, news broke out yesterday that Hillary Clinton kept an advisor accused of sexual harassment on her campaign team in 2008. 

A 30-year-old woman had issued a complaint that the faith adviser, Burns Strider, “rubbed her shoulders inappropriately, kissed her on the forehead, and sent her a string of suggestive emails, including at least one during the night, according to three former campaign officials,” in an article from The New York Times. Yet, despite recommendations from Clinton’s campaign manager and other senior advisors to dismiss Strider, Clinton chose to keep him for the remainder of her campaign. 

According to a CNN article, “The woman was moved out of the office where she had been working with Strider, one source said, and the faith adviser was punished by having his pay docked for several weeks, having his title changed and being required to undergo sexual harassment training.”

After The New York Times released the article uncovering the incident, Clinton took to Twitter to address the matter. In tweets she said: 

Five years after the campaign, Burns Strider was hired for Correct the Record, a group that supported Clinton’s 2016 candidacy. Shortly after being hired, Strider was fired for various workplace issues, one of which included allegations that he had harassed a female aide. Throughout all of these allegations, Clinton has still remained close to Strider, even though many people have advised against it. This past October, Strider tweeted a picture of himself posing with Clinton and his youngest son, Pete, at a birthday party: 

Further, The New York Times article mentions that the Clintons and Harvey Weinstein were longtime friends; he was a donor to her campaign. The article also states that Lena Dunham told people on Hillary’s campaign team not to associate with Weinstein because he’s “a rapist and this is going to come out at some point.”

Often seen as a leading figure for the feminist movement because of her political achievements, this revelation is disheartening and disappointing for the women’s empowerment community, as actions like this go against everything that the #MeToo campaign, feminism, and gender equality are about. 

As someone supported Clinton in the 2016 election, I’m disarmed by this knowledge, as I preferred to view Hillary as someone who would not accusations l like this lightly. However, despite the action taken, I do not think that deducting pay and reducing titles was enough; it will never be enough.

One cannot have a campaign with the slogan, “I’m With Her” without actually standing up for the women who stand with her. 

 

 

 

 

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