Some gentlemen of the Congress are no gentlemen, Gillibrand says

WASHINGTON- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has been a champion of legislation against sexual misconduct. It's been a tough fight.

And in a new book, Gillibrand reveals some of her male colleagues haven't all been gentlemen.

encordes1.jpg
In her new book. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says some of her male colleagues made very inappropriate remarks.
CBS News

The Senate's longstanding rules of decorum apparently don't apply to a woman's weight.

In an excerpt from her new book, New York's junior senator says she endured an endless string of comments from male lawmakers after the birth of her second son in 2008.

"The prize comment," she writes, "came from a Southern congressman who said, as he held my arm, 'You know, Kirsten, you're even pretty when you're fat.'"

When she exercised in the congressional gym, "many of my older make colleagues felt compelled to offer advice, such as this gem: 'Good thing you're working out, because you wouldn't want to get porky!'"

Even after she dropped 50 pounds, the comments continued. One of her "favorite older members of the Senate" squeezed her waist and said, "Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!"

"Politics is still very male-dominated," Gillibrand said at a Politico panel in December.

She told me electing more women is key to changing the tone in Washington.

"If we had more women in Congress, we would begin to break the cycle of dysfunction," she said.

Of course, Gillibrand might get the last laugh if the boorish comments from her male colleagues help sell copies of her new book - which is mostly about boosting the ranks of women in Congress.

  • Nancy Cordes On Twitter»

    Nancy Cordes is CBS News' congressional correspondent.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.