“When you have big power disparities like that … when you are in a position of power over someone’s livelihood, over their career opportunities, consent can get pretty muddy,” said Emily Martin, a vice president at the National Women’s Law Center and an adviser to Congress on the 2018 update to the rules.
“For me, these concerns are heightened when it comes to Congress, because if you’re a member of Congress, you’re one of the most powerful people in the country,” Martin continued.
…That sort of response makes Congress a more hazardous place to work, Martin said.
“Among other things, Congress is a workplace. And in other workplaces, we would not find it satisfactory for leadership to say, ‘We don’t have to do anything about violations of our rules or potential harassment or legal issues related to harassment. … We’ve got no responsibility here,’” Martin said.