Stand with Women at the Minnesota Capitol

It’s time to end the culture of silence that perpetuates gender oppression

Every person deserves the freedom to live, work, and exist without being targeted because of their gender. We stand with every woman who bravely came forward to fight sexual harassment at the Minnesota Legislature. We demand change.

When the bodies of women are treated as bargaining chips that can be acquiesced and demanded, we collapse an opportunity to create true equity.

As an organization that actively fights to break down structural racism, gender oppression, and corporate power, we publicly and actively support any person who has suffered emotional and physical trauma due to the unchecked actions of men who believe they are above the law. The experiences of Rep. Erin Maye Quade, Lindsey Port, and every woman who has come forward at the Minnesota Legislature must be examined.

The halls and rooms at the State Capitol should be used to bring about race, gender, and economic equity. Never again should they be breeding grounds for sexual harassment.

That women who enter politics in Minnesota become targets of sexual harassment is a mark on who we are as Minnesotans. It is unacceptable.  And it is unacceptable that the burden to relieve and protect people that work at the Capitol be shouldered by women.

Senator Kari Dziedzic stated in MinnPost, “Women who have experienced sexual harassment don’t want to be labeled a troublemaker, be told to ‘loosen up and learn to take a joke’ or lose our jobs — we just want to do our job.” Senator Dziedzic is describing a culture of silence and survival—a cycle that we must break now.

As women, women of color, and political healers at TakeAction Minnesota, we understand that there are systems that erase cultural trauma from public memory. This culture of silence is an example of one of those systems. It is up to each of us to hold these stories as fact. The amount of systemic gender oppression suffered to cut through this silence speaks volumes of the resilience and clarity of the women who have courageously spoken up.

Women who are survivors of sexual harassment and assault at our State Capitol deserve—at the very least—to have systems that protect them from the culture of silence. We join the call for Minnesota’s legislative leaders to immediately install a Task Force on Sexual Harassment. This is an essential first step.

Breaking down the barriers of gender oppression is the only way to bring about true equity. Now is the time to say #NeverAgain. Sign the petition to demand change at the State Capitol.

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