A forced kiss by a male colleague. A catcall by a state trooper assigned to guard the Capitol. Late-night texts. A work meeting hijacked by a male legislative staffer: You are my ideal woman, he told his female interlocutor.
The episodes illustrate what many women say is the biggest open secret at the Texas Capitol: That a culture of harassment persists despite repeated efforts to stamp it out.
In interviews with the American-Statesman, multiple women described a work environment in which they are objectified and made to feel uncomfortable in their daily interactions with male counterparts.
“Being a female staffer