State Lawmakers Say Sexism is Part of Job

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Several female Ohio lawmakers believe women still face challenges while holding public office and say they often encounter offensive jokes and remarks made by their male counterparts.

Their recollections follow an incident during this year’s primary season involving state Sen. Tom Patton. The Cleveland Republican referred to his female opponent as “sweetie” and questioned her interest in being a lawmaker while raising young children. Patton later said his remarks were misunderstood.

State Rep. Greta Johnson tells she’s heard similar comments from lawmakers and voters. The Akron Democrat says she recently had a conversation with a male lawmaker who called her “kiddo.”

Women in the Legislature’s Republican majority had a different take. Those interviewed said they either hadn’t had similar experiences or didn’t take offense when they did.