'Chubby,' 'porky' among comments made to female senator - WFSB 3 Connecticut

'Chubby,' 'porky' among comments made to female senator by male colleagues

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. (CNN photo) Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. (CNN photo)

A U.S. senator from New York said some of her colleagues make sexist comments.

"Chubby," "porky," "hot" and "honey badger" are just some of the comments used by male members of Congress to address Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. She said it's done to her face.

The New York Democrat revealed it in Off the Sidelines, a new book about what it's like to be a 47-year-old woman in 2014 politics.

Gillibrand is one of only a few women in history to give birth while in Congress. She spoke about it several years ago right after her youngest son was born.

"There's a lot more interest in younger women beginning to look at public service earlier," she said. "And when we look at public service earlier, it means we have children while we're serving. It's good for the Congress."

In the book, she's open about struggling with weight gain after two pregnancies. As she was losing 50 pounds, a male senator came up behind her, squeezed her waist and said "don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!"

Gillibrand made headlines for fighting for women's rights against sexual assault in the military. She said male colleagues didn't realize their comments were crass because they're older, in their 60s and up to 74-years-old.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was appalled.

"It's absolutely ridiculous," Pelosi said. "It's disrespectful. Here's Sen. Gillibrand, one of the great leaders of this country."

There are 20 women in the Senate, an all-time high. However, it's still only 20 percent of the senate and women make up more than 50 percent of the U.S. population.

Barbara Mikulski is the longest-serving female senator in history. When she first came 28 years ago, women weren't even allowed to wear pants on the Senate floor. Bathrooms were limited.

"They just weren't equipped for us," Mikulski said. "They first of all have this place called the Senate Gym, the locker room that just couldn't accommodate me."

Women can now exercise in the Congressional gym. However, Gillibrand said it was a forum for inappropriate comments.

She said someone told her "good thing you're working out because you wouldn't want to get porky!"

Gillibrand, however, said she gave as good as she got and responded "thanks a-hole."

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