In Resignation Speech, Katie Hill Blasts “Misogynistic Culture” That Enabled Abuse

She took aim at the double standard that has allowed Trump to continue his presidency.

(Tom Williams/Getty)

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During her resignation speech on the House floor Thursday afternoon, Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) took responsibility for mistakes she had made that helped end her brief career in Congress. But she also denounced the “misogynistic culture” that pushed her out of office while preserving Donald Trump’s presidency.

In recent days, conservative publications have posted nude photos of Hill, which she said were taken without her knowledge. Hill has suggested that the photos were released by her estranged husband, Kenny Heslep, who she says was abusive. (Heslep’s father has said that Heslep denies leaking the photos.) Hill announced her resignation Sunday amid a House Ethics Committee investigation into whether she had an affair with a congressional staffer, an allegation she has denied. She has also acknowledged a consensual but “inappropriate” relationship with a campaign staffer. After apologizing to her supporters Thursday, Hill took aim the media outlets that published the photos.

“I’m leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality, and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching,” Hill said. “Today is the first time I’ve left my apartment since the photos—taken without my consent—were released. And I’m scared.”

Hill noted that, earlier in the day, she cast her final vote—to formalize the ongoing impeachment investigation—”on behalf of the women of the United States.”

“The forces of revenge by a bitter, jealous man; cyber-exploitation and sexual shaming that target our gender; and a large segment of society that fears and hates powerful women, have combined to push a young woman out of power,” she said. “Yet a man who brags about his sexual predation, who’s had dozens of women come forward to accuse him of sexual assault, who pushes policies that are uniquely harmful to women, and who has filled the courts with judges who proudly rule to deprive women have the most fundamental rights to control their own bodies, sits in the highest office of the land.”

* This story has been revised.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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