There’s a new story of supposed rampant sexism on Capitol Hill, and National Journal has the scoop. “In an anonymous survey of female staffers conducted by National Journal in order to gather information on the difficulties they face in a male-dominated industry, several female aides reported that they have been barred from staffing their male bosses at evening events, driving alone with their congressman or senator, or even sitting down one-on-one in his office for fear that others would get the wrong impression.” Some worry that the practice, although not widespread, is illegal. Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah explained his own “seven to seven” policy — staffers can’t arrive before 7 a.m. or leave after 7 p.m. — as the effort to avoid “the appearance of any impropriety in any way shape or form.” That’s because Chaffetz knows it’s tough to fight biology. Men and women working closely together can end up doing more than working, so it’s a hard balance to strike. On the one hand, any politician — well, any Republican politician — would be run out of town for infidelity. But on the other hand, you can’t discriminate. The question is where to draw the line.
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