SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.-
As women marched around the nation this weekend to promote women’s rights, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon is also fighting a much too common battle some women face.
Mayor Harmon took to
Facebook to denounced harassment she has received as a public figure and woman. Moments later a man got arrested after trying to force his way into the mayor’s office.
“I made a post about my experience. I don’t know if people understand how many threats, how much degrading body shaming, sexualizing comments I receive,” said Mayor Harmon.
Comments made on social media, threats Mayor Harmon said also are hurled at her children.
“That is 100% unacceptable and it’s a direct threat to our democracy. Because what it does is intimidate and try to scare people like me from standing up and using my voice,” said Mayor Harmon.
Hours after Harmon published the Facebook post calling out the constant harassment, a man attempted to force his way into the Mayor’s office.
“A man who has a romantic fixation on me entered City Hall. Jumped over our the security wall. Assaulted people on staff in the office and had to be subdued by the city manager,” said Mayor Harmon.
The man was arrested and now faces charges.
“It’s absolutely unexceptionable. I don’t know if these people would do this in real life or just online but either way it needs to be called out just like Mayor Harmon did,” said Andrea Chmelik, a lead organizer at Women’s March San Luis Obispo.
According to the Academic Journal State and Local Government Review, female mayors face greater levels of physical, mental, and sexual abuse than those in the general workforce.
“Every woman you know is struggling with something like this and has experienced sexism, harassment,” said Chmelik.
Mayor Harmon says she will continue to denounce the harassment and keep leading her city with grace.
“It’s constructed to disempower us and I refuse to allow it to do that,” said Mayor Harmon.