- Johnathan Silver American-Statesman Staff
A top official in the Texas attorney general’s office resigned Thursday after criticizing the “#MeToo” movement in a Facebook post.
“Aren’t you also tired of all the pathetic ‘me too’ victim claims?” then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Andrew Leonie said in a Facebook post Wednesday, according to The Dallas Morning News, which first reported on it. “If every woman is a ‘victim’, so is every man. If everyone is a victim, no one is. Victim means nothing anymore.”
His post linked to an article titled “Can We Be Honest About Women?” published by the conservative site The Federalist, the Morning News reported. In the article, the author, a woman, says women like the attention men give them, referencing the “Song of Solomon” and sex appeal found in popular culture to make her case.
“(Y)ou can’t pick up a magazine, turn on a website, or watch television without seeing boobs,” author D.C. McAllister says in the article. “They’re everywhere. From selfies to profile pics to advertisements—they’re on full display. Why do you think that is? It’s because a man is drawn to a woman’s feminine beauty, and a woman wants to lure him in with her most sexual traits.”
The post had been removed by Thursday afternoon.
An attorney general’s office spokesman said in a statement that Leonie’s resignation takes immediate effect.
“The views he expressed on social media do not reflect our values,” communications director Marc Rylander said. “The OAG is committed to promoting and maintaining a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment.”
“#MeToo” is a popular phrase people use on social media to share their experiences of sexual harassment, sexual assault or both. The movement has been powered by people who publicly call out attackers, who tend to be in a position of authority.
Leonie’s post came amid sexual harassment allegations at the Capitol and as state lawmakers are looking at ways to prevent sexual misconduct in the Capitol, to make it easier to report sexual harassment and to hold perpetrators accountable. Thursday, senators began discussing recommendations for improving the Senate’s sexual harassment policy. The Texas House adopted a new policy earlier this month.
Leonie is a former municipal court judge, assistant attorney general and prosecutor in Kaufman County.