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State lawmaker resignations don't fix the 'pervasive culture of misogyny,' rep says

Erin Maye Quade describes it as a serious cultural problem.

State Sen. Dan Schoen has officially resigned.

The DFL lawmaker from the southeast Twin Cities metro had been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, and was facing pressure to resign.

On Wednesday afternoon he stepped down officially. MPR's Brian Bakst has a copy of his resignation letter on Twitter:

You can also read Bakst's story, which includes what Schoen's attorney had to say, and his explanation for the incidents in question. Schoen has denied wrongdoing.

One of his accusers, former DFL candidate Lindsay Port, had this to say:

State Rep. Tony Cornish meanwhile is also expected to resign before Dec. 1, as reported Tuesday. Cornish was accused of sexual harassment last week.

Rep. Quade: 'I want to change the culture'

One of the women who came forward with stories of harassment was Erin Maye Quade, a state rep. She said Schoen and Cornish both acted inappropriately with her.

Her initial reaction to Schoen's resignation announcement was brief.

“One senator's resignation does not change the culture. I want to change the culture," she said.

Quade, who is in her first term in the Minnesota House, offered some expanded thoughts on Twitter, saying Schoen and Cornish stepping down "is not enough to dismantle a pervasive culture of misogyny or to end sexual harassment of women inside and outside the Capitol."

She argues that people will continue to cover up bad behavior unless there are "systematic" and "widespread" changes made. She's one of the lawmakers calling for a task force to be created, so they can address the issue.

"People should not approach non-sexual relationships in a sexual manner," she says. "Though the concept is uncomplicated enough, in reality, women and girls are still taught at a young age to not only expect but to tolerate certain levels of sexual harassment in professional, academic and social settings."

A 2015 survey by Cosmopolitan found 1 in 3 women between the ages of 18-34 had been sexually harassed at work. Many don't report it because they're scared of losing their job or hurting their career, or because they don't think anyone will believe them, the National Women's Law Center says.

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