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Women of Seattle city council condemn ‘misogynistic backlash’ after arena vote

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SEATTLE – The five Seattle city-council members who voted last week against vacating a section of Occidental Ave. to make way for the construction of a new arena co-signed a letter to The Seattle Times decrying the “misogynistic backlash” they were targeted with in the days following the vote.

The vote was split 5-4, with the women on the council voting against the street vacation and the men voting in favor.

“What we did not anticipate was the bombardment of threats, of sexual and other physical violence, hateful language and, in some cases, racist rhetoric and accusations of incompetence rooted in our gender identity,” read the letter, which was signed by Sally Bagshaw, Lorena Gonzalez, Lisa Herbold, Debora Juarez and Kshama Sawant.

The council members said they were particulary bothered by journalists, who they said classified the vote as a “boys-versus-girls” issue.

“To belittle our votes and policy considerations as 'emotional and naive' is not only an insult to women, it impacts our community,” they wrote. “The misogynistic backlash to our vote is an attempt to communicate a dangerous message: Elected women in Seattle do not deserve the respect necessary to make tough decisions without the fear of violence and racially and sexually charged retaliation.

The Seattle Times is Q13 News’ news partner.