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Sign Honoring Civil War Hero Is Sexual Harassment, Mass. State Rep. Says

A sign at the Massachusetts State House for the General Hooker Entrance

A Democratic lawmaker in Massachusetts adopted the "Me Too" slogan, suggesting that a sign honoring a Civil War hero above the entrance to the Massachusetts State House constitutes an act of sexual harassment.

"R U a 'General Hooker'? Of course not! Yet the main entrance of the Mass State House says otherwise. #MeToo," state Rep. Michelle DuBois (D-Brockton) tweeted Wednesday. She suggested that the #MeToo movement is "not all about rape & harassment but also women's dignity. A 'funny' double entendres misrepresented as respect for a long dead general?"

The #MeToo movement began on Twitter, where women who had suffered sexual harassment or assault at the hands of men identified themselves as victims. The movement brought to light many sexual abusers, most notoriously Harvey Weinstein and former Olympic doctor Larry Nassar. By claiming the movement for herself in this context, DuBois effectively accused a sign of sexual harassment.

If this weren't clear enough, the lawmaker went on to tell the State House News Service, "Literally, the sign and the jokes about it both constitute what the House is voting on as discriminatory harassment."

When a Twitter user suggested DuBois resign over the tweet, she responded, "No way."

"Ive [sic] seen teenboys tease teengirls about being 'general hookers' waiting in line at the entrance," the state rep. responded.

The entrance takes its name from General Joseph Hooker (1814-1879), a Civil War Union general who reorganized the Army of the Potomac between January and May 1863. He won many victories, but lost to Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Chancellorsville. He resigned his generalship mere days before the more famous Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

a bronze statue of General Joseph Hooker, a Civil War Union general The statue of General Joseph Hooker in front of the Massachusetts State House. Public domain.

Daniel Chester French sculpted the statue between 1896 and 1903, when it was dedicated in front of the State House.

Contrary to popular myth, the term "hooker" to mean "prostitute" does not come from the general's last name. This use for "hooker" traces back to 1845 at least, a full 16 years before the Civil War.