Since the story about freshman Rep. Katie Hill’s “throuple” relationship with a young female staffer broke last week, the common response from progressives in the media and Hill apologists has sounded something like this:
“It was a consensual relationship between two adults, and she wasn’t part of Hill’s Congressional staff, so it’s none of our business.”
But was the relationship really consensual? In the age of #MeToo, activists contend that when a large power imbalance exists, such as between a CEO and an employee, the employee is incapable of giving consent. Even assuming that true consent existed at the beginning of the relationship, the power imbalance could keep an employee in a bad relationship for fear that they will lose their job or suffer other negative consequences.
In the case of the Hill throuple, text messages between Kenny Heslep and Hill’s staffer from June 2019 depict an unhealthy, toxic relationship – Heslep even characterizes the way in which he and Hill treated the staffer as “abusive” as he apologizes for hurting her.
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