Michigan State Representative Kristy Pagan is no stranger to the obstacles faced by women in politics. In a HuffPost Live conversation Monday, Pagan detailed her experiences with sexism at the state level since taking office late last year.
Pagan told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani that she confronts sexism "Every day, as I work on the House floor... As a young woman especially." The lawmaker said there are "very few women elected in Michigan" and described how she manages in such a male-dominated environment. "For me, it's just addressing it straight on and trying to work with my colleagues, male or female, and trying to get the job done."
Pagan, 32, said the bulk of the sexism hurled her way is not the most overt kind. It happens most when she is sitting in a committee meeting where she is the only woman present, and finds it a struggle sometimes to have her voice heard.
"Things like not recognizing me for questions, not taking my comments seriously ... I do think it has a sexist angle to it," she said. "Everyone in our legislature has one vote and everyone has a microphone, and I make sure I use both of them to the best of my abilities."
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