The whistleblower wears high heels.

They represented her evolution from Bronze Star soldier to professional woman. Yet now she marches in them. On the streets of Arlington — not the sands of Iraq. She hoists a protest sign instead of a rifle. She draws stares rather than salutes.

The four-inch heels clatter on the sidewalk. Clip, clop. Down 12th Street, around the corner to Hayes Street. Clip, clop. Back again and again and again. For hours.

Bermudez says she was driven to protest by the allegedly piggish behavior of men with whom she worked at the Transportation Security Administration headquarters across the street. These men ogled her, she claims, snickered about her being in a “harem” because she’s pretty, and retaliated against her when she complained, ultimately stripping her of employment five days before her probationary period ended.

Bermudez’s unusual protest ritual, periodic marathons of six- and seven-hour days at a busy intersection, has served to surface broader problems at a troubled agency assailed by Congress for its treatment of whistleblowers who raise concerns about problems as diverse as alleged sexual harassment and security lapses at the nation’s airports. Bermudez’s vigil has gotten people talking about the indignities allegedly visited upon other female TSA employees, abuse including derogatory comments and women’s being forced to do push-ups in the office in skirts.

Read the whole story from The Washington Post.

 

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