Blowback has already set in regarding the “Me Too” complaints of women who have reported unwanted sexual advances or harassment. And like everything else we eat, sleep, drink or think these days, it’s become divided on political lines.
We want to make a couple of quick observations. First, it took a male journalist to call attention to this story in the mainstream newsfeed. And secondly, it runs the risk of becoming a Flavor of the Month topic with much hullabaloo now, and nothing later in terms of real change. The girl who cried wolf runs the risk of being ignored.
The question now before the nation is, if Democratic Sen. Al Franken is forced to resign because of a vindicate hard kiss to the mouth and an adolescent groping photo, should Republican at-the-moment Donald Trump be forced to resign for allegedly sticking his hand up women’s skirts? If Jerry Falwell Jr. says God forgives Trump for being a mere man who makes mistakes, should God not forgive Franken, too? Franken at least has apologized while Trump calls his accusers “liars.”
Before Trump or Franken supporters give a collective shoulder shrug to the issue, let’s be clear about another thing: All men don’t act like this. All men of power and position don’t act like this. All wealthy men don’t act like this.
Which makes it somewhat ironic (see paragraph above) to say the unwanted kiss or ass grope happens all of the time — to all women, be they pretty or plain, tall or short, dark-skinned or light. Much like rape, the unwanted advance is a mental power play and physical instant gratification. We could cite statistics on this but we’re tired of minimizing the act with numbers. Women get harassed and violated every damn day. Okay, not every woman, but close. They could be married to a respectable guy (see paragraph above) with an exclusive circle of friends, live in a nunnery or live under a rock, and in that case, watch out for Steve Bannon.
Most women have these stories. Sadly, many take this for granted as the price they pay for being active and vital, for engaging in life and for having a career. They are irritants and business-as-usual, but more personal than earning only 80 cents on the dollar of what a man earns. Some don’t want to make a scene because they were brainwashed early on that it’s not a woman’s place to make a scene. Some even question themselves — did I dress modestly enough, did I appear to flirt, did I bring this on myself? No, no and no.
And they are well aware that there’s a price for calling out men who behave badly. They can be fired for this, or demoted, or not hired at all. This woman is called a “bitch,” a pejorative and slur that males seem to know by the time they are age 4. Men of any age recognize it as “mamma ain’t giving baby what baby wants.” Other women who use the word simply aren’t thinking.
The on-the-record accusations against Judge Roy Moore are not the same as the ones against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein or celebrity chef John Besh, or even Trump and Franken. Moore has conjured the demon of pedophilia, a psychiatric disorder, and has no place in public office. Granted Trump has been accused of a psychiatric disorder, too, but it doesn’t involve young teen girls except his daughter Ivanka (which creeps into the criminal).
So accept it, America. Sexual harassment is pervasive. How many women have to stand up and complain before our nation accepts this? And accept something else, America, it’s wrong.
It’s not always illegal. It’s not always exposed. But it is always wrong.