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Seriously. STFU about Al Franken

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I get it.  You’re hurt.  I’m hurt too.  A man we likeda man we believed in let us down. But here’s the thing; this shit happens.  This shit has always happened — even from warm, fuzzy likable men, whose values (at least some of them) align with our own.  He doesn’t get a pass for being an otherwise ‘great guy’.  Interesting fact about sexual predators – they walk among us.  They are our neighbours, our coworkers, our teachers, siblings, parents and partners.  Sometimes they’re assholes that we avoid at all costs; but sometimes we like them.  Sometimes they’re welcome members of our inner circles, and when they let us down, it hurts.

Here’s another fun fact:  Sometimes the victims of likable men aren’t very likable. We easily find fault with them on a host of issues, and in normal circumstances would not give them the time of day.  Deep in our bones, we don’t want to believe them.  I did not want to believe Leeann Tweeden because, for me, she represents the political ‘dark side’.  But that’s a bullshit excuse for denying someone’s story.  I know from my own experience that seemingly delightful, politically progressive men, do horrible things in private – things I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy ever.  Misogyny and sexual predation are broad spectrum harms, no human collective is immune.  The same is true for survivors/victims.  We don’t get to cherry pick which victims are ‘good’ enough to believe and support.

Al Franken will be all right.  He’s not going to prison.  He was asked to resign.  He resigned.  He will survive.  We will survive as well.  He’s not our last hope for a just world.  If he is, then we’re all fucked at the start.  He’s just a likable guy who let us down.  And I get it. It’s not fair that other horrible men, accused of more troubling offences, are not being held accountable.  That needs to be challenged, every day at every step of way.  But crying ‘they get to keep their sex offenders in power, why can’t we keep ours?’ is a pretty shite argument.  So, seriously,  stop it.

 

About tilliemom

My name is Heidi. I am an American born mother, grandmother, and long-distance friend to some amazing men and women I don't see often enough. I live in West Cork with my partner, four cats and two gloriously sloppy, spoiled dogs (including Tillie). My interests are feminism, politics, literature, photography and psychoanalysis (or a combination therein). Oh, and I work in a tiny grocery shop in a tiny village at the most southwesterly point in Ireland, where you can buy tea bags and butter before you dive in and swim towards America.

3 comments on “Seriously. STFU about Al Franken

  1. No. While I admit that the zero tolerance concept is innately American and coincides with our puritanical roots, it’s obvious that Franken got the shaft and that the Democrats were played. Assuming he did what was alleged (which I find highly suspect) what would be so terrible about censure? Now we lose an effective Senator and who knows how vulnerable his replacement will be come reelection time. I’m not buying the Franken allegations for a minute.

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  2. In total there are eight allegations. I would have preferred to see an inquiry into the allegations, but I disagree with you that all eight are suspect. In regards to America’s ‘zero tolerance culture’ — I’ve not seen that, until very recently — ever being the case in sexual harassment/abuse allegations. Those ‘puritanical’ roots may have come into the fray in revelations of consensual sexual (sic) misconduct (i.e. adultery, or getting caught with a prostitute) — but certainly not in cases of sexual harassment where either complaints were fully ignored or the accusers were vilified, humiliated and sent packing. Al Franken has resigned. He was not forced to. He could have fought it. He did not. He is a wealthy man with a full pension to look forward to. He will survive. So will the democratic party.

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