I get it. You’re hurt. I’m hurt too. A man we liked, a 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.