I really can’t believe that I have to write this: It is NOT an acceptable excuse to say that Al Franken has been a diligent and progressive congressmen on Capitol Hill to excuse his sexual assault scandal, nor the photo of him grabbing a sleeping woman’s breasts on a USO tour. That is inexcusable, intolerable, and merits ground for Franken to lose his senate seat. However, he’s already said he won’t resign. There needs to be a bigger push to change that.
While democrats have called for investigations already and have been quick to condemn him, this scandal is being politicized. And that means Franken will continue to hold power for an extended period of time, which is completely wrong. There needs to be a bipartisan movement to get Franken out of Capitol Hill, and keep Roy Moore away from it.
Moore, a controversial senate candidate without scandal, has found himself at the center of sexual assault allegations as well and that includes molesting a fourteen year old girl. Almost every major Republican politician has asked Moore to step down. However, Moore, just like Franken, will not back down, and continues to campaign for the Alabama seat while people like Sean Hannity defend him. Both are a problem.
Politics and personal beliefs don’t matter here. Being a republican or democrat cannot save you…. abuse is abuse. What matters is that these two events are symbolic of the turmoil and unease sexual assault victims face, never mind the fact that these are men in power. According to the National Sexual Violence Center,
- 63% of sexual assault cases go unreported (rape even higher).
- 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 71 men are raped at some point in their life (91% female)
- Only between 2% and 10% of sexual assault reports are false
And the more we let people like Franken and Moore stay in power, the worse these numbers get and the worse the stigma gets. Should we really be surprised? In the past year alone, a rapist, Brock Turner, only served 3 months in jail because the judge felt bad for him and his well-being. Media outlets glorified Turner for being a Stanford swimmer and only began to show the victim sympathy when she wrote an open letter of the incident. Is that really what we’ve come to?
What is becoming extremely obvious is this: American society does not care enough about sexual assault and rape victims.
I have faith that the people of Alabama will not elect Roy Moore. But the fact that he was even an option says a lot about who we are as a country. I believe eventually, Al Franken will step down or will at least not get reelected. But the fact that he wasn’t immediately thrown out of office is alarming. The picture is enough evidence in its own.
It is encouraging and inspiring to see so many women come forward and expose horrible human beings following the movement made from the Harvey Weinstein assaults. But if we cannot hold our politicians as accountable as we do our celebrities, then it is all for nothing. Shame on Franken, shame on Moore, they belong nowhere near anything related to politics.
Photo via New York Post – Ruth Brown