Harvey Weinstein is an unlikely catalyst for a social movement. #Metoo. It’s a revolution, an uprising. By women on behalf of themselves and other women who lack power and agency. Women held hostage by fear of the heel of some man’s jackboot.
They are confronting patriarchy and power by resisting it, defying it, and confronting it. Theirs is profound stuff. As good as America gets when we get it. Now is a very precious moment.
The body politic has risen with indignation and outrage at the inglorious misogynist Trump. Though he seethes with contempt for women he is losing. Walls of silence, fear and intimidation have been stood down by an armada of women. Pillars of power- male privilege- are being run out of town. Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose as metaphorical Jim Crows of the #Metoo movement.
The two-month old seminal shift in American culture is dynamic, and the momentum must continue if America is to root out centuries of systemic abuse, harassment and injury inflicted by men on women. This movement requires safety in numbers, and unconditional support. Women will continue to step forward so long as a climate persists that protects them from retaliation, and their humility, stories and pride are respected. In short the abused and harassed must be nurtured and protected by you, by me, by all. It is a movement too young to absorb tears and fissures in the social fabric that has sustained it.
That is why Al Franken must go. And all like him. Why? No one is as important as the woman or young girl who fear speaking up because Al Franken got a pass. Their voices must not be chilled. Allowing outlandish behavior- Franken’s was no comedy sketch- to threaten the fragile safe zone in which women can tell their stories is non-negotiable. Al Franken is a pig. He may be less malodorous than other abusers. But he is still a pig. Take a sniff of his parsed words.
“This is not something I would intentionally do,” he said in an interview Sunday with the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Intentionally meaning he would only grab a woman’s ass.. unintentionally? And
“I can't say that it hasn't happened. In crowded, chaotic situations, I can't say that I have not done that. I’m very sorry if these women experienced that,” Franken told WCCO (CBS/Minneapolis) reporter Esme Murphy in an interview Sunday.
Crowded, chaotic situations- suggesting plausibility for groping a woman’s butt while canvassing the grounds of a state fair? All the more so when coupled with “if they experienced..that?” If as opposed to to not if? Not if as in it did not happen. Not if as in they are not telling the truth. I’m not buying your not-so-subtle allusions Senator. Your breath smells like a pig sty.
The similarity between Franken’s linguistic constructions and Bill Clinton’s famous remark about “it depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is” in his feeble attempt to support having lied about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky is inescapable. And pathetic. And a reminder of how Washington works.
Al Franken is casting doubt on the veracity of his accusers in a sketch rife with cynical, political double-speak. His if is dog-whistle for “these women may have lied.” How dare he- and shame on anyone foolish or selfish enough to stand by him. They are missing the point: this is not about Al Franken. It is about the women he abused, and the abused yet to speak out. His Senate seat will be filled by a liberal Democrat (a woman please) who will carry on. This moment is not transpiring in a court of law- it is a public rebellion in the town square. The judicial system will mete out criminality for those perps guilty of crimes. Franken is not a criminal. He is a bad actor impeding a zero-tolerance zone. An honorable man would step down. Al Franken is not an honorable man, yet.