Not so fast, Americans need answers right now and don’t want to see Senator Franken hastily leave without getting a fair hearing! We are not a third world country. We have a justice system that works most of the time; that is what is required for American citizens to be sure that our public servants are not being shafted because of power grabs, GOP operatives, and overzealous moralists who cannot tell the difference between being hit by a car, a bus, bike, stroller or a shopping cart. Now, suddenly, everyone wants blood after eons of dealing with sexism. It has always been this way. Its influence is obvious, but let’s take care of this in the right way! Many women have experienced everything Leeann Tweeden has, and much, much more. And yet, they can tell the difference between a bozo, a sexual ignoramus, a sleaze-ball, a locker room talking idiot, a pervert, a pedophile, or a rapist. In my youth, like Ms.Tweeden, I too was offered lingerie ads and nude modeling for fees, but I never did it. I never did it because I felt that it went a step too far from my comfort zone and the consequences of being publicly objectified were not worth it, besides, photographs live forever. I did not want men or women to look at me as though I was an “item” and yet on a lot of levels that is what we women are taught...sex sells, it gets you stuff. Ms. Tweeden worked at Hooters, posed for Frederick’s of Hollywood and did nude pictorials for Playboy. It is hard to believe that she was tormented for a decade over Al Franken’s kiss and inane breast picture on the USO tour. Was this episode purposefully meant to get the senator”? It appears to be “a take down”. Seems like a Roger Stone induced nightmare before Christmas. In fact, female sexuality was “used” in a way that makes my skin crawl “to exact a of pound of flesh from this man because he is a democrat. I think this is more than a “ME TOO” situation.
“Every action has an equal and opposite reaction,” so the law of physics says. I am not slut shaming Ms. Tweeden, but if a man poses nude, I feel no differently. When one uses their sexuality to sell something, one gets sexual attention back. Of course that doesn't mean it’s an invitation to touch the occupant in that body. The body is not separate from the person. But it is confusing for people who are looking at things at face value alone, which is what most people do.
As we explore this world where women are demanding respect with unequaled consequences for lack of it, let’s be thoughtful about the standards we desire to manifest, as well as our appreciation for sexuality in the best possible sense for men and women. But the very worst thing we can do, is throw rape into the same cauldron as touching someone’s back, or stealing a kiss, or worse, giving someone a squeeze while taking a photograph and then being offended that they touched your waist while giving you a hug. Really?! C’mon this is getting outrageously petty. Al Franken resigned from the senate, for goodness sake! He was formerly a comic. There are women who have endured horrible episodes of abuse at FOX News by men who exposed themselves demanding oral sex, or else! Matt Lauer locked the door of his office and then took advantage of a woman. Men like Donald Trump, allegedly asserted force on women and “grabbed” their genitals. Bill O’Reilly harassed women incessantly. This behavior is traumatizing.
Democrats seem to be hyper-moral St Bernard’s, while Republicans are foxes in the hen-house.
Donald Trump also deserves a fair hearing. I think the women who have accused him of grabbing their vagina’s and cornering them privately to sneakily sexually assault them is something we need to see in a fair an open platform. They all deserve that. If he didn’t do it, then we need to stop accusing him of doing it and if he did, then we must address it.
You can’t change the culture in the blink of an eye. There must be parameters that make sense because without them, everyone is screwed! Your husband, son, uncle, or brother could be next. We must distinguish between predators and clowns.
We are in a watershed moment of realizing how our cultural mores have developed down to crossed lines so innately ingrained in our ethos, that it has all been quite hidden in plain sight forever.
Look at all the movies, television, and icons of masculine indulgence we have established over the years.
Al Franken was a comic before he was a senator. And though his sophomoric behavior was sloppy, it does not come close to the level of pedophile, rapist, or abusive employer behavior illustrated in the cases of insidious sexual predators, such as Roy Moore, Roger Ailes, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, etc... Nor did he stand in anyone’s way over a position, or threaten anyone. He grew up, as most of the baby boomer population did, on Burlesque entertainment, which in of itself is about the puerile “playfulness” of men and bawdy women, dare I say, Mae West, Gypsy Rose Lee, The Marx Brothers, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, etc.
I cannot offer this reflection as a justification, but I can offer it as context.
Right now, we need Senator Franken, who is and remains to be an excellent senator, lest we forget that we have some very shady self-dealing characters holding office. Jeff Sessions lied under oath about Russian collision, along with a cadre of creeps who betrayed their position and consequently America for more power. This is our country, and we need all the heroes who stand up for the right thing, and to expose those who do the wrong thing. I found it poignantly galling that Mr. Sessions made light of all his misdeeds after Senator Franken was outed for sexual misconduct. He apparently doesn’t think we have eyes and ears. Whatever one's party affiliations are, stand up for the right thing. Stand up for the integrity of this country or count yourself out of being a genuinely honorable American patriot. Senator Franken is one of the best senators barring all partisanship nonsense; he cares deeply for this country and is profoundly changed by this incident. He took responsibility for his actions and welcomes an investigation into his conduct. He is the only one who has not denied or blamed something or someone for his flaws when he was an entertainer. I venture to say he has already, but will be even more resolute in championing women, along with all the monumental things he has done for the movement.
Right now there are monsters preying on our government; on our way of life; on our democracy, on our health and financial security. Yes, I said monsters; this moment is ugly, as were many others we have faced, including McCarthyism. We are dealing with a Tammany Hall situation where Boss Tweed and Tweedle Dumb and Dee, multiplied by too many liars, and sycophants to count, are fearlessly emboldened to tear this nation apart and make us into their pawns for the sake of more money and complete power over our lives and choices. Al Franken has been honorable and a champion for good throughout his time in the Senate. Shall we take away the 94 year old senior Bush’s’ moniker of President because he squeezed a woman’s behind? Or put that type of stupid male self-entitlement in perspective, and make the expectation that it shan’t happen again?
Look at this great man’s record and witness his willingness to face his accusers with integrity—or one day, this could be you. Yes, Al Franken deserves to be heard!