I need Senator Al Franken to get lost.
If national democratic leadership would like to show the country that they are truly in tune with the song of their people, they would ask for Al Franken to step down, and set a real example for what to do in the situation where there’s photographic evidence. Instead, they’re now ALL ABOUT leaving it to the ethics committee. Even with all that we know has gone on in the senate, that group has been pretty much idle since investigating Toe Tappin’ Larry Craig of Idaho for misbehavior in the Minneapolis airport restroom in 2007-2008. During that time, harassment claims in the House topped $15 million (taxpayer) dollars, but I’m sure the Senate was clean, right?
All of these stories, pictures, and shared experiences add up with people’s personal stories and are quite grating on a day to day basis. EVEN IF the woman in the photo said it was okay, set up the picture, put his hands on her chest herself, he stuck with it and grinned for the camera. I get that he wasn’t in office and was employed as an entertainer at the time, but he was an adult man. Dude was what, in his forties? Married? And is just out here taking trips writing skits with hilarious makeout scenes and taking pics with his hands on tits that aren’t his to grope. They belonged to a woman who was theoretically a professional peer but instead was made into a punch line.
Women who allow themselves to be the object of the joke are doing it to balance the power in the relationship and take back some control. If she is cool with it, then its not offensive and its normal and she doesn’t have to deal with why her intuition is pinging away in her gut.
Maybe its intuition (and the dozens of witnesses and victims) telling us Roy Moore is a also predator worthy of caution. An out and proud pedophile with a predilection for touching 14 year olds out back by the dumpster, and then threatening them with his job title to keep quiet would draw that kind of attention. But he’s the GOP and Alabama’s problem, and is not yet in office. Al Franken is a predator (yes, he sure is, even if much more low key) who is already a sitting Senator. He is the Dems problem. Minnesota, I’m sure, will deal with him during the next primary if the national party does nothing. But wouldn’t it be better to retain the moral high ground and ask Franken to step down?
Maybe then he’d have a chance to rehab his thought patterns, and understand that he is one amongst an awful kind of man – the male feminist who just uses these ideas in theory, to expound upon equality and the patriarchy while holding court on bar patios, in political meetings, at dinner, and in bed, and throws it all away when its time to walk the talk. When its time to see the woman offering her body as a sex joke as a person and use a little empathy and say no, instead doing it for the lulz, for example.
Franken would be back on MSNBC in the time slot after Maddow by this time next year if he would just resign, but instead he’s insisting on holding on to his fleeting power. He’s going to retain his stupid job, have a nice little media redemption arc, then get primaried as f*ck in 2020 and pretend not to understand why.
In the last few days, I have seen some liberal men rallying around Franken, saying that his statement was good enough (even though he didn’t actually apologize) and that the Ethics Committee can figure it out. I’ve seen conspiracy theories that the accuser is invalidated because of her political leanings, or that she is secretly a GOP plant to distract from Roy Moore/Russia/Trump’s indiscretions/whatever.
None of it means a goddamn thing. The picture is enough. After watching Weinstein and Louis CK, among others, lose everything while Trump pays literally no price whatsoever for any of his transgressions – I want blood. “She wanted it” is not a good enough excuse. “I did it, but it’s not what it looked like” should be treated like the cop-out that it is. Franken was old enough to know better, and also RAN FOR OFFICE WITH THIS PHOTO OUT THERE FLOATING AROUND.
I want Al Franken to go away just as much as I want Roy Moore to go away, and Donald Trump to go away – for much the same reasons, actually. I’m entirely sick of dudes that take advantage of women without true, enthusiastic consent – literally or figuratively – never facing repercussions for it. Enough is enough.
Please resign, Senator. Let a better human with superior judgement take your seat. Be the example for the country on how to handle these situations appropriately, if that’s what helps you sleep at night. Just get the fuck out of the public eye, so your stupid face can stop triggering me into thinking about every time a man has ever touched me or rubbed against me when I didn’t okay such behavior, and how sometimes, I’ve laughed it off to avoid “making a scene.”
No more. Actions have consequences, ladies and gentlemen. Franken should have to face them too, Democrat or not.