Here’s the Thing –

November 14, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Misogyny, Sumbitches

Roy Moore, candidate for the US Senate from Alabama, has now been accused by 5 women of sexually abusing them when they were young teenagers.  Others are now beginning to talk about Moore’s proclivity towards young girls and of even being known for preying on them at a local mall.  The guy is a weirdo.  He’s a creep and has no place in the Senate.  However, he’s not the only one, not by a long shot.  Recent revelations about Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and many others have rocked DC and Hollywood, and all of the country in between.  Such revelations are finally bringing this pervasive issue into a national light, and has spawned the #metoo movement, where millions of women have had the courage to talk about their own experience of abuse and harassment.

Perhaps, though, it’s time for us to look outside our own political leanings and how those leanings affect how we see sexual harassment.  Right now, conservative evangelicals and even party leaders are contorting themselves to justify their support of Moore despite his clearly disqualifying conduct.  They’re doing it now in ignoring and defending the abhorrent behavior of the current occupant of the White House.  They also did it years ago when they supported Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court despite courageous testimony by Anita Hill who recounted years of sexual harassment at the hands of Thomas.  He was confirmed onto the Supreme Court anyway, and the damage he’s done to Constitutional law there for decades is clear.

But, here’s the thing; progressives and feminists have their own Roy Moore – and his name is, wait for it…Bill Clinton.  Yesterday, Caitlin Flanagan wrote about this issue in the Atlantic.  Clinton’s philandering and sexual harassment was also well known to all around him and exploded into the public several times with the Jennifer Flowers scandal, the Paula Jones case, and later the Monica Lewinsky affair which occurred IN THE WHITE HOUSE.  In the piece, she reminds us that feminists came to Clinton’s rescue, dismissing his behavior as not criminal, but mere “passes”.  Yes; “passes” where women claimed he them raped in their own hotel rooms and had sexual encounters in the Oval Office.  “Passes” where the evidence against him of serious conduct was much stronger and a hell of a lot more contemporary than what confronts Moore today.  She points to an op-ed piece written by Gloria Steinem in March of 1998, where she defended Clinton’s behavior and actually victim shamed for political gain.

Flanagan calls on feminists, progressives, and Democrats to face their own hypocrisy of supporting Clinton in the face of overwhelming evidence of his shocking conduct, yet condemning others on the other side of the aisle for behavior somewhat less egregious.  She calls for “a reckoning” with Clinton, but even more with themselves and how they contorted themselves to justify his behavior and protect their own political advantage.

It’s a thoughtful, but difficult read.  Perhaps it is time for Democrats to face this issue.  Perhaps we can deal with it more honestly that is being done on the other side.