November 26, 2017
Listen to this week’s “Pat Political Point” from WSGW’s First Day. It’s time to break the “circle of violence” against women. Time magazine should name the many brave women who’ve revealed the ugly world of workplace sexual harassment and assault.
I once talked about shy women didn’t worry about transgender Americans using bathrooms because they’re too worried about dealing with men on a daily basis.
Whether it’s Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Roy Moore, Al Franken, John Conyers, Charlie Rose, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Halperin, the late Roger Ailes, or Harvey Weinstein, we can’t be shocked by this sudden rash of sexual assault or harassment charges.
We aren’t shocked since our culture has accepted this behavior…forever.
We aren’t surprised how Charlie Rose abused his position of power to sexually harass female coworkers. And we aren’t surprised how Bill O’Reilly abused his position of power to sexually harass female coworkers.
For years, men had a sense of entitlement and privilege.
About 18 months ago, I shared excerpts from a book by the feminist writer Jessica Valenti. She shared experiences of being sexually harassed by total strangers, by her business colleagues, by her high school teachers, and many, many others.
Valenti calls it the “circle of violence” against women. She’s wants women to stand-up and to speak-out against this circle of violence, and to finally break it. Valenti doesn’t want her generation of women to accept unwanted sexual advances by men, like her mother’s and grandmother’s generations accepted.
I guess we have former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson to thank for beginning to shine a light on workplace harassment.
Carlson got the ball rolling by revealing how Fox News head Roger Ailes sexually harassed her. She received a $20 million settlement after leaving the Fox.
More and more women then started to come forward, like former pundit Andrea Tantaros. She filed a lawsuit against both Ailes and Bill O’Reilly for sexual harassment. Tantaros claimed in her lawsuit that Fox News was “a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny.”
This isn’t just to single-out Fox News because we’re learning that misogyny thrives in other industries as well.
According to The Hill, the Pentagon inspector general’s report says “sexual and other misconduct” violations against senior Pentagon officials has jumped by 10% during the past two years. In the personal misconduct category, the inspector general reports a “steady trend” of improper relationships and sexual misconduct.
In Hollywood, former studio executive Harvey Weinstein went down in flames after countless allegations. Thanks to women like Italian actress Asia Argento, Weinstein’s reign of sexual assault terror ended.
That Weinstein’s sexual abuse happened for so many years despite it being known in Hollywood proves how deep the “circle of violence” against women is prevalent in our society.
Of course, the world of politics isn’t immune to this circle of violence.
Many women are accusing Alabama Republican senate candidate Roy Moore of pedophilia. Numerous women are accusing Democratic Senator Al Franken of unsolicited touching. Michigan Democratic Congressman John Conyers is facing his own problems after Buzzfeed reported that several of his former staffers claim he inappropriately touched or made sexual advances.
That politicians used their positions of power is not some kind of sudden discovery. I understand that Rush Limbaugh or Joe Pags want you to believe that Democrats are the only sexual predators, but then we remember how former House Speaker Dennis Hastert sexually abused boys prior to his political career.
Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump aren’t immune to this new level of scrutiny, of course. While Clinton has never been found guilty of sexual assault crime, he still had numerous women accusing him of misconduct.
And if I’m going to give credence to all other allegations, I have to give Clinton’s accusers–especially Juanita Broaddrick–the same level of belief. (Liberal writer Michelle Goldberg gives a more thorough argument on why we should believe Broaddrick.)
Which leads me to Donald Trump.
He also has several accusers, 16 to be exact, and we even have Trump admitting to sexually assaulting women on tape! Amazingly, Trump has the gall to attack Senator Franken while he’s been similarly accused just goes to show how power and privilege leads to a morally bankrupt mind.
Democratic Congresswoman Kathleen Rice from New York is calling for John Conyers to step aside. Like many women, she’s refusing to live by ideological lines. Congresswoman Rice believes women can no longer act as the sexual prey for men of power.
She believes it because she was the prey.
Rice described to CNN about a personal “incident” while working in the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. Rice didn’t dare complain about it due to fears of being labelled a rabble-rouser or “pariah.”
Congresswoman Rice’s experience echoes what millions of other women experience day-in-and-day-out.
It’s a sad statement that the House will vote this week on requiring anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training. If that’s not an eye-opening indictment on the behavior of 60 and 70 year old men, then I’m not sure what is.
When Time magazine decides to name its “Person Of The Year,” it should name all of the women who forward to expose the “circle of violence.”
It’s time for the chain of violence against women to be broken, forever!
And maybe, finally, it is.