Al Franken vs. Roy Moore

December 11, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | received responses to our article on Al Franken, “The Democratic Party Leadership Should NOT Have Driven Al Franken Out of Office, and Al Franken Should NOT Have Resigned.” In this one, the writer shares how she is wrestling with this issue from her perspective and shares some of the texture of how this question is churning among the people in Minnesota right now. We encourage more correspondence from our readers.

Most of the press is saying that the Senate/Congress cannot interfere with the Alabama election. If the people vote in Roy Moore then that is their decision. Let the people decide. But that was the exact opposite of what happened with Franken. People in Minnesota are saying WE (the people) voted him into office, WE (the people) should be charged with determining his fate. Everybody is “hands-off” the Alabama election. Congress/Senate cannot interfere or overturn the rights of the voters. We have a democratic process and we have to respect that. BUT that is not what happened to Franken.

Insulting to women

The itchy trigger finger that shoots down man after man regardless of circumstances and without full disclosure is insulting to a lot of women. This one is hard to explain. Some women have been kissed and hugged without consent. Some women have been overpowered or given drugs or alcohol to leave them powerless, some little girls have been targeted, groomed and raped. The big picture view is that it is all the same abuse of power/patriarchy, but on the micro-level there are tens (hundreds?) of thousands of women who have been physically and mentally attacked; their lives have been altered forever, these traumas stay with them for the rest of their lives. These women deserve to have the world understand and differentiate sexual harassment from sexual assault and predatory sexual crimes. Yes all harassment is bad and should stop, but we live in a world where sex is used in some major fucked-up ways, and for the women who have to live with these fucked-up experiences, it is insulting to see the same punishment handed to all offenders. Put your arm around a women and she was uncomfortable? You’re out! Pressure your date to keep going even if she doesn’t want to have sex with you? You’re out! Get together with your buddies, drug a girl and gang rape her? You’re out! Hang out at a mall, grab little children and abuse them? You’re out! It trivializes and minimizes the true horrors that women have experienced. All sexual wrongs should be called out and punished, but for women who have lived with the shame and pain of sexual assault, it is insulting to see the one-size-fits all punishments and attitudes because it takes away the outrage, it white-washed the harsh edges of horror that some men enact on women and children.

Who will Governor Dayton appoint to fill Franken’s seat?

Everyone believes it will be a woman because a woman will not have a sexual-predator past. Any man will come with the same baggage, probably women will come out and accuse him of past abuses, etc. So appointing a woman will solve the problem. NO. Take that logic further, we appoint women to every new position, have female bosses, etc. Yes that would be righteous in a lot of ways but the underlying problem still exists—people will never confront the real ideas of institutions being fatally flawed and people being oppressed. Appointing women just because all men have skeletons in their closets does not solve the larger problems in society. It is a band-aid and will shut down real discussion and change.

It is hard to go anywhere in the Twin Cities right now and not get into a conversation about Franken. I am really shocked in some ways because this is MN, the land of the passive. Men and women alike are shocked about how fast this happened. I know I self-select friends who share my political views so I don’t know what the Fox News crowd is thinking but people are walking around stunned. This is a perfect time to be talking about the true nature of patriarchy and the way that sex is used as a weapon but instead some are using this moment to consolidate power and limit the way we talk about this. My two cents.


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