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The Shame

The Shame

Wow, the whole brouhaha over sexual harassment is still going on! I wonder what men must be thinking, especially the older ones who may have done things they shouldn't have. They must be thinking, "Will the same happen to me? Will I lose my career? How would I recover?" We're talking about getting fired for something done 10, 20, 30 years ago. It seems incredible that what was done 30 years ago can come back to haunt them, especially if they haven't done anything in the intervening years. Did they grow up, grew repentant and realize what they did was wrong or did they lack the opportunity?

The perpetuators cross all party lines - Democrats and Republicans. The reactions to Al Franken and to Roy Moore is interesting. Al Franken is facing calls to resign and that's probably proper thing to do since more than one woman has come forward with accusations. And he apologized. Roy Moore is running for Alabama Senate and he is facing different responses: some still back him and some are disturbed by the accusations. I recently read that some Republican women are now signing up to help the Doug Jones Democratic party. That is a huge step and I respect the difficulty in coming to that conclusion.

The accusations against Roy Moore seems credible, so for the evangelicals to support him seems a sacrilege. It just seems wrong. At first I thought, well what about the presumption of innocence? However, in reading a bit more about the Washington Post story, the accusations seem credible. And the interview with Sean Hannity did not help. Roy admitted he dated teenagers when he was in his 30s. That just seems wrong. The fact that Washington Post found 30 people to "dish" on Roy Moore's character, that Roy actually confirmed he dated teenagers when he was in his 30s, that a mall had to ban him because he would hang around teenaged girls, and that a cop was warned to keep him away from high school girls just scream that there is something not right with Roy Moore's behavior. Too many people in Alabama admitted that they knew that he had an interest in teenage girls.  Those are not good signs.

So, it is shocking to hear that the evangelicals and the Republican Alabamian political leadership still stand behind him, all because they don't want a Democrat. They would rather have a pervert (just the fact that he dated young girls when he was 30+ years old makes him a pervert right there, never mind sexual harassment) than a Democrat who appears to be "clean" so far. It's stunning how far down the moral standards have gone.

Their reasons for their support are also just as mind-boggling. One reason given was that Jesus' mother was a teenager when she married his father. Maybe back in Jesus' time it was okay but today, most people regard a 30 year ago man with a 16 old as plain wrong in our society. Today, we recognize that 14, 16 or 18 year olds are still girls, mentally. They are not adults ready to have adult conversation. So it's "icky" for a 30+ year assistant district attorney to date such young girls.

Then there is the "why is this coming out 40 years later? Why didn't they say anything back then?" Supposedly they did tell their parents and friends but back then, it was a huge risk to bring up such accusations. Normally, girls would face such a barrage of harsh judgement such as improper wear or improper behavior. And Roy Moore was an assistant attorney, a position of power that probably intimidated the girls and their parents. So back then, you had to be brave to face such gauntlet of shaming and reverse accusations. So, yeah, the accusations didn't come out at the time. Women didn't win those arguments - they usually lost.

So I'm really amazed at the staying power of this topic and the reactions of people to all of the accusations and the evangelicals' support of Moore. I'm not sure what this means for the future.