The Politics Of Sexual Misconduct

By Nicholas Da Silva, Staff Writer

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images

While Hollywood and the political world reel from the wake of the sexual misconduct exposé, we have seen many positive acts to punish those who have committed wrongdoings to their peers and colleagues.

Whether it means cutting actors from movies or firing people from their jobs, a great deal of productive action has been taken to show that sexual misconduct can no longer be accepted as a societal norm.

However, with every step of progress made, there are always attempts to stop it from going any further. This has been the case with the controversies of Sen. Al Franken and former Alabama judge Roy Moore, both of whom have been accused of various acts of sexual misconduct.

Even though the accusations against Moore are far more severe than those against Franken, any of these allegations are troubling to hear. What is also troubling is the people who have come out to defend both of these men in the wake of their allegations.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said that she had no reason to disbelieve the women who accused Moore of sexual misconduct when she spoke about the controversy to reporters. Despite Ivey’s statement, she claimed that she would still vote for Moore to become Senator in next month’s election. It is not surprising when you realize that Ivey is a Republican, just like Moore.

In addition to Ivey, President Donald Trump has been far more vocal about Franken’s allegations than he has been about those against Moore. The president usually talks about everything that pops into his head, but he has been remarkably quiet on the allegations against Moore.

The only thing President Trump has said about these allegations against Moore is that Moore denies them. Since Moore’s win can help the Republican Party stay in control of the Senate, Trump is not going to come out and criticize Moore for his vile actions.

In the case of Franken, many former and current female staffers on “Saturday Night Live” came out with a statement standing up for him. While they acknowledged what Franken did was wrong, they simultaneously defended him by saying he was a wonderful guy to all of them.

It is fine that those female staffers had positive experiences with Franken. However, other women were not as lucky to have those experiences. The statement made was wrongheaded because it tried to dismiss Franken’s actions as silly mistakes that should not be taken seriously.

For years now, “Saturday Night Live” has been incredibly one-sided in satirizing politics. They often lean towards ripping apart the Republican Party and Trump’s presidency. Yet, the show does not dish the same level of criticism towards the Democratic Party. The only difference is that Trump’s presidency deserves criticism at times.

Unsurprisingly, “Saturday Night Live” is not going to be as hard on Franken, who is a Democratic politician who has personal connections with many people who have worked on the show. This is another example of playing favorites and exhibiting bias for the members on your side of the political spectrum.

When we wonder how this ring of sexual misconduct has continued for this long, the answers stare at you right in the face. Many people at the time felt it was more important to protect their friends and people who supported their beliefs, rather than to help others who were victims of sexual misconduct.

There are certain things that I feel we could all agree on no matter what side you fall on the political spectrum. Anyone with some decency inside them would agree that there is no excuse for men to commit acts of sexual misconduct against women, and in some cases, other men.

There is also no excuse for the fact that so many people stood by and did nothing while politicians and people in Hollywood committed sexual misconduct. It is gross that certain politicians are even trying to compare the severity of these acts to make the people in their party look better. As former president Barack Obama once famously said at a campaign event, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.”

Change never occurs overnight, but the issue of sexual misconduct has taken a considerable step forward in the last two months. Political bias is preventing people from going even further in the process of vilifying all people who use their power to make others feel like victims. If we really want to make a statement on the war against sexual misconduct, Republicans and Democrats need to come out and unanimously say that excuses can no longer be tolerated in a world that is slowly but surely changing.

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