I wrote a blog when the first woman came forward to accuse Senator Al Franken of sexual assault and in it quoted a NYT op ed writer named Micelle Goldberg. She said that though she had admired Franken and thought he was a good Senator when she learned of his transgression she decided he should resign his office and be replaced by a woman. Ms.Goldberg said that was the lesson for poweful men who sexually abused women: “We will replace you.”
I argued that while I agree men should now be “called to account” for their past bad conduct and pay a price, that price (punishment) should fit the individual crime – Weinstein gets the book thrown at him which may include time in prison if the allegations of felonious rape are proved but a Franken’s mis-treatment of women (as far as the evidence to date suggests) is not on the same level and thus the punishment ought not to be anywhere near the same.
I complained that some women who were speaking out in proper denuciation of this unacceptable male conduct seemed to be advocating an”off with their heads” punishment for every man who had abused a women no matter who, when and to what degree.
Now, I see, that Micelle Goldberg in her latest NYT op-ed column has had second thoughts.
Bascially after thinking it over she has concluded that the Franken who represented her overall views in the Senate might for that reason still be needed in the Senate notwithstanding his transgresson.
Good for you, Ms. Goldberg.
First, you recognize that our first reaction to bad news, to a troubling development, is a reaction that often pushes us to advocate an extreme position and after clam, mature deliberation is not one we truly mean or want to see probative.
And second, life and judgement is usually a balancing act. “This” weighed against “that” and where does the balance fall.
Ms. Goldberg, having now weighed the “good”and the “bad” of Franken and his transgression, is suggesting that for her his remaining in the Senate is preferable to the punisment she first demanded.
Again, good for you, Ms. Goldberg.
Others may disagree with your new analysis but it is one you have worked through calmly, considering which is more important to you – demanding a “death sentence” for Franken or calling out his mis-conduct but finding his continuation as a Senator valuable to women and therefor ought not be ended.
Here is the link to Ms.Goldberg’s article.
Moving forward, as more and more men are “outed” for thier past misconduct, I say that worthy effort should continue but at the same time we must get on to other business.
A new understanding of how the old male customs toward treatment of women were wrong has been established. Thankfully, we are never going back to accepting sexual assaults on women as being okay or just “locker room” misdermeanors.
So, let us now turn our attention to other pressing matters.
The Republican Tax Bills must be modified, must be turned from being a “give away” to the rich, certainly any provision to repeal the Mandate on which the Affordable Care Act depends must be dropped.
The prospective repeal of Net Neutrality Rules by the FCC must be stopped.
The under the radar confirmation of scores of Right Wing Appeals Court Judges must be exposed and deflected, if possible.
Above all, the daily resistance and opposition to Donald J Trump and his merry band of thugs must be continued, its energy not reduced by the need to deal with other problems that need correction.
I’m glad Ms.Goldberg has had second thoughts about the punishment for Al Franken’s mistreatment of women. But there must be no second thoughts when it comes to the absolute necessity to end the Trump presidency by legal and Constitutial means.
The continued safety and happy life for all of us -and that certainly includes women-depend on it.