The following is a PoliticusUSA editorial by co-publisher Sarah Jones.
If Donald Trump’s presidency has done anything good for this country, it’s ironically and so perfectly this.
It seems like we’re drowning in sexual assault and harassment stories right now, but judging from my own life experiences, we’ve actually barely scratched the surface.
Today, it was Senator Al Franken.
This might be a tough pill to swallow, But if you really care about sexual harassment, you have to prepare yourself to give up even your most favorite heroes. It knows no sides or parties; it’s an infestation resulting from unchecked power.
One of the reasons so many victims are silenced is people who worship predators refuse to hear their stories. So victims have been forced into absorbing assault, intimidation, harassment and humiliation. This dynamic is enabled by an entire culture.
Principles mean values don’t change based on who’s doing it. Just because it’s heartbreaking sometimes doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. Even, and maybe most especially, when the person is someone you admire and respect.
Our heroes shouldn’t be sexually harassing, assaulting or terrorizing anyone.
It’s rather shocking to suddenly be publicly discussing things that women have been routinely intimidated into keeping silent.
Without the backlash to Donald Trump’s presidency — a thing built on the backbone of his own admission on tape that he sexually assaults women whenever he wants to and 16 women coming forward to say that Trump harassed and/or assaulted them — we would not be here right now…
… Having sometimes heartbreaking discussions about the predators among us.
Our hope for the future lies in not forgetting the real purpose behind these brave victims coming forward. It’s not to get a certain politician or powerful fundraiser for a party. It’s to realize that we as a culture have the power to stop enabling these grotesque abuses of power.
We get there by statements like those made by George H. W. Bush and Al Franken. Both owned up and apologized and seemed genuinely sorry. Both seemed rather horrified to admit that they, too, have been a part of this problem and that their privilege allowed them to not see it.
I contrast that with Roy Moore, who is still blaming his victims. Still using his power to silence and harass and humiliate. Just like President Trump.
This ongoing discussion that is tearing down foundations of sexual assault and public shame is courtesy of none other than the chief sexual assaulter, Donald Trump.
Donald Trump, patriarch and white supremacist, is directly responsible for the communal unraveling of male privilege in the work place. The man whose presidency is triggering a nation opened the floodgates to justice for women.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.