Harvey Weinsteins alleged sexual harassment and assault, as well
as a tape in which he admits to groping a model, seem to have
triggered something new in US society an awareness of the magnitude
of what women face every day.
Why did it take so long?
One reason is partisan politics. Think about it: Two of the four
men who have occupied the Oval Office in the last quarter century
were allegedly serial sexual harassers/assaulters.
Bill Clinton was accused of rape by one woman, of exposing
himself to another and of groping a third.
Donald Trump has been accused of sexual assault and sexual
harassment by more than a dozen women. In addition, he has
confessed on tape to having groped and kissed multiple women
without their consent. Thats more than Weinstein has admitted to
So what happened to Clinton and Trump after they were accused,
by multiple women, of sexual abuse? They got elected to the most
powerful office in the world and each of them had legions of
supporters who made excuses for their behavior, dismissed the
allegations and disparaged the women making them:
Its all just a witch hunt/right-wing conspiracy.
They were powerful men surrounded by beautiful
women, why would they need to grope them?
These women are just trying to get famous or make
It was a different time when Bill Clinton was
accused of these things.
Bragging of sexual assault is locker room talk.
In light of these widespread sentiments, and the fact that
sexual assault and harassment are often incredibly difficult to
prove, its no surprise that so many victims dont speak up.
What lessons did young women growing up in the 1990s learn from
watching the news? What about girls whose parents made excuses for
Trump last year?
Yes, there is a presumption of innocence that Trump and Clinton
are entitled to, and neither has been convicted of anything related
to these allegations. But lets be honest, who in their heart of
hearts thinks that all of the accusations made against these
two are made up?
And then there is this: One supporter of Trump was asked whether
grabbing women by their pussy or kissing them against their will
constitutes sexual assault. The answer: I dont characterize
that as sexual assault. I think thats a stretch.
That person was Jeff Sessions, who now serve...