The women in the Democratic party want my vote. They are fighting for a world in which men are held accountable for treating women like jokes, like objects, like lesser vessels for their amusement. The men are complaining that the Republicans get away with pedophilia and they still get the support of their party. Oh, the injustice!
This is especially upsetting, because I’m hearing men — and women — who identify as feminists or as allies try and explain away some not-great behavior by powerful men just because they happen to have the right politics or a winning personality. I am bummedsville about it.
Here are a few of the very real arguments I’ve been hearing that basically validate men sexually harassing women in the workplace and getting away with it because these guys are the good guys.
1.) They’re not as bad as Donald Trump or Roy Moore.
The worst part about this argument is that it reeks of whataboutism. Just because you see the other side’s acts as more egregious doesn’t mean Democrats should allow it because “it’s not as bad as pedophilia.” Gross.
2.) We can’t claim the moral high ground and still expect to win fights.
I get it. You got to make compromises in politics. Can we agree that NOT SEXUALLY HARASSING WOMEN is not a bargaining chip?
This kind of logic plays into politicizing sexual harassment. Don’t do that! All men, of all political backgrounds, are capable of being giant douchebags to women. Just because a man knows the language of feminism doesn’t mean he gets a pass. There is no such thing as a “good guy” who sexually harasses women.
3.) Now nobody will run for office because of skeletons in the closet.
How is it possible that in a country of 300,000,000 people, there are not enough competent politicians who also do not sexually harass people to run for office?
IT IS NOT POSSIBLE. This argument sucks. Why do we insist on such a low bar? “Come on, ladies, be realistic here. We can’t expect them all to treat women like people.”
Wow. Time Magazine honors the #metoo campaign, and in the same week liberal men are crying that they’re held accountable for their actions when the GOP continues to be a flaming dumpster fire of civil rights disasters and tax scams. You will not hear a defense of the GOP from me. They are slimebuckets with convincing human skin disguises.
But! That is no excuse for your own bad behavior. Or Al Franken’s. Or John Conyers’.
(Or Bill Clinton’s.)
Sexual harassment doesn’t know a political party, and I am not interested in giving men a pass just because they’re not that bad. If the Democrats welch on this, they’ve truly become a party whose big claim to fame is having a moral compass that’s not as bad as the GOP’s.
Be better. It’s just not that high a bar.
Featured image via Flickr