Sexual Harassment On Capitol Hill Needs To Be Taken More Seriously

Sexual Harassment On Capitol Hill Needs To Be Taken More Seriously

It's time we give solace to those who have suffered.
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Starting with the election of Donald Trump, we have seen a string of sexual harassment cases pop up. In fact, we have even seen the birth of a movement, the #MeToo movement, due to the sheer magnitude of sexual harassment in both Hollywood and Capitol Hill.

Over a hundred men and women have come out in the last couple months to finally expose their harassers to the world. The #MeToo movement has created a safe and powerful platform which has allowed for victims to come forward and ignore society's judgment.

Although Donald Trump may have been the root to the start of the movement, it is Harvey Weinstein who really got the ball rolling. The once renowned producer Harvey Weinstein has been accused by over a dozen women for sexual harassment in the workplace (a serial harasser, if you will).

And it's not just Hollywood executives or actors being accused, it's also those who work for us, the people - it's members of the US Congress.

Many have been accused of sexual misconduct, but the two most famous government figures are Al Franken and Roy Moore. Minnesota Senator Al Franken was accused by over five women of sexual misconduct. He claims he has no recollection, but did issue an apology to all of his victims. Franken was also pushed by Democrats to resign, and on December 7 senator Franken announced he would resign.

So this brings us to the interesting case of Senate candidate for Alabama, Roy Moore. Roy Moore is a Republican running for the state of Alabama in its Special Senate Election to fill the vacancy left by Jeff Sessions. Although it's not surprising we would see a strong, outspoken Republican run for Alabama, it is a bit disheartening to see that the man running has been accused by a dozen females of harassing them when they were minors.

Even with this long list of sexual harassment against him, Roy Moore will continue to run for the US Senate seat. Even worse, Donald Trump has endorsed this pedophile. Trump calls for electing Moore because he needs a win in his playbook, and that isn't going to happen if Doug Jones wins.

It is absolutely disgusting to see this man, this child molester, this pedophile to have an iota of support. How can we as a nation stand for this hypocrisy? Al Franken had to resign, Harvey Weinstein was denounced, Kevin Spacey was fired, but some way, somehow this vile man has people backing him?

Sexual harassment is not a partisan issue. It is supposed to be bipartisan — it's wrong to endorse anyone who has engaged in such misconduct; in fact, it's illegal.

The events that have come to light in the passing months bring major repercussions with them: will we the people allow such hypocrisy in the nation's capital continue, or will we tear a page out of the #MeToo movement's playbook and take a stand?

It's time to take a side.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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You Might Love Being A CNA, But That Compassion Won't Show Up In Your Paycheck

A big heart means nothing if you're struggling to make ends meet.

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To the ones who love their job and doing what they do but is on the fence about leaving their job, I was in your shoes, too.

I knew when I started my job as a CNA (certified nurse's assistant), it would be a hard one. If you know anything about the job duties of a CNA, you'll quickly understand that for all of the work that we do, we're ridiculously underpaid and overworked.

I'll start by saying I loved my job.

Though the days were long and I was on my feet more than I sat down during the day, I loved being able to help people. I loved being able to make people smile and hear a simple "Thank you" and sometimes, that's all I needed for my day to do a full 360. I could be having the worst day in the world and covered in random bodily fluids, but walking out of a resident's room and hearing them quietly tell you that they appreciate what you've done for them, that's truly the one thing that can change my entire day, knowing that my hard work doesn't go unnoticed.

But compassion doesn't pay mine or anyone else's bills.

Someone could love their job and be happy to be there every single shift, but when you're overworked but so underpaid, your compassion may not leave, but your bills begin to pile up and you're stuck with not knowing what to do. If you're anything like me, you'll be so conflicted about leaving your job to find something better financially, but you know that you're leaving a job you enjoy doing and you may not find that enjoyment elsewhere.

At the end of the day, you have to realize what would be best for you. You can be the most compassionate about your job, but that compassion means nothing if you're struggling to make ends meet. I know from experience that if you're in a field like mine, it's hard to leave because you know people will need you, but you have to do what's best for you and only you.

Compassion doesn't pay the bills.

You may have to leave a job that you love, but there are so many opportunities out there and, who knows, you might find one you enjoy just as equally.

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