The #MeToo Movement And Why It Matters

The #MeToo Movement And Why It Matters

"Sexual assault and domestic violence are difficult things to talk about. Talk about them anyway." - Mariska Hargitay
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#Metoo has become an anthem in society today as a rallying cry for victims of sexual violence as they join the ever-increasing number of women and men who are coming forward to report sexual abuse. The Me Too movement actually began over 10 years ago as a movement to empower women of color from poor communities to speak out.

This year, the movement was bolstered when People magazine honored some of these whistle blowers as they named the Silence Breakers as person of the year. Musicians, engineers, actors, and laborers have come together and found that they share an unfortunate experience. These brave individuals who came forward to report their abuse opened the door to not only open a dialogue but to create a culture of acceptance and decriminalization for victims of sexual violence.

Harvey Weinstein was well known for his sexual exploitation in Hollywood, but people just accepted that if you wanted to be successful, you had to “pay your dues.” It was a source of awkward comedic material at the 2013 Oscar’s when Seth MacFarlane joked about Weinstein’s abuse of young women in the movie industry. However now that the flood gates have been opened for disclosing abuse, it is no laughing matter.

Many well known and loved celebrities, politicians, business men, and news anchors have been exposed for their sexual misconduct. People who were abused for years kept their silence because we live in a culture that historically does not protect victims of sexual violence. In isolation, one person’s voice is easily ignored. All of them together can not be so easily silenced.

This newfound kinship among victims is empowering as we push for social change to hold sexual offenders accountable. While we aren’t seeing prosecution in the high profile cases yet, many offenders are losing their careers which is helpful to reduce their access to future victims. In the past, the victims were the ones to pay the price for not “going along with” the program. Things that once would have seemed ridiculous are no longer shocking. Matt Lauer having a button to lock women into his office, Roy Moore being banned from a mall for soliciting teenaged girls, and even Charlie Rose walking around naked on set of the PBS news show are just not shocking anymore.

These victims are finally being believed. Even the President of the United States was elected in spite of his own admissions of grabbing women inappropriately and boasting of taking advantage of women. But several brave women have still come forward to tell their stories and are calling for Congress to investigate the allegations.

#Metoo is a battle cry that will continue to pick up more followers. Time magazine’s cover purposely omits the face of one of the women to represent the face of more women who are yet to come forward. The stigma of being a victim is finally being replaced with accountability of offenders. Thank you Silence Breakers for opening the door for others.

Cover Image Credit: Long Reads

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Comey's Failure

How his plan to exonerate Clinton backfired
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The interview between Former FBI Director James Comey and George Stephanopoulos revealed new information surrounding Comey's decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. Comey explained in the interview that the decision to reopen the investigation was not made by him alone. Comey stated, "The senior team of the FBI, including the general counsel, thought we have to."

So now we know that Comey did not act alone, but it is important to note that the decision to reopen the investigation undoubtedly hurt Hillary Clinton's chances and could have very well cost her the election. It is evident that Comey was aware of this possibility going in, but facing pressure from other FBI officials, forced him to go back on his prior reassurance that Clinton was no longer in need of investigation. It would be easy to dismiss Comey as a political hack working against Hillary Clinton, but his explanation during the interview shines a new light on his reasoning.

Now, do I think Comey is a political hack? Yes, I do. But not against Hillary Clinton. After Stephanopoulos asked Comey if his decision was made in some capacity to legitimize Clinton when she won the presidency, Comey acknowledged that,

"I don’t remember consciously thinking about that, but it must have been because I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump, and so I’m sure that it was a factor,” Comey said. "I don’t remember spelling it out, but it had to have been, that she’s going to be elected president and if I hide this from the American people, she’ll be illegitimate the moment she’s elected, the moment this comes out"

Based on Comey's response, it would appear that this was a man acting with a goal in mind. Let's further break down that goal using his own statements. Comey, by his own admission, was acting as though Clinton was going to win the election. He further realized the implication of new Clinton emails appearing on the laptop of Anthony Weiner. Comey was evidently concerned with how this would impact Clinton's presidency if left untouched by the FBI. So what was his next move?

The FBI had forced his hand and made him reopen the investigation days before the election. It would be idiotic to assume Comey did not understand that his credibility would take a hit with this announcement. Comey gives context to the situation in his discussion with other FBI officials with one saying, "We can't possibly finish before the election because we have to read tens of thousands of emails".

This, to me, highlights a major problem. It was clear that they could not adequately review the information before the election ended. But wait, why did Comey then tell congressional leaders that their was no criminal wrongdoing? He just admitted on ABC that they did not have time to review all the emails. So how exactly would he know if there was no criminal activity within those emails?

Here's my take: Comey knew he had to reopen the investigation and understood how it could negatively impact Clinton's chances. So, he did what any good lawyer would do. He presented the investigation and got the chance to paint the scene and exonerate her before her political opponents could go after her post-victory.

His acknowledgement that there was not enough time to review all the emails and his subsequent conclusion that she was not guilty shows clear intent to exonerate without proper investigation. It was a facade designed to appease the American public and convince them that Clinton did nothing wrong even after the evidence was not properly reviewed before a true conclusion was reached.

This would have worked out in Clinton's favor had Comey not gone about the investigation so poorly. Comey's investigation was not convincing and therefore left a bad taste in voter's mouths when it came time to hit the polls.

Cover Image Credit: Quartz Media

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A Love Letter To You, Paul Ryan

You finally located your spine!
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My dearest Paul,

I must start off with saying that I'm incredibly proud of you for your recent decision to retire as Speaker of the House.

You've finally located your spine.

When you first took on this role, I was sad that I'd no longer see John Boehner's poorly tanned, orange face behind the President, scowling as Joe Biden beamed like a proud dad ever time Barack spoke. Thankfully though, we have a new orange-faced scowler at the helm! What a relief!

I used to get lost in your blue eyes. I mean, come on, how could a girl not? Your wife is so lucky that she gets to stare into them every day.

You have truly left a legacy: a divided and extremely polarized House, multiple government shutdowns, and a party that seems to have complete lost it's identity because you and the President, who are supposed to be working together, can't seem to meet eye to eye.

I hope you take a page out of Barack's book and take a vacation. You deserve it! It's got to be absolutely exhausting to accomplish leaving a crucial branch of our government worse off than it was before.

My best advice: get a massage. Who knows what your spine has been up to these past few years. You definitely need to work out those knots.

All the best,

The House-flipping Hopeful

Cover Image Credit: Biography

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