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Cleopatra7

I was inspired to start this thread after reading this article on the progressive double standard on Bill Clinton versus Harvey Weinstein or Donald Trump from Jacobin, a democratic socialist magazine:

https://jacobinmag.com/2017/10/bill-clinton-harvey-weinstein-sexual-assault

However, this is a subject that I have been thinking about ever since Monicagate in the 1990s when I was in high school. I was never comfortable with how mainstream feminists threw Monica Lewinsky under the bus (see the NYT op-ed piece by Gloria Steinem references in the link). I get that from a political perspective, the idea was probably that it was better that sacrifice Lewinsky to prevent Republicans from enacting anti-woman policies, but i hate the idea that some women are considered disposable while others are to be pushed into prominence. In any case, the question that the article raises is very valid: would liberals and progressives be as sanguine about the allegations against Bill Clinton if the subject of these rumors was some other guy (eg Clarence Thomas, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Josh Duggar, Donald Trump)? If we claim to take sexual harassment seriously, shouldn’t that mean doing so even when it may politically hurt us to do so? 

To me, the underlying problem is patriarchy. It doesn’t matter how one identifies politically or how much money one give to charity or political causes. If a man thinks that women only exist as objects for his gratification and knows he can get away with assault and harassment because of his position, he’ll do it. And the overarching societal system is structured in such a way that discourages people, whether male or female, from standing up to men in authority. I know that talking about patriarchy in public is even less popular than talking about white supremacy, but unless we deal with the underlying causes of these serial abusers, these scandals will just keep happening.

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Smoochie

Any man in power, who can influence the perception that they are above it all and not guilty of being a predator is cause for concern.    Those that have the means to threaten and the ability to influence a persons livelihood or their reputation in their community or at large into silence over harassment or worse are truly evil and harder bring down.  

I do think as a society we are doing better, but, clearly have a long way to go.  It still usually comes down to a he said, she said and people question the victim more harshly than predator.  She must have done something to invite or deserve it, still rings true too often.  I unfortunately, have some of them in my own extended family ... did you see that dress, shirt, shorts, she was drinking ... fill in the blanks, she was asking for it, SMDH.

I agree the patriarchy beliefs that many conservative Republicans hold, makes it much 'easier' to believe the accusations against them.  The woman invited it due too ... see above.  Their beliefs that a good little woman, is a SAHM, in the kitchen, pregnant, keeping the home fires burning and is happy to let the man make all the decisions for not only the family, but, her health and political beliefs.  Plus the attitude and the holier than thou; do as I say, not as I do bullshit that many of them spew.   See Newt Gingrich to name but one.

The one ship, that i think has sailed, is the Republicans being able to brag or hold up their party as the 'moral majority'.  Not only was that never an accurate assessment, except in their own eyes, but, now that they have elected and embrace Trump, plus revere Fox and all that entails (I'm talking known and proven situations / facts), I will call bullshit anytime they ever try to use that phrase again and certainly hope the general public will do so as well!

Here's where it gets tricky and I hesitate to even write/post this and I hope it comes across the way I mean it too.

A proposition is not harassment and in a perfect world if a women said no, any man wouldn't force the situation (or vice versa) and that is where it would stop.  When you threaten retribution for not engaging or participating that is harassment and if  it turns physical, assault or rape.  When you involve drugs, unknowingly to the victim, there is no question it is assault. 

With Bill Clinton, there are shades of grey and politics played a part of making it many shades.  Was he a dog & cheater, yes, but, it appeard and was rumored to be consensual at the time.    During the  Whitewater / Ken Starr investigation, a few stories of consensual cheating/sex changed to harassment and much worse after the fact and it may well have been.  However, it makes it harder to prove or believe when politics become involved and an accusers family & friends tell a different story of the situation in the past, than the now accuser.   Then to make it even worse, the us vs them, when the women aligned themselves with Trump to try and influence voters during Hilary's run, it muddied the water further.  I respect how the man conducted most of his politics, I don't respect the man who couldn't keep it in his pants.

I hate that we're a society where we can't automatically trust an accuser, due to situations where the accusations have been recanted and/or proven to be a lie.  I honestly don't know how to explain why sometimes one accusation is so much more believable than another and tie it to each persons personal beliefs, plus the relatability and likability of the accuser or accused.  

I tend to believe accusations, but, try to reserve judgement until facts are available. However, often the old adage proves true, "where there is smoke there is fire."

Edited by Smoochie

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Rachel333

I hate the way Monica Lewinsky was treated, and how her name continues to be a joke. She did a great TED talk called "The Price of Shame."

Spoiler

 

There are other women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault, though, so the question of whether he is guilty of sexual assault or rape isn't just about Monica Lewinsky.

I think sexual assault and sexual harassment are a problem with men in general, not just men in Hollywood or conservative men. I do think sometimes liberal men get a pass on this stuff from other liberals that they really shouldn't get.

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Cleopatra7
18 hours ago, Rachel333 said:

I hate the way Monica Lewinsky was treated, and how her name continues to be a joke. She did a great TED talk called "The Price of Shame."

  Reveal hidden contents

 

There are other women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault, though, so the question of whether he is guilty of sexual assault or rape isn't just about Monica Lewinsky.

I think sexual assault and sexual harassment are a problem with men in general, not just men in Hollywood or conservative men. I do think sometimes liberal men get a pass on this stuff from other liberals that they really shouldn't get.

I think what happened is that once Monica Lewinsky entered the picture, that story overwhelmed the original Paula Jones case, which was about sexual assault. Consequently, the narrative became about an extramarital affair, rather than sexual assault, which led Democrats to dismiss the entire thing as a distraction.

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clueliss

President Clinton was in a position of power.  Lewinsky was vastly an underling.  He had the position of power.  As someone who has had to go through sexual harassment training at,  3 different employers that alone puts the responsibility of what happened on him.  Especially, when you partner what happened with the pre and post-election scandals. 

I had a lot of issues with him saying "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."  

 

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