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Bipartisan Hypocrisy and How It’s Halting Our Fight Against Sexual Assault

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Bipartisan Hypocrisy and How It’s Halting Our Fight Against Sexual Assault

Alexis Han, Staff Reporter

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From the silence breakers of the #metoo movement to La Salle’s recent Green Dot initiative, groups from all over the horizon are working in different ways for the same result: a future where sexual assault is prevented and victims are validated. But another barrieran especially common onestands in the way: our partisan reactions to sexual assault victims who have accused our politicians.

Whether the accused was Bill Clinton or Roy Moore, victims of politicians are often believed by the majority only if their accusations support a specific political agenda. Choosing to believe allegations that only support your political views is not just hypocritical, but also detrimental to the movement against sexual assault. If we want to make lasting progress in the fight against sexual assault, we must no longer use our own political beliefs as a judge of how seriously we should respond to accusations of sexual assault.

President Bill Clinton is notorious for lying about his sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky. But while this scandal was receiving the headlines, stories from women accusing Clinton of sexual assault were largely dismissed, a reaction that has largely remained even into the #metoo movement. Even with her lawsuit against Clinton, Paula Jones, an accuser, recalls that many liberals “made fun of [her]. They didn’t believe [her]. They said [she] was making it up.” Kathleen Wiley, another accuser, called out the hypocrisy of feminists and liberals who defended Clinton, saying that “they’re all over Roy Moore, but they had nothing to say about Bill Clinton.”

Various feminists defended Clinton because of his views on abortion while many liberal politicians disregarded the claims so that conservatives wouldn’t gain any political leverage. As a result, his accusers have been dismissed for years because their stories would have prevented liberals from winning the presidential jackpot.

However, the stories of Clinton’s accusers were validated by a Republican rival, President Trump.

Trump invited these accusers to join him on his 2016 campaign trail, while Trump himself is recorded bragging about assaulting women in the infamous Access Hollywood tape. He also has a growing list of women accusing him of sexual assault, from unwanted touching to forced kissing. Recently, Trump even dismissed allegations of domestic violence from one of his staffers, Rob Porter.

Not only did he dismiss the claims of his own accusers, Trump also called for the support of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Mooreaccused by multiple women of sexual misconductbecause “[Republicans] need his vote.” Some of Moore’s accusers were still teenagers when they were pursued by Moore, who was in his thirties. The President’s resounding support for Moore appears to have been reflected in Alabamians because a week before the election, a CBS News poll found that 71% of those polled did not think Moore’s accusers were credible. Only 17% believed them. Now, conservatives were dismissing the accusers because their allegations stood in the way of a Republican upper hand.

Despite the polling results, Roy Moore ended up losing the Senate race to his Democratic opponent by a small margin of votes. The victory was not just a win for the Democratic party, but a bigger victory for our country’s progress. It showed that Americans were able to look past our partisanship to validate victims of sexual assault and therefore work for a safer America.

In fact, both the majority of Republicans and Democrats agree that reports of sexual assault are reflective of widespread problems in society. Though most of us agree on the direness of sexual assault, a large part of solving this issue is by listening to all victims, even if it may mean turning your back on politicians that you once supported. That being said, allegations can still be false, but when there is significant evidence and multiple accusers (such as with Democrats Al Franken and John Conyers), we must keep our politicians, the people who we choose to represent us, responsible for their actions.

Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Therefore, for both Green Dot and #metoo to make lasting changes, we must also give due justice to the victims of politicians. Rather than using sexual assault allegations as a political weapon, we must recognize the faults within our politicians—even our favorite ones—and work for a future where no one else ever has to say #metoo.

Creative Commons photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bestrated1/3025762169/

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About the Writer
Alexis Han, Staff Reporter

Alexis Han is a senior at La Salle. At school, she is involved with Speech and Debate and the Tennis team. She enjoys baking, watching various TV shows,...

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Bipartisan Hypocrisy and How It’s Halting Our Fight Against Sexual Assault”

  1. Isadora on February 28th, 2018 9:48 pm

    This is really well-said, and I agree wholeheartedly. I especially liked the example of Roy Moore – I was also afraid that he would win the Senate race simply because he was Republican, and I am very glad that people were able to look past the political party. It’s nice to know that people have begun to look past the superficial party politics and pay more attention to actual actions, but this is just a beginning. Hopefully this punishing of offenders in spite of party will continue throughout our country’s experiences with sexual assault, and will pour over into other violent issues we are dealing with.

  2. Rebecca Ly on March 1st, 2018 10:41 pm

    Alexis, this was very thought out and well written. Sexual assault shouldn’t be a political issue, but a human rights issue. I really hope that more people, even outside our school, will read this and change their minds. I too really hope that no one else will ever have to say #metoo.

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