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Getting a Handle on What Sexual Misconduct Actually Means

I think everyone except white-wing evangelicals agrees that a forcible sex act is rape.

But what about a coworker looking at another and saying “Damn, she’s fine”?

Stealing a kiss in what you think is a romantic moment to find out she/he isn’t that in to you? I mean, in the old movies, that always seemed infamously to lead to slap a la Cary Grant and Doris Day.

Trying to force a coworker into a sexual encounter? No question this is wrong.

Can a woman be accused of sexual misconduct in attempting to coerce an unwilling male?

So where exactly are the lines?

And what can we do as a society to make sure everyone is on the same page? What is and is not acceptable is rapidly changing. As well as out view of “who” is believable. Misconduct isn’t going to be swept under the rug (unless you are a Republican).

 

What Does ‘Sexual Misconduct’ Actually Mean?

The almost infinite shades of creepy misbehavior on display are challenging the legal and cultural categories used to describe them.

“Enough is enough,” proclaimed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at a December 6 press conference. Whatever the details of her colleague Al Franken’s sexual misbehavior, said Gillibrand, who has been aggressively pushing for Congress to tackle its harassment problem, he needed to step down. “I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping, you are having the wrong conversation. You need to draw a line in the sand and say: None of it is OK. None of it is acceptable.”

It most definitely is not. But as the public outrage over sexual misconduct gains force, it is swallowing up an increasingly diverse range of allegations, from the relatively petty (such as those lodged against Franken) to the truly monstrous (such as the claims regarding Harvey Weinstein and Roger Ailes). In between those poles exist almost infinite shades of creepy—which, sadly, will necessitate a great many discussions about how to deal with, and even talk about, the different types of offenses and offenders.

This is, in some ways, uncharted territory. In the past, questions of culpability were largely left to the legal realm: As long as a man didn’t get arrested or lose a lawsuit—and sometimes even if he did—he could get away with an awful lot while suffering little more than a bad-boy reputation. But the current reckoning is different, a rising tide of public shaming driven in part by shifting attitudes and expectations among younger women. Going forward, it’s hard to tell how the new lines will be drawn, much less where.

Women should be respected. Period. But not all offenders are created equal. The pattern of coercive harassment of employees allegedly perpetrated by chat show host Charlie Rose or former Representative John Conyers is not the same as the fumbling, drunken stupidity of which The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush stands accused. Thrush may or may not deserve to lose his current job for having made booze-fueled passes at, and subsequently talked smack about, female colleagues at his previous job. But his alleged offenses pale when compared to, say, ex-ABC pundit Mark Halperin’s alleged practice of groping, rubbing his erections against, and even masturbating in front of junior staffers—and then threatening to kill the careers of those who rebuffed him. (Like many of the men caught in this whirlwind, Halperin disputes at least some of the allegations against him.)

Some of the misbehavior being detailed is flat-out bizarre. Comedian Louis C.K. admitted to being a nonviolent but nevertheless intrusive exhibitionist-masturbator. It remains a public mystery precisely what Garrison Keillor did to get his radio show killed. (Something about touching a woman’s bare back when her shirt fluttered open?) Representative Joe Barton had every right to text naked pics of himself to one of his girlfriends, but threatening to use the Capitol Police to keep her quiet about their relationship was a no-no. As for former Representative Trent Franks, who felt it appropriate to pressure multiple young aides to serve as surrogate mothers for him and his wife: Someone needs to explain that The Handmaid’s Tale is dystopian fiction, not a how-to guide.

Then, of course, there are the many and varied accusations circling President Donald Trump, not to mention his own boasts in this area—none of which he has addressed in a remotely coherent, much less persuasive fashion. (The Access Hollywood tape is empty locker room talk! No, wait, it’s a fake! He has never met these women! Not even the ones he’s been photographed with! Or the one who was on his show!) But that, alas, is a special topic to be saved for another day.

It is precisely because this movement is so powerful that it’s important to avoid (through frustration or disgust, exhaustion or confusion) sweeping every bad act and actor into the same mushy heap. That kind of sloppiness breeds excess and backlash. Right now, even our language is inadequate to the moment. Shoving Weinstein and Ailes under the same umbrella of sexual “misconduct” or “misbehavior” as Franken or Thrush renders such terms all but meaningless. Weinstein terrorized scores of women—psychologically, professionally, and physically—for multiple decades and is currently under investigation for rape. That’s not “misconduct” or “harassment.” It’s an atrocity, possibly wrapped in multiple felonies. Both genders need to find a way to address some of these qualitative distinctions without sounding like anyone is being let off the hook.

This may sound obvious, until, for instance, you wander into an angry Twitter mob of John Conyers supporters demanding to know why the ex-congressman’s sins are seen by many to be worse than Franken’s. Well, for starters, Franken didn’t use tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to secretly settle an aide’s harassment claim. As for the underlying misconduct, if one believes the accusations, Conyers’s transgressions—committed repeatedly against his own employees in direct abuse of his power over them—were empirically more egregious and revolting. (Asking an aide to touch his junk or else find him another woman who would? Come on.) This isn’t to say that Franken didn’t behave like an entitled pig. But, until the drip, drip, drip of low-level grope-and-slobber stories accumulated, the case for his being pushed from office was not nearly as clear as the one against Conyers….More...

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2017 in and the Single Life, Men, The New Jim Crow, Women

 

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Done Lit the Wrong Fuse…

The racist right and the Chumph are on the same page…

But they have miscalculated exactly how badly they are outnumbered.

 

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Vets Begin to Go After the Chumph – Navy SEAL Shreds Chumph Lies

Vets are pissed to hear about how the “Chumph reformed the VA’. And are beginning to call him out on his lies.

 

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Republican Aren’t the Only Ones Pissed – Republican Office Firebombed

For those who believe whack job right wingdizzies occupy all the dangerous territory, and are the only ones with bombs and guns…An object lesson.

Folks in North Carolina are getting real tired of their state being screwed into the ground by the Tea Bagging bigots.

North Carolina GOP office attacked

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A North Carolina Republican Party office was firebombed overnight and threatening words painted nearby, party officials and local news organizations reported Sunday.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the attack occurred in the party’s Orange County office in Hillsborough. An explosive device was thrown through a window of the office, causing some damage. The words “Nazi Republicans, leave town or else” were also painted on a nearby building.

No injuries were reported and no arrests have been made. The HQ is located in the Shops at Daniel Boone shopping center.

“Whether you are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, all Americans should be outraged by this hate-filled and violent attack against our democracy,” Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, said in a statement.

“Whether the bomb was meant to kill, destroy property, or intimidate voters, everyone in this country should be free to express their political viewpoints without fear for their own safety. We will be requesting additional security at all Republican Party offices and events between now and Election Day to ensure the safety of our activists, volunteers, and supporters,” he continued.

North Carolina remains one of the most fiercely contested states in the 2016 election season; the presidential race is close, as are statewide races for governor and senator. Orange County is home to parts of the cities of Durham and Chapel Hill (including the University of North Carolina) and has a reputation as one of the more liberal counties in the state.

 

 
 

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After Takeover of Internet, Cats Take Over Subway Station

There is a rapidly rising groundswell both in the US and Europe against increasingly intrusive and ubiquitous advertising on every inch of out Internet and real world. On the Internet, rejection of intrusive ads, and popups has resulted in rapidly increasing numbers of people installing Ad Blocker type software to cut down the noise level. Ads, simply have become too intrusive, are consuming megabits you pay for, and are causing content to load slowly.

Seems the folks in London, who have an extensive Subway and Trains System have decided to make a point and protest!

New campaign looks to replace London subway ads with cat photos

A group in London has a new humorous solution to mitigating consumer-focused advertisements in a “Tube” or subway station in London. The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service organization is launching a new crowd sourcing campaign that seeks to replace every single ad in an undisclosed London Tube station with pictures of cats.

The new campaign is hosted by Kickstarter and looks to raise $33,000 in order to buy out every ad slot in an unspecified London Tube station.

According to the organization’s online fundraising page, the main reason behind the unordinary proposition is because “it would look amazing” and is a way to mitigate consumer-focused ads that are commonly displayed on rail commuter systems.

“It’s exhausting being asked to buy stuff all the time,” the description says.

According to the organization, if a stuffiest amount of money is raised to purchase all advertising slots, the organization will be allowed to transition an entire station “into a roaring festival of cats,” the description adds.

Laugh if you will – however the online fundraiser has generated more than $6,500 in donations from more than 220 supporters. The pledge drive ends May 21.

The organization hosting the campaign is composed of a group of “friends and cat lovers from London,” the fundraising page says.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2016 in American Greed

 

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Even the CBC Has Heartburn With Obama SCOTUS Choice

Support among Progressives and even old line Liberal factions of the Democrat party is tepid for Obama’s “compromise choice” for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. This does not portend well for an all out confirmation fight. Would be nice if the CBC exhibits some cajones for a change. Sick of this one-way “compromise” shit. Obama may well find himself out in the cold with progressive support on this one, especially in view that the pending election is shaping up to be an all out donnybrook.

The CBC – Not Feeling the Love on Obama’s SCOTUS Pick

Black lawmakers irked by Obama’s Supreme Court choice

Some African-American lawmakers are urging their Congressional Black Caucus colleagues to skip a meeting with Valerie Jarrett because of discontent with President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

Several black lawmakers are irked by Obama’s selection of a moderate judge instead of a progressive who could rally the base, according to three lawmakers and senior aides familiar with the meeting. They also don’t feel as if their input was adequately sought by the administration before Merrick Garland was nominated.

A source said members are asking themselves “what is the point” of attending the meeting now that Garland has been nominated.

And some black lawmakers questioned why Garland, who is white, was selected over a minority who could have made the court more diverse.

Jarrett, a senior advisor to Obama, was on the Hill Thursday to meet with the CBC about Garland’s nomination and other topics, according to a source.

The process to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat has been sharply acrimonious. Senate Republican leaders are refusing to hold confirmation hearings for Garland, saying Obama should not be able to influence the ideological bent of the court so close to a presidential election.

Progressives have expressed tepid support for Garland. National progressive groups said they wished the selection was more liberal but they still planned to back Obama in his fight with congressional Republicans.

 

 

 

 

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