Last updated: September 6, 2019
Topic: BusinessCompany
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Over 36 men in executive positions have been accused of the same crime in the past year, and the same old excuses and cover ups have denoted the serious allegations circling the media. Donald Trump, Roy Moore, Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, it is inevitable how the fruit never seems to fall far from the tree. The only people these criminals seem to hold accountable for their actions are ones making the claims against them.  Because these men hold such powerful positions it is easy for people to have faith, and assume the best in them; but, In a nutshell, these men continue to exist-  denoted criminals, negotiating the same bribes and excuses to persuade the citizens of America believe otherwise. As a free nation with citizens of moral value, it is up to the people of America to support victims of sexual misconduct and the truth. Old allegations, anti-feminism, and locker-room talk are just a few of the many reasons these men are not getting what they deserve.What controls how far you go in life? That’s an extensive question with what should be an intricate answer. For many, that answer can be simplified to one word: power. Although it had taken years for the stories to come to face, once public knowledge, Harvey Weinstein lost his job at the company that yields his name, but not without getting away with it for years. Weinstein had all the money and power in the world, of course he would cover-up what he did in forms of settlements: “During that time, after being confronted with allegations including sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact, Mr. Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women” (Kantor).  One of the biggest defenses against these “men of power” are that women coming out with their sexual harassment/assault stories have waited considerate amounts of time after the fact. This is simply because they have been paid boatloads of money to stay quiet, and now that allegations are coming out against people like Harvey Weinstein, they feel like they have a big enough support system to speak up about what happened to them. The settlements made by Weinstein were intentionally to “avoid litigation and buy peace” (Kantor), which was a bomb itself waiting to be set off. One of the most common reasons for women to avoid reporting a sexual assault is because they are experiencing a variety of psychological reactions such as shame, denial, guilt, embarrassment, etc. This was proven in a recent Global/Ipsos Reid poll: “the most common reason women gave for not reporting a sexual assault to the police was feeling young and powerless (56%). 40% of respondents said they stayed silent because of the shame they felt and 29% said they blamed themselves for the assault” (Rodas). These crimes are immensely traumatic to the women who are victims and it oftentimes results in disorders like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The action of simply disclosing the event can trigger the horrific memories and can be retraumatizing for victims. Most women want to forget the incident as a whole because they have suffered so much already. If bible reading, church going, conservative voting women can vote for Doug Jones, why can’t their husbands? The final voting polls of the 2017 senate concluded that middle class women are yet again the deal breaker in what could have resulted in another sex offender appointed  for a position of political authority. Even before the final votes were taken into account, men dominated Roy Moore’s polling by a landslide of 50 points. Coincidence or not, male support for republican candidates facing recent sexual misconduct allegations has been prevalent in several past polls: “Among Republicans and leaners, women are more likely than men to say the recent allegations reflect widespread problems in society – 69% of GOP women say this, compared with 54% of Republican men” (Oliphant). .The reasoning behind this isn’t exactly clear, but a lot of it has to do with recent anti-feminist movements and historical gender-norms. The majority of people who are pushing for men of power accused of these crimes to be removed from office or fired from their jobs are feminists or women. While there still is a major gap in the ideals of democratic men and women vs republican men and women, the women of both political sides tend to feel that these issues reflect broader problems within society: “Women are more likely than men (71% vs. 60%) to see allegations of sexual misconduct as mainly reflective of broad societal problems” (Oliphant). This again supports the idea that the majority of men in these elections have views that are at least somewhat anti-feminist and tend to downplay the sexual assault and harassment cases. Another interesting point of view is the fact that the majority of republicans who have been accused of these crimes have not been vacated of their positions while democrats have: “Republicans have not been so quick to punish offenders…it means that accused Republican lawmakers can copy Messrs Moore and Trump—deny, obfuscate and blame “fake news”—while Democratic ones fall on their base’s sword” (). In contrast to the republicans who have been accused of sexual misconduct   Democratic men of power have been held accountable for their wrongdoings. By the Republican party not punishing these men properly, there is a stigma that perpetrators of sexual harassment/misconduct will not be penalized, and will continue to commit these crimes and get away with it. This is simply a rapid cycle of injustice that must come to an end. In the audio of the notorious “chat” between President Donald Trump and Billy Bush, they  both can be heard discussing Trump’s failed endeavor of enticing a woman: “I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her…you know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it…you can do anything” (qtd. in Bullock). In a comment after the video was leaked Trump exclaimed, “This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago” (qtd in Fahrenthold). Trump proceeds to “apologize” to anyone he “offended” but in reality is it okay for men to speak about women in private like this? From a position of simple psychology, absolutely not. There is an issue with it, and it’s not just about being politically correct. It is crucial that we comprehend the harm this kind of talk does to not only women, but  to the men who are listening to it, and the men talking this way. Trump’s justification of his lecherous comments being just “locker-room banter” depicts a misconception of the influence of words themselves, and the associations they create are hard to forget, especially when they are coming from the most powerful person in our country, the President himself. As this man sits in the oval office, without any consequence for his actions or words, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota is resigning from congress because of allegations of sexual harassment, which he has denied. Al Franken is regretful about having to step down from his position but still manages to blast President Trump in his resignation speech: “I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office” (qtd. in Phillips). While the accusations against Al Franken are just as bad as what Trump did, he has done the right thing by stepping down from his position. Why shouldn’t Trump be urged to do the same? Again this puts America in turmoil about the way women should/shouldn’t be treated and sets a precedent for how much power the president holds over all other people in the same or similar positions. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the man behind the dirty work or the woman falling victim of it, the people of America ultimately determine the outcome of any poll, election, debate, or consequence. If the wealthy, famous, and politically powerful people of this nation truly do run it, the principles of democracy which our nation was originally founded upon have been considerably neglected. There is a fine line between the truth and an excuse. Leaders no matter how rich, famous, or powerful should understand the importance of honesty for the betterment of society as they reflect the people of this nation, and serve as inspiration for our children, and children’s children. As for us, the people of America, we must stand up for injustice- though numbers, statistics, and parties may divide us, together we are the majority, and in a sense we will always represent the our country as a whole, not a nation divided. Old allegations, anti-feminism, and locker room talk are no reason for men to be getting away with sexual assault and misconduct. It is up to us to educate ourselves and determine what our values are individually and as a people in order to fight the injustice that we face, and do what is our best interest. We must express the principles of this nation with open arms to motivate the young to become more accepting of each others different beliefs in order to seek peace.