OK So … I am going to come out in apparently what is one of the most awful things one can be at the moment. Yes, indeed – I am a person who questions the motivations and stories of the women coming forward in recent allegations about Minnesota Senator Al Franken.
And yes, I did think he was a pretty good Senator, all things considered. Not as left-wing as I’d have liked, but better than most corporate controlled Democrats, that is certain. So we start with my bias on the table.
Yet strangely, I can imagine there was a political motivation to take him down.
I also can imagine that the Democratic women Senators who called for him to step down did it mainly to get rid of one of the more progressive voices in the Senate and to potentially get rid of him for a more corporately acceptable Democrat to run in 2020. Or god forbid another Hillary attempt.
PS – I voted for her, yes but I was not a fan at all. She represents the status quo, and we need a change to the left. Not more corporate kowtowing. She needs to go away now.
I had been going back and forth about these accusations from the start and I kept out of vocalizing much of an opinion at first, wondering if the accusations would become worse (more than ass grabbing), or more frequent. I kept an open mind. They became more frequent but not worse.
Today, in posting finally my thoughts and reactions to him announcing he will step down from his Senate seat (not in favour of this, me) on several progressive sites, various admins or other do-gooders have accused me of slut shaming women in stating my views. I have been nearly banned on another for daring to vocally disagree with the well-trained rabid dogs that are the neo-liberal white feminists.
Poppy poop to their criticism of my opinion. I love sluts. I am a slut. I have NO problem with people enjoying sex, exploring sex, being playful about sex.
I do have a problem about a slut setting up a Senator to take a downfall.
Here is what I see. I see 8 accusers.
Strike that. 4 accusers.
Because 4 have remained anonymous when recounting their accusations.
I can understand rape victims wanting to remain anonymous. But not people who had their butt grabbed. That is just a bit too fragile to be believed. And 4 times ? No.
How can anyone ask someone to vacate a Senate seat over anonymous accusations ?
Then we have 3 women who are known Trump supporters. Two of whom wanted photo ops with Franken and one who performed on stage with him.
Lindsay Menz –
Registered Republican and voted for Trump.
Had a photo-op at a state fair with Franken (why ?) and claims she was shocked to feel his hand move to her butt. Oh FFS. Boo fucking hoo.
Do I care about Lindsay’s claim ? No. If I am to be honest, I really do not. This seems politically motivated to me.
Stephanie Kemplin –
Registered Republican and voted for Trump. Had a photo-op while in Kuwait (she was a soldier and he in the USO show). Franken supposedly put his hand on her breast and kept it there during the photo shoot.
The photo does not show him anywhere near her breast at all. She was shocked. OK. Wow. I am underwhelmed so far. I can see this being politically motivated. Or as I like to say “A Trumped up charge” … ha ha ha, get it ? Trumped up. Ahem. OK. Next.
Leeann Tweeden –
Registered Republican and voted for Trump. First accuser complained of an unwanted kiss and a skit written to force her to kiss him, as well as breast groping while she was sleeping.
Tweeden made a career out of being sexually playful on stage. We can see that she has forcefully kissed men on stage who did not give prior permission, we can see her grinding on Robin Williams’ crotch and with one leg up in the air, and we can see her slapping his ass and exiting the stage.
We can see her enjoying making a playful game out of her own sexual attractiveness.
Does this mean she deserves to be sexually harassed by someone ? Of course not.
Does it mean she was a sexual harasser ? Not really. So far no man has complained about her.
I am saying her choice to name one man out of all the men she served with in those USO shows as someone who made her feel uncomfortable is very very dubious to me. I don’t buy it. And now we have Tom Arnold (and ex boyfriend of Leean’s) claiming he has proof that she was coached by Roger Stone.
I see her as a tough cookie fully in control of her own sexuality. She is also a right-wing Trump supporter.
So, I just question her suddenly changing this one narrative out of her entire career of being a performer who used her attractiveness and sexuality on stage to entertain others, because it is at the moment rather politically convenient for her side.
She also LIED about the skit that she claimed he wrote in order to force her to kiss him. There is absolute proof that skit existed BEFORE she was on that tour with him as per this site which contains the video and the images of how Tweeden interacted with other people in general on that tour.
And she claims the photo shows him groping her – which it does NOT show. There is space between hands and the flak jacket in that photo.
That is a shot of someone obscenely pretending to grope someone to make a joke – which is not funny at all – but that is still a far cry from an actual grope as far as the severity scale goes.
This is not the equivalent to someone being raped with someone else video taping it and uploading it to You Tube. It’s a shitty childish joke, and that is it.
Tina Dupuy –
Registered Democrat. Upset that Al Franken put his hand ON HER WAIST because it made her feel fat. Yes I paraphrased an interview she gave but – WTF ?
She is the one known non-anonymous Democrat who has so far said he sexually assaulted her.
I saw her interview. The whole incident was literally that he put his hand around her waist and had a squeeze of her waist when she asked for a photo with him.
She explained to the person doing the interview that this made her feel bad because she had just quit smoking and had gained weight so felt self-conscious.
So Al Franken is responsible for your feelings of self-consciousness ? And perhaps if you felt slim and trim it would have been OK then ? What are we to infer from that ? Ridiculous.
I mean really woman – look at yourself in the mirror. What are you doing making such a common gesture in photo ops into sexual groping ?
She equates someone grabbing her waist and her own internal discomfort with having recently gained weight to being actual sexual assault.
No it is not sexual assault. This is utter bullshit. This is a woman who likes to play martyr to get attention.
Sexual assault is not about how you feel uncomfortable for being overweight because a man puts his hand around your waist.
Maybe she had other real sexual assaults in her life, and instead chose to talk about this one. I don’t know but I cannot take this claim seriously.
I have been attacked on the street for being a lesbian and had my life threatened over that, and have been raped by an ex boyfriend.
I have had plenty of cat calls and men following me and wolf whistles and slimy pick up attempts.
I have had old men expose themselves to me on public transit, or offer me money for a blow job just for walking past them on the street.
I have seen what groping men can do to women in closed spaces, and in work place situations.
I have marched in some of the very FIRST slut marches in the 1990s girls – not in 2012 when it became fashionable. I was in ACT UP (look it up on Google, it was bad ass and changed the world) and was arrested for protesting, I have blocked anti-abortion protestors at abortion clinics to allow women safe passage, I have marched in prostitutes rights marches, signed petitions and phoned politicians over women’s rights issues. I have been in so many process related analysis of the patriarchy with other queer people and yes I am fully aware of what our society does to women. INCLUDING the society that says how I must think in order to be accepted as a good little feminist.
And yet no, even after all my own personal experience, and political awareness – no – I still do not consider grabbing someone waist and giving them a squeeze during a requested photo-op as inappropriate sexual harassment behaviour worthy of taking to the national media.
I think it is specious and manipulative, and it is playing into the cult of the victim that currently exists. It’s pathetic. I can not in good conscience support this woman in her crying and whining over having her fat grabbed because she felt self-conscious about it.
Bitter Fruit about to Swing
I am sick of the lynch mob mentality that has overtaken the country. I am sick of do good-er women and men “politically correct-splaining” to me why I am participating in slut shaming and victim blaming by the fact that I DARE to express my opinions about this and simply questioned the political motivations of the women who have so far come forward to accuse Al Franken. I am sick of holier than thou feminists who claim to support discussing the issues, but only when that means discussing how exactly and in step we all agree with that one point of view they are currently touting. It’s pure cowardice and evil mean-spirited manipulation in order to shut down other people’s legitimate concerns – and that disgusts me.
Politics is a dirty dirty business. If you don’t believe that any of this could be politically motivated you are a Pollyanna or you are part of the problem and only pretending to not believe it.
I find this whole situation very questionable and worth a bit more investigation before jumping on a bandwagon to bring down one of the loudest anti-Trump voices in the Senate.
I think the Democratic women who called for this were acting as a lynch mob, and forced other Senators to do the same lest they also be called out. It’s specious and disgusting. I smell Pelosi.
Extremists who say that every and any woman should be believed just because they say they were assaulted is understandable, since for centuries women were always pooh-poohed or told their issues did not matter. I get that.
But I must also refute the idea that all women are automatically good people and that all women who say they are victims are automatically victims. Some women are actually evil and manipulative and treacherous people without a soul. I went to school with a lot of bitches, and I am sure you dear reader, did too. Heathers. Etc.. So let’s not pretend here.
I believe that when a complaint is over reported rapes, child sex abuse and work place sexual harassment then we have to by all means do a criminal investigation. I am all for raising the statute of limitations on those crimes as well, due to the fact that so many traumatized people cannot speak out about it until much later in life.
If like in the case of Roy Moore, the man has been banned from shopping malls for trolling for young girls, and has police mentioning this problem too, then it is reasonable to believe his accusers are telling the truth. There is corroborating evidence and most of the accusers are in the same political party he is in.
I think that when a president like Trump is caught on tape bragging about performing sexual acts on unwilling women, and assaulting them, then we can call for that man to step down. Not only that, I think that such tapes should trigger automatic legal action. There should be no choice but to take him down.
But when half of your accusers are anonymous, and 3 of them are in the opposite party – worse yet – Trump supporters – and 1 of them a Democrat who merely complains of waist grabbing – then no.
There I have to draw the line of believability here and say, OK bring on the official investigation first before jumping on the band wagon. These are not considered serious sexual assault charges in the legal realm first of all. There are potential political motives in play secondly. This seems it could be a set up. So investigate.
Let’s be honest with ourselves and rather than trip over our own feet to rush to the defense of anyone and everyone, and have a little think.
But no. The country has gone insane over it. Franken is stepping down. He’s caught in a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation. He can do no right. There is no escape from the circular logic that is the cult of the victim.
This is the perfect storm to show the neo- liberal hypocrisy around sexual assault politics.
They have dived deeply into victim worship now rather than victim blaming – which I think are two equally dangerous sides of the same coin.
When a supposed victim can never be wrong – and that precept is being used to bring down one of the voices for the little people, you can see why it is a dangerous one. I need more proof and a bigger crime. I really do. And so should you.
No I do not agree that someone, whether it be George Bush Senior or Al Franken, should have to leave office for grabbing a woman’s ass during a photo-op. If that person is not a subordinate and there is no interference with their comfort or position at work etc compromised then I think having them leaving office is rather extreme.
I think it’s boorish behaviour if it is true and that they should receive a public rebuke – and that they should change their behaviour.
But I do not consider it anything like the severity of sexual assault worth prosecuting in courts. There is no power issue – these were not people working for Franken. They were willingly asking him for photo ops, or they were sexually joking women who were working with him on stage who clearly gave as good as they got.
That is not slut shaming to say by the way. I think we should have more women who are bawdy and free. I just think women who are bawdy one moment and cry victim the next when they can get attention from it or use political correctness (which they normally vote against) to bring down an opponent are just opportunist bitches.
As for the anonymous accusations of cornering women to try to kiss them, I cannot comment. There is no person attached to those claims to really show me that they are potentially real. If they are real, those to me are worse and show a more predatory behaviour – but these are the claims he denies categorically or which have no names attached.
Bitter Bitches are Real
A group of 36 women he worked with have written a letter in his defense. But I guess their voices do not count. Because they are not claiming to be victims. OK fair enough. We can’t worship them.
But they are character witnesses, as THIRTY SIX women who worked closely with Mr Franken in similar close situations to the other accusers whose name we do know.
They did not notice such behaviour and had only praise for him.
This whole idea that “if I feel embarrassed, or offended, then it must be true that I was abused” has gone too far.
I even used feigning this argument to get out of being banned on that one FB page where I sinned by disagreeing with the politically correct tribe – and the brain washed moderator fell over herself in political correctness to say the right thing to me afterwards. I said I felt “abused and shamed” by what the other person said in a condescending response to my post disagreeing with the call to oust Franken when this admin posted an official warning to me.
Did I actually feel abused ? Fuck no. I had said to the woman who made the condescending overly politically correct ass-wipe comment against my opinion – that she should not treat me like I was “just another a dumb cunt who was raped” and didn’t need to femin-splain to me the history of women in this country. For this, I was rebuked because sarcasm is not well understood, and the admin claimed I was suggesting that the woman had actually called me a dumb cunt, which she had not done – she merely was just as condescending as if I were merely a dumb cunt, which apparently, is different.
I said the other woman had responded in writing with condescending explanations about feminist theory as if I did not know anything about sexual abuse or assault issues, and as if I had never opened a feminist book in my fucking life, and that her response was denigrating as it made an assertion about me simply because I disagreed with her point of view.
HINT: When someone who is a self identified queer feminist and activist for years simply disagrees with you politically correct bitches – it does not mean that they have not considered your arguments. It means they REJECTED them after much consideration. So learn suck it the fuck up. It’s called discourse.
But using this ploy so common to the over-archingly politically correct to remind her that I too was a sexual assault victim, and I claimed that this treatment of me had triggered my feelings of shame – I knew I could the Admin’s own false logic and victim worshipping attitude to make her apologise to me which she dutifully did. But then she went on to do exactly what the other woman had done and try to lay out feminist theory to me to explain nicely to little stupid me why I was not correct.
How Utterly Pathetic.
She could not say anything after that to rebuke me directly, even if she did see through my ploy as to do so would be damaging to “the sisterhood” and the cult of the victim … see. It’s a vicious circle and there is no way out once you fall for that circular logic that a victim must be believed and can do no wrong.
So she then she said we should be able to talk about this important issue, but that of course, she was immediately shutting down all further comments on the post because (as she is indeed the overlord of political correctness) we all needed to go read an article someone else wrote on how to do self-care.
Clearly if we disagree with other feminists, it is merely because we are insane. What a condescending bitch.
I bitterly despise women like this who use their on-line power and sense of political correctness shut down valid dissension and opinions from within the feminist realm, and then condescendingly pretend you are simply mentally ill for disagreeing with them.
Fuck you stupid brain washed politically correct bints and your suck-up minions. Eat my pussy.
Here are some random controversial and bitter statements from me. Brought up by this day.
The cult of worshipping the victim on a pedestal has to go. It is just as bad as never believing women who report sexual assault. It is denigrating to all women that the only time they are never questioned is when they play victim. It only encourages constant martyrdom. I lived with a sister like this for years. It is insufferable.
Just because you have a feeling all of a sudden about a particular situation does automatically NOT make the thing you think the other person did real or make your reaction to that an appropriate reaction. Sometimes people overreact to otherwise normal situations. It is not the situation that has to change.
Trigger warnings are stupid. Learn to deal with and overcome your fears. You are able to control your own reactions to situations. Now that your trauma is over with, you are the only one responsible for how you choose to react to a situation. Yes you are. Take back that power and stop demanding that others kowtow to your injuries. When I break a leg, I get it fixed, I learn to walk again or I buy a wheel chair and become a disabled rights activist. But I do not run around telling people to stop driving or talking about cars or stop showing pictures of cars because a car is what ran over my leg.
There is objective reality. Yes there is.
You do control your own decisions and these are choices that affect the outcome for you. Life does not just happen in a vacuum without willing participants.
Get conscious of your own weaknesses and shortcomings and motivations and fears. Work on overcoming these and stop blaming others for your shortcomings and weaknesses now that you have identified them – own them.
Accidents do happen. Sometimes you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
Follow your gut. If it feels wrong, don’t do it and don’t go there. If you see a situation that seems wrong and others are ignoring it, speak up and SAY SOMETHING for fuck’s sake. Likely others would agree but are afraid to speak out too.
Bitter Conclusion ?
An ass grab at the state fair photo-op is actually NOT the same on the scale of sexual assault as having Harvey Weinstein telling you to fuck him if you want to work in the industry – not in a million years.
Have some intelligence people. The line in the sand to draw starts with reasonable expectations, not Al Franken.
When you invite famous people you don’t know to take a picture with you, they are quite likely to ham it up for the camera and put an arm around you. To avoid feelings of shock over this, don’t ask for a photo-op.
As a photographer for many years and covering many high-end fundraising social events, I can confirm that this behaviour of hugging and chumming it up with total strangers is actually quite common. Can some men or women use that to take advantage and cop a feel ? Yeah, though honestly I never saw it happen to the fan. It usually happened to the celebrity.
Can some women be mistaken that a guy is copping a feel if he’s been doing this all day and his hand lands in the wrong place. Yeah.
Do I give a real true shit that someone famous placed his hand on your butt in a public photo-op that you initiated ? Not really. With so many other problems in the world that are more important, can’t you just tell him to knock it off and get on with your fucking day ?
Only you can decide to remain feeling like you are a victim for all time after that. No one can do that to you without your permission. So get professional help.
I’d rather focus attention in getting justice for people who were raped, who have had their work environment and careers destroyed due to male sexual predator behaviour. The women who called out Harvey Weinstein for example. The women raped or abused by Roy Moore or Donald Trump.
When I add in all the support Al Franken has done of women’s rights over the years in his votes and in his campaigns, and the respect he has shown for his wife throughout his career, I think the weight of this issue for me is on the side that he should have stayed in and we should have waited for an investigation and more evidence of something actually criminal.
The lynch mobs have won and this is not a good day for Feminism at all. This is a day where Feminists have gone overboard in blood lust and where other political forces at work wisely and sneakily used victim worship against the progressives in the Senate. A sad day that so many fell into that trap.
Oh by the way, I also had her tell me I was a racist for using the term lynch-mob and that this was denigrating to black people. I beg to differ. I think the term is appropriate here and is better than “witch hunt” which I think is denigrating to feminists. If you have any other ideas of a slang name to call it, let me know.
Admin lady on the “progressive but very tightly controlled” FB page also said to me in a private message that you know, it is poor black women who have to suffer sexual harassment at work because they do not have the same means and resources that white women do. As if all black women are poor and all white women are rich ? More condescension, this time towards people of colour.
So she is a closet bigot as well. Charming.