Calling the recent child molestation accusations a “desperate political attack,” far-right Christian folk hero Roy Moore assures his supporters that he’ll continue his run for Senate

Well, it looks like I was right a few days ago, when, channeling my inner Johnnie Cochran, I proclaimed, “Where there are four, you know there are more.” This afternoon, an Alabama woman by the name of Beverly Young-Nelson came forward to announce that she too had been sexually assaulted by Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore as a teenager, joining Leigh Corfman and the three other women who shared their stories late last week with the Washington Post. [Corfman was just 14 when the 32 year old District Attorney spotted her in a rural Alabama courthouse, where she and her mother were awaiting a child custody hearing, asked for her number, and eventually began seeing her, picking her up around the corner from her family’s home, and driving her to a house in the woods, where, on one occasion, according to her sworn statement, he undressed her, touched her over her bra and underpants, and guided her hand to touch his penis through his underwear.] Young-Nelson’s story, unlike those shared by the other women, however, involves being choked and thrown from a parked car after she refused the older man’s violent sexual advances. Here’s footage from the press conference, followed by an excerpt from the Washington Post.

…Beverly Young Nelson, now 55, said Monday that she got to know Moore, now 70, in the late 1970s when she was a waitress at the Old Hickory House restaurant in the northeastern Alabama town of Gadsden, where Moore lived for much of his life.

Nelson said at a news conference at a New York hotel that Moore, then the district attorney of Etowah County, was a regular at the restaurant and would sometimes compliment her looks or touch her long red hair. She showed a copy of her high school yearbook that she said Moore signed Dec. 22, 1977, with the inscription: “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say ‘Merry Christmas.’ ”

On a cold night about a week or two after that, Nelson alleges that Moore offered to give her a ride home from work after her shift ended at 10 p.m. Instead of taking her home, Nelson said that Moore pulled the two-door car into a dark and deserted area between a dumpster and the back of the restaurant.

When she asked what he was doing, Nelson alleges that Moore put his hands on her breasts and began groping her. When she tried to open the car door and leave, Nelson said he reached over and locked the door. When she yelled at him to stop and tried to fight him off, she alleges that he tightly squeezed the back of her neck and tried to force her head toward his lap. He also tried to pull her shirt off, she said.

“I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified,” Nelson said during the news conference, often becoming emotional as she described the attack that she alleges occurred about 40 years ago. “I thought that he was going to rape me.”…

According to Young-Nelson, who was accompanied at this afternoon’s news conference by attorney Gloria Allred, Moore, after attacking her, said, “You’re just a child,” as he shoved her from the car, adding, “I am the District Attorney of Etowah County. And if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.”

Nelson, who cried as she read her prepared statement, said she quit her waitressing job the next day, so that she’d never have to see Moore again, covered the bruises on her neck with makeup, and didn’t speak about what had happened for two years, when she confided in her sister, who has since confirmed the account. [According to Nelson, she also told her husband of the assault before they were married, as well as her mother, who she told approximately four years ago.]

“Mr. Moore attacked me when I was a child,” Nelson told members of the press, adding that the District Attorney had begun flirting with her when she was just 15, lending considerable credence to the theory that Moore was actively grooming several young women during this period of his life. [The New Yorker is reporting today that, according to several sources, “Roy Moore was banned from the Gadsden Mall and the YMCA for his inappropriate behavior of soliciting sex from young girls.]

Here’s an excerpt from Nelson’s written statement, in which she discusses Moore’s attack.

In spite of this, some conservatives continue to support Moore. Alabama Republicans have, in recent days, both suggested that Moore’s infractions were not more serious than stealing a lawnmower, and biblically sanctioned, given that Joseph was an older man when he married Mary. And, of course, there are some suggesting that all of this is nothing more than a political hit job, ignoring the fact that both Corfman and Young-Nelson are conservatives who voted for Trump. [Young-Nelson said today, “My husband and I supported Donald Trump for president. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the Republicans or the Democrats. It has everything to do with Mr. Moore’s sexual assault when I was a teenager.”] Republican propagandist Dinesh D’Souza just said that Young-Nelson’s statement “seems crafted by someone who is very savvy about politics”‏, and Breitbart has apparently dispatched two of their “journalists” to Alabama to discredit the women who have come forward‏ thus far. [Keep this in mind when people ask why it took so many years for these women to come forward. Not only, in Young-Nelson’s case, was she apparently choked and told that no one would believe her, but now Breitbart and others are actively trying to destroy her life.]

Thankfully, however, some on the right have begun to turn on the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court… Sure, they probably should have turned on him long ago, considering that he, among other things, has said that homosexuality should be illegal, that 9/11 was God’s punishment for sodomy and abortion, and that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to serve in elected office‏, but better late than never, right? [Sadly, I suspect many of these folks are finally turning on Moore not because he’s a vile human being, but because they’ve done the political calculus, and know that, having him in the Senate, would be worse for the GOP than electing a Democrat. Still, though, I’ll take it.] Today, two of Moore’s biggest supporters in the Senate, John Cornyn‏ and Ted Cruz‏ both withdrew their endorsements, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just came out to say that he believes the allegations and feels as though Moore “should step aside”‏. And, what’s more, the head of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee went on the record saying that, if Moore wins the race, he should be expelled from the Senate… Oh, and Senator Jeff Flake said that, given the choice between Moor and a Democrat, he’d “run to the polling place to vote for the Democrat.” But here are my two favorite conservative quotes of the day, from Republican Senators Claire McCaskill and Susan Collins.

Moore, for what it’s worth, doesn’t seem to be backing down. While his story did evolve a bit over the past several days, with him now saying that, sure, he may have dated young girls, but he never did so without the permission of their mothers, he’s still sticking to his guns, and claiming that these charges aren’t legitimate… “These allegations are completely false, and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign,” Moore said when the first allegations of child molestation were made public last Thursday. And Moore’s campaign chairman Bill Armistead added the following today. “Gloria Allred is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt,” he said, “and she is only around to create a spectacle.” He then went on to say, “Allred was the attorney who claims credit for giving us Roe v. Wade, which has resulted in the murder of tens of millions of unborn babies. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: Judge Moore is an innocent man and has never had any sexual misconduct with anyone. This is a witch hunt against a man who has had an impeccable career for over 30 years and has always been known as a man of high character.” Echoing Trump, Moore’s campaign also put out a statement calling the accusations “garbage” and “the very definition of fake news.”

Here’s Moore saying that he couldn’t have choked and thrown the 16 year old Young-Nelson out of his car, as he didn’t even know where the Old Hickory House was.

I could go on about Moore’s hypocrisy, and what his continued support among conservatives tells us about the current state of the Republican party, but, as I don’t suspect I’d be telling you anything you didn’t already know, I’ll just say goodnight and pass along a link to the campaign page of Moore’s Democratic rival, Doug Jones, who, to my knowledge, is not only not a pedophile, but a damn fine man, who, as a U.S. attorney, successfully prosecuted the members of the KKK responsible for bombing a black church in Birmingham in 1963, killing four young girls. [Please, if you can, give his campaign a few dollars, so we can not only help put him in the Senate, but start building a grassroots Democratic infrastructure in Alabama.]

It’s hard to believe we’ve gotten to this point in American history. If you’d asked me ten years ago whether or not I thought it could be possible that, one day, we might have a considerable number of people that would rather see an accused child molester in office than a Democrat, I probably would have said that you were out of your mind. But here we are, one year after electing an admitted “pussy grabber,” with no end in site. We now live in a world where all that matters, it would seem, is winning at all costs, where, thanks to a constant diet of Fox News, the tribalism has grown so fierce that we have actual real human beings in Alabama saying things like, “(Moore) could have killed Obama, and we wouldn’t care.”

Child molestation doesn’t matter. Truth doesn’t matter. What matters is winning, and defeating our enemies. If people really cared about the safety of children, everyone who was so irate about Hillary Clinton’s imagined involvement in the “Pizzagate” child sex ring, would be in the streets right now, demanding that Moore be “locked up.” But they’re not. They knew the story about Clinton was bullshit. And, right now, they could care less what Moore did to this young girls. All that ever mattered was winning. Everything else was just a lie.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m fairly certain that the first step is to end Moore’s political career right here, and right now. Because, if we can’t do that – if we can’t keep a child molester out of the United States Senate – what chance of we got of saving our country?

Earlier today, Beverly Young-Nelson said, “I want Mr. Moore to know that he no longer has any power over me.” Hopefully, as a nation, we’re getting to the point where we can collectively say the same thing to those on the far right, who, for far too long now, have been leading us down this path, to the point where we’re now openly supporting white nationalists, child molesters and con men, thinking that it’s completely normal to do so.

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60 Comments

  1. Bob
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Letting Moore go to the Senate might be the best thing Dems could hope for. It’s not like a Democrat is going to hold that seat more one term anyway. The mileage they could get from running on a Republican child molester in office around the country would be huge.

  2. M
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    The hypocrisy is sickening. I have very little faith left in this country of ours.

  3. Iron Lung
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Let the “whataboutisms” begin.

  4. Eel
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    What about JFK? He had an affair with a 19 year old when he was in his 40s. (Anne Coulter)

    19 isn’t 14. 19 isn’t illegal. And that’s good to know about JFK. If he rises from the dead and runs again, I won’t vote for him. (Me)

  5. Iron Lung
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    “What about….”

    My favorite was “what about Mary and Joseph?”

    The Christian right supports child molestation. It’s unbelievable. All they have to do is put up a different candidate, as many Republicans are also calling for. It is pretty simple, but apparently, the Christian right in the US has no problem at all with child molesters.

  6. Lynne
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Bob. Good for whom? Surely not the women and girls who will then get the message that guys like that can get elected. Surely not the people who would be harmed by his presence in the Senate. I am sick to death of men like you being so willing to throw others under the bus for something like political strategy.

  7. M
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes we do the right thing not because it wins us political points but because it’s the right thing.

  8. Iron Lung
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    “What about….”

    “What about….”

    “What about….”

    Running away from the problem is easy.

  9. Bob
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Lynne, you don’t even know me. I’m sick of losing to Republicans. That’s the point. We behave like wimps as a party. Who am I throwing under the bus? It happened and we should shine as much light on him as we can.

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to weigh in with my ‘what about…’ This sort of problem is epidemic on the left as well, even (maybe especially) in social justice/leftist/politically active circles. And the accusations are the same. The cloak of moral superiority offers the same defense. I have yet to see a difference in predatory male behavior on the left or right. Both sides are morally righteous and ideological in their way. What’s worse, a Christian right ideologue or a self-proclaimed male feminist engaging in sexual assault/harassment? Under age is certainly an issue. On both sides. I grew up with serial harassment in the bible belt and transitioned to a liberal college town and the issue was precisely the same. I was older, but not much.

    To be clear, I’m ok with these guys getting called out in the current cavalcade of accusations. I’m also sure the process will be used for political ends on all sides. I hope they are also used as object lessons on how not to be a man in the world. I hope they are a wake up call to men who never behaved like that but who never recognized the peril the women and girls and queer people walk through in their daily lives. Maybe this will make clear why cat calls matter. Maybe it won’t.

    I also hope Moore’s privileging of his interpretation of the bible over the Constitution he was sworn to is not forgotten in all this.

    I’m not sure you get credit (at least in my book) for doing the right thing here, Mark. This is the politically expedient thing. Doing the right thing would require a much deeper examination of systemic gender bias and sexual violence in this country. It’s an almost universal problem, at least if you speak to women. You refused to address it in the primary. I’m not interested in giving you credit for taking a stand that does not hurt. Principles are only real when they cost something you value.

    Quick note here that sexual assault/harassment is an exertion of power over the powerless. Men and boys and the non-gender binary are also targets, especially when they hold lower status. Women are held in lower status, in part, by the prevalence of sexual violence against them and all the justification of same that attends those acts. Rape and assault are acts of war. Harassment is an act of oppression.

    It’s a dangerous thing to offer the powerful our awe. Any of the powerful.

    It’s also dangerous to assume bias and hypocrisy are something other than a universal trait.

  11. Lynne
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Bob, you are right. I don’t know you. I base my opinion of you entirely from what you write here on this blog. I totally recognize that while you may be wonderful in real life, here you aren’t so much. Not IMHO. But to be fair, I would be considered much nicer in real life too because I would be modifying what I say out of fear that you would hurt me physically. I sure as hell do NOT challenge men on their sexism in person nearly as much as I do online. Even online though, whenever I use my real name I start to worry that someone whose buttons I have pushed, who is losing his shit because of lost privilege, will come seek me out to remind me of his power in a very physical way.

    You are throwing women under the bus if you adopt an attitude that this guy’s election would be good for Democrats. That is the kind of attitude that, when shared, can take the pressure of others to vote against the guy. They might feel that it is ok to stay home and not vote for him because the outcome will be good for them either way. It is harmful.

    ———————————————————————————————————

    Jean, you are very right. This is not an issue limited to the right. The left has their share of it too and it runs the full spectrum. From straight up rape to sexual harassment to sexually inappropriate behavior to the more subtle and benign forms of sexism (including the denial of such). And there is no hope unless we can get the message out that this sort of sexism is no longer tolerable. Starting with NOT VOTING for sex offenders.

    I think that we should also, as women, be very aware that sexual harassment is very much about power. As more women find themselves in positions of power, I expect we will see more women harassing others who they perceive as being weak instead of such things mostly being limited to adult teachers taking advantage of young male pupils.

    The good news is that if this problem is largely cultural, it can be solved with changes to the culture. Those changes are already under way.

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Concerned that my daughter at 13 already had a defensive plan in place to deal with ‘creepers’ (besides her mother walking behind her flipping off ogglers), I queried women on fb about when they developed defensive strategies for inappropriate advances by grown ass men. Most were ages 10-13, but some were as young as 8 and one was 5. This is close to a universal experience for young women. Let’s not pretend Roy Moore’s are unusual. To Lynne’s point, I feel certain that ‘men like that’ are elected all the time. I’m more than ok with saying now is the time for it to end.
    But we need to acknowledge the prevalence for that to happen.

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Bob’s disinterest in this topic over once again attacking the Dem party for being ‘wimps’ is not surprising. At least he refrained from prison rape jokes this time.

  14. Lynne
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    It isn’t easy to examine one’s role in rape culture. I have been struggling with my own tendency to let men who I admire and like off the hook about this stuff. I have been very lucky to have some good feminist forums of the sort where one can safely work such things out. Issues like holding people accountable while also leaving room for redemption and forgiveness. It is not easy for anyone so I do have some sympathy for men who are struggling with this.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    As do I, Lynne. From my experience listening to men, it seems a whole lot of them have been bystanders to abuse, participants in it and victims of it at various points in their lives. I believe an anonymous forum is needed for them to work out their feelings about all of it. Lots of cognitive dissonance going on and some real crisis of identity. The fact that I hear these stories and their own male friends rarely do is another issue in the perpetuation of the problem. I certainly don’t think women alone are affected negatively by rape culture or the current constructions of masculinity and femininity in America.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    “As chief justice of Alabama’s supreme court, Moore twice argued that the state’s ‘rape shield’ law should not prevent alleged sex offenders from using certain evidence about their *underage* accusers’ personal lives to discredit them.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/14/roy-moore-alabama-law-rape-victims-judge

  17. Iron Lung
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    “What about….. ”

    “What about….. “

  18. wobblie
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Our whole culture supports sexual harassment and assault. From today’s Free Press:

    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/11/14/brighton-high-student-14-dont-let-my-convicted-sexual-assaulter-return-school/864468001/

  19. wobblie
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/11/14/brighton-high-student-14-dont-let-my-convicted-sexual-assaulter-return-school/864468001/

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Iron Lung— maybe think of it as a ‘yes, but also’ rather than a ‘what about.’ Some of us care a lot about this issue. Everyone thinks they care a lot about this issue, but that’s mostly moral posture. You have to go way past morality and political expedience to address sexual violence and gender bias. The overall lack of interest in going there will surprise no one who actually cares.

  21. Iron Lung
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The people spouting “what about…” don’t care about this issue.

  22. Jcp2
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I was a bit surprised to see that it took Roy Moore to get this on the board, seeing that the Harvey Weinstein story really broke this into the open quite a while ago. It’s as if it only counts when a “bad guy” is in the headlines.

  23. M
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, Jcp2, a lot of us consider Weinstein a bad guy.

  24. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    We all know what Jcp2 meant.

    Cute sophistry does nothing toward addressing Jcp2’s general concern. Nobody is obligated to respond to Jcp2’s suggestion but an obvious attempt to intentionally obfuscate the issue Jcp2 just raised is not a good look.

  25. dex
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    louis ck far more destructive to the world of women than roy moore

  26. Iron Lung
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Without at all excusing his behavior, Louis CK is simply a comedian. He cannot propose or vote on laws.

    Roy Moore has considerably more power.

    I think that should be obvious.

  27. Lynne
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Yeah. While the Louis CK thing is more personal for me and represents huge challenges in my personal growth that I wont go into here, what Roy Moore did was much worse because the victims were minors and is more important and pressing because he is running for office.

    Also, Louis CK has owned it and apologized (badly imho but it is *something*) but Moore is taking the position that he has done nothing wrong. Ew ew ew. That means he could be in a position to write some of our nation’s laws while still thinking it is OK for grown men to sexually abuse teenaged girls. YIKES!

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Sex— Roy Moore is accused of illegal assault. Louis ck is not accused of any illegal behavior, and he admitted it. Louis ck also deals in complexity and does not act as either Judge or public policy maker.
    In no way is Louis ck more of a problem, though he is certainly part of the larger pattern.

    So now maybe I understand this ‘but what about’ point more…

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I swear I wrote dex…

  30. Iron lung
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    The idea that a man who has sex with fourteen year olds has the potential to public office should disturb anyone.

    Clearly dex is ok with it.

  31. Posted November 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the critique, Jcp2. I’m not sure that it’s either fair or accurate, but you raise a good question that’s worthy of discussion… So here’s my response.

    First off, I should say that I’m sorry that I didn’t write about the Weinstein case here when the news first broke, or, for that matter, the cases against Bill Cosby, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., or any of the others. It wasn’t, I can assure you, for lack of caring about the issue.

    As I’m sure you can appreciate, I can’t post about every subject that I want to here, given that this is essentially a hobby of mine, and that I have other obligations. I get your point, though. And, to be honest, I’m not sure what to say. I guess, maybe it would help if I just explained a bit about my process.

    Every night, after putting the kids to bed, I just sit down, start thinking about what’s in the news, and where I think I might have either something interesting to say, or perhaps be able to make a connection that others have failed to notice. And I make choices as to how I’ll allot the time I have before I fall asleep.

    Last Thursday, when the Washington Post story first broke about Moore, for instance, I chose instead to write about a report that has just been released in Politico about economic inequality at U-M, and efforts being taken to diversify the student body. I thought, given the fact that both Ann Arbor and Ypsi featured prominently in the story, people might like to discuss it. And I thought that it was an important addition to our recent conversations about public education… At any rate, I chose not to write about Roy Moore that night because everyone else was writing about it, and I thought my time was best spent exploring the Politico piece, not because I didn’t find the subject of interest, or worthy of discussion.

    As for why I didn’t write about these other cases as they were made public, I’m guessing that, for whatever reason, I thought I either didn’t have anything of value to add, or I chose to focus elsewhere in my free time that evening, perhaps staying up late to help Clementine with her homework, or just writing about something else, about which I had something more unique to say. I’d have to go back and look over the timeline of events, but, if I’m not mistaken, when the Weinstein story broke, I was visiting friends in Baltimore, and didn’t write about anything for a few days straight. [I started working on a story about Baltimore, but never finished it.] And, by the time I returned to Michigan, I guess I couldn’t think of anything interesting to say that hadn’t already been said.

    I should also add that you’re just seeing what I post about on the site, and you don’t know what I might be working on behind the scenes. For instance, right now, I’m talking with an anonymous source about the possibility of running a story about a well known Detroit businessman, who, according to this person, has paid off several women over the years in order to avoid going to trial for sexual assault. I’m not sure what will come of it, but I’m working on it the same way, not too long ago, I worked on that story about the charter school teacher who was fired for what she saw as being political and racist reasons. So, again, it’s not that I only care about sexual assault when it’s something that I can use politically, which, if I’m not mistaken, was the gist of your comment. With that said, however, I’ll admit to being more inclined, generally speaking, to rant against people who are guilty of hypocrisy (like Moore) than those who commit the same crimes, but do so without demonstrating hypocrisy. [Hypocrisy, I’ll admit, is a trigger for me.]

    As for why I chose to write about the Moore case when the fifth accuser came forward, I’m not sure. Obviously it was something that I cared about, and I suspect I was reading a number of stories, trying to make connections, etc. And I probably should have mentioned it earlier, but that’s also how a number of these stories come to be, like last night’s story about the new Republican tax plan. Not only did I think I could help, by encouraging a few more people to make calls, but I just wanted to find out what was going on, for my own edification. I didn’t feel like I understood the issues, so I decided to invest 4 hours of my time and figure it out. The post just grew out of that…. and my sense of guilt for not having written about it sooner. [I’d been wanting to write about the Republican tax plan for several weeks now.]

    I’m not sure if that answers your question, but I hope it at least gives you a glimpse into my process… More importantly, I hope it’s clear to you that, just because I don’t write about certain things, doesn’t mean I don’t care about them. Every day there are multiple things that happen that I wish I had the time and energy to delve into more. And, as someone with OCD, it eats at me. I want to write about every piece of legislation, every injustice I see, and every idea I get. I just can’t do that and stay sane, though. As it is, I sleep less than 6 hours a night, and I’ve been doing this for about 15 years now. So please try to keep that in mind they next time you think, just because I didn’t mention something here, it’s because I don’t care. Clearly sexual abuse is something that concerns me, and it’s something that I’ve written about here in the past. But I just can’t write about every case. I know what I do here might look easy, and maybe, for some, it is, but I invest a lot of time in this stuff, and I just can’t write about everything… especially if other people are out there writing better stuff about the same things.

    Now, with all that said, I should point out that, because of the time I spent on this response, it probably means that tonight’s post, if there is one, will kind of suck… Sadly, that’s how this works.

  32. Jean Henry
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    The issue is not with your writing or when you do it; it’s with your ‘it’s the right thing to do’ assertion. It was the right thing to do many times earlier, but you didn’t. Now it’s the expedient thing to do. That’s likely the impetus rather than the events of the day, your time available, your parenting requirements etc etc. some things push you to write despite all the other issues, some things don’t.
    Many readers here in various ways have asked you, themselves and others to think about the outrage impulse more critically. That’s one of our new democratic responsibilities in the era of systemic political trolling and our troller in Chief. It’s hard to read about your outrage with hypocrisy when this issue only warranted coverage when it involved a conservative.

  33. Lynne
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    In my small social bubble, barely anyone has said much about Weinstein or any number of sexual abusers. The reason isn’t that we don’t care, the reason is that we are all in agreement. It is only when there is disagreement does the conversation ramp up. Otherwise the conversation goes like this:

    Weinstein is a gross sexual abusing loser asshole!

    Yup!

    But we will talk for days about Louis CK and all it takes is one person saying that what he did wasn’t “that bad”.

    I don’t necessarily think you can judge how much a person cares about a position based on how much they talk about it. Some of the issues I care about the most, I barely talk about at all because I just assume that most everyone around me is in agreement. I mean I think murder is worse than masturbating in front of someone but you wouldn’t know it based on the amount of time I have spent discussing those subjects.

  34. Jcp2
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I think the Weinstein stories are an important sign of how power dynamics can lead to abuse and intimidation, and how we as a society have never really addressed this issue openly. Certainly technology which allows documentation of these episodes have allowed the aggrieved parties to go beyond he said, she said. It’s not so different than Eric Garner and BLM, with evidence that shows that dominant beliefs aren’t necessarily factual. That was a big theme here for a while with a strong partisan bent. Yet we tolerated the Lewinsky story, laughed off Weiner, and dismissed Bernie bro-ism. I’m not saying that this was deliberate, but this site has largely been on point with other social issues, and I thought it odd that this seemed an exception.

  35. Anonymous
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Maybe, Mark, it would help if you told people how to start their own blogs so that they can express these important thoughts that you’re unwilling or unable to express.

  36. Meta
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Politico: “GOP leaders weigh drastic plan to save Alabama Senate seat”

    Republican leaders are exploring a dramatic remedy to salvage the Alabama Senate seat as fresh polling shows Roy Moore’s prospects fading fast.

    With less than four weeks until the special election and no sign that the party’s besieged nominee will exit the race, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his top advisers are discussing the legal feasibility of asking appointed Sen. Luther Strange to resign from his seat in order to trigger a new special election.

    McConnell aides express caution, saying they’re uncertain whether such a move, one of several options being discussed, is even possible. Yet the talks underscore the despair among top Republicans over relinquishing a seat in deep-red Alabama, further diminishing their slim Senate majority.

    Read more:
    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/15/roy-moore-republicans-alabama-senate-244961

  37. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Anonymous,

    Maybe you should try reading and understanding Jean’s last comment?

    Nobody in this thread is asking Mark to put his kids to bed earlier so he can write stories “we” want to hear.

  38. unhappy
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    You also didn’t write about the 60,000 white supremacists that marched in Poland earlier this week. Are you a white supremacist? #thingsmarkdidntwriteabout

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/11/12/tens_of_thousands_join_polish_white_supremacist_march_europe_must_be_white.html

  39. Iron Lung
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Write your own fucking blog. It’s not difficult.

  40. Sadder
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Jean,

    Did you enjoy it when people came into Jefferson Market and told you how you should do things?

  41. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Interesting comments, from a variety of anonymous online personas, who may or may not be good at comprehending things they read on the internet.

  42. Iron Lung
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I am still mad at Mark for ignoring the hair braiders and the former Hidden Dragon restaurant in Ypsi, when he devotes ridiculous amounts of space to businesses by what he and the readership of this blog would decry as “white gentrifiers.”

    So there’s that. Fuck Mark. What a dick. I hate that guy.

  43. Lynne
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Ok, in order not to be accused of ignoring this. What Al Franken did was wrong wrong wrong.

    But he knows it. Is genuinely sorry. And probably will not do it again. I still feel comfortable with him having Senatorial power.

  44. stupid hick
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Whatever Louis C.K. did, I still want to watch “I Love You, Daddy”, “Louie”, and all his material that was canceled. Am I part of the problem? Should I get therapy?

  45. wobblie
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    SH, yes and yes, but it is not your fault. Sexism at its root is the objectification of other humans. Despite progress in official political correctness with sexist language being vilified and gender equality professed, Muslims and illegal aliens objectified as semi-official policy. The objectification of other humans is central to the system. We have engaged is 17 years of unremitting war. The culture of war demands the objectification of other humans . Young males are particularly targeted with propaganda. 37% of Alabamans are more likely to vote for Moore because of these allegations—what does that say about our culture?

    Until we end the endless wars there will be no progress.

  46. Lynne
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think most Americans think too much about our wars and thus I am not sure I buy your argument that people dehumanize women because of wars. It is hard to say of course because our culture is very accepting of wars and the subjugation of women. Perhaps it could be said that toxic masculinity with its culture of dominance is behind both things?

  47. Lynne
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    SH, I struggle with that too and have for years. I generally think it is possible to separate a person from their art. I am a huge fan of Byron even though he was a dick and probably was much worse in terms of sexual abuse than most modern men. Of course, he is no longer living so my appreciation of his work cannot be seen as giving him a pass

  48. Iron Lung
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I have lived outside the US.

    In general, the US is a decent place for women to live. I don’t say that as a call for people to stop speaking up about these issues, but rather to say that because people are able to speak up it is a decent place to be.

    As for “toxic masculinity,” well, these are human problems, not some weird by product of wars halfway around the globe. Problems, yes, but not caused by some flaw in our politics.

  49. Iron Lung
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    As for the “subjugation of women,” you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    There are places where families pray to have daughters because they can get more cows.

  50. wobblie
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    You may be right Lynn, most people don’t think about our wars. The effects of these wars on our culture are continuous. You must start with a rejection of equality, which is necessary for you to turn another human being into an object for your pleasure, profit, entertainment or conquest. Moore, Trump, and others of their ilk only give lip service (at best) to notions of equality. Clearly we do not see the lives of those in middle east as equal to ours, other wise we would try to put a stop to the slaughter.

    You don’t think our children realize this. They know that equality is not real. The five accusers of Moore withheld their stories for years because they knew they were unequal to the power that Moore wielded. They only came forward when the Washington Post backed them.

    We know that sexual attacks of all kinds are rooted in power dynamic as you pointed out. What do you think our acquiescence in wars made under false pretenses with no expectation of them ever ending means for our “culture” or our children?

    As I said above, as long as the wars go on there will be no social progress, no ecological progress, no economic progress. Only improvements in killing people. The epidemic of mass murder is one sign of the psychosis afflicting us, the continuing attacks on women, blacks and immigrants are another.

  51. stupid hick
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    In light of what has long been known about Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and Jimmy Page, and their exploitation of teenage groupies, some fifteen years old or younger, isn’t it long past due to remove their art from the marketplace?

  52. stupid hick
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Oops, sorry, I didn’t mean to engage in “whataboutism”, and I’m not at all trying to deflect criticism of Moore. But does anyone here know who Lori Mattix or Sable Starr are, and if you do, did you destroy all your Stooges and Bowie records because of it?

  53. stupid hick
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Mark, did you stop worshipping G.G. Allin as a prophet genius after he was convicted of rape? Be honest now.

  54. stupid hick
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Never mind, apparently he actually plea bargained down to felonious assault. You can still worship him, Mark.

  55. Posted November 16, 2017 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I knew of GG Allin, and I found him intriguing, the same way I find Charles Manson intriguing, but I wouldn’t say that I was a fan. I think I saw him once, as I was staring out the window while making pizzas at the Brown Jug. I never made an effort to meet him when he was living in Ann Arbor, though, and I never saw him play live. I am, however, a fan of both Bowie and Stooges, and, yes, I’ve read about Lori Mattix and Sable Starr. There are, if I’m not mistaken, also stories of Iggy having dated a 12 year old when he lived in Ann Arbor. It’s truly terrible stuff, and, yes, I’m conflicted about calling myself a fan. In fact, I just posted something out it a few minutes ago, although I didn’t mention either Bowie or Iggy by name.

  56. Lynne
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Iron Lung, trust me, I know that as a woman living in the USA , I enjoy freedoms many dont. I also know that there has never been a time where American women have enjoyed more rights, power, or status independent of men. I am exceedingly grateful for having more opportunities than women have ever had and I know too, that even in our current times, I have it much better than most of the word’s other women.

    I live here though. In this American culture. This is where I, as an individual, have the most impact. And there is a lot of work yet to be done.

  57. Jean Henry
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    “Jean,
    Did you enjoy it when people came into Jefferson Market and told you how you should do things?”

    People made suggestions about my business all the time. I considered all of them carefully. It’s always useful information. When I started my business, I was upset because the suggestion box was always full. I thought people didn’t like what I was doing. Someone with more business experience told me that when people offer suggestions about what you do that means they are engaged in it. It means they care enough to make a suggestion. A business is screwed if no one cares to give input.

    I suggest Mark take my critique in the same light.

    And just to be clear, critiquing someone’s approach as a reader and user is not the same thing as dictating what Mark does. I know Mark considers carefully what people say about his work or I wouldn’t bother. I know he will also do what he sees fit. I have no idea why critiquing what one person has to say or how they frame their argument changes, because they wrote the post v if they were a commenter. I don’t have my own blog because I don’t want to. Mark is always free to ignore my criticism. (PS he was responding to JCP2’s criticism, not mine. Mark ignored it when I made the same point earlier.)

    Iron Lung– Are you saying we should be grateful we aren’t being traded for cattle? Like show some fucking gratitude, because you are just being serially assaulted from a young age (I just learned the prime target age for criminal sexual assault is 14) and not murdered or enslaved? I’m happy to have a voice, and so I’ll use it and encourage others to do the same, thanks. I’m not going to tell women to not ask for more than less shitty.

    It’s not like we cant take it. We’ve all been taking it so well, half you assholes didn’t even understand the scale of the issue. We are not being hyper-sensitive. We are asking for the same things women ask for everywhere and women also tolerate daily everywhere. Why are you trying to normalize the unacceptable… because there are other places that are worse? How different is your point than Richard Spencer saying that Black Americans should be glad for slavery because it allowed them to live in America v Africa? You just gotta compare…

    I’d also like to point out that every right fought for on the front line of social progress helps raise the bar elsewhere. There is of course always resistance and some regression too, but overall the arc is bending towards justice, and that arc requires a applying lot of pressure on the front end.

    There are lots of examples of American conceit and myopia visa vi other nations, women’s rights aren’t one of them.

  58. Jean Henry
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    It’s worth noting that women are speaking up now en masse, because we have the power to do so. We may have had free speech before, but we did not have economic agency. I don’t think we had a chance in hell of addressing sexual violence and harassment without having collective economic power first. For every woman speaking up there are hundreds in situations where they cant or are made to feel that they can’t.
    Telling those who can speak to be quiet (about issues that are almost universal) because other women suffer more is stupid… at best.

  59. Jean Henry
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Iron Lung— “As for “toxic masculinity,” well, these are human problems, not some weird by product of wars halfway around the globe. Problems, yes, but not caused by some flaw in our politics.”

    Hard to even know what you mean here, Iron. Are you saying the cultural idea of masculinity has not been formed by the tendency for men to go to war while women stay home? So what was it formed by then? That men being more violent than women is a function of being human rather than a function of power and historic gender roles? Do you mean ‘human’ as a social construct or biology or both?
    Whatever the cause of the prevalence of violent acts, it’s a function of power more than gender. (maybe you were trying to say that????) Feminism seeks to talk about and address the social costs of gender inequity. When we talk about ‘toxic masculinity’ we are talking about gender roles not humans or even men. The victims of it are not just women.

    I have no idea why you think that’s a ‘political’ stance, except that it seeks to balance out power. It has very very little to do with politics. The scope of men who abuse and their political affiliations should make that clear enough. Mark’s post on the other hand was pretty fucking political and not especially feminist.

    It’s the feminists speaking here who have pointed up the political slant in Mark’s coverage and that the victims are not all women. But we’re too ‘political.’ What the hell does that mean?

  60. site admin
    Posted November 20, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    FYI… Trump’s Oklahoma Campaign Chair just agreed to plead guilty to the sex trafficking of young boys.

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