My Thoughts on Al Franken Today

It is somewhat different hearing that a person you care about has been accused of sexual misconduct. What I felt when I heard about our own Minnesota Senator Al Franken today took me off my guard and made me sick to my stomach. I was at the health club but had to leave. It was difficult. It isn’t that I doubted a woman’s story. I wasn’t thinking he was innocent. It just hurt inside.

I listened to the woman’s story. What a sincere and credible person! She has forgiven Franken, she said. I felt for her as a woman, a mother and a grandmother.

I went on line and read Franken’s statement, which I will post at the end of this blog. I am not going to in any way defend what he did or try to water it down. But there are a couple of things that make me proud of him and that also give me encouragement about the future of our culture. First of all, he didn’t deny what he’d done. He apologized to the woman and to his staff and to the people of Minnesota who put their trust in him. He said he let down those women who turn to him to represent them as he defended their right to be heard.

The most important thing to me, however, relates to what I’d been thinking just before I read his statement. He said that he has reflected over the years about the kind of comedy he participated in, realizing now how disrespectful and harmful it was to women.

Sexual humor has always made me uncomfortable. As a women, to hear men joke women’s body parts was violating to me. I felt embarrassment as though it were me personally they were talking about.  Along this line, the entertainment industry in general has been harmful to women. I could list tons of examples, but I won’t here. Too many.

For me, Al Franken’s statement wasn’t encouraging because he is a senator accused and not going overboard to deny and blame, but it is an encouragement because he is a member of the entertainment world admitting that his craft has done harm and he regrets his part in it. I only hope his peers in that industry pay attention.

Here is Franken’s comment:
http://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/minnesota/2017/11/16/statement-sen-al-franken-sexual-harassment-allegation/871008001/

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4 Responses to My Thoughts on Al Franken Today

  1. Rita says:

    I totally agree with you, Judy.

  2. Chris Jeub says:

    The sick feeling you had at the news is totally normal, and your reaction is called “cognitive dissonance.” Your conclusion on Al Franken is a wild textbook example of the phenomena. You might find this article interesting, but beware, it may change your mind:
    https://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html

    • Judy says:

      I read the article…thanks. Very technical. Yes, I think I am experiencing dissonance as I witness bad behavior by someone I considered a good person. I am not sure it changed my mind about anything. I already knew this somewhat as “denial” when a person won’t admit inconsistencies in themselves or in someone else because it would require them to change or take some sort of action.
      It helps me to know why I feel as I do. I have been trying to achieve integrity all my life. It is a process. I am constantly being challenged.
      It is interesting that sometimes some event “out there”that seems to have nothing to do with me can cause me to reflect on my own spiritual self, as though it were some sort of teaching just for me.

  3. Cathy Hartle says:

    You said well about what I’ve been thinking too, Judy. Thanks.

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