Under no circumstances should Sen. Al Franken step down right now.
Not yet, at least. Apparently, the sexual misconduct accusations against him are as follows: when he was still a comedian he fake-grabbed a sleeping woman’s chest for a photo, wrote a personal kiss into a sketch that already involved the same woman kissing an audience member, and tried to aggressively kiss a woman and she said no. You could easily argue that these behaviors were inappropriate, and judging by the sincere apologies issued by Sen. Franken already, he would completely agree. (Link to Article)
But these types of behaviors can’t be job-enders.
If they are, then get ready to fill a lot of upcoming vacancies, and not just in politics. Seriously, ladies, prepare to discover that many of the men you love and respect have, in their past, been guilty of Al-Franken-type-inappropriateness – grabbing a butt right when a picture is taken, spinning their head at the last second to turn a cheek smooch into a lips one, and even (gasp) public streaking. Nowadays we are discovering that most women don’t think these kinds of gags are funny, but at the time, we were kind of hoping they did.
But they don’t.
It’s confusing, though, because some of you women do act amused by these antics.
For example, look at these 2013 pictures of female celebrities both being groped and groping and you would swear that it’s all fun and games. (Link to Pics) When men see photos like these and so many others it makes it difficult for us to learn that inappropriately grabbing a woman is unacceptable.
And we do need to learn that.
Men must accept that inappropriate behavior that used to be ignored will no longer be considered tolerable in today’s society. In other words, guys, keep your hands to yourselves and your words respectful or be prepared to pay the price in the modern co-ed world.
Except these Franken-types of behaviors can’t be job-enders.
They’re disrespectful, rude, and improper to be sure, but they aren’t criminal. Had his victims accused Al Franken of sexual harassment, abuse, or assault, then stepping down might make some sense. But Sen. Franken has been accused of crossing some non-criminal lines and those types of behaviors have their very own form of punishment.
The public face slap.
It’s the best way to punish a non-criminal creep. The sound of it lets everyone nearby know that someone has crossed the line, and the red, hand-shaped mark on the guilty party’s face lets everyone know exactly who did the crossing. If you’re looking for an example of someone perfectly executing an inappropriate face slap, look no further than actor Will Smith. Five years ago, he thought a reporter was trying to kiss him on the lips so he publicly smacked the guy upside the face. (Link to Video)
And it worked.
The reporter quickly backed off and eventually apologized (it turned out to be a clumsy mistake, he says) but what is clear is that getting smacked in the face knocked some much needed sense into him. Chances are he won’t make the same mistake again. And that feeling of being inappropriately creeped on that caused Will Smith to lash out?
That’s how women feel about it, too, guys.
Regardless of how they’ve historically reacted to it, it turns out women have never enjoyed being on the receiving end of inappropriate behavior any more than Will Smith does. Wondering if what you’re about to do or say to a woman will be welcome, gentlemen?
Ask yourself, would I like some male reporter doing this to me?
What women consider to be sexually inappropriate has always been about the same, but what’s changed lately is how they’ve been handling it. No more fake laughter or forced smiles – women won’t tolerate unsuitable crap anymore nor should they. If anyone has learned this lesson it’s Senator Al Franken, but his colleagues have decided that his misconduct makes him no longer fit to serve. Yet meanwhile, politicians like Roy Moore and Donald Trump who are accused of actual criminal activities continue to stay in office.
Al Franken’s political future should be left up to the Minnesotan voters, otherwise they’re the ones getting slapped in the face instead of the guy who may actually deserve it.
- Mike Lukas
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