Feminist author Kate Harding says that it would be better for women if U.S. Senator Al Franken doesn’t resign — despite the fact that he’s been accused of groping broadcaster Leeann Tweeden in her sleep and forcibly kissing her as part of a “rehearsal” for a comedy sketch.
In an Op-Ed for The Washington Post, Harding argued that Congress appears, unfortunately, to be full to the brim with people who have committed sexual harassment and worse. She notes that Republicans were more than happy to elect Donald Trump to the presidency, in spite of more than a dozen women accusing of him of sexual assault and his own self-confessed predilection for abusing his power to harass women. Other Republicans who get called out for sexual harassment and assault, she claims, are similarly unlikely to be forced to leave their posts.
From that perspective, she argues, Franken’s harassment, which was forgiven by Tweeden after he apologized, is not worth his resignation because of the potential consequences women in his state, and nationwide, could face if a Republican were to take his place. For now at least, Harding says she believes that patriarchal Republican attitudes are a greater threat to women than Franken is.
“If we set this precedent in the interest of demonstrating our party’s solidarity with harassed and abused women, we’re only going to drain the swamp of people who, however flawed, still regularly vote to protect women’s rights and freedoms,” Harding wrote. “The legislative branch will remain chockablock with old, white Republican men who regard women chiefly as sex objects and unpaid housekeepers, and we’ll show them how staunchly Democrats oppose their misogynistic attitudes by handing them more power.”
Harding goes on to explain what she thinks Franken should do instead of resigning. Also on Friday, Tweeden appeared on Good Morning America and explained to Robin Roberts why she has accepted Franken’s apology and why she, too, doesn’t want him to resign. Watch the interview below.
Read the full Op-Ed at The Washington Post.