Al Franken Photo Isn’t Funny

Candice eetimesMany of us awoke to the internet abuzz with comments on the photo of Senator Al Franken joking around with a photographer simulating a date rape scene.  It’s not humor.

It’s not funny.

It’s a “boys will be boys” sociopolitical comment that Senator Franken is making without fully realizing that he is tacitly, perhaps even explicitly, approving and upholding the notion that when women are unable to defend themselves, it’s “OK” for them to become targets of sexual molestation.

It’s not funny.

In the past few years, we have become more sensitized to the wrongful sexual behavior of some of our most beloved celebrities and politicians.   Behavior that was previously excused, even jocularly winked at, as Franken is doing in this photograph, is finally being understood by the public for what it is, harassment and assault.

It’s not funny.

It’s not only not funny… it’s the very tip of the previously mocked as “over reacting” epidemic of sexual denigration of women.  But as we have been learning in these past couple years about how date rape, the taking advantage of women who are incapacitated by alcohol, drugs (often surreptitiously administered by the rapist, e.g. Bill Cosby), or simple exhausted sleep, we have also become sensitized to the pervading culture that makes light of such behavior.  We have learned about the gradations of sexual harassment in both public and private life.

It’s not funny.

Senator Franken has welcomed investigation into his behavior… and likely feels that he will be exonerated of any overt act of sexual molestation.  But that was NOT the transgression that we are concerned with Mr. Franken.  It was your smirk of approval of rape culture.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

I believe you Senator Franken.

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