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Bipartisan hammer cracks down on sex abuse scandals

by Breonnah Colon - Lifestyles Editor
Tue, Nov 28th 2017 09:00 pm

Many people will agree that the United States is a very polarized country about pretty much everything. There is literally an opposing argument to everything in this country; if you like chocolate someone will go out their way to tell you how much better vanilla is, if you say Happy Holidays, someone may tell you the correct term is Merry Christmas and vice versa. The list can go on. Seriously, find anything you like and you will find an opposing argument.

American politics is one topic where it’s not only understood that polarized views are prevalent, but almost expected. In fact, it has become almost a sort of obligation for someone who identifies as Democrat to go against anything Republican or conservative and vice versa, even if it may be something that they agree with. There is one topic we are seeing some level of commonality between the two political parties; however, it’s not the sort of common practice we’d be very happy to address. 

Sexual harassment has been an issue cropping up all over  mainstream media with several popular names like Harvey Weinstein being the talk of town due to countless allegations of sexual assault and harrassment. While these pop culture-esque names have been the main focus of recent conversation, there has been more and more mention of this same issue becoming prevalence with Congress.

The New York Times explained that both Democratic and Republican party members alike have been accused of sexual harassment within their field. An article posted by The New York Times mentioned in situations where Democratic Senator Al Franken is currently facing allegations of “groping several women,” while a Republican Representative John Conyers Jr. faced allegations of sexually harassing aides. The shameful and despicable actions of these two men amongst other similar situations have forced Congress to address the issue of sexual assault as well as dealing with instances of sexual assault of harassment within that respective field. 

See, the issue is bigger than just the injustice of certain individuals targeting others. Congress is not only working to eliminate instances of harassment or assault, but also how to address situations where lawsuits are filed. 

There has been push by some members to publicize such trials, The New York Times explained. This would serve as a way to not only shed light on the issue, but also to put those who target others under the microscope and force them to take responsibility for their actions. Beyond the responsibility aspect of passing legislation to make sexual harassment lawsuits open to the public, greater transparency will also alert the general public to where their tax dollars are going, since many suits tend to be covered and even settled with American tax dollars. 

According to Fox News, both Republicans and Democrats alike are actively participating in a discussion of whether or not transparency should include past lawsuits which pertained to circumstances of sexual harassment. The biggest reason why this notion is not easily agreed upon is because party members fear victims may receive attention they didn’t want.

It is quite eye opening to see what would typically be absolute political enemies be able to put aside their ideological differences and look at the greater scheme of a situation that impacts many people on all aspects of the political spectrum. While this situation is certainly disheartening in the sense that it even has to be addressed in the first place, it also shows that politicians have the capability to actually work together and tackle a situation that stands as a prominent social issue. Especially given the political climate of the past year, this sort of work is refreshing.

However, it is nowhere near enough. One can’t help but wonder if this sort of issue is only receiving such attention because of social pressures and changes that have taken place within the past decade or so. I mean, sexual assault or harassment was never acceptable and I’m sure it’s been happening all throughout the political branches for decades, yet now it’s so big of an issue the same people who would otherwise attack one another want to claim teamwork and progress. Frankly, I won’t be impressed until issues are addressed before there is a generational shift in social interaction, but I suppose this sort of action is a step forward for this country, albeit a very tiny one. 

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