Accountability starts with the men who lead America



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Statistics on sexual assault in America

Vandy Manyeh, News Editor

The fight is far from over with recent allegations of sexual misconduct carried out by members of the political class.  

These are the same men who trumpet the cry for accountability. Although many of these allegations haven’t been tried in a court of law, recent happenings suggest a gross level of preferential treatment that undermines the fight against sexual misconduct.

Americans nationwide are still trying to process recent revelations of sexual misconduct carried out by men in positions of authority. From media moguls to some of Hollywood’s greats, the price for inappropriate actions has been paid — termination of service.

Bill O’Reilly was forced out of his role as Fox News Network analyst when allegations of harassment, a non-consensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography surfaced.

Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit was the end of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes’ career as a respected television executive and media consultant. Current NBC “Today” host Megyn Kelly also openly criticized the network’s lackluster approach to her claims of harassment when they were reported.

The allegations were authentic; the O’Reilly and Ailes’ drama showed the network millions of Americans tuned to for reliable news had a problem. The network reacted by terminating their services as a way to end a barrage of criticisms from rival entities and the public.

On the other side is a plethora of allegations against venerated men within the entertainment industry. Harvey Weinstein is no longer in the mix as a  Hollywood producer after women from within the industry accused him of inappropriate conduct. Reports even suggest he tried to hire a gossip writer to investigate his accusers.

A bombshell allegation against the Today Show’s   Matt Lauer will cost him millions of dollars. One unsavory account details actions that could lead to a future prosecution of Lauer. He ordered a woman to undress and locked the doors of his office with a remote he had under his desk. Lauer has since been axed from NBC.

Charlie Rose, Glenn Thrush, Steve Jurvetson, Louis C.K. Jeffrey Tambor, Ed West and Brett Ratner are few of the many individuals who have had to leave their positions after allegations of improper conduct. The list is endless.

But the irony exists when society is expected to support politicians who admit to inappropriate conduct.

Al Franken (D-Mn) groped and forcibly kissed two women. He has since apologized to Leeann Tweeden for groping her in a photo that has gone viral since she made her claims public. He admits that his conduct was inappropriate, but he won’t resign. Franken is still believed to be the “Giant of the Senate.”

Jeff Hoover (R-KY) admits to banter that was consensual despite claims that it was inappropriate. He is still a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives.

And Roy Moore won’t back off from Alabama’s Senate race despite stories of sexual misconduct with five teenagers.

Until we hold politicians accountable and do not support them regardless of their political affiliation, society’s effort to bring an end to harassment appears to be doubtful.