“How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?”
“That’s not funny”
My uncle laughed and then explained the joke to my son.
My son laughed.
I lectured my uncle about modeling sexism and diminishing women with cheesy jokes that made us choose between laughing along like a good sport or being ridiculed as a humorless feminist.
I said it in one breath without stopping.
Yes. I was the living punchline.
The thing is I don’t mind being seen as a humorless feminist. I’ve always found that comedy is often cruel. Cheap laughs prey on the vulnerable. Which brings me to the topic of the Al Franken scandal.
I’m angry about Al Franken and all of the other men who objectify women for pleasure, power or laughs.
His comedy and his actions are in the spotlight. Conservatives who were seeking to change the narrative from Roy Moore’s predatory pursuit of teenage girls have had some success.
Al Franken was wrong. He apologized and Leanne Tweeden, accepted his apology. Tweeden showed a lot of strength coming forward and voicing a balanced perspective.
As Tweeden stated, Al Franken has done good work in the Senate. He’s been a strong advocate for women’s rights and civil rights. He’s worked hard for some of the very groups he marginalized with mean-spirited comedy.
An apology doesn’t make everything okay. Not by a long shot.
Everyone involved including Franken agrees that an investigation is in order. I want it to be thorough and fair: a model for future investigation into Trump’s sexual assault accusations.
In the meantime, I would like Franken to stay in office and vote against every anti-woman legislation that comes up to vote. I know we can count on him for that.
We learned that even your nice guy friend could climb into your bed in the middle of the night uninvited. But he’s a nice guy right?
We learned that we would be called cockteases for not having sex and sluts for having sex.
We heard about the desperately “excruciating” blue balls and how we were obligated to relieve the pain.
We were chased through campus by guys that thought it was funny to act like they were going to rape us and hid while we heard them searching the dorm bathroom for us because we thought they just might.
We had friends’ dads’ hands linger too long on our hips as they squeezed by us in the kitchen.
We had bosses give us extravagant gifts and confess feelings that we never wanted to hear.
We watched our drinks in parties full of nice people and bars with friends.
As the headlines provide daily revelations about nice decent men who have done indecent abusive things, we are not surprised.
We have seen it our whole lives.
Smart women would never tweet evidence of crimes.
Donald Trump Jr tweets pics of his correspondence with Wikileaks because crooked white men connected to Trump have an cloak of unaccountability.
Smart women know they have to work hard to get ahead.
Brett Talley in line to be the mostunqualified judge in US history.
(Of course, they do run the risk of being “too accomplished when compared to their less qualified male peers.)
Smart women know that anything in their past is open game.
But evangelical ministers and Breitbart are working hard to discredit the victims of Roy Moore.
Smart women know that there are different rules for men.
A quick comparison of the Clinton and Trump foundations. In spite of verified violations at the trump foundation and a clean record at the Clinton foundation, Sessions is contemplating investigating Hillary Clinton.
Smart women keep working for change.
Our efforts are working!We are hitting a critical mass in our culture and real lasting change is happening.