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ENOUGH! Standing Tall Against Sexual Harassment

Perhaps the tipping point was when we elected a President who was famously taped saying it’s okay to “grab them by the pussy.”

Perhaps the tipping point was when victims of sexual harassment showed tremendous courage and stood up, using the power of social media to let others know they weren’t alone by sharing their own stories with #MeToo.

Over the last several weeks. we’ve seen an overwhelming and alarming number of high-profile men who have been accused of sexual harassment.

I am deeply troubled by all of the celebrities and people of power whose victims are coming out more and more each day. In situations like these, we traditionally look to leaders to lead. More than that, we rely on them to be leaders in correcting the problems in our society. Yet, even in the Halls of Congress, there have been complaints of sexual harassment.

Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan heard from many members with real concerns about the House’s policies on sexual harassment, some even coming forward with their own personal stories of #MeToo. To Speaker Ryan’s credit, in response he (and others from both parties) proposed mandatory preventative sexual harassment training for members of congress. Who could possibly be against that?

Steve King, that’s who. His response to a tweet urging preventative sexual harassment training for members of Congress:

Steve King@SteveKingIA

A simple call for continued mutual respect and common courtesy is all this situation calls for.

And just in case that isn’t enough, this week Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of sexually abusing a 14 year old child. And Steve King? He completely disregards the possible victim in the situation by citing a Breitbart article framing this as being all about a candidate’s allegiance to the President.

Steve King@SteveKingIA

Judge Roy Moore told to withdraw by Senators who won’t or can’t help move Trump agenda. https://pgj.cc/N4aqS8 

Now, I am fully aware that these are just allegations and that Moore has not been convicted of anything. However, these accusations are about sexually abusing a child—a 14 year-old child! And yet, Steve King takes this opportunity to make this an issue about Republicans and their internal struggles when the real issue should be finding out if these allegations are true and if this person has the moral character necessary to hold office.

It doesn’t matter who you are, what job you hold, or what political party you belong to. This is not a partisan issue. Sexual harassment and abuse of power is morally wrong!

I was fortunate enough to be raised by a mother who has been an advocate for women’s rights and equality since the ‘60’s. I was raised to treat women, to treat all people, with respect. I am absolutely sick of our politicians and people in power degrading women and people they hold power over. I am absolutely repulsed by King, my own Representative (and my opponent), putting party politics and his personal agenda above morality and decency.

In times of crisis, I have followed what my inspiration, my Grandma Fern, would always tell me, “Just trust your faith.” Just this past Sunday I attended mass with my dad and the Priest’s sermon was about the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The beauty of this rule is that you don’t have to be Catholic or religious to follow it. It’s basic civility.

People like Steve King, who are so out-of-touch that they refuse to even recognize the seriousness of this problem only serve to enable the abusers. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised when the person who was one of the first to defend Todd Akin’s “illegitimate rape” comments comes out against sexual harassment training or defends an accused child abuser before the facts are in. But that doesn’t mean we have to stand for it either.

It’s time we all stand together and take the power away from those who continue to abuse it. I’m here to join the millions of Americans who are disgusted by this behavior and are standing up to say ENOUGH!

Standing Tall for All,

J.D. Scholten