President’s Message – December 2017
December has arrived at my house, full of tinsel and eggnog and lots of good cheer. I hope this holiday season finds you and yours well, with images of sugar plums dancing in your heads.
My head, on the other hand, is spinning with all the news hitting the air and microwaves lately.
In my life, there are often times that I get down on my knees and give thanks that I was NOT born male and I have never appreciated it more than I do now. Every time I flip on the screen there is a new story breaking of a man – in Hollywood, in the boardroom, in politics – who groped or somehow sexually dishonored a woman, somewhere in time.
There was a time when deflecting bad male behavior was a required job skill. It is a testament to societal evolution that such behavior is now considered fully unacceptable under any circumstance and those who engage are held to account.
Given the sheer volume of charges leveled in the recent weeks, it seems that the task of responding to all of the harassment and assault charges feels more urgent, and more daunting, than ever before. Many of the accused have resigned jobs or elected positions as a result. Many more probably should.
Human nature being what it is, I am sure that over the coming months we will find out that some of the accusers have gone too far with claims or just outright lied, and the accused will have already paid the price with no hope of restoring their careers or reputations.
This should be a watershed moment in human relations but it may very well be drowned out by the crashing sounds of backlash, and there is a lot of it out there. I fear, too, that the public will experienced “allegation fatigue” and lose interest in what should be a compelling lesson in human decency.
I cannot tell you how outraged I am that Congress is using TAX-PAYER money to bankroll a slush fund used to silence accusers in Washington, DC. On what planet, in what universe, is it okay to use MY MONEY to pay off YOUR victims??????
We should all insist that Congress should immediately release the names of every Senator, Congressman or other DC official for whom money was paid out, and the amount paid out on their behalf. Each and every one of them should be required to pay the Treasury back with interest and penalties. These people have violated the public trust and should resign immediately. Clearly, they lack the common sense of a flea when they decided to use public funds as hush money. If they don’t know any better, than they have no business creating laws by which the rest of us have to live.
No matter the veracity of any of the allegations, it seems to me that this whole quagmire has opened us up to pondering, and maybe even settling, some very real questions such as:
- Should there be a statute of limitations on punishing, or publically making, allegations of sexual misconduct?
- Is every allegation a “fireable” offense or one which should cost an elected his/her position?
- Should a story alleging one victim be as “newsworthy” or carry as much weight as a story with multiple victims?
- Should there be a “sliding scale” of bad behavior, ranging from inappropriate remarks to physical assault?
- Should accused men (or women) be declared guilty until proven innocent?
The scores of women coming forward with allegations have certainly disrupted the world of Hollywood, corporate America, politics and the news cycles. From disruption often comes change, welcome and necessary change.
This is my last month serving as your President so it is the final opine that you’ll hear from me in this venue. Thank you for “staying tuned”, reading each month, and for your supportive and often colorful comments….I’ve appreciated each one. It has been one of the privileges of my life to serve these last two years as President of the largest, most influential women’s political organization in the universe; I will always appreciate that you’ve allowed me this indulgence. I’m often asked what I’m going to do next…..I can only say that you should just wait and see; the best is yet to be.
As we settle into December, I wish to each of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, and every joyful celebration of the season. I raise a toast to a happy and prosperous 2018 to everyone – it will be a great year for TFRW and for you.
God Bless Texas!