Women spoke, and Alabama listened
What were women to think?
This year was the time they supposedly had power and were no longer going unheard, when abuse against them was no longer to be tolerated and treated as the norm. We watched movie stars, morning show hosts and celebrity chefs topple amidst reports of sexual harassment and assault. The women who spoke out, risking careers and more, were named Time magazine’s person of the year.
But at the same time, a presidential nominee accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women was elected to office. A senate candidate from Alabama accused of sexually abusing children was poised to win a seat there. Both candidates have denied the allegations but compelling statements and evidence was offered in many of the cases as the two pursued office.
Was it only in Hollywood that we were willing to no longer excuse this inexcusable behavior, not where it really mattered–where policy is set and judgment and values couldn’t be more vital? Was the “Me, too” movement just a big show of political correctness?
How could victims of these acts finally believe they were being heard and being acknowledged when people casting their votes said otherwise?
Then Tuesday’s election in Alabama happened. Voters there chose Doug Jones, not Roy Moore, accused in so many cases of sexual misconduct. Let’s ignore any political implications for a moment, on both sides of the aisle, and just celebrate that the right thing was done for women, for survivors, for humankind. This man did not belong in office, and while some did not believe the accusations and voted for him, more of those in Alabama looked beyond politics to make sure that he didn’t end up there.
Maybe the tide really is turning. Maybe sexual harassment-and more–isn’t something a company, an organization or this nation will turn a blind eye to anymore. Tuesday’s election was a clear message and we thank the voters in Alabama for sending it.