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Accountability in the #MeToo Era

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The #MeToo movement has done a lot of important work over the past year, pulling from the bright lights of Hollywood a lot of men who abused their pow-
er and hurt many more people.

However, a noticeable trend that has surfaced amongst these small victories is an injustice that involves the most powerful people in this country. Politicians, despite their place in the public eye and their position in authority, are not being held accountable for their actions.

Most notably in the current mo-ment, Brett Kavanaugh is finally being questioned on his alleged past accounts of gross misconduct, and the amount of time on the decision of whether or not to let him into the Supreme Court, one of the most powerful governing positions in the country, was appalling.

A survivor of the alleged as-saults, Christine Blasey Ford, has gone through polygraph tests, testi-monies and therapy, yet the country stands with a possible sex offend-
er as a Supreme Court Justice.

But one man, who has alleged-ly committed numerous sex crimes, has far more power over this na-

tion than a Supreme Court Judge. President Donald Trump has not

only admitted on tape to “grabbing them by the pussy” but he also has evidence going against his claim that he did not pay adult-actor Stormy Daniels to remain quiet about extra-marital sex. This evidence is a receipt for a $130,000 hush-money check sent to Daniels.

But even going back in history
to Bill Clinton’s scandal concerning Monica Lewinsky, a victor is clear. Clinton today maintains the image
of a sweet, bumbling old man, who plays the saxophone and supports his wife’s campaigns for the presidency, while Lewinsky to many people is a joke, an outdated reference to parody.

However, a closer look at the evidence shows that Clinton, 49 at the time of the scandal, allegedly used his power as president of a nation
to take advantage of a 22-year old Lewinsky. The phrase “like taking candy from a baby” comes to mind.

But sexual abuse allegations con-cerning people in positions of power have always been prominent in Ameri-can history. Just look at the allegations made against Thomas Jefferson con-cerning his abuse of power toward Sally

Hemings, whom he “owned” as a slave. Again, there is an obvious pattern

that exists amongst people like this. Mad with power, people are driven to violent acts because they think they can get away with anything because that is what the world has told them. Money laundering, tax evasion, sex-ual assault—of course, these acts

are not all equivalent in terms of grotesqueness, but they are all rel-evant to today’s abuses of power.

What needs to happen if we want to stop this trend is people in power need to be held responsible for their actions. And I’m not talking about jailing them for only six months like sex offender Brock Turner because, as his judge said, “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.”

I’m sure that sexual assault has had a “severe impact” on the survivors too.

Hold these alleged criminals as accountable as you would the own-er of your least favorite pub or the nameless person you just passed by on the street. Politicians are just as capable of doing something wrong as any of us, and we should treat them that way—as equals, you could say

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IV Leader is the student newspaper of Illinois Valley Community College
Accountability in the #MeToo Era