(OW) Our national debate about sexual
harassment and assault seems to be missing a bit of nuance. As a
woman whos been sexually harassed and assaulted many times, heres
how I see it.
Sexual predators arent the same as pigs. Roy Moore is a
predator. His systematic, frequent pursuing of teenage girls at a
shopping mall when he was in his 30s shows a pattern of intentional
behavior. He was after children too young to consent to sex.
Film producer Harvey Weinstein, who systematically entrapped
women trying to make it in the film industry, is a predator. A
Al Franken sounds like a pig.
A pig is the man who stares at your chest instead of your face
when talking to you. A pig might try to touch you under the
pretense of being friendly, or joking, or accidentally brushing up
The pig might think hes being hilarious or just having good fun.
He may even think hes flattering you. You should feel
grateful he chose you as a woman worthy of his sexual
The last pig I encountered smacked my behind. Twice. The first
time it happened, I didnt know what to say. It wasnt OK, but what
do you say?
As a woman Im socialized to always remain polite. Since I
couldnt think of an appropriate, non-confrontational polite
response, I said nothing.
The second time, I was ready. This wasnt OK, and I was willing
to risk an unpleasant confrontation.
Dont do that, I said.
Why not? the man asked.
Because I didnt give you permission, I snapped back.
And? he said. He held up one finger, as if he were making a list
and Id just given him one item but there had to be more.
I didnt give you permission is the only reason I need. But I
added, And were arent dating. He nodded, accepting my reasons. I
was enraged. Dont touch my butt shouldnt require explanation or
There seems to be a spectrum, from the small-time pig to the
most heinous sexual predator. And different punishments fit
different crimes. It also matters if the perpetrator apologizes,
and if he stops the problematic behavior.
Yet the way were haphazardly applying consequences doesnt
reflect the severity of the crime, the trustworthiness of the
evidence, or the sincerity of the apology.
Donald Trump bragged about assaulting women, and many women have
come forward to allege hes assaulted them, yet hes in the White
House. Roy Moore pursued teenage girls when he...