Pop Quiz: Sexual Abuse Scandals

I’m a working-from-home professor today, and it’s time for a surprise quiz! Because it seems like a lot of you need it.

Pop Quiz: Sexual Abuse Scandals!

Q: Choose the intellectually consistent opinions: 

– Roy Moore shouldn’t be in the Senate
– Al Franken shouldn’t be in the Senate
– Donald Trump shouldn’t be the President

A: All of those statements are consistent with the belief that people who sexually abuse, coerce, or assault women shouldn’t be able to hold public office. It’s not a Republican or Democrat thing. It’s a basic humanity thing.

Q: Choose the people responsible for abuse scandals:

– Victims who come forward publicly
– Victims who come forward anonymously
– Movie stars
– Fourteen year old girls
– The media
– Hillary Clinton

A: None of these are correct. The people responsible for abuse scandals are the abusers.

Q: Choose from the following: 

– Sex is bad and we should prevent it from happening.
– Sex is good and we should encourage it happening.

A: This is a deeply flawed question and we need to stop framing the discussion in these terms. We are not discussing sex. We are discussing sexual ABUSE.

Sex is inherently good. It’s about pleasure and desire. Abuse is inherently bad. It’s about power and control. We can do a better job curbing abuse if we do a better job educating all people about sexuality, consent, and boundaries.

Q: Which is the proper way to process these public accusations? 

-Assume all of these women just want attention
– Use phrases like “but what about?” to deflect from the issue at hand
– Rationalize these accusations as products of a different era
– Discredit those who come forward after long periods of time
– Discredit anyone who did not report abuse through legal means of due process

A: None of these are correct and I can’t believe I have to say this, but SOME OF YOU OUT THERE are having a REAAAALLLL hard time with this last question. You’re failing this quiz hard. Women didn’t come forward right away because up until literally like twenty minutes ago, we lived in a culture that simply did not take women and victims seriously. (See: Clarence Thomas, Brock the Dumpster Rapist; POTUS, etc).

Q: But really, what is the proper way to process these public accusations? 

– Believe women and victims
– Examine and reflect upon your own actions and conduct
– Understand all of this within a larger context of a culture that is deeply broken with regard to sexuality, taboo, consent, and patriarchy
– Know that there is no one correct way to process your own sexual trauma
– Come out as gay just in case anyone ever accuses you of doing anything inappropriate

A: All of these are correct except the last one, KEVIN SPACEY, you incredible asshole.


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