Supporters of Roy Moore, candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, suggest that revelations about his behavior with teenaged girls some forty years ago must be made up because, otherwise, why didn’t women come forward years ago. Why now?
Let’s turn this around a little and ask Why Not Then?
Who, in the 1970s believes a 14 year old girl instead of a 32 year old district attorney? There were no bruises. She wasn’t battered. That was the bar for proving rape at that time, much less sexual molestation.
She was 14 and had sneaked out of the house after dark to meet an older man. The thinking at that time would have been that she was “asking for it.” But she wasn’t. She was being carefully groomed.
So as the days and years went on, when was a good time? There was never a good time. Every bad decision she made after that, everything she did because he had changed her life, would be a proof of his potential claim that “she wanted it.”
There’s always what seems like a good reason Not to tell. His career might be ruined. His wife might leave him. The shame that would be heaped on his children. What would the members of his church say?
Girls and women in this position start out thinking they’re being treated as equals, as young women on the brink of adulthood, or already there. The shock is when they find out they were played, and that it was always just a elaborate way to make prey of them.
Society tells girls and women they were stupid for falling into the relationship, that they should have known what was coming. Why did you dress that way, didn’t you wear a little too much makeup? Did you lead him on? You know what girls are like today!
So there was never a good time to come forward - not until the Harvey Weinstein revelations started a cascade, coast to coast, of women telling their stories about men who had done the same thing.
So why now? It would have still been so easy to say nothing. Even with so many women speaking out, it’s still a hazardous thing to do.
But right now, things have changed. She has the support of other victims who have also come out of the shadows. There’s a new awareness of what’s gone on.
Now people will believe her.
All that said, I know there will be people who think it’s all a witch hunt, but look at what he and his supporters are saying as reported in the New York Times...
Conservative talk radio host Sean Hannity asked Moore Friday if Moore would have dated teenagers when he was in his 30s.
“No, not generally,” he said.
Editor’s Note: It was 40 years ago, but seriously, wouldn’t you remember if you dated teens?!
A New Reason for the Season
“Alabama’s state auditor, Jim Ziegler, told The Washington Examiner that the women’s claims were “much ado about nothing” and said that Mr. Moore had done nothing “immoral or illegal.”
(Alabama law, both in 1979 and now, finds that someone who is 19 or older and has sexual contact with someone between the ages of 12 and 16 is guilty of second-degree sex abuse.)
Mr. Ziegler sought to justify Mr. Moore’s actions by comparing him to the biblical Joseph, saying, “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.””
Editor’s Note: What happened to immaculate conception? My Bible suggests Joseph didn’t have anything to do with Mary’s pregnancy.
“Mr. Zeigler (also) said the account given by Ms. Corfman was “the only part that is concerning.” As Mr. Zeigler described it: “He went a little too far and he stopped.”
Had the girl been 16 at the time and not 14, he added, “it would have been perfectly acceptable.”
Blame the Victim, Still
“Ed Henry, a state representative, told The Cullman Times, in Cullman County, Ala., that the women who came forward should be subject to legal action.
“If they believe this man is predatory, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years,” he said. “I think someone should prosecute and go after them. You can’t be a victim 40 years later, in my opinion.””
Below is an exerpt from Beth's editorial from this week. The entire editorial may be found in this week's print copy of the Weston Chronicle