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The ugly fact is that the burden to do something usually rests with the target of the harassment.
colleen: To Maggie’s point, Native American women’s assault is facilitated by the fact that it’s almost impossible to prosecute rapists who commit the crime on reservations.It speaks to the fact that sexism is not some feminist fantasy. The party organization was OK with Trump’s comments as long as he was attacking people who mostly don’t vote Republican anyway.But when he offended women (and especially that “married women” or “suburban women” demographic that tends to be more conservative), they’re suddenly outraged. A lot of people have pointed out on Twitter that Trump rallies are filled with people wearing T-shirts with slogans like “Trump that bitch.” maggiekb: But I think it’s worth pointing out, Christie, that a lot of people of color aren’t reading this as the GOP finally doing something when it’s about women.maggiekb (Maggie Koerth-Baker, senior science writer): I’ve had really conflicting thoughts about this.It gives me the same reaction as Christie’s, but, also, I’m incredibly frustrated by what is and isn’t considered “a line too far” in this election. It’s OK to say a judge should recuse himself because of his ethnicity.colleen: Good point, Christie: The “Miss Housekeeping” comment about Alicia Machado doesn’t seem to have generated nearly as much outrage.
blythe: To that point, Christie, there are so many examples of women’s experiences — and there have been some victories, like rulings for female farm workers and legislative attention for female janitors who have been sexually assaulted at work.
christie: This is so often framed as a women’s issue. This problem isn’t women’s doing, and the ultimate solution needs to involve men; they have the most power to change the culture.
It’s the men like Billy Bush who accept and participate in this culture who have the most power to change it. maggiekb: With the Billy Bush thing, I think that’s a great example of why employers should be paying attention to this stuff.
(Most sex assaults happen near home, but 12 percent of people report that they were working at the time of the assault, according to RAINN, an advocacy group that supports survivors.) christie: Yes, those are really important victories.
maggiekb: And the other thing that’s important to note about those statistics is WHO is assaulting Native American women.
The tape of Donald Trump bragging about being able to commit sexual assault has thrown the presidential race into turmoil, but it also raises issues that have less to do with electoral politics.