Any man whose world has not been shaken by “MeToo…” has either not been paying attention, or dwells in a realm of purity, innocence, and exemplary behaviour that is foreign territory to most men during at least some moments in our lives.

“MeToo…” has issued a wake up call out of the depths of the pain men have inflicted on countless women. We men need to learn the lessons “MeToo…” is calling us to heed.

I have heard the voice of truth summoning me to deeper honesty countless times since I first began to encounter “MeToo…”.  Facebook has performed a genuine service by sensitizing us to stories of women’s sexual harassment and assault since 15 October 2017.

One of those moments of truth came when I read Jessica Valenti’s opinion piece, “Louis CK, Roy Moore and a glimpse into how #MeToo might end” at the Guardian:

Former Alabama State judge and now Republican Senate candidate Roy Stanley Moore has been accused of preying on teenage girls when he was a lawyer in his thirties.

Roy Moore is the man about whom James Dobson said,
I’ve known Judge Moore for over 25 years and I know him to be a man of proven character and integrity… I often ask God to raise up men and women of faith who will govern the nation with biblical wisdom. I believe Judge Moore to be such a man for this time.

You might anticipate that the moral outrage of Republicans would be swift and brutal against even a hint of such scandal on the part of one of their own. You would be wrong.

Instead, Jessica Valenti points out that senior Republican Senator from Kentucky Mitch McConnell responded to the allegations saying that

Moore should pull from the Senate race…

But the Kentucky Republican Senator did not stop there. McConnell went on to add five qualifying words:

“if these allegations are true…

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz issued the same response, acknowledging that,

These are serious and troubling allegations.

Indeed… well said, Mr. Cruz. But, like McConnell, Cruz did not stop there; he went on to add,

If they are true, Judge Moore should immediately withdraw. However, we need to know the truth, and Judge Moore has the right to respond to these accusations.

Cruz and McConnell may be responding from the playbook issued by the Republican White House; although the response from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is accompanied by even greater qualification reminding Americans that

Like most Americans, the President believes that we cannot allow a mere allegation—in this case, one from many years ago—to destroy a person’s life.

It is only after issuing this carefully nuanced caveat that the White House finally acknowledges, although even then, with the now familiar “if-true” qualification that

the President also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.

It all sounds so balanced, so mature and reasonable. I want to live in a world in which the presumption of innocence is staunchly protected. I value a justice system which does not convict a person simply on the basis of hearsay or rumour.

But, then comes Jessica Valenti crashing into my little bubble of reasonableness and privilege, pointing out that none of these fine gentlemen with their thoughtful reasoned responses bothered to

elaborate on why multiple women going on the record wasn’t proof enough of the truth.


In my rush to join McConnell, Cruz, and Trump in their mature reasonable response to the accusations brought against Roy Moore, I forgot about three women who have had the courage to publicly issue serious charges of sexual misconduct against a powerful wealthy and privileged man. Why was I so ready to ignore the voices of these women?

Surely,  any “man of proven character and integritywho will govern the nation with biblical wisdom“, facing totally false allegations would immediately issue a statement that, for the good of the country and his political party, he would step aside until completely exonerated of all charges.

In my professional life if there was even a hint of such serious accusations against me, not to mention the testimony of no less than three women, the response would be taken completely out of my hands. I would immediately be withdrawn from any official functions until the slightest hint of guilt was removed. Is running for political office really so much less sensitive a position than being in ministry in the church?



Mitch McConnell seems to have woken up this morning and decided that perhaps women just might be capable of telling the truth, even when that truth is unpleasant and inconvenient:

Asked by a reporter whether he believed the allegations, McConnell responded: “I believe the women, yes.”

This is certainly an improvement over McConnell’s initial “if it is true” response.

The White House official statement remains however woefully inadequate:

Last week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Trump believed that “if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.”

We are left to guess what Mr. Trump proposes the White House will do in the event that Roy Moore does not choose to “do the right thing.”

Of course it could be worse. We could swing all the way over to nauseating in responding to the accusations against Roy Moore. This would bring us to… Jerry Falwell Jr., seen her posing with his wife Becky and their favourite then presidential candidate with his favourite magazine cover hanging just over Becky’s left shoulder. Falwell comments on the Moore allegations boldly asserting:

“It comes down to a question who is more credible in the eyes of the voters — the candidate or the accuser,” and added, “I believe the judge is telling the truth.”

Presumably Mr. Falwell is able to judge “who is more credible,” because he has met all Morre’s accusers. I assume Falwell has met has interviewed theses women, knows their families and has listened carefully and compassionately to their stories… otherwise how could he possibly assess their credibility?

And Jennifer Rubin draws almost the only possible conclusion:

Asking for more facts (these are the same people who advance accusations against Hillary Clinton with no facts) beyond four women and roughly 30 interviews amounts to saying that no amount of evidence will suffice. You do wonder how these people sleep at night.

And the allegations keep coming:

Beverly Young-Nelson alleged at a press conference alongside attorney Gloria Allred Monday that Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a 16-year-old waitress. Through tears, Young-Nelson claimed that Moore, then-District Attorney of Etowah County and a regular at the restaurant, attacked her one night roughly 40 years ago.

“Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me, putting his hands on my breasts. I tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over me and locked it so I could not get out. I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping he began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head into his crotch.”

  More from her statement:

  • “I continued to struggle. I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me. I was twisting and struggling and begging him to stop. I had tears running down my face.”
  • “At some point he gave up. He then looked at me and said, ‘You are a child. I am the District Attorney of Etiwah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you.’ He then finally allowed me to open the car door and I either fell out or he pushed me out. I was on the ground as he pulled out of the parking area behind the restaurant. The passenger door was still open as he burned rubber pulling away leaving me laying there on the cold concrete in the dark…
  • “The following morning my neck was black and blue and purple… The day after Roy assaulted me I quit my job.”

    Young-Nelson, who said she was a Trump supporter, maintained that her statement has nothing to do with politics.

So what does it take before the tired self-serving pathetic denial stalling technique of “if it proves to be true…” is finally retired and the presumption of innocence no longer gives anyone an automatic pass without challenge simply because the accused happens to be a man and the accuser happens to be a woman?