So now there are sexual misconduct allegations against Al Gore. Of all of the male politicians in the US Al Gore always seemed the most pure. After all he was the great green crusader who may now be facing his own ‘inconvenient truth.’
I am not going to bother going into the details of this case. What I am more interested in is the why. Why on earth would anyone in a position of power, especially one who served through the Clinton Administration become involved in the same kind of behaviour. There have been so many politicians who have gone down due to this kind of behaviour.
Perhaps it is the power. They must feel that they can do anything they want, whenever they want to whomever they want. Yet, realistically, they must know that there is a realistic expectation they will be caught. Certainly much of this is rooted in the patriarchy whereby young boys are brought up to believe that the world is their’s to do with what they want. Women and children are property and are at their disposal. In spite of more than ½ a century of a feminism straight, white men still rule the world.
How do we go about fostering the type of societal change necessary to stop men from thinking they dominion over others. Our entire culture and the discourse surrounding it from fairy tales we tell children to the television shows we all watch all put out the message that men are better, smarter and stronger than women. The problem is that it is so pervasive in our culture that we don’t even see it. Even those of us who have been trained in discourse theory and who knows how language plays a role in how we live our lives and how the thoughts we think inform our actions can’t help but be influenced. We all need to see the language around us and how it limits what we can or can’t do.
I believe the only solution is for all of us to understand our role in our own discourse. Do we work hard to challenge our own racist views or do we laugh at the racist joke our boss tells because we don’t know what to do? Do we stand up for young girls and tell them that they can be anything they want to be or do we encourage them to settle for something lesser? Do we support and encourage women to be in leadership positions or do we call them bitches when they make hard decisions? All of these actions or inactions are what support men, in positions of power, to do whatever they want to women. It is time for it to end.