Tarana Burke And Alyssa Milano Forget To Beat Chuck Todd With A High-Heeled Shoe
Hello Wonks and welcome to a very special Sunday Rundown. Normally we look at the stupid, infuriating and plain wrong things said by people in the political Sunday shows. But today we are going to do things a bit different because **SPOILER ALERT** this week's undisputed winner is Susan Collins, a known asshole.
While Collins did appear on several of the Sunday shows to continue to bask in the attention she sought but clearly never deserved, we are not going to give her any more. At least today.
Instead, we're going to cover Tarana Burke, the civil rights activist who founded the #MeToo movement, along with actor and activist Alyssa Milano on "Meet The Press."
Milano explained where she sees the current state of #MeToo, both in the wake of Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court and a statement from journalist Sally Quinn, "Nothing has changed since Anita Hill, not a damn thing":
MILANO: I think a lot has changed. But I also think a lot hasn't changed. And yesterday, we, we may have lost a political battle. But I do think we are winning the cultural battle. And often, I don't fight for the win. I'm fighting so that generations don't have to deal with the abuses of power that we've had to deal with. So in one respect, I think she is right. But then I do think that there's a lot going on. And I think this, this, this cultural shift that we're feeling, this collective pain that we're feeling from survivors coming forward, is going to be able to be translated into a collective power, to say that we're not going to be silenced any longer.
Burke responded to the conspiracy theory from dishonest Republicans (including Susan Collins) about "the leaker" of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's story prior to her coming out publicly and Senator Dianne Feinstein's handling of it:
BURKE: I wouldn't say she didn't handle it right. She followed the leadership of the survivor. People shouldn't have to be forced out of -- to tell their story. And so if she asked for privacy, I understand why Senator Feinstein decided to respect that privacy. I think this is really indicative of how we don't understand, in this country, the life cycle of a survivor and what it takes to actually mount up the courage to come forward, particularly in a situation like this. So I think it was handled fine. I think -- I wish that, after it was revealed and after it was leaked, it was handled better.
Chuck Todd asked Alyssa Milano and Tarana Burke to respond to an editorial titled "The Problem With #BelieveSurvivors" by Emily Yoffe in The Atlantic, for people who still need an explanation what "Believe Survivors" does and doesn't mean (the same people that after numerous and repeated explanations still don't understand what "Black Lives Matter" or Colin Kaepernick's kneeling protest were/are about):
BURKE: When we say, "believe survivors," it's not believe them without investigation, believe them without interrogation. We have set a precedent in this country of not believing, of thinking that women, in particular, are lying when they come forward with these allegations. So the mantra, believe survivors, is about "can we start with the premise that people do not often lie about the pain and the trauma of sexual violence?" If we start with that premise, that we believe that it's true, then you can have an investigation. You can have an interrogation of the facts and that kind of thing. This is not to say, "Believe people, blanket, and don't investigate. And don't do anything else, besides believe them."
Alyssa Milano added:
MILANO: And I also think that, right now, we are defining what due process looks like in this type of situation. Because we've never really defined it before, because women haven't come forward. So we do need to have due process.
Milano concluded the interview by responding to the "think of all the innocent men" cynical and bad faith defense deployed by Trump and others:
MILANO: These numbers are so low, as far as false accusations and women coming forward. They're from 2% to 8%. And that's not taking into account that 70% to 80% of sexual assault is actually not reported at all. So what we're looking at is very, very small numbers. Also, there's not, there's no gray area with murder, right? You don't, like, maybe commit murder or maybe not. You know, there is very distinct lines that are drawn. So what we're trying to do is define what those lines are, so that, you know, we can move forward in a way that is not hurtful and not more in support of people that abuse their power than those that are being abused.
As the father of 6-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, this means teaching my son that you should always make sure you respect others' personal space and you always make sure it's ok with before you hug or kiss anyone. With my daughter, it means making sure she holds herself in high regard, while also making it clear that her mother and I will love her no matter what and we want her to feel comfortable telling us anything that's wrong, free of judgment. Because for girls, and women, we have made them feel shame or judgment for things that are beyond their control. The shame and stigma should never be on the victim but on the perpetrator. Always.
Keep fighting and see ya' next week!
Pop Culture observer & Comics fan. Amateur Movie Reviewer. Political Freelance Writer @wonkette. Marine, Husband & Dad. Opinions are mine only.