If you are a woman, and this month has not yet had you considering the merits of political lesbianism, it is possible that this latest news of Al Franken having sexually harassed radio host Leeann Tweeden has just about pushed you over the edge.

In an essay published on, Tweeden describes her encounter with Franken during one of his many USO tours. One of the skits Franken had written for the tour included a bit in which he kissed her -- which she was not into -- and he apparently insisted they "rehearse" the kiss ahead of time.

This is what happened:

On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’

He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.

He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.

I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.

Tweeden also asserts that after she started avoiding him, he got petty and mean. Later, she discovered this darling picture, taken while she was asleep, of Franken grabbing her breasts. (No, whether she is wearing a vest and whether or not he went for a full-palm grab or a "just kidding" finger touch is not relevant. He's humiliating her, and using her body as a grotesque prop.)

THAT IS SHITTY, AL FRANKEN. That is a shitty thing to do. It's not funny.

As a result of Franken acting like a creep, Mitch McConnell now gets the satisfaction of getting to call for an entirely warranted ethics investigation into his behavior.

Al Franken has done a lot of good over the years, both as a senator and before then. It is a goddamned shame that he could not have backed that up by being a decent person otherwise. I am mad about this. I am mad for the people he represents who trusted him and needed him to be a better person. I am mad for and at myself, because my first reaction to this was "please don't let it be true."

Franken, coincidentally, was on my list of men I would be genuinely surprised to discover were trash in this way. It was a very short list, which also included Mr. Rogers, Levar Burton, Vincent D'onofrio, Ralph Nader, Emo Phillips and Jonathan Kozol. I don't know why he was on that list. Maybe it was because it always seemed like he was in our corner, maybe because I found the Stuart Smalley book legitimately good for self-help purposes. I don't know. Maybe it was just wishful thinking.

As much as I would have loved for this not to be true, I'm glad it's come out. I'm glad all of this is coming out. Because with each incident, with each reckoning, it becomes more and more apparent to the men of this world that no one is the exception to this new rule. No one, no matter who they are, how beloved they are, is getting away with this anymore.

We have socialized men to think this kind of behavior is acceptable, even aspirational. We have taught men that with power comes not responsibility, but access to women and their bodies, like so many award show swag bags.

Franken has since issued a statement. It is a good statement, as far as these things go.

I am tired of these statements, whether they are good or not.

Let this be a lesson to all you men out there who hope to do any good in the world: We need you to not be shitty. To begin with. Not after the fact, when you release your "statement." We'd love to have you out there, with us, doing awesome things, but if you can't do that without sexually harassing or assaulting a woman, then you need to step the hell aside and make space for women and those men who can. That is the line we are drawing. So get with the program or go the hell away.


Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.

Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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