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Cory writes: "On March 17, 1973, All in the Family aired the episode 'Gloria the Victim.' The storyline is that Gloria barely escaped a rape attempt on her way home. The family debates what to do - to report it or not to report it."

Orrin Hatch. (photo: Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)
Orrin Hatch. (photo: Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

Lessons Never Learned

By John Cory, Reader Supported News

23 September 18

“I’m just a human being trying to make it in a world that is very rapidly losing its understanding of being human.”

— John Trudell

n March 17, 1973, All in the Family aired the episode “Gloria the Victim.” The storyline is that Gloria barely escaped a rape attempt on her way home. The family debates what to do – to report it or not to report it. The talented Charles Durning plays a cop who demonstrates what is going to happen to Gloria if she goes to court. How were you dressed? Short skirt? Do you have lots of men friends? Do you always parade in front of wolf-whistling construction workers? And worse.

Edith tells Gloria of her own experience when she was young and how she escaped a similar fate by using a knee to the groin. She never told anyone, ever, but she always wondered if some other girl found herself in the same position but maybe wasn’t able to get away. Maybe she should have said something. And so Edith and Gloria decide to report it.

In the meantime, Michael and Archie have listened to the cop detail how Gloria will be smeared and attacked, and how she will be made out to be the one who was at fault for all of it, and so they decide that it’s best for Gloria that she doesn’t report the assault.

The last camera shot of that decision is a close-up of Gloria’s tormented face.

1973. Forty-five years ago. 45 years.

Today I read that the Deputy Chief of Staff for Orrin Hatch apparently colluded with his friend Ed Whelan in making a spurious charge that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was a confused woman who got her attempted rapist mixed up with someone else who looked like Brett Kavanaugh. Poor woman was just emotionally unable to tell the difference. Whelan even named an innocent man and suggested he was the attempted rapist. Wow.

Turns out none of that was true. Surprise!

45 years and what have we learned?

Congressman Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) during a debate this week made a joke: “Did you hear about this? Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out saying she was groped by Abraham Lincoln.” What an asshat. And yes, he’s a Republican.

There are so many levels of wrong in this verbal vomit that it boggles the mind, and yet it appears that attempted rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment are just one big joke to the real men of the GOP.

You see, their rule is very simple: A penis always trumps a woman.

45 years and what have we learned?

We’ve learned that a man who listens and laughs at a man bragging about sexual assault gets fired from his TV job, while the guy bragging about shoving his tongue down women’s throats and grabbing them by their privates gets elected President.

Bill Cosby learned that roofies are best for memory loss when it comes to sexual assault. Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, and Les Moonves learned that having power and money gives them the right to do what they want with a woman and then threaten her career and reputation if she tells.

Even young men from a college wrestling team claimed they told their coaches that the team doctor had sexually assaulted them and those coaches did nothing. They now find themselves on the receiving end of character assassination and denial by a coach, Jim Jordan, a member of Congress the GOP wants to be the next Speaker of the House. Shades of Dennis Hastert anyone?

The GOP leadership is so afraid of courageous women who refuse to be silenced by weak-kneed, fickle men who lack principle they’ve decided that sacrificing decency to maintain autocratic rule is more important than protecting sex-crime victims. That getting Kavanaugh in a position to overturn Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act and selling America to the corporations trumps everything and anything that gets in their way. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are so deep in the slop and swampy sty that they can’t even smell the stench of corruption emanating from their very core.

45 years later and what have we learned?

Not enough.

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