« Scary foods: Aaron E. Carroll on healthy eating without fear | Main | “Mistrust and friction”: Nicholas Carr on today’s global village »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hailey Wittorf

Harding states that she would like to see Franken own up to his wishes of being an ally with women, however, he clearly doesn't want to be friends with us. He performed sexual acts on a woman while she was asleep. How does raping a woman, and then claiming to be friends with women make sense? It doesn't. She writes, "as I write this, only one woman has alleged that Franken assaulted her, if her story emboldens others to tell theirs, and the senator is revealed to be a serial predator, then I wouldn't want him in a position of power for more than a minute." That one woman doesn't matter? All rape cases or sexual assault cases should have drastic consequences. Al Franken should resign from office and be publicly shamed for his inhumane actions.

Jackie Gannon

At the same time that I believe women are criticized, I also believe not a lot is being done to stop the men. They claim that men in power do not mean to be demeaning. According to news articles, “me in power are hateful towards women.” In making this comment, the media argues us to make a change. In sum then, the issue is whether women are doing wrong or men are too judgmental.
I agree that women in media are criticized too much, a point that needs emphasizing since so many people still believe women must appear perfect all the time. Media is right that people point out stud not having to do with their points. Of course, many will probably disagree on the grounds that the comments are free speech. This interpretation challenges the work of those critics who have long assumed women should be perfect on televisons. These conclusions will have significant applications in what society is like today as well as in everyday life.

Michael Link

Is another law or two required? Maybe laws that dictate personal thoughts and ideas? In cultures throughout time and all across the globe certain populations ended up with the dark end of the stick!
Good and bad, right or wrong, good and evil; these era's in human history can be addressed by laws. These laws which apply to thought and opinion need time to trickle down into individuals. We are moving in the right direction these days in the age of information. Transparency is the key and the media is the lock. A women ran for president, women serve in armed forces and not as nurses or as a seamtress. Give the human condition time to catch up !!

Kayla Garcia

Despite the fact that Harding has written on and studied rape culture I disagree with her stating she does not want Al Franken to resign. He was accused of sexual abuse and even admitted to it. Yet, Harding does not think that it is fit for him to resign. More action needs to be taken when anyone is abused. Most of the time when those who are accused have a higher power nothing usually comes of it. Responsibility needs to be taken by those who commit the crime.


I agree with Kate Harding that we need to do more in this country to protect women from sexual assault. The #metoo campaign has really made an impact; with so many women coming out with their own personal stories, it has become a national movement. You have to ask yourself though, what more can we do? Harding states in the article "I’m a feminist. I study rape culture. And I don’t want Al Franken to resign,"" I recognize that men’s harassment of and violence against women is a systemic issue, not a Democrat or Republican problem, a Hollywood problem, a sports problem, or a media problem. Its roots lie in a patriarchal culture that trains men to believe they are entitled to control women’s bodies —for sex, for sport, for childbearing, for comedy." I believe that if we changed the way men viewed women then we can stop a lot of assault from happening. Men, and women alike should treat each other with respect. We are all equal even if the roles are different; one isn't any better than the other. We are all important in this world.

Steven Gwilliam

As I have watched the news and seen the accounts that have been reported from the accounts of misconduct by people in the government, to the basketball players at Michigan State University, it has shown an inability of accountability.
We as people need to show a better understanding that these powers of procreation is a responsibility. Not something that is not to be used so wastefully.


Hardin really interest me so much with this her article. She said so much about the abuse of women by men in power that has actually been overlooked for so long. She equally made us to understand that it's not a political affiliation issue; while at the same time seeking for forgiveness for Senator Al franken.

When some of the people that abused women is being supported, and defended by those that know better, and when the pastors are looking for excuses for those that are powerful, why do we want to castigate those that committed the least.


Changing The Culture :Kate Harding On Accountability For sexual Misconduct.Harding is a feminist that studies rape culture.But it is ironic that she wants Al Franken not to resign. Franken was accused of groping a woman during a photo shoot .He admitted that he was guilty.I think that everyone whether rich,celebrity or a public figure and even politician should be accountable for their actions.What about the victims in these situations?And just because you are in the public eye it should not give them a pass for sexual misconduct.But I think that a public figure that commits sexual misconduct can help to repair our society if they are held accountable for their actions.Because it would send a message that its not going to be tolerated and that they have the same consequence as an average person.


After reading this essay, I find Kate Harding’s reasoning for not wanting Al Franken to resign due to more action being taken very relatable. I agree with the fact that there should be more action done to men in politics or in high-profile jobs that perform sexual misconduct. When she states that men doing such acts should not “just apologize and drop out of sight. Do penance. Live the values you campaigned on. Be a selfless champion for women’s rights”, she is making a good statement. Most men in these situations end up finding a way out of it. Quietly weaseling their way out of major trouble and continuing onto their path to success. I believe that the action that is taken in today’s America is not enough, as it will not influence change in our society as Americans. Harding states that we should think of a solution that affects the lives of women going forward, and this statement shows that there could be promise for our future if we continue with this mindset. As I recognize that there will be struggle with this, for critics may talk down on said solution, we as women should still make the steps toward something that can positively affect our lives.

Cassidy Bowen

I agree strongly with what you said about how we should punish those accused of sexual misconduct to benefit the victims. Every day, more women are being sexually mistreated and we need to work together to put an end to it.

Elise Reichenfeld

I agree with Harding. While her argument is unprecedented and bold, she brings up a valid point. Simply forcing a politician to apologize and resign does not make up for his crimes or make American Women safer. Also, since he has a record of voting for women's rights, it would not be beneficial to women if he resigned. Harding suggests that we require Franken to oblige to investigations, announce that he will not run again, and go on a listening tour for women to voice their concerns. I think these goals are realistic. Of course, as Harding concedes, Franken would and should be immediately removed from office if he was found guilty for violent assault or work related misconduct. Otherwise, he should be made to actually try to make up for his actions rather than simply quit.

Jennifer G.

I really do understand where Kate Harding is coming from. However, that being said, I disagree with her. If a man sexually assaults a woman, he is not the friend of women, like is claimed in the article. I do not think that a man should have a say in women's rights after assaulting one. I think he should voluntarily resign and then go on the tour to hear women's voices. If he claims to be a friend to us, he should be willing to sit down and hear the impacts that these events have on the victim. Women are blamed and criticized in society way too harshly, while people make excuses for the actions of the man. I think if we really want to improve rape culture, the men must be held accountable and the women must be heard and believed.

Kylah B

This article really changed my way of thinking. I believe that Harding is right. Having him step down from his position does very little, if anything. Simply resigning poses very little to him as a person and won’t stop him from viewing women as objects to use for his own desire. Instead, Harding suggests that he be a “selfless champion for women’s rights”. To show that he is sorry for the mistake he made and won’t do it again. When he just steps down there’s no guarantee that he feels sorry for what he did. Men need to be held accountable for their actions. Women are to be valued not degraded.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

By signing up you agree to W. W. Norton’s
privacy policy and terms of use.

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new posts and more! @NortonWrite

Become a Fan