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Author Topic:   Senator Al Franken?
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Joined: 05-02-2006
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Message 241 of 300 (825796)
12-18-2017 2:16 AM
Reply to: Message 240 by Minnemooseus
12-17-2017 11:51 PM

Re: Why no ethics committee hearing for Franken
Concerning the "photos at the state fair situation". Franken was not in a position of power over those women. Indeed, as voters or potential voters, the women were in some small position of power over him. As I said before, it would be pretty stupid for a politician to deliberately do behavior that would alienate a voter.
As I've also previously said, the state fair is a very public place having lots of people having lots of cameras, where Franken would be getting lots of attention. I would think that there would be an abundant supply of photos and video out there, of Franken's behavior at the fair. Has any photo/video come out, documenting bad Franken behavior? Not that I know of, and I'm confident it would come out if it existed.
I have been involved in partner dancing since around 2000, much of that time having been post-divorce. A lot of close-quarter moves, hands constantly seeking neutral physical connection points. Not always successfully. While I do not doubt that that's seen as an opportunity by some guys, I do try to be careful (at least one partner had commented on how quickly I could get my hand out of trouble). I remember another guy with a beginner when without warning she spun in place before he could get his right hand on her back out of the way of the speed bumps. Similarly, recently in class my partner and I were in a dance position that we dropped out of during instruction, my hand dropped, I misjudged our positions, and accidentally brushed her butt for which I immediately apologized. Accidents happen regardless of how much we try to prevent them.
Photos with strangers such as Franken was doing in the "state fair situation" involves getting physically close. Where do the hands go? Where exactly are all parts of her? Do I know where the neutral spots are? Can I calculate precisely where they are located given the physical size and distribution of this total stranger? So many opportunities for impropriety. So many opportunities for stupid accidents. Which is which?
In the case of female partner dancers, most of them are aware of the situation. One older woman even told me that she took to wearing padded bras so that she wouldn't notice when it happened. But women off the street (boy, did that not sound right!) ... But female members of the public getting their celebrity photo for the first time would not be aware of the potentials for mispositioning or misplacement of hands, etc. In these cases, the actual events are not as important as the woman's perception of what happened. For that matter, that is key for everything.
For anyone who wants to build or argue the case, I would suggest that they re-enact the scene of the crime, like many CSI shows do. What does the blood splatter of a crime scene tell us? Well, let's re-enact various versions of the crime and see just what blood splatter patterns we find -- on a software development team, our major concern when our code "hit the wall" (AKA crashed) was to examine the splatter pattern in order to figure out what had failed. Take your own state fair photo pose with many different women and document what kinds of inappropriate hand placement you commit.
Franken is a self-confessed "hugger". Maybe there was some excesses in his sincere physical affections towards others. And maybe some of those others fall into the category "easily offended".
I had a conversation with a local community college audio-visual guru tonight. He was remembering when the Vietnamese refugees first arrived and were first entering our SoCal society. They, especially the women, were acting within the norms of their own society, which gave an entirely different message to instructors and most especially to law enforcement. Their entire upbringing taught them to not look a superior in the eye while our LE had learned that if they don't look you in the eye then they are lying to you. For myself, I have found that Japanese, Korean, and Chinese woman will stick their tongue out whe they make a mistake, whereas to us West Europeans that is a disrespectful or even defiant gesture.
When two different cultures come into contact, all kinds of really stupid misunderstandings can result. Hugs? When I was separated and then divorced and associated with singles groups, I was nearly shocked by how women would hug me as a common greeting and parting -- and these were conservative Christian women. So then huggers versus non-huggers is normally a cultural thing. Some cultures typically employ some kind of physical contact while others are really up-tight about such things. The possibilities for misunderstanding abound.
Back in 2003 (separation was 16 Aug 2004), the familia was in Mexico for two weeks. Before that time, my suegra (mother-in-law, a wonderful loving woman) had proclaimed me an honorary Mexican. So for two weeks, I lived within the Mexican culture, comfortably so since I had lived in a Mexican family for nearly 28 years. Within that culture, you greeted every opposite-sex person (eg, a relative or a friend) with a kiss to the cheek. Friends from church got married a week or two after we returned. So quite naturally from the culture I had just been a part of, I gave the bride a kiss on the cheek. So as a Mexican I had done what just came naturally as a sign of affection. What the bride thought, I cannot say.
The point here is that cultural differences can cause many misunderstandings.
Tonight on Progress Radio, the guest was a woman of color who had gone through some of this stuff. At one point, there was the question of consent and how fluid it can be. A person in the pressure of the moment could give consent at something at that moment which ends up being traumatic to him/her.

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 Message 240 by Minnemooseus, posted 12-17-2017 11:51 PM Minnemooseus has seen this message but not replied

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