Burn it all down

Now a Minnesota state senator, Dan Schoen, is resigning.

Lindsey Port, a DFL candidate for office in 2016 who is running again for a House seat next year, said Schoen grabbed her buttocks at a Democratic National Committee meeting in Minneapolis in 2015.

Rep. Erin Maye Quade, DFL-Apple Valley, said Schoen sent her a string of text messages when she was a candidate for office inviting her to drinks, including one not intended for her that read: “I almost got her. Working on her pretty hard, but I almost got her.”

A Senate employee said Schoen sent her an unsolicited photo of male genitalia.

What the fuck has been going on? It’s about time these jerks got booted out of office, but now I’m wondering where all these men who disrespect women came from, how they endured so long without exposure, and how they managed to get elected to office. I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable just giving a friendly hug that women invite, even, and I can’t quite imagine reaching out and grabbing the butt of a co-worker under any circumstances. I also can’t imagine trying to “get” someone.

Never mind me. I’m just an alien from planet Flooforb who accidentally stumbled through a one-way portal to your planet, and I haven’t adapted at all to your social politics yet.

Nor do I want to. Way too much involuntary manipulation and exchange of bodily fluids. Ick.


  1. cartomancer says

    There is a friend of mine with whom I have wanted to have sex for years. Every few months I ask him politely if he has changed his mind about having sex with me, and every few months he tells me that, no, he’s still not keen, try again later. This seems a remarkably sensible way to negotiate such desires. There has been no groping, no inappropriate touching, nothing of the sort. It doesn’t seem that hard to manage – am I missing something?

  2. says

    I appreciate the excellent way you worded your account. “Try again later” is a very different response from “thanks for asking but I don’t think I’ll ever be interested.”

    “Maybe” and “no” seem very hard for some willfully uncomprehending people to parse.

    I don’t think you are missing anything. These are such basic communication skills I reject all claims that anyone finds ambiguity. “Are we flirting?” – leads to “maaaaaybe…” or “oh gosh no!” Some would have us believe they are too afraid to ask such a leading question for fear of spooking their prey because, I dunno: awkward. Yet the awkwardness evaporates when they start sexing away?

  3. jrkrideau says

    I’m wondering where all these men who disrespect women came from, how they endured so long without exposure, .

    They have the power and who do you complain to? The house speaker who is a middle aged male who may be guilty of the same behaviour?

    how they managed to get elected to office
    Possibly excellent at toadying and may even have some real skills plus an excellent ability to lie?

  4. Raucous Indignation says

    Why the nihilism? 1) Man behaves badly. 2) Man is called out. 3) Man suffers consequences. For foof’s sake, get over it! Where’d all these men who disrespect women come from? Why they are from EVERYWHERE!! But this is progress! Rejoice! Number 3 NEVER used to happen. Dammit, Number 2 NEVER used to happen! Expect allies and the opposition both to be all caught up in this. One’s supposed progressive values frequently do not extend to one’s own behavior. And please stop with the feigned shock. This is just starting. It will get worse before it gets better. An it is going to go on for a very long long time.


  5. anthrosciguy says

    Well, I would’ve thought the “are Nazis bad?” question had been settled before my birth, but turns out even that’s still around. Back in the sixties I figured actual civil rights, including gay rights, were going to happen but take a couple hundred years of dithering and backsliding. Coming from a teenager I think that was fairly prescient thought.

  6. anthrosciguy says

    Bottom line: these things take time. Wow, do they ever take time. And the backsliding is hellish. But it does seem we move forward at times, and on sexual harassment this is one of those times.

  7. Rob Grigjanis says

    cartomacer @2: And you’re sure your friend isn’t creeped out by your persistence and is just trying to be polite?

  8. says

    @9 Raucous Indignation, hope is good but I’ve seen most of the social progress I witnesses in the 70’s wound back, so I don’t think there is much of a chance for anything other than temporary victories.

  9. DanDare says

    There is a whole book called “when I say no I feel guilty”. People often find it hard to be clear about refusal of anything. Its something hard sell sales people take advantage of. In my younger years I was plagued incessantly by an inability to clearly and firmly say no to anyone I thought would be offended.
    I now know that the manipulators are well aware of this and will back people into corners where it looks like it was the victim’s fault.

  10. kupo says

    I’m wondering where all these men who disrespect women came from, how they endured so long without exposure, and how they managed to get elected to office

    They’ve been there the whole time. Women have been trying to tell you (the general you) about them. No one listens to women. No one cares what a politician does as long as they vote a certain way. Welcome to planet Earth.

  11. rob48 says

    I have now more than 65 years of experience and not once have I attempted to impose my sexual desires on another human. I find those that find the need to abhorrent and inhuman. All those who act in this fashion should be removed from the body politic and banned from business. As a first guess that would remove almost all our current congressmen and senators. Perhaps if there were some additional “tests” for our elected officials to pass we could have a reasonable and competent government.

  12. schreiberbike says

    A lot of successful people use power and manipulation to get what they want. If they want to pass legislation, have sex or feel dominant, they use power and manipulation. What was once considered acceptable no longer is. Society is advancing. For every slob who’s knocked down by the consequences of their own behavior many more are made free.

    I’m no optimist, but I see a lot more upside than downside here.

  13. Tethys says

    He is one of two MN state reps that is being forced to resign over sexual harassment. The excreable Tony Cornish is also resigning.

  14. says

    One thing I just can’t understand is why anyone would want to send pictures of their junk (that must be the precise term) to anyone. It seems a sort of act of self-humiliation (and that’s even apart from the effect on the receiver, which is just…Eeeeewww).

  15. davidnangle says

    I like to think about all the abusers out there that are sweating now. And the ones considering abuse that see a trend developing.
    Both those things make me feel a little better.

  16. markgisleson says

    I could care less about Republicans getting caught. That’s on them, not me. I want to know how much the DFL knew, and what they did about it. Was there a cover up?

  17. embraceyourinnercrone says

    I found this part of the linked article especially rage inducing, but unfortunately not surprising:
    “But in leaving, the two legislators, both with law enforcement backgrounds…”

  18. embraceyourinnercrone says

    To expand on my previous comment, Cornish (the Repub state rep who is resigning) is apparently a retired peace officer, whose ex-wife was , in 1990, was granted a domestic abuse protection order. Schoen (the Minnesota Dem who is also resigning) is a police office and a paramedic…
    SO yeah, you try to report that a person who is a State rep AND a cop is harassing you , what could possibly go wrong…

    Apparently there was a whisper network warning women about Cornish: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/11/17/minn-rep-cornish-conduct-blurred-lawmaker-romance-lines

    “Cornish had a reputation among women at the Capitol that he should be avoided because he would behave inappropriately toward them. Former Rep. Carly Melin said she was warned to avoid Cornish when she was first elected in 2011.”

    And can I say that the word “romance” in the mprnews article headline makes me want to vomit?? NO repeatedly, aggressively hitting on people who have to work with you is NOT an attempt at romance !!!

  19. mamba says

    #21: reason is idiot men think that women think like them.

    Most sexist men love looking at naked women and their parts. If they randomly stumbled across naked boobs, that’s a highlight of their day. So they foolishly assume that women think identically and are just DYING to see naked male parts, totally oblivious to the context. (THEY are sexist oglers, the women are just trying to go about their day…)

    Hence they are honestly confused when women complain (see: idiots). To THEM, it’s like “Hey, you got to see a hot &^%%, what’s the problem?. I’D like that if you sent it to ME” and really can’t get past the blatantly obvious difference.

  20. rabbitbrush says

    Also, too, these silly men don’t seem to realize that their junk is funny-looking and quite unattractive. Ickkkkkkk. I think we should all just laugh at their stuff, because it is laugh-inducing.

  21. silverfeather says

    @SC (Salty Current)

    I don’t have any desire to relitigate our entire argument from the other thread, but I’m wondering if this new information on Franken is enough to change your position?

  22. Gregory Greenwood says

    I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable just giving a friendly hug that women invite

    Which is why I insist on treating men and women the same way when it comes to greetings. I extend my hand for a handshake, preferably before anyone gets to the point of suggesting hugs, that the other person can accept or decline at their discretion. Should they accept, I shake with a reasonably firm but not unduly tight grip, a grip that is identical should the recipient be a man or a woman. If the other person says that they want a hug not a handshake, then they have made their preference clear, and I hug them in the same standard, non-creepy fashion whether they are a man or a woman. It makes life much easier and avoids situations where someone might feel intimidated or uncomfortable due to undue proximity, though I think it does make some people feel that I am standoffish, but that is a small enough price to pay to know that you are mitigating the risk of anyone feeling coerced into something they aren’t comfortable with.