Thousands rally on City Hall Plaza against Brett Kavanaugh

Pressley speaks as AOC, others listen

Future Rep. Ayanna Pressley speaks on steps of City Hall as another future rep, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, listens.

From elected officials to rape victims and their supporters, several thousand people gathered on City Hall Plaza to send a message to Sen. Jeff Flake to vote no on Brett Cavanaugh - a message he may not have heard since his scheduled 10:30 a.m. talk on another part of the plaza was pushed back to this afternoon.

And that message was: Brett Cavanaugh is an unhinged sexual predator who will turn back the clock on women's rights.

At-large City Councilor Aynna Pressley, who will likely succeed US Rep. Michael Capuano in the 7th district, prefaced her opposition by saying she keeps getting counseled to stay calm, to avoid coming across as "an angry black woman."

"Well, I am angry, and I am outraged - because this is an outrage!" she told the crowd. Pressley, herself a survivor of sexual assault, said she is done with "the total rape culture" that permeates America society and that continues to "rob us of our voice, of our dignity, of our hope, of our joy" - as exemplified by Kavanaugh's testimony last week.

Pointing to the Forbes "Under 30 Village" where Flake was scheduled to talk, she said Flake has to vote "no" next week. "Look me in the eye when I'm talking to you! Can you hear us now?"

"Let me be clear," she continued. "I still believe Anita Hill, I believe the women of the Boston Fire Department and I believe Dr. Christine Ford. Resist!"

Look Me in the Eye

Both Carol Rose, president of the ACLU of Massachusetts and state Senate President Karen Spilka of Ashland both called Kavanaugh "unhinged" and said somebody like that does not belong on the Supreme Court.

"He dissembled, he lied, he mislead," Rose said. "He is simply not fit to serve on the highest court in the land."

"It is time for Senator Flake and his colleagues to reject this man," agreed Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, president of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, like Pressley, is likely to be elected to Congress next month, in New York, recounted her own experiences with sexual assault, from the time she was a little girl and a man got out of a car and tried to grab her to the time as a BU student when she and others watched a frat bro carry an unconscious woman up the stairs, and nobody stopped him, and said enough is enough.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

She pointed to the 11 Republican men in charge of last week's hearings and asked: "Can you imagine if Brett Kavanaugh had to sit in front of a panel of 11 women of color?" She said the rape apologists in Congress had better watch out: "We will end your careers by electing survivors to office!"

Mayor Marty Walsh estimated the rally was the 50th he's attended over the past two years in support of the rights of people who aren't white, Christian, male or Republican - and said it won't be his last. He held out some hope that Flake would do the right thing: "He has the opportunity to do something really special next week."

Walsh

He added that while he and Boston city councilors sometimes argue over city policies but that they stand united in support of the rights of residents. "We are not going to let this congress, and this senate and this president and these nominations tears us down," he said. Several city councilors attended the rally.

Olympic figure skater Adam Ripon did not originally come to Boston for the rally - he's a scheduled speaker at the Forbes event that also includes Flake. But he said he couldn't not speak.

Ripon

"This is the America that I believe in," he said, looking out over the crowd. "We need to protect and save legal abortion. We need to stand up for the victims of sexual abuse, and we need to call every single day and say 'No Brett Kavanaugh.' Jeff Flake, please listen to us: Vote no on Brett Kavanaugh."

The rally began as a planned protest by students at Emerson College when the Flake event was initially scheduled for the Colonial Theatre, which the college owns. One of the students who helpe organize the protest had to fight back tears as she recounted her own sexual attack that, she said, bore similarities to the one Ford recounted last week. She vowed, never again. "Me fucking too!" she said.

Abigail Adams on men
He lied
Does Flake have a conscience?
He lied

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Comments

Go Ayanna Go

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Although could someone explain what are the allegations against the Boston Fire Department and where does Mayor Marty stand?

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Voting closed 14

Unhinged sexual predator?

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Guilty until proven innocent huh? I don't support Kavanaugh, and I do not think he should be a SC Justice. But he hasn't been found guilty of anything. I tend to believe Dr. Ford, but that's not proof of anything. The way he handled himself in that hearing should be cause enough to vote against him.

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Voting closed 58

He's not on trial. The

He's not on trial. The burden of proof isn't "innocent until proven guilty" here, nor should it be. This is a job interview. If you were applying for a job and it came to light that three people had accused you of sexually assaulting them, you would not get that job. If you broke down in tears, lashed out at the interviewer, and started talking about how much you love beer, you would still not get that job.

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Voting closed 59

By that logic

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the ultimate power in society rests with the loudest accuser. That is not the society we ought to aspire to live in.

For the same reason that the First Amendment is a codification of principles rather than a commandment chisled in stone to be obeyed only on the sabath day and ignored the other six, Emerson should not have booted Jeff Flake.

Liberals really need to look in the mirror. You are plainly guilty of everything you accuse us of with the witch trials and the public shunnings and the economic death sentences and the interminable lawyering and excusemaking about how the Constitution applies to government but private citizens get to be as illiberal and antidemocratic as they damn well please.

Shame. On. All. Of. You.

And if you have no shame, have a little sense of self-preservation. Today it's "the bad guys" standing on the gallows. Tomorrow it could be your sons or daughters, your wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and you too.

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Voting closed 58

Dude, you bring up the first

Dude, you bring up the first amendment in every comment you post. Maybe you should try actually reading the fucking thing. You clearly have no understanding of what it says.

Also, please don't call me a liberal. I'm not. I'm a socialist.

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Voting closed 39

What it doesn't mean

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it doesn't mean genital checking everyone at the bathroom door. Most of us have that figured out.

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Voting closed 23

Congress shall make no law

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The first amendment only applies to the government impeding the speech of private citizens. It doesn't say anything about private institutions (such as Emerson College) cancelling an event somebody was supposed to present at, you obtuse sack of shit.

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Voting closed 36

And the reason Congress shall make no law

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is that we value freedom of expression in our culture.

Therefor we should exercise respect for freedom of expression in our private lives as well as in the actions of our government. Because if we don't behave like we value free speech, government will have little reason to protect it.

Just like if we expect the courts to treat us as innocent until proven guilty, we ought not act like the reverse is true.

I'll say it again: freedom of speech is guaranteed in writing by the Chinese constitution too. The difference is that over there, no one believes it and and no one acts like they believe it. So they get to ignore it. The fastest way to get from where we are here to where they are there is to stop believing that free speech and the presumption of innocence matter and to stop acting like they matter.

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Voting closed 18

The goalposts aren't moved...

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And the reason Congress shall make no law is that we value freedom of expression in our culture.

Wow, how did you pass the citizenship exam with that pablum toddler weak understanding of the First Amendment? It's a piece of legislation, not an expression of "culture", dumbass.

Therefor we should exercise respect for freedom of expression in our private lives as well as in the actions of our government.

Awesome! Tell me where you live and I'll come speak freely in your living room.

Alternately, give me your kid's contact information and I'll tell him/her, "Hey kid, your father says we should exercise respect for freedom of expression in our private lives, so feel perfectly free to call him out for the blowhard liar he is, he'll totally respect that."

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Voting closed 9

You really don't understand anything about the Constitution

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Not for any reason? Not because we believe slavery is wrong? Awesome

Dumbass. You're as usual conflating unrelated things: cultural norms (as you perceive them in your simplistic way) and the process by which laws are made.

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Voting closed 13

No

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But just a few steps away...

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Voting closed 7

It means

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that you can continue to spew geysers of bullshit onto this fair website, and the worst thing that will happen to you is that someone will call you a jackass. Jackass.

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Voting closed 14

Cry moar; Kav dug his own grave.

By that logic the ultimate power in society rests with the loudest accuser.

The accusations weren't his biggest problem, it was his reaction to them. If he had the temperament to just shake his head and deny it, Mike Pence style, he'd be a lot more believable. Even if people didn't buy his denials they might approve of his calm "judgelike" demeanor and give him a pass.

But no. He shouted, he accused the entire Democratic party of participating in a conspiracy, he cried, he refused to directly answer questions, including if he wanted an FBI investigation (which an innocent man would want to clear his name). He obviously ran out the clock at every opportunity to avoid answering questions. He lied about every little thing (including easily-provable things like the fact that he wouldn't have been of legal age to drink until February 12, 1983). Finally, he was a belligerent, smarmy fuck to several senators.

Remember, this is job interview, not a trial. Based on his own behavior I wouldn't give him any job. This guy obviously doesn't have the emotional intelligence to be considered a Supreme Court justice. And that is entirely on him.

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Voting closed 31

They’re calling him a sexual

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They’re calling him a sexual predator though. They’ve deemed him to be guilty of the accusations. Which he probably is. But it’s a slippery slope. Personally I only think one of the accusations is credible, but they all should be heard. Kavanaugh is a prick who should not be on the Supreme Court. But we can’t let accusations come gospel.

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Voting closed 21

If Alex Jones

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calls Barack Obama a secret-muslim-lizard-man, and gets enough people to repeat it, even if in jest...what then? Do we need to frisk our former president for scales on his skin as well as any prayer rugs or Korans he might be carrying?

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Voting closed 26

No

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There are credible accusations, and there is Alex Jones. Alex Jones has already shown himself to be...he's not a person any sane person should be listening too.

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Voting closed 19

This is not an interview

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It's an interrogation. when was the last time somebody asked you in a job interview if you blacked out from drinking 30 years ago (or almost anything you did 30 years ago)?

I'll say it again - switch the letters in the back of the name and the D's are on Defense and the R's are on offense.

The big loser here is democracy. I have to imagine that half the people in America - maybe more - just decided they are never running for office and never taking an appointed position.

Apparently even if you're a saint - accusations are assumed true until proven otherwise. It's supposed to work the other way. Maybe not beyond a reasonable doubt - but at least by a preponderance of the evidence and an accusation - no matter how believable - does not meet that standard. If it does - we're all screwed.

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Voting closed 31

Cough Cough

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Monica Lewinsky Cough

Kravenugh was deeply embedded in that, rapist that he is.

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Voting closed 14

What job are you even applying for?

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It's an interrogation. when was the last time somebody asked you in a job interview if you blacked out from drinking 30 years ago (or almost anything you did 30 years ago)?

And in fact, they don't ask you that if you're applying as a greeter down at the Wal-Mart. If I were applying for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court, you bet I'd expect scrutiny, going back to when I was in diapers.

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Voting closed 14

Actually that's not the way it works

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The FBI is performing a "special inquiry". They do this for all kinds of appointees - judges, cabinet etc. Typically it takes 21 days and they go back 18 years. Kavanaugh has already been through this 6 times - so they can move through these issues pretty quickly - so a week should be plenty. There's an office in DC with centralized dispatch to get agents in the field to talk to people (probably even overseas if needed).

So no - you don't have to worry if you wet your bed in second grade - the FBI won't be looking into that (although they do probably check further to see if you've been arrested).

I am concerned that Kavanaugh may be full of crap on multiple issues - and that should be disqualifying whether or not the assault allegations are true. As for those allegations themselves - let's see what happens. If they are corroborated - he lied and he's out. If not corroborated - and no other acts of perjury are found - I think you have to vote to approve him.

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Voting closed 12

I mostly agree with Zach. I

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I mostly agree with Zach. I don't think being accused should mean that you are automatically disqualified. But it may mean that the employer needs to do a bit more to learn about your character and about your past. (Now, if you react as Kavanaugh did, yes you should be disqualified from the job.)

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Voting closed 14

No.

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Throw rocks at people and some of them will pick that rock right back up and bean you right between the eyes with it and maybe kick you in the ribs for good measure to make sure you've learned your lesson that you shouldn't throw rocks at people.

It doesn't make them savages.

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Voting closed 24

This could have been avoided

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If the GOP didn't lock up all the standard discovery documents detailing his record as a judge, he'd be long gone already. Perjury, ethics violations, etc.

No need to answer for past raping and drinking - his record on the bench stinks so badly that they sprayed it with peroxide and locked it in a vault thinking they could get away with a quick vote and no discussion of his failing character.

All because he's Rove's favorite Jock now that Scotty Redtruck is gone.

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Voting closed 19

"Total Rape Culture"?

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I'm no fan of Kavanaugh, but isn't that just a bit, uh, extreme?

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Voting closed 47

Slippery Slope to Hysteria

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I'm sorry, but "asking some women" and asking the victims of Cosby, Weinstein and the various other Bozos, numerous though the victims may be, are still not the "total culture", or even close to it. We are on a slippery slope to hysteria here. Let's have some perspective please. And no, my comments do not negate the horrible crimes against women that DO take place.

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Voting closed 24

Loaded word

You don't appear to be aware of the history and subtext of the word hysteria. Or maybe you're just being a dick.

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Voting closed 29

You on the other hand appear to be hyper aware

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and to take the position that the thing to attack is the word, not the idea employing that word in its articulation. You might be of the opinion that you will be perceived to have won the argument if you divert the flow of the conversation into an irrelevant tangent with another accusation of misogyny.

You have failed. You have not defeated the argument. You have merely attacked a word in the hope that by declaring the word taboo you will succeed in declaring the thought taboo.

That is dishonest sophistry.

You cannot be reasoned with because you have chosen word games over discussion. You too should feel shame. It's that emotion that comes after rage if the rage is ever allowed to cease.

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Voting closed 17

No, it's you

It's you who have failed - failed once again to read my mind while attempting to cast your fantasies as my motives. Failed utterly to understand the point I was making. Failed as usual to grasp the fact of being a privileged member of a sexist society that encourages sexual predators, even as you are doing here. The irony of your calling me dishonest is massive.

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Voting closed 20

Your point is quite clear. Don't run from it.

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You object to the word "hysteria" because you don't want it pointed out that your side is deliberately whipping people into hysteria.

You object to the work "retard" because you don't want it pointed out how damned retarded your lame-ass evidence for claiming Kavanaugh is a rapist is.

You object to the phrase "call a spade a spade" not because of any racial sensitivities but because you don't like the idea of people calling it as they see it with their own two eyes. That would make it harder to clothe the emperor in the finest silks, you see.

If it were an Obama appointee who was under the microscope for an alleged rape attempt, you would demand a trigger warning before any mention of the act, and would work double time to derail any thread that made the grievous error of not kowtowing to your recently erected PC idols.

Going back a bit, you know probably object to the word "kowotw" as an unforgivable sin of cultural appropriation since that's an easier tantrum to throw than refuting the assertion above.

Fuck your word games. You are not the arbiter of truth, justice, and the American way. You do not issue Solomonic wisdom from on high. You are a hysterical troll and you do not have the monopoly on truth.

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Voting closed 11

You're making shit up again

My motives are not apparent to you, so you make up some bullshit strawman you can argue against. As usual. Your ideas about what I think, and what progressives value, are so far removed from reality that all of your comments amount to one long bad joke.

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Voting closed 14

Enlighten me

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All I've ever seen out of you is insults and assertions that only the uncouth and the ignorance take your screeds at face value.

Tell me. What's progressive about shutting down conversations and lobbing rhetorical grenades over the etymology of commonly used words with meanings nearly everyone understands?

You don't even have a position or an argument. All you've got is a bag of tricks and marching orders to attack. Wouldn't surprise me if you're a professional troll with a dozen handles on a dozen local blogs. I hope you're at least making 15 an hour.

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Voting closed 7

Not my job

I don't get paid enough to take on the Sysephian task of enlightening you. Open your mind and enlighten yourself.

Again, the irony of you only seeing insults in my comments is awesome.

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Voting closed 7

Yeah?

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Trump gets shit for every little numerical error that pops out of his mouth.

But libs get to claim that 140% of women are being raped right now with not so much as a peep?

After this month, I will vote for Trump if he runs from prison in 2020.

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Voting closed 33

Hyperbole: noun

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when my side says crazy shit. It's all good.

Unhinged: when their side says crazy shit. See also: dangerous, deranged, demented, divorced from reality.

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Voting closed 10

Not quite

when my side says crazy shit. It's all good.

Unhinged: when their side says crazy shit. See also: dangerous, deranged, demented, divorced from reality.

The president of the United States says crazy shit....

... and then when some random asshole with a megaphone, who purports to be on "my side" says crazy shit, you claim some kind of goddamned moral equivalence.

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Voting closed 38

Total

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Total:
comprising or constituting a whole : ENTIRE (emphasis theirs)
-Merriem-Webster

I doubt any woman would agree that the whole, the ENTIRE culture is raping.

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Voting closed 16

Every.Single.Woman.I.Know.Has

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Every.Single.Woman.I.Know.Has.Been.Sexually.Assaulted.

They talked about it on their Facebooks during the first Weinstein #metoo moment, and they continue to speak out. If you don't see this, then nobody trusts you to tell you or you don't have female friends. I mean this literally, EVERY SINGLE FEMALE FRIEND I KNOW HAS BEEN SEXUALLY HARASSED OR ASSAULTED.

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Voting closed 25

What is your definition of sexual assault?

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Because if it's broad enough, I completely believe you.

Fuck. In a certain light, the way I put the moves on my now-wife ages and ages ago could be cast as sexual assault.

Edit: the above confession requires more lurid details. Here goes.

I invited her to sit next to me on a bench, and then I went for it. I put my right arm around her...shoulder.

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Voting closed 23

Your wife

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You might do well to leave family members out of this.

In a certain light, the way I put the moves on my now-wife ages and ages ago could be cast as sexual assault.

Yes, in the year 2018, it could indeed be cast as sexual assault if she did not give her consent and objected and you kept doing it.

I'm assuming you already knew her and she didn't object; I'm willing to grant you that much. But put your arm around a complete stranger on a bus and pull her close? Or do it to somebody you know at a party and she tells you no and you keep doing it? Yeah, you've just committed indecent assault and battery. They actually convict people for that these days.

And stop being so willfully obtuse. Women who are talking about sexual abuse are not talking about acquaintances giving them a hug. They're talking about far worse stuff. But you already know that.

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Voting closed 35

Oh but they are

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/is-the-era-of-hugging-ove...

And you know what, I did know her, and she didn't object (though seeing as we were essentially kids, she was surprised). But suppose she hadn't become my wife, she could--at any point from then to now until her last breath--say with a straight face that I initiated unwelcome physical contact with her. And she would literally be right. And I could be convicted for it by the Democrat standard of today.

God help any man who goes for it and puts his arm around her. Or worse: plants a kiss on her cheek.

I'm sorry but I'm not sorry. This kind of behavior is nothing to apologize for and nothing to criminalize or shame. It's natural. Just as natural as women making themselves pretty when going out and just as natural as people of both genders enjoying sex and companionship. And if it's lumped in with unsolicited tit grabbing and gang raping and roofie-planting then just plain no. I do not acknowledge the train of thought that ends that way or leads that way as the product of intelligence.

And as a general word of advice: a just society that most of us at least pretend to want is not one that antagonizes its members or shames them for harmless behaviors that a few uber-offended people take exception to. There will always be professional victims for every imaginable and imagined offense and a society structured around grievance mongering will devolve into savagery right quick. If you keep giving them rope, they'll get around to hanging you from it for being insufficiently woke in one way or another.

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Voting closed 26

Put moves on her

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She's a passive recipient whether she likes it or not. Oh how swell.

Why the stupid sleazy crap here? You know how I met my husband ... WE TALKED and then hung out with friends ... the mutually paired off.

We taught our sons better. Much better. Taught our daughters to expect better - or shall we say equality - when dealing with a partner.

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Voting closed 26

And I could be convicted for

And I could be convicted for it by the Democrat standard of today.

If it were brought up, here's what you could say:

"Thank you for the question. I was wrong to do that, and I apologize. In the past decades I have grown up, and learned, and would certainly not initiate unwanted touch, or continue touching when asked to stop."

You don't rant and yell and throw it back into the interviewer's face.

Here's what you say the next time you want to initiate contact with someone in that manner:

"May I put my arm around you?"
"Would you like a hug?"
"May I kiss your cheek?"

Hope this helps!

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Voting closed 20

But I wasn't wrong to do that

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If you're claiming it was wrong to out my arm around a girl I was actively flirting with as a spontaneous expression of affection, then you and I do not live in the same planet.

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Voting closed 13

She does

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It's not different from the way I act in person.

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Voting closed 16

English as she is spoke

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"Total" is an idiom, an intensifier.

The next time someone calls something "wicked good," are you going to object because the thing described isn't in league with the devil?

Not every bit of the culture is committing or excusing rape, but that rape culture is all over the place, very hard to get away from. Rape culture isn't just the actual rapists, it's all the people who make excuses, the people who use "he was drunk" to excuse a man for assaulting someone, and "she was drunk" to blame the victim.

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Voting closed 27

"Future Rep"

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It's not clear to me that Ocasio-Cortez will win her race. The incumbent (Crowley) is still on the ballot (as nominee of a minor party), the Republicans have a candidate in the race, and her inexperience is showing up with gaffes.

Presley is a shoo-in, but Ocasio-Cortez might not be.

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Voting closed 22

Where Was Capuano?

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He may be a lame duck, but he's still the sitting Congressman while this thing plays out. Was he around or heard from today? During the campaign, he touted his effective working relationships with his colleagues on Capitol Hill. Is he acting on this now regarding this issue?

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Voting closed 19

During the campaign, he

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During the campaign, he touted his effective working relationships with his colleagues on Capitol Hill.

For all we know, Capuano is actually working WITH his colleagues on Capitol Hill instead of grandstanding against them like Walsh, Pressley, and Warren.

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Voting closed 17

Here's what "working with" Republicans looks like

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Republican compromise: you do everything I want and I do nothing you want.

Don't you think people are just a tiny bit sick and tired of their elected representatives okey-doking in response to that? I expect my reps to tell the Rape-uglicans to go pound sand when they try that shit.

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Voting closed 15

This was a done deal before he was picked

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They even had protest signs made up with a blank for you to write in his name that they distributed in the days before he was nominated.

Even the "drunken fratboy" story was written a long time ago. Remember them making fun of his first name?

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Voting closed 31

Shall we talk about "done deals"?

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The definition of a "done deal": McConnell saying they're going to have a vote this week regardless of what the investigation finds or whether it's complete.

Every time you try to pull this shit you just make yourself and your side look worse, Roman.

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Voting closed 16

USP

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"Unhinged Sexual Predator"is bit cumbersome for a band name. No doubt people would start calling it USP.

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Voting closed 9

Thank you, Adam, for this

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Thank you, Adam, for this post and discussion. Clarifies a lot of things.

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Voting closed 12

Thank you for this report

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I couldn't be there in person. This is the best coverage I've seen.

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Voting closed 7