In an essay for The Washington Post, which was published Friday, feminist author Kate Harding said that she doesn't think Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) should have to resign over the sexual assault allegations levied against him by broadcaster Leeann Tweeden.
What did Harding write?
According to Harding — author of "Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America" — should Franken lose his Senate seat over allegations of sexual misconduct, it could sabotage the liberal movement at the cost of possibly risking women's rights.
While she did decry Franken's purported actions, Harding writes that there are likely other Democrats who have committed infractions similar to those alleged against Franken, and "if we set this precedent in the interest of demonstrating our party’s solidarity with harassed and abused women, we’re only going to drain the swamp of people who, however flawed, still regularly vote to protect women’s rights and freedoms."
"I’m betting that there will be more," Harding said. "And more after that. And they won’t all come from states with Democratic governors and a deep bench of progressive replacements. Some will, if ousted, have their successors chosen by Republicans."
Harding said that if Democrats were ousted from governmental roles, it would directly impact women's rights, as there would be fewer "champion[s] for women's rights."
"If the short-term 'right thing' leads to long-term political catastrophe for American women, I think we need to reconsider our definition of the right thing," Harding writes. "Don’t just apologize and drop out of sight. Do penance. Live the values you campaigned on. Be a selfless champion for women’s rights."
However, Harding is willing to pull her support from Franken if another woman comes out and accuses him of sexual misconduct.
She concluded, "One more empty apology and resignation, one more head on a pike, will not make American women safer or better off. Powerful men lifting up women’s concerns and supporting progressive women candidates, however, could be a real step toward changing the culture that makes victims of so many of us."