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Official Statement On Sexual Harassment and Rape Culture

Alex Mohajer

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sexual harassment

Sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexism, misogyny, and rape culture are an endemic problem in America. We are all responsible for changing it, and for reflecting on our societal tendency to apologize for and even promote this problem such that it has allowed the culture to permeate and to continue.

The “Bros” part in our name “Bros4America” is actually a play on words, an acronym meaning and born from the mantra “be respectful of others,” and was meant as a response to the misogynistic and white nationalist overtures we saw gaining momentum during the 2016 election. Back when we started in January 2016, our message was and continues to be one of inclusion and diversity: our “bros” are all of us and all are welcome. We have a proud legacy of female and LGBTQIA membership, and their rights are at forefront of our mission statement.

In recent days, as debate over sexual harassment and assault allegations continue to pop up around the country, messages posted to social media have grown notably heated and divisive. As a group that intentionally riffs on “bro” culture, we recognize both our privilege and our obligation to speak on this issue and against sexism and misogyny. Bros4America condemns sexual harassment, sexual violence, and mistreatment of women, and absolutely rejects hateful or inflammatory rhetoric. We denounce attempts to “slut shame” or put down women or minorities.

We must stop empowering a culture that permits this to continue. The very root of that cultural cancer is the way we talk about these issues.

Slut shaming in particular is a problem and contributes to the disease of of endemic sexism and misogyny in America. Sometimes we see comments, from both men and women, that slut shame or use inflammatory rhetoric debasing women.  Specifically with regards to our Facebook group, with 15,000 Facebook members and a 24/7 posting cycle, we can’t catch everything. We rely on our members to flag questionable content and our moderators try to swing around to them and catch them. But things fall through the cracks, and for that I am sorry.

That being said, not everything we see here, or in life, is agreeable. And, as this is an open group, we can’t even guarantee that something you’re seeing is NOT from a Russian troll.

But what we know is this:

America is great because its a place where conflicting ideas and attitudes can clash and compete with the best of them. The cream rises to the top. We can’t always censor everything that might be offensive and protect you from something that might hurt you. But we can fight it down, we can debate it, we can show our strength in numbers, and we can be AMERICANS about it.

Personally, I believe that America is good and great.

I also believe that Leanne Tweeden had every right to speak up about Al Franken and that he should be punished.

I don’t think she was lying. I don’t think he would have issued an apology, one that she accepted, but-for some misbehavior.

I believe that what he did is not the same thing as what Roy Moore did, and equivocating all sexual misconduct as being one and the same is dangerous. I also believe we should reserve moral judgment lest we live in glass houses. Moral outrage is easy to come by in this day and age, the loudest often projecting the most guilt than not.

I believe we shouldn’t lose Al Franken as a Senator. I believe that it is inexcusable for people who share that view to slut shame Leeann Tweeden, and we strongly condemn that tactic and the intention behind it.

We do our best to moderate these discussions, but ultimately sometimes we must simply leave it to the American people to debate its worthiness of inclusion in the public discourse. Because it’s a conversation we should – and look, WE ARE – having.

Just remember that, in the words of a great American, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.

 

In resistance,

Alex Mohajer
Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Bros4America
www.bros4america.com

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