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Discussions about Al Franken at Clio's Psyche Discussion Group



me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change)

Another case of it's-not-actually-trauma, inflicted trauma by Al Franken.  
The former staffer said she mostly kept the encounter to herself, not even telling her boss at the time. But she started to talk more openly about it to close friends after the “Access Hollywood” video was aired in October 2016. In the now infamous tape, Donald Trump is recorded saying his fame gives him carte blanche to grab women’s genitals.
“When it really started impacting me in more of a ‘I’m really angry about about this’ way was last fall when the Trump tape came out,” the former aide said. “Hearing Donald Trump say essentially the same thing that Al Franken said to me, which was ‘It’s my right as an entertainer,’ that was a real trigger,” she continued.
The former staffer says she was particularly shaken after seeing Franken on TV responding to the Trump tape last year. Franken dismissed Trump’s excuse that he was just engaging in “locker room talk” and joked that maybe Trump worked out with Roger Ailes, the now deceased Fox News chairman who was forced to resign in 2016 amid allegations he sexually harassed several Fox employees.
“It was a moment in time where I told a number of my friends about my experience with Franken because I saw him on the news being asked about the Trump tape and I felt like it was really hypocritical,” the former staffer said. “It’s a power dynamic and the fact that Donald Trump could say that was not much different from the fact that Al Franken could say it.”
Franken took pains to separate himself from Trump earlier this year before he was accused of sexual harassment, saying just because the two were “both in a branch of show business” is no reason to lump them in the same category politically.


Trent Landerson
Dec 6
You're over-reaching in defensiveness Patrick.
Where is the claim of trauma here? She's saying that she's angered by his hypocrisy:
“He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked,” the aide said in an interview. “I was really startled by it and I just sort of booked it towards the door and he said, ‘It’s my right as an entertainer.’”
“When it really started impacting me in more of a ‘I’m really angry about about this’ way was last fall when the Trump tape came out,” the former aide said.
“It was a moment in time where I told a number of my friends about my experience with Franken because I saw him on the news being asked about the Trump tape and I felt like it was really hypocritical,” the former staffer said. “It’s a power dynamic and the fact that Donald Trump could say that was not much different from the fact that Al Franken could say it.”

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change)
Dec 7
"Clio's Psyche" needs to have members who encounter claims against Franken, hear how women felt when they were made to feel like props for the powerful, hear of his repeated sexual sadism, and who rejoice when women who've kept it stifled for years feel they're empowered to finally say something. (This was my first reaction with Weinstein as well.) This can't be a boys-club enclave for holdouts. We're supposed to be ahead in progressive attitude and psychological reach, not defensive rearguard. If we're disgusted at what is happening to Al Franken, if our first reaction isn't to deeply involve ourselves in the situations of those he predated upon (every person he accosted describes, first, their initial shock and mortification [she does say she got angry later, as you say Trevor, but do psychologists have anything to say about the full experience of an attack really only manifesting in full at a later date?... strikes me that this is essentially what Van der Kolk is all about, and so why aren't we working with her story that way? why aren't we there?], and then a later experience years on when once again they find themselves deeply humiliated by his ongoing presumptions), we need to reflect more and consider what we ourselves might be guilty of obscuring.
Would how we are reacting in aggregate enable or retard further victims from coming out? Would they sense we'd rather prefer they keep quiet? Not make quite such a big deal out of it? Would they wonder if we're being self-protective... of note, it's now being revealed that Matt Lauer repeatedly waylaid stories that involved spousal cheating. There's a "Clio's Psyche" article in involving ourselves in what Al Franken has been doing for years. The childhood experiences that gave birth to his sexual sadism. Would any of us be inclined to want to write it? That's where we should be. If not, we're rearguard. Arrive late to a story... which surely isn't psychohistorical anyway; not about a concern for the why? about society at all, and then only in hopes of taking it over so it can be managed so it doesn't alarm and surprise us as much in the future.
Trent, your reaction has been to call his accusers oversensitive, and you've now called me overreaching... this as half a Democratic senate realizes that there are perhaps hundreds more stories that'll come out amongst Al's thousands of hugs, and that their dear Al is not just a hapless happy hugger but a Trumpian predator of those he can presume upon; those who'll feel fear and know they'll know "repercussions" if they speak up against him.  Brian's was to suggest I've been triggered into losing my sane composure [Brian, if democrats can't automatically find themselves in the full position of the victims, really relate to them, then there will be a fauxness to their populism, and to some extent they'll be revealed as monsters too, even if only historically... it's scary when every protector is gone from the universe, and everyone has some unconscious agenda to displace revenge against incurred childhood abusers upon some ensured subsequent category of people], and also this: "Unless anything more serious comes to light than what has come to light so far, they will not find grounds for removing him from office.  But apparently if you had your druthers, he’d be out on the street. What is this about?"
I sensed Franken's sadism instantly, what he was doing, and knew there were many victims, and that he had made many people feel small and used -- a shame they'd have to suffer from for years, which might indeed have been part of the subconscious plan. I know the childhood causes. I know there is no such thing as evil, just repercussions of child abuse. I know that the clear-headiness I ultimately seek (in appreciating how after a mass-sacrifice-enabled golden age era has passed a society can only further genuine growth by also ensuring a large class of victims and thus designates/votes in the sorts of people who'll ensure it, and so coming to see it ONLY as vile, that is, not as something that IS hugely vile but also a product of a certain kind of childrearing and the sense of punishment that genuine growth arouses, can mean not reading how the next era that follows is worse -- "pure" fascist state of good folk) can only be guaranteed by people who I recognize as able to function sanely. Sane people will react to the experiences these and other women went through, with horror, with an inclination NOT to protect the abuser. Of these, I would reason with them, and tell them that the predators themselves could only have done this if they themselves were victimized as children: that this is one of the likely things that happens to a person after they've known abuse. They don't just stifle and hopefully gain equilibrium later through people finally believing them. They can grow into monsters. That's why it's so right to see people agreeing finally with the victims (a category of people -- believers of victims, that is -- you'll only really find in a profound way amongst democrats, with republicans really being a victim-ensuring entity [they will protect certain vulnerable people, but only if it's known to be part of a movement which'll produce multitudes more of them -- i.e., rightwing populism]).
It didn't happen in the 80s when Frederick Crews et al. helped manage the child abuse scandals so they seemed erroneous, a witchhunt and a crime against probably innocent parents. But many more are finally not projecting their parents (imagos?) into those categorized as empowered predators and seeking to gain love by agreeing not to fully see their crimes and indeed to blame the accusers (representatives of their own childhood selves).
And thus #metoo.
- - - - -
The second woman, who said she was groped at a fundraiser, told HuffPost it took place in the fall of 2008 at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. She was excited about attending the event and meeting someone she wanted to support.
“I had never attended anything like that,” she said.
She and her friends found Franken and introduced themselves to him.
“I shook his hand, and he put his arm around my waist and held it there,” the second woman said. “Then he moved it lower and cupped my butt.”
“I was completely mortified,” she added.
In order to escape the situation, the woman excused herself to go to the bathroom. At that point, she said, Franken leaned in and suggested that he accompany her. She grabbed her friend and fled to the bathroom without him.
- - - - -
As Kemplin, then 27, posed for a photo with him, she said, he put his arm around her and grabbed her breast, holding onto her for up to 10 seconds.
“I remember clenching up and how you just feel yourself flushed,” she told CNN. “And I remember thinking — is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand? He never moved his hand.”
“Looking back at the picture, Kemplin said she recalls feeling frozen and numb: ‘I did not process it in those split seconds.’ ”
Now, many years later, Kemplin said that “I just feel so sorry for that young girl in that picture.”
“You’re immediately put on the spot. What are you going to do? What are you going to do? Your mind goes a mile a minute. Who was I going to tell?” the 41-year-old told CNN, saying she was too embarrassed to tell the other soldiers.
On Thursday, Kemplin told CNN that when she saw Tweeden’s story, she “felt like the rug was pulled out from underneath me.”
Kemplin said she later contacted Tweeden and decided to speak out, too.
- - - - -
The picture was striking. The military airplane. The sleeping woman. The outstretched hands. The mischievous smile. The Look what I’m getting away withimpishness directed at the camera.
On Thursday, Leeann Tweeden, a radio host and former model, came forwardwith the accusation that Senator Al Franken of Minnesota had kissed her against her will during a 2006 United Service Organizations trip to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In a story posted to the website of Los Angeles’s KABC station, Tweeden shared her experience with Franken. She also shared that photo. “I couldn’t believe it,” she wrote. “He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep.”
I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.
How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?
I told my husband everything that happened and showed him the picture.
I wanted to shout my story to the world with a megaphone to anyone who would listen, but even as angry as I was, I was worried about the potential backlash and damage going public might have on my career as a broadcaster.
But that was then, this is now. I’m no longer afraid.
- - - - -
The second woman, who said she was groped at a fundraiser, told HuffPost it took place in the fall of 2008 at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. She was excited about attending the event and meeting someone she wanted to support.“I had never attended anything like that,” she said.
She and her friends found Franken and introduced themselves to him.
“I shook his hand, and he put his arm around my waist and held it there,” the second woman said. “Then he moved it lower and cupped my butt.”
“I was completely mortified,” she added.
In order to escape the situation, the woman excused herself to go to the bathroom. At that point, she said, Franken leaned in and suggested that he accompany her. She grabbed her friend and fled to the bathroom without him.
- show quoted text -

Trent Landerson
Dec 7
I'd like to ask who on this list didn't feel it was a good thing when Roger Aisles or Weinstein, et al, were taken down? Please give your opinion.
That was monstrous sexual sadism in my opinion.
I think it's very different with Franken. I'm willing to give him a chance despite him being inappropriate, and if he can't show some self-control, like Weiner, he shouldn't be allowed back in.
I have already pointed out Patrick, that you should consider becoming a therapist yourself and see what is real. I'm giving my opinion of what I've seen come up and what I haven't seen come up in the clinic. The question is whether I'm a reactionary, am conservative in attitude, unable to see whats really there or lying and covering it up for some agenda. Then there is the question of whether you might be mistaken.  Again, don't listen to me, see for yourself. But don't bellyache that this list serv doesn't have members who echo your unsubstantiated claims.
Go do the hard work and write the papers or books that will change people's minds.
There are many lies in politics and I smell a rat,
Trent

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change)
11:10 AM (1 minute ago)
Al Franken, Eli Weisel, Garrison Keillor, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Woody Allen, Dustin Hoffman... are all more interesting to me than Weinstein. No one is made uncomfortable hearing of Weinstein being taken down, but with the others, yes. Weinstein isn't themselves, but the others--
Al Franken was a way in which a lot of people could give licence to their inner bully, but because it was directed against Republicans it was allowed to pass notice. This article by Salena Zito gets at that. I hypothesized a resignation speech by him (and here's cnn video of how one of his accusers responded to his classless resignation speech, where he seemed to want to blame them, and further ignored how he had made them "profoundly uncomfortable"... this Trevor, I SAW) where he would fully admit that he intended to degrade women in compromised positions vis-a-vis himself, and there I mentioned he would also draw people's consideration that a person who could do that could still end up proving solid on issues like abortion rights (mind you, I seem to remember Socarides saying that some predators alleviate guilt that way). Truly, even there I was being soft on him... as I hoped I alluded to in that article from "Outline" magazine, which pointed out how populists sometimes have this uncomfortable habit of ending up forgetting about women's issues they were formerly so strong on as they champion the working people. I felt that in the end he would end up finding means to indulge in revenge against women (i.e. his mother), a la what developed with the Bernie Bros. and their peculiar hatred of Hillary Clinton. I was scared of him; of how he would ultimately end up serving the American people.
I personally would love it I had some people on this list admit just how jubilant they are to find this #metoo movement occurring and for criminal physical assault not to be watered down into harassment or improper conduct, not, that is, simply appreciative, but alarmed at it getting out of control, and worried at women probably having misremembered things. I personally see signs here of psychohistorical evolution, where abuses that were once felt necessary for a society to obtain equilibrium are no longer as much required. As I've argued earlier, out of people like that, we can start talking widely about the societal damage incurred by mass difficulties during the preoedipal period, and getting a listen... how do so many people become this way, people we want to like, really?
There are many means to do good in this world, Trevor, and I don't personally believe that tough love (bellyache? do the hard work?) is one of them. Being amongst the ones who believe Franken is a serial predator shouldn't mean finding oneself defined as fundamentally ignorant of the ways of people. If that's what a career in counselling can do for you, offer this kind of leverage, presume this kind of level of ignorance... shame people and get away with it, it makes one want to do a Foucault on the profession. You can for instance hope to sway people who are themselves therapists. You surely should suss out venues to see if they're sincere in wanting your voice more broadly heard, or just hoping you'll find yourself corrected... as Brian assumed the hearings onto Franken's behaviour would have done to the field of accusers "aligned" against him. DeMausian psychohistory has very little play in the publishing world. Charles W. Socarides has very little sway as well... outside of venues that are simply rancid. I get my thoughts out the way I am able to now. With #metoo I'm seeing the possibility of venues opening up to me. It'll be amongst liberals who are horrified at what their fellow liberals have turned into, and who are ready to take in voices they previously hadn't felt sufficient prompting to really focus on and deeply consider: they already had buttressing that worked for them, so alien thoughts had to remain alien.
Do people at Clio like my ideas? If so, I could try and publish something at this journal. I am proud of what I sent to JOP, but I'm not sure that venue wants my work just now (and if they do, they have a funny way of showing it.) I'm not doing this though if I'm mostly just an annoyance... someone who's tolerated, to demonstrate the openness of the Clio's Psyche project. It's hard work to be where I am right now, to insist on fighting this kind of fight, and I expect a venue that appreciates that.
If someone knows of another venue that might be interested in publishing work from me, please contact me at pmcevoyhalston@gmail.com. I don't expect to be published, but I do expect a reader who if s/he has to reject, is in profound sympathy with my voice.     

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