Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of sexual harassment, nonconsensual touch and the #Metoo movement. If you are uncomfortable with any of the topics mentioned, please refrain from reading this article.
Who is Andrew Cuomo?:
Andrew Cuomo is a current governor of the State of New York. He has served as the 56th governor of the state since 2011. He is also a member of the democrat party. (Wikimedia Foundation. (2021, September 6). Andrew Cuomo. Wikipedia.)
His rise to fame is largely due to his response to the Covid-19 pandemic, where he gave daily press briefings to the news media, assuring them of what the state of New York was doing in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Villeneuve, M. (2021, April 17). Cuomo retreats from open News briefings that made him a star. AP NEWS.
What Are the Claims Against Cuomo?:
As of recent, Cuomo has been accused of sexual harassment by 13 women, leading for calls for him to resign and for this to be investigated thoroughly. He has also been slammed for part of his response to the coronavirus pandemic in which he hid the number of deaths that were present in New York State nursing homes. (Bradner, E., Moghe, S., & Valle, L. del. (2021, August 4). Key findings of the Andrew Cuomo sexual harassment report — and what’s next. CNN.)
The 11 Accusers:
Over the course of Letita James’ investigation, who is currently the attorney general of New York State, she found that Cuomo created a culture of “unwelcome and non consensual touching,” and made comments of a “suggestive ” sexual nature. James said that the conduct created a “hostile work environment for women.” (Independent investigators Find Governor Cuomo sexually harassed MULTIPLE Women, violated state and federal laws. New York State Attorney General. (n.d.). )
On August 10, Cuomo made the formal decision to resign from being New York State’s governor. He did this formally after rising response from the New York’s House of Representatives to investigate the claims of sexual harassment. This is also being formally condemned by many prominent democrats, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Villeneuve, M. (2021, August 10). Gov. Andrew CUOMO resigns over sexual harassment allegations. AP NEWS.
What Does This Have To Do With The #METOO movement.
Cuomo being held accountable for his actions is a good sign of politicians being held accountable for how they treat their staff members. It makes it so that they are not getting away with inappropriate relations with their aides and fellow policy makers.
This does not just have to do with Cuomo. This problem is deep throughout the cesspool that is American politics. We have multiple politicians that get away with inappropriate relations.
We have Matt Gaetz, who is accused of sex trafficking after he allegedly paid for sex from a 17 year old girl. He is getting away scotch free with his actions despite allegations that he allegedly participated in sex trafficking.
We have our former president, Donald Trump, who has 26 allegations of non consensual touch, sexual harassment and even sexual assualt. He had a tape leak right before the 2016 presidential election, that alleges that he could get away with non consensual touching of women because he is wealthy. He has denied all charges against him regarding non consensual touching of women, stating that “Some of the women were not even his type.” Relman, E. (2020, September 17). The 26 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. Business Insider.
We even have our current president of the United States, Joe Biden, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a woman named Tara Reade in 1993 when he was a senator. He has been accused of kissing, hugging and touching Reade and other women in ways that made them uncomfortable.
What Does This Mean?:
Both political parties are not exempt from having claims of sexual assault. It truly does not matter what party that the politician belongs to. The only thing that matters is keeping our politicians honest about their past and their presents about their sexual assault accusations. We need to hold them accountable for their actions, by having them resign and believing the victim.
Why Do We Need to Believe The Victim:
Believing the victim is one of the most important things we can do in response to sexual misconduct survivors. According to RAINN, a leading charity that deals with various types of sexual misconduct, some of the best ways you can support survivors is by letting them know that you believe their story. Tips for talking with survivors of sexual assault. RAINN. (n.d.).
Politicians and Sexual Misconduct:
As long as we hold politicians accountable for their actions we are benefitting society. This means approaching all survivors with respect and by not trying to discredit them without due process. This also means that we need to make sure politicians are investigated seriously in response to a sexual misconduct claim. By doing so we ensure that we are letting in the voices of all Americans in politics and we are not speaking over someone.