Et tu, Al Gore?

According to the NY Times, “Gore Was Accused of Sexual Advances”.

Choice Quote:

In a transcript of the interview, the massage therapist said she had been doing requested abdominal work on Mr. Gore when he demanded she go lower. “I was shocked and I did not massage beyond what is considered a safe, nonsexual area of the abdomen,” she said. “He further insisted and acted angry, becoming verbally sharp and loud. “I went into much deeper shock as I realized it appeared he was demanding sexual favors or sexual behaviors.” She alleged he later tried to have sex with her. “I did not immediately call the police as I feared being made into a public spectacle and my reputation being destroyed,” she said. “I was not sure what to tell them and was concerned my story would not be believed since there was no DNA evidence from a completed act of rape.”

Two of my favorite sites have responded to these allegations.

First up, Shakesville:

My impression, after reading the 70+ page investigative report, which includes the transcript of the police interview, is that the detectives’ response was very good. The lead detective, Det. Molly Daul, thanks the woman for her statement and tells her that it was “great” and “it was all-inclusive and that’s just the things we need to hear.” Det. Daul asks lots of very detailed questions and treats the complainant with respect.

There is no victim-blaming, and the only slut-shaming in the interview is when the woman making the allegations talks about colleagues who wear what she deems inappropriately sexy clothing while working, colleagues she believes to be prostitutes and would like to see arrested.

The only assessment I can make based on the available information is whether the complainant and her allegations are treated seriously, and they certainly appear to be. The police response seems to be pretty much the exact fucking opposite to that in the most recent Ben Roethlisberger case, and just about every other celebrity/politico sexual assault allegation about which we’ve written.

And then, Feministing:

While I’m all for reporting the full facts, jumping to the conclusion that she must be lying is just wrong – and so predictable. ( went as far as to headline a piece, “3 reasons to doubt the Al Gore sex assault story.”)  Now, there’s no way for us to know what’s true and what’s not, but I would really hate to see folks automatically come to Gore’s defense because of his reputation in the progressive and liberal spheres. In fact, the woman accusing Gore seems to know all too well that this kind of defense (and victim-blaming) is a distinct possibility. […] So I hope that no matter what comes of this, those of us who have supported Gore and his work in the past can write and talk about this accusation without falling into hackneyed victim-blaming narratives. Because liberal dudes assault women too. And if we treat this story any differently than another sexual assault accusation, we’re doing this woman – and all women – a great disservice.


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