This is one of those weeks where it’s easy to get sucked into the same story that the news channels have been talking about 24/7: the women accusing Trump of sexual assault and other unwanted boorish attention. And I will link to that stuff for those of you who haven’t already had enough of it, but the point of the Sift is to be an alternative to the news-hype machine, not to participate in it.
So instead of joining the isn’t-this-awful chorus — it is awful, but you don’t need me to tell you that — I decided to focus on the silver lining of the story: The public is getting an education about sexual assault. That could have consequences well beyond the election. This week’s featured post will be “A Teaching Moment on Sexual Assault”, and it will cover four areas where I think the public consciousness is being raised: how ubiquitous sexual assault is, the myths so many of us believe about it, why so many women don’t tell anyone about it, and the tactics men use to get away with it.
I still have some work to do on it, and it’s the kind of topic where I have to check the wording of every sentence to make sure I’m not unintentionally saying something offensive or insensitive, or perpetuating myths of my own, so it may not come out until 10 or 11. (If I do offend you, complain in the comments. There’s a good chance I’ll say “Thank you” and re-edit some part of the post.)
The weekly summary is where I’ll talk directly about the Trump scandal and his responses to it, including a really disturbing revival of what would become a Nazi conspiracy theory if you just added the word Jews to it. (Some of his followers have done that.) Also: more WikiLeaks releases of hacked Clinton-campaign stuff, including transcripts of her Goldman Sachs appearances in 2013. (It turns out they weren’t speeches, but Q&A sessions.)
There’s also a thwarted white-supremacist plot to bomb an apartment complex in Kansas where a lot of Somali Muslims live, and the firebombing of a Republican headquarters in North Carolina. An international agreement made real progress on climate change. The Scots are looking at a post-Brexit independence vote. And probably some other stuff. There will be a closing, but I haven’t picked it yet.
And I turn 60 today. I am now officially entitled to start saying: “Not bad for an old guy.”