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Smerconish on Recent Harassment Allegations: ‘We’re in the Middle of a Sexual Rights Revolution’

The past week’s news cycle has been completely driven by the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct made against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore and the accusation that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) forcibly kissed and groped Leeann Tweeden during a 2006 USO tour. These stories come in the wake of a number of bombshell reports of sexual harassment and assault accusations made against powerful men — Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Halperin, Brett Ratner — in entertainment and media.

With this as the backdrop, CNN’s Michael Smerconish devoted the opening monologue of his program this morning to what this national conversation about sexual harassment and assault means.

“Amidst the drip, drip, drip of daily allegations of sexual harassment, we’re in the middle of a sexual rights revolution,” the CNN host said. “The right of a woman to be left alone and the obligation of a man to leave her alone with real consequences for him of any violations.”

He concluded, “Now, in order for that right to be fully recognized more women will have to make contemporaneous complaints and pursue their legal remedies against those men who overstepped. Too often in the past, stigma and embarrassment precluded prompt reporting.”

Smerconish went on to compare this revolution with the civil rights revolution for African-Americans, leading to the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and the gay rights revolution, culminating in the recognition of marriage equality.

“Now, we may be at the beginning of the development of the civil right to be left alone, “he concluded. “It’s about time for this right to be recognized, valued, asserted. And protected by us all.”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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