"I wanted it over with -- I wanted out," Corfman told the Washington Post she remembers thinking at the time. "Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over."
In response to the Moore allegations, I was one of many women who posted pictures of myself at age 14 using the twitter hashtag #MeAt14, a social media movement begun to give Moore's die-hard supporters a visual aid as to just how young 14 is, and just how reprehensible Moore's alleged behavior was.
To allow Moore to serve in the Senate sends a message to victims of sexual harassment and abuse that men in positions of power can act with impunity. It also normalizes adult relationships with teenagers. Fourteen-year-olds cannot consent to any kind of relationship with an adult without criminal implications. It's time to stop giving men like Moore the benefit of the doubt.
And just in case Moore's defenders
, who are growing fewer but more dug-in
, need an even clearer picture, I remember what it was like to be a 14-year-old girl, filled with doubt and insecurities, experiencing the adolescent changes going on with my body. I remember enjoying jumping rope, roller skating, singing in the church choir, reading Jane Austen novels, hanging out with my friends— all the things a kid likes to do. Nowhere on my list of preferred activities, or that of my friends, was being pursued by a grown man in his 30s!
As kids, we're taught to respect our elders: to answer to and obey police officers, teachers and people in positions of authority. That's what makes the Moore allegations so disgusting: that he could have knowingly used his position as a district attorney in Alabama to prey on vulnerable teen girls and intimidate them into silence.
That's exactly the scenario described by Beverly Young Nelson, who says
when she was a 16-year-old waitress in Gadsden, Alabama, Moore offered her a ride home, then sexually assaulted her in his car. After the alleged assault, Nelson says Moore used his position as a district attorney to scare her into silence.
Nelson recounted at a Monday press conference that Moore allegedly said
, "You're a child. I am the district attorney of Etowah County and if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you." Moore has denied
the allegations made in the Post and by Nelson.
Moore's interests in very young girls when he was a district attorney seems to be corroborated by Teresa Jones, a former prosecutor who once worked alongside Moore in the early 1980s. Jones told CNN
it was well known at the time that Moore dated high school girls and that people wondered why someone his age would be at high school football games or the mall.
In a move that is either politically savvy or a rare display of political courage, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined by
several of his Senate colleagues, has said
he believes Moore's accusers, and has called on the former judge to drop out of the race. This is an important first step for McConnell. But it is hardly enough.
McConnell and every member of the United States Senate owes a duty to this country to prevent Moore from ever representing this country. Alabama Republicans and white evangelical Christians who are standing by Moore and concocting illogical explanations
— comparing his relationship with a 14-year-old to that of Joseph and Mary — are entitled to their opinions, but they are not entitled to allow an alleged predator to be part of the Senate. As a senator, Moore would not just represent Alabama, he would be drafting and voting on laws that impact the entire country.
We are at an inflection point in this country in the battle to end sexual assault and harassment. The spate of allegations against powerful men in Hollywood, the tech industry and even local and state governments have ignited new forms of activism and scrutiny of how sexual harassment complaints are treated and the consequences that predators face.
There is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done, but Moore's presence in the Senate would be like the proverbial slap in the face to victims and activists who have taken a stance against sexual assault and child molestation.