Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.

Here’s What’s Fishy about Al Franken’s Resignation and Selective Outrage.

By Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published at Clash Daily on Dec. 13, 2017.

Former comedian Al Franken is resigning his seat as a Minnesota senator. Multiple women accused him of sexual harassment. The most notorious incident was the photo of him groping a female journalist, while she slept.

In his resignation speech, he made this astonishing claim:
“I am proud that, during my time in the Senate, I have used my power to be a champion for women – and that I have earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day.”



No doubt, Franken is referring to his 100% pro-abortion voting record, as tabulated by both NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the independent site, Vote Smart.

I see no surprise here at all. Voting for abortion on demand, paid for if necessary by taxpayers, is only “pro-woman” in a most peculiar sense. It is “pro-women-deserve-to-have-as-much-sex-as-men-do-and-on-the-same-terms.” This is “equality,” you see.

Just one problem. Men don’t have babies, trans-activists to the contrary notwithstanding. For women to have sex on the same terms as men, they must get rid of the baby.

In a sane world, a man of any amount of wealth, power, and influence would understand that children need their own parents. People should only have sex with someone with whom they are willing to co-parent. Which means, be committed to for a lifetime. Which means, or used to mean, getting married. Preferably before the child is even conceived. This connection between sex, babies, and marriage used to be understood by all social classes.

Any sane person should realize that sex has different consequences for men than for women. But in our world, recognizing and making provision for these differences between men and women is discrimination against women. The ideologues of the Sexual Revolution insist that men and women are identical.

This is the real significance of Franken’s 100% pro-abortion voting record. It is not about “liberation” or “equality” for women. It never was. It is now, and always has been, about providing rich and powerful men sexual access to women’s bodies without having to face the natural consequences.

Men like Franken, Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer have plenty of money, power, and influence. Their privilege should not permit them to do whatever the hell they feel like, and face no consequences. But in our Sexual Revolutionary world, they generally do get to do whatever they want.

As long as they can keep all these pesky women from complaining about being used.

Why do women among the Elite classes put up with it? Delayed childbearing is the price of entry into the professions and elite jobs. Women who are highly placed in politics, law, and media cannot imagine how they would have the jobs they have, without abortion as a back-up for contraceptive failure. That is why so many women among Elites are completely committed to the Sexual Revolution. The fact that some women want their babies, doesn’t dawn on them. Neither does the possibility that some women want their babies’ father to be committed to them. Nor does the possibility that they themselves might be better off in a different, more respectful, more reality-based, sexual regime.

When Franken’s senate colleagues, male and female alike, claimed they agonized over asking him to step aside, you may safely assume they were calculating the political costs and benefits. The real impact on real women: not so much. And calling into question the underlying premises of the Sexual Revolution: absolutely out of the question.

Elites, male and female, in both parties, in business, law, media and academia, like the Sexual Revolution, just the way it is. Their current concern for victims of sexual assault and harassment is strictly for show, and will quickly fade. The men like an ideological system that presents them will a steady flow of willing sex partners. Elite men and women alike like a legal system that permits them to wipe out pregnancies, and hence excuse them from the “inconveniences” of parenthood.

Don’t be fooled by Senator Franken’s faux apologies and his colleagues’ faux outrage. He, and they, are only sorry he got caught.

Image: CC by 2.0;


I signed under duress. We don't discriminate.

A friend of Ruth wanted to ask his employer to make a matching donation to the Ruth Institute. He asked us to sign up with Benevity, a company which, according to their website,

We make it easier for nonprofit organizations to establish their eligibility for our client’s corporate giving programs, reducing the burden on charities while enabling companies to adhere to their own program guidelines. We’ll determine if an organization is a registered charity in good standing, assess whether the charity meets eligibility guidelines, ensure they are not on relevant watch lists and that they comply with non-discrimination, anti-bribery and secular fund uses.

 We filled out the application, and thought no more about it. 


Then, on Tuesday, November 28, we received the following:

Thanks for completing the self-certification for the Ruth Institute Benevity profile ( on 4th October, 2017.

I noticed that you answered 'No' to question 2, which reads:

'Does Your Organization Discriminate against any person or group of people in its hiring and employment practices, codes of conduct, programs, services or in any other aspect of its operations or activities on the basis of that person or group of people's personal characteristics or attributes?'

For clarity, Discrimination in this Question includes (but is not limited to), hiring and employment policies or practices that discriminate against a person or group of people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, even if such policies and practices are permitted under applicable law.

Upon checking your website and related blog posts, we thought it would be pertinent to reach out to you to check that you meant to answer this question in this way. Answering 'No' to question 2 would mean, for example, that your organization would be fine with hiring or running programs for homosexual people, people who did not agree that abortion is wrong, or those who advocate the use of contraception etc.

Is this correct? It would seem from reading your website and associated links that your organization does not support such views and presumably wouldn't hire or run programs supporting those who do.

If you would like to amend your answer, you can do so by submitting a new Self-Certification, which is a legal online document that our clients use to determine your eligibility for their matching and giving programs, you can do so by [following the instructions below]:

If you do not intend to amend your answer, please let me know by responding to this email.

Kind Regards,

Richard Paxton | Charity Relations Specialist


Dr. Morse replied the same day:

This is Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, President of the Ruth Institute. Thank you for reaching out to us. My colleague Rachel forwarded your letter to me.

You are correct in your surmise that we interpreted the questions differently than you appear to do. We interpreted question 2 to be asking whether people could attend our programs or work for us or with us, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The answer to that question is yes.

Your letter suggests however, that you mean something different. We would certainly not provide programs that affirmed procuring an abortion, using artificial contraceptives, engaging in non-marital sexual activity or engaging in homosexual sexual activity.

Given that this is the case, how would you suggest that we proceed? Is amending our profile the thing to do? Is there a place for offering this kind of clarification? Or is the non-discrimination question is simple "yes/no" without any qualification?

Once again, thank you for reaching out to us.

Dr. Morse

On November 30, we were again contacted by Mr. Paxton:

Thanks for getting back to me.

As you would intentionally restrict the direction of funds towards any activities which would assist such programs, the answer to question 2 that you have submitted would be incorrect. Some of our clients will prohibit their employees from donating to and/or receiving matches for organizations which limit the people they help on the basis of their sexuality, beliefs around sex before marriage, contraception etc.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

Richard Paxton | Charity Relations Specialist


Dr. Morse responded the next day, December 1:

Thank you for your reply. However, I still need a bit of clarification.

You said, that some of your clients would "prohibit their employees from donating to and/or receiving matches for organizations which limit the people they help on the basis of their sexuality, beliefs around sex before marriage, contraception etc."

We specifically said that we would be happy to help anyone who chooses to participate in our programs. We are fully aware that not everyone agrees with our analysis of the social problems which we study. We do not "limit" anyone. Many people choose not to attend, subscribe or participate. We do not "exclude" them. They "exclude" themselves. Anyone who participates or attends will hear what we have to say. They might not agree with it, but we would certainly not prohibit them from participating in our activities.

In that sense, we do not "limit the people we help" on any basis, including the bases you mention.

Also, we reviewed the form. I attach a screen shot of the window that pops up, if we were to answer "yes" to question 2. It asks, "Is your organization a religious or faith-based organization exempt from applicable laws that otherwise prohibit such Discrimination?"

This suggests that you are using a definition of discrimination that is based upon law. I am unaware of any statute or case law that prohibits "discrimination" based on "beliefs around sex before marriage, contraception, etc." Holding certain beliefs is not an immutable characteristic. Holding certain beliefs does not make one a member of a protected class, as far as I am aware. On what basis then do you include "beliefs around sex before marriage, contraception" and especially the open-ended category, "etc." in your anti-discrimination question?

To be clear: I am willing to revise our certification in accordance with your policies (or withdraw our application altogether, if need be.) But we would like to be clear on exactly what we would be and would not be saying, if we answer "yes" or "no" to question 2.

Dr. Morse

A week went by without anything; Dr. Morse re-forwarded the message on December 7 and, after a brief

explanation involving some out-of-office time,


Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you. I have been off with a sports injury and haven't had a chance to look at everything yet.

I am in conversation with a couple of my colleagues regarding the status of your cause and will be in contact with you later today.

Kind Regards,

Richard Paxton | Charity Relations Specialist

we received this on December 8:

I left a voicemail with you yesterday, I'm not sure if you received it or not?

We did find some content on your website and subsequent posts which suggest clearly that certain groups are excluded from attending some of your programs on the basis of their religion. For example, the statement at the end of this post:

This kind of rule being in place would directly contradict your answer to statement 2 of the Self-Certification, so we would request that this be amended.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

Richard Paxton | Charity Relations Specialist


Hmm. We responded:

Thank you for the clarification.
We will proceed.

Dr. Morse

We went back to our application and changed the answers. We said, "yes" we do discriminate. We said "no" we are not a religious organization exempt from applicable laws that otherwise prohibit such discrimination. 

We could have withdrawn our application altogether. I chose instead, to fill it out, under duress, as it were. I wish to state in no uncertain terms: I do not agree with the definition of "discrimination" presented to me in this correspondence. In my mind, we do not "discriminate" against anyone. Please notice that my request for clarification about whether holding views on "contraception," "abortion" or especially "etc." constitutes discrimination did not receive any response whatsoever. 

Ask yourself this: could your church-based ministry meet the criterion implied by Benevity's December 8 email? 

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