Faith Salie: What will be the aftermath of the sexual harassment firestorm?

Faith Salie on sexual harassment
Faith Salie on sexual harassment 02:47

America is in the middle of two crises these days -- one natural, the other man-made, definitely MAN-made, in the view of our Faith Salie: 

Our whole country is watching a fire burn. Literally, of course. I'm speaking of the Los Angeles fires, and our hearts go out to the Angelenos whose lives, pets and homes are threatened.

But there's another, figurative blaze engulfing our entire country -- flames exposing widespread sexual harassment, sparked by victims willing to speak out. 

Faith Salie says, like a wildfire, sexual harassment allegations will leave burn scars on our culture, but also make room for fertile new growth. CBS News

This fire sheds light, and many powerful men are feeling the heat.

This past week in Congress, it was time to stop, drop, and roll out the resignations. We saw announcements from three lawmakers due to allegations -- and in some cases, admissions -- of sexual misconduct: Michigan Congressman John Conyers Jr.; Arizona Congressman Trent Franks; and Minnesota Senator Al Franken.

Here's who didn't take himself out of play this week:

The L.A. fire is tragically destructive. Wildfires can leave the land with burn scars that last for years. Scars point to damage, but also to healing. 

On actual land and in our cultural landscape, fire can make room for fertile new growth -- room for more women in leadership positions, room for more decent men, for transparency and mutual respect.

Our nation's conflagration has sparked conversation. Are we a people who put politics over integrity? Or are we a country of voters and leaders, men and women, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, colleagues, humans who care about treating each other with basic dignity?

May this fire shed light on who we are.  

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