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The club is closing

12/15/2017, 7:42 a.m.

Note to the ol’ boys: The club is closing.

We’re talking about the club whose members are being outed daily for their reprehensible behavior of sexually harassing and assaulting women.

No longer are the “fresh” comments acceptable, the vile suggestions like those of President Trump that a woman senator would do anything for money; the surreptitious and blatant touches of a co-worker’s, constituent’s or student’s body; or the suggestions — or actual demands — for sexual favors in exchange for keeping one’s job, advancing within a company or getting a good grade.

Those days are over.

If the ol’ boys haven’t gotten that message from the #MeToo movement and the firings and resignations of everyone from television journalists Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly and Charlie Rose to music mogul Russell Simmons and Michigan Congressman John Conyers and Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, then perhaps they heard it loudly and clearly from the Alabama voters on Tuesday night who stated that Republican Roy Moore is not the kind of man they want to represent them in the U.S. Senate.

Several women came forward and said that Mr. Moore, while a 30-something attorney in the local prosecutor’s office, had made sexual advances toward them when they were teenagers, including one who was 14 at the time. One woman accused him of sexual assault.

Mr. Moore, a 70-year-old former chief justice on the Alabama Supreme Court, denied the allegations, even as he had people using dubious interpretations of the Bible to support him. (“Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter,” said Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler in defending Mr. Moore.)

Instead, voters elected 63-year-old attorney Doug Jones, the Democratic long-shot candidate, who said he would bring integrity back to Alabama.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Mr. Jones summoned the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“As Dr. King liked to quote, ‘The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice,’ ” he told the crowd. “Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, tonight in this time, in this place, you helped bend that moral arc a little closer to that justice, and you did it. Not only was it bent more, not only was its aim truer, but you sent it right through the heart of the great state of Alabama in doing so.”

We believe the election shows the nation’s psyche has grown up, and with it expectations that boundaries of human decency and respect will be just that — respected.

Older generations and even younger men no longer can do or take what they want from women and then claim, pitifully and ignorantly, that they mistakenly believed they were “pursuing shared feelings.”

We laud the brave women who are coming forward and telling their stories, many after years of hiding the truth for various reasons. Some women did not come forward before out of their own shame and fears of retribution, of losing their job or of not being believed. 

Others never spoke about being sexually harassed or assaulted because they didn’t want to be responsible for bringing down an icon or destroying a pillar of the community. Others stayed silent for fears of damaging a family — their own or the perpetrator’s wife and children.