One of the more frustrating aspects of the entire circus surrounding the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is the declaration by the anti-Kavanaugh crowd that we must #believesurvivors, as the hashtag goes. That is, of course, a variation on the #MeToo social media trending phrase #believeallwomen that became the rage for a short time during the initial emergence of the #MeToo movement.
Different hashtags with one thing in common: they are equally insulting to women.
Oh I know that’s not a popular opinion, but in the midst of all the uncorroborated allegations and female empowerment is a simple truth: women will ultimately pay the price for this relentless persecution of the male.
Frankly, it would be a lot easier to believe survivors or women or that anything good will ever happen again if things hadn’t taken the downright nasty turn they have with Kavanaugh’s confirmation a day or two away. In fact, there’s been little to believe in ever since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came out of the left field we call California and hazily recalled — with almost no specifics — that Brett Kavanaugh had been a boy once who might have done something inappropriate at a house party when the two were in high school. But maybe not, because Dr. Ford couldn’t really recall the who or the what or the where of her allegations.
Then there were the allegations in The New Yorker, hazier (because the woman admitted she was pretty close to passed out) but more specific in the details. Still, no one was really willing to back up her story. She wasn’t even sure it was her much less if Kavanaugh was involved, the woman admitted.
And now, today, in light of those unsuccessful attempts to make Kavanaugh withdraw or force Senate Republicans into a jurisdictionally irrelevant FBI investigation, they’ve turned a man who had a squeaky clean reputation and impeccable career into a gang rapist (or someone who facilitates those kinds of things).
It’s patently absurd.
But, according to hashtag activists, the mere allegation of impropriety against these women — who really haven’t done much talking officially about what they claim — makes them survivors and makes Kavanaugh unfit to be a SCOTUS judge.
As such, good, moral, and right-thinking people are required to believe the women and hate the man.
Never mind that the jig was basically up by Monday of this week when Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said in a statement that, following news of the unsubstantiated allegations in The New Yorker, he believed Democrats had been playing politics all along.
“It should be clear now to all Americans that Democrats are engaged in a coordinated effort to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation by any means possible,” Hatch said. “As I have said before, every accuser deserves to be heard. Moreover, a person who has committed sexual assault should not serve on the Supreme Court. But the way my Democratic colleagues have approached these allegations makes clear that the driving objective here is not truth, but politics.”
Hatch nailed it; but what he didn’t say is that Senate Democrats’ decision to use Dr. Ford and these other women, and demanding they be believed despite their allegations being flimsy enough to blow away on a slight breeze, is an affront to women especially.
And it is women who will ultimately pay the price for the pitchforked #MeToo mafia.
First and foremost, this circus is an affront to Dr. Ford and these other accusers, asked to be the face of the destruction of an old classmate, a man they seem more than a little unwilling to face. Democrats are using these women and half-remembered (and that’s being generous) experiences to delay what will ultimately be an ideological shift on the Supreme Court, one they fear very much.
Second, it’s an affront to all women — and there are doubtless many — who have been victimized and know the trauma of sexual assault and are being forced to watch this play out. They see this charade to benefit a few Democrat legislators on the Hill and they know these women will become unimportant to them as soon as it’s politically expedient to turn them away (think Cindy Sheehan). Dr. Ford, particularly, also seems to sense she’s being used and has, thus far, been less than willing to go all the way and appear before the Senate Committee. Her latest letter to Chairman Chuck Grassley looks to be more of the same rhetorical, on-paper willingness laced with panic, giving her an excuse to back out if she decides to. And female survivors recognize that sexual assault, under these circumstances, is not being taken seriously.
And third, those cynical hashtags do little more than mobilize and harness the better nature of women in the persecution of a man for political games. Women are uniquely wired toward a mothering instinct and so, of course, they want to believe a survivor when told of the horror of her experiences.
But first, a survivor one must be. And there’s not a lot of evidence that suggests Dr. Ford, or the other women in this assembly line of accusers, has survived anything that can be independently corroborated.
And that’s simply emotional manipulation of good-hearted women looking to soothe a fellow sister. Had Dr. Ford, for example, not insisted she had witnesses, she’d be in a better position with ladies. But because she said others saw, and none have backed her up, she looks less like a survivor and more like a pawn.
And women as pawns is the opposite of what #MeToo was supposed to be about. And women, ultimately, will pay the price for that lie. This is from January, in the earlier days of #MeToo:
In Silicon Valley, the chief executive of a midsize company asked his human resources manager what he should do about the undercurrent of tension around issues of sexual misconduct. Stop having dinners with female employees, he was advised. In fact, stop having dinners with any employees. Lunches are OK, dinners no way, HR told him.
Another investor said his colleagues have canceled their one-on-one meetings with female entrepreneurs. And some men have taken to comparing their own new approach to that of Vice President Mike Pence, who has said that he does not dine alone with any woman but his wife.
“My research over the past couple of years showed that men were hesitant to have one-on-one meetings, go out to lunch or go on business trips alone with a woman,” said Kim Elsesser, a psychologist at the University of California at Los Angeles and author of “Sex and the Office.” “Now it’s gotten worse. We need to educate everyone in the workplace not only about what not to do, but that going out to lunch is important — if you segregate by gender, that’s discrimination.”
The irony is that the tale of the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh — and he is likely to be confirmed come Thursday, hearing or no hearing — will go down in history as a tale of disrespect toward women, but not because of some fumbling around at a high school party 35 years ago, or in a college dorm. Rather, it will be because Senate Democrats asked all women to forgo their own cognitive abilities to judge truth simply because they happened to share the gender of the accuser.
And that is insulting.