Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

After the election: some links

Of course the election battle is ongoing in Florida and Georgia. And sure enough, some of my Republican friends are parroting the claims that not having it settled on election day represents some kind of fraud. Sen. Marco Rubio is doing his best to play the refs on that one, as is former governor, possible future senator Rick Scott. And because Democrats who thought Jeff Sessions was too racist for attorney general (his last act as AG is both racist and authoritarian), also think firing him to put in a devoted Trump acolyte as acting AG is bad, Democrats are therefore full of shit.

While I think the Democrats did well, as I noted last week, no question Trump’s party having a lock on the Senate is a win for them: little chance of stopping whatever shit judges they push through now. And it’s unlikely, despite Bernie Sanders’ optimism, that Trump will swing left. How it will all play out, only the next two years will show. Now, links:

Republicans are losing suburban white women. Given they’re not going to change course, do they have any way to counteract that?

Bret Stephens at the NYT thinks Democrats blew it completely, and got very pissy being told he was wrong.

Despite the Democratic gains, some pundits still say the election was a case of messaging fail.

Did Democrats win because they didn’t go after Trump full-throttle?

A militant right-wing group in Georgia is threatening violence if Stacey Abrams wins.

A white nationalist still hopes to take over the Republican Party. Like most people who long for a white homeland, he’s full of shit, believing everyone should live in an ethnic homeland: whites in the US and Western Europe, Hispanics in Latin America, for instance. Only Hispanics were in the Southwest US and Florida long before whites, so why doesn’t that figure in (and, obviously, Native Americans were here before everyone)? The “white homeland” is just a pretense at sounding like there’s some historical logic to what white supremacists want.

We just elected several scientists to Congress.

New acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker has a history as a scam artist. He also thinks judges should make decisions based on New Testament morality. I have a feeling he doesn’t mean opposition to usury, sympathy for the poor and judging not lest ye be judged.

Prior to the election, a CNN columnist called for an end to service sex, where women give their partners sex even when the women aren’t in the mood. Unsurprisingly, the sexists at the Federalist say service sex is good and women should put out whether they want to or not.

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He dyed her vagina purple and other gender-war news

Yes, it actually happened: an ob/gyndoctor thought it would be hysterically funny to dye a patient’s vagina purple.

Baylor University student Jacob Walter Anderson was indicted on four counts of sexual assault. He’ll cop to unlawful restraint, which carries up to a ten year penalty, but his sentence is $400 fine and three years suspended probation. The victim’s family says the DA just doesn’t believe he can convict a first-time rapist.

“This is a depressing reality for all of us who are — or who ever were — a part of American white evangelicalism. We can all play Six Degrees of Separation From A Rapist. But we never need to use all six degrees.” I suspect that’s true of many institutions.

“Cohen alleges that Moates once told her that she “couldn’t possibly be telling the truth that I was a proud virgin, that I had indeed never kissed a boy, because I was too gorgeous for that.” She was 16 years old at the time.” Another day, another predator.

An anti-abortion group in Texas promised to provide family planning service to 70,000 women. It’s still getting state funding, even though the number’s a mere 3,300.

Even Republicans are concerned about women’s access to tampons and similar products. There are several more sexism-related links in this slacktivist linkpost.

CERN suspended a scientist who claims women’s brains aren’t as good at science as men’s.

Conservative, sexist comics activist Richard Meyer is suing writer Mark Waid on the grounds Waid destroyed his career.

No, no, believing men must dominate women totally does not make us male supremacists!

A neo-Nazi website has some suggestions for how to enforce monogamy.

Someone’s trying to frame Robert Mueller for sexual assault. Not very competently, but I’m sure we’ll see more of this. It’s a two-fer, clobbering Democrats and Me Too at the same time. The frame fell apart, which has some conservatives seething. At Democrats, not the fakers.

Dr. Michael Holick has been an expert defendant’s witness in hundreds of child abuse cases, thanks to his theory that lots of alleged abuse is explained by super-fragile bones.

In better child-abuse news, the Justice Department is investigating the Catholic Church’s decade’s long history of covering-up for abusers.

Paul Feig scoffs at the idea Hollywood can’t find more female directors.

The creepy world of fundamentalist Bill Gothard and his sexual harassment (“IBLP is a case study in how a religious culture can implode when an authoritarian theology allows the most vulnerable to be targeted by predators.”).

The DARVO strategy for rapists and sexual harassers: Deny, Attack the Victim, Reverse Victim and Offender roles to claim you’re the suffering one.

A look at the difference between black and white Southern women’s political involvement. In a discussion of privilege and voting, NMMNB highlights one particular section, an account of white couples going into the polling booth together so the husband can tell his wife how to vote.

Did your wife sleep with other men before your marriage? Some incels think that makes you a cuckold.

Yet another shooter turns out to be a misogynist and abuser.

The Google protests, sexual-equality efforts in Ethiopia and other news from Echidne.

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Talent is not always rewarded

Lance Mannion writes a great post about men who support Trump: “They believe in their hearts they should have been rich. They should have been physical heroes. They should have been football and baseball and basketball stars. They should have been irresistible to beautiful women—still should be! They should have had the power and courage to tell anyone who got in their way to fuck off. They should have had the power and courage to make them if they didn’t.” So they look to Trump and relieve their frustration by living through him.

Mannion wrote that for free, on his blog. Right-winger David Gelertner got to write a piece about how liberals hate Trump because they hate America for pay (I presume) in the editorial page of the Wall-Street Journal. Even given it’s run by rape-apologist James Tarantino, it’s still some primo op-ed space. In a Slate interview with Gelertner, the dude comes off like an idiot whose response to everything (Trump objects to a Mexican judge, Trump says Mexicans are coming here bearing disease) is to declare it’s totally not racist! Saying he’s racist and sexist is slanderous! Repeat, rinse, repeat. As NMMNB puts it, Trump’s just an excuse for Gelertner to whine about how he hates liberals. It’s still lousy writing. Mannion’s better, but he’s writing for free.

And then we get Bret Stephens, who writes a regular column for the New York Times. In addition to being a climate-change denier, he’s a rape apologist who explains Harvey Weinstein is the fault of liberals and their support of sexual freedom. Now he’s shared his deep thoughts on false rape accusations: They’re worse than being accused of murder because “one can think of excuses for killing a man; none for assaulting a woman. But if that’s true, so is this: Falsely accusing a person of sexual assault is nearly as despicable as sexual assault itself. It inflicts psychic, familial, reputational and professional harms that can last a lifetime.”

If he couldn’t think of any excuses, he must have been half-asleep when he wrote that column. Or maybe he didn’t want to try. Because the truth is, there’s no end of rape excuses that get men off.

She’d had sex with him before. She’d had sex with someone before. She was unconscious so she didn’t say no. He’s a really good guy and he shouldn’t be punished. She was out alone at night. She looked sexy. She dressed sexy. She wasn’t a virgin. She didn’t fight hard enough. He was her husband. It’s men’s nature to rape. Not to mention the excuses offered by Stephens and other apologists, which usually come down to liberals! Sex! Promiscuity!  All Stephens is doing is promoting the idea we can’t trust accusers which is bullshit.

Mannion could do a better job than either of them, but like me, he lingers in relative obscurity. Which I wouldn’t really mind — there’s no shortage of crappy novelists with way better careers than me — if Stephens and Gelertner weren’t pumping so much bullshit into society.

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Real men rape, professor says

“If someone did not commit sexual assault in high school, then he is not a member of the male sex,” according to business professor Mitchell Langbert, dismissing the allegations against new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, AKA Justice Gang Rape.

This is not a startling claim from a right-winger. Scott Adams has expressed similar views and economics professor Steven Landsburg once said he’s not sure why raping an unconscious woman is wrong. They don’t always grab attention outside the blogosphere, but coming during the Kavanaugh hearings, this post did. And the implication Langbert has done something in this line himself resulted in a wave of outrage, online criticism and calls for firing. Like most people who say they want to be provocative, Langbert immediately cringed and blustered when it turned out he’d actually provoked people.

Defense #1: there’s nothing wrong with exploring sexuality as a teen: “As long as there is no coercion or violence, it’s not a crime.” Which is true, but as Ford’s account involves coercion and violence, how is that relevant? The post claims Dems and feminists are exaggerating harmless incidents and turning them into “assault” but Langbert doesn’t provide any examples (if he thinks Kavanaugh is example #1, he’s really off-base).

Defense #2: Langbert was writing satire — “It is intended to be taken in the same light as Swift’s claim that Irish children should be eaten” — but dumb liberals took him seriously! If that’s the case, then Professor Langbert shouldn’t quit his day job because satire isn’t his strong suite. It’s true the ending sentiment (“In the future, having committed sexual assault in high school ought to be a prerequisite for all appointments, judicial and political.”) is way over the top, but otherwise there’s nothing outrageous enough to be satire. Multiple republicans have asserted that what Kavanaugh is charged with is just teenage horseplay, or compared him to lynching victim Emmett Till. Langbert’s accusation the Dems are “the sissy party” isn’t out of line with mainstream Republican sentiment either.

More to the point, what is he satirizing? Saying that rape and assault should be required for government positions sounds like a satire on Kavanaugh’s defenders, but Langbert’s on the same side as them. If he’s trying to satirize the accusers, he blew it — he’s making the same arguments about how overblown the attacks are as every other Republican. If he’s satirizing the Democratic view of Republicans, well it didn’t come across that way. And if it takes this much work to tease out, well, the joke’s not funny.

Defense #3: Liberals are mean! Liberals shut down opposing viewpoints! Groupthink! Feminists! Socialism on campus! Pretty much the standard cliches of the right winger under fire.

Perhaps Langbert really thought he was being satirical. However, I’ve seen “I was just being funny!” used too often by jerks who clearly weren’t being humorous to buy this entirely. My guess (and it is only a guess) is that he hoped to antagonize people just enough that he’d get tagged as “controversial” or “provocative” and thereby get some intellectual dark web cred.

If so, he miscalculated. If he thought he was writing biting satire, he miscalculated. If he thought there’d be no blowback, he miscalculated.

I shall now play the world’s smallest violin on his behalf.

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Lets look in that wretched hive again

A random roundup of nuttiness, vileness and bigotry.

If Trump is going senile or insane, that’s a good reason to vote Republican.

John McCain was executed by a military tribunal! Clinton and Obama are next!

Who’s scheming against Trump? An international Jewish banker! Also people actually told legislators not to support Kavanaugh!

The Trump administration is still treating migrant children like shit.

Sandy Rios thinks being gay is so much worse than anything Bret Kavanaugh did.

The NRA thinks the problem of America is that men are being turned into second-rate women.

“Russia wants to upend Western democracy, which happens to be exactly what Republicans also want.”]

“Civility is not an end on its own if the practices and beliefs it upholds are unjust.”

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, whose great achievement is a tax cut bill that lines his own pocket, shows the usual Republican contempt for rape victims.

Tennesseean Taylor Swift has endorsed two Democratic candidates in her state. The alt.right has a meltdown. Showing again how much projection hides in their fantasies of easily triggered liberal snowflakes.

When the Democrats considered a primary challenge to a conservative Dem senator, that was totalitarian tyranny. When Republicans do it, it’s cool.

American Nazi Chris Cantwell broke down in tears when faced with the cops, but he’s damn tough talking online about the fun of rape.

One Bible thinks Christians focusing on social justice is heresy! Unsurprisingly the minister profiled in the article, John McArthur, thinks focusing on the evil of gayness is just fine.

Right wingers have implied for years that Democrats aren’t really legitimate (“Bill Clinton was never elected by a majority of the American people!”) but Trump is saying the quiet parts out loud. David Niewert looks at the history “we need a new Civil War to kill the liberals” talk.

Okay, topic shift because this crap is depressing. First, here’s a shot of an Aussie wine celebrating the 19 crimes for which Britain transported convicts to Australia. All rights to label remain with current holder.

Next, LGM looks at douchebro culture as expressed in 1980s films. My Atomic Junkshop colleague Greg Hatcher looks at the same issue via personal experience of binge drinking (“No one ever has a good blackout. “Oh yeah, you were a wild man, volunteering at the soup kitchen, collecting for UNICEF, you were OFF THE HOOK, dude!” is not a thing anyone said ever.”) and how it justifies male jerkiness.

Anti-feminist Jordan Peterson likes to pos as a champion of unorthodox thought. Unless it’s thinking the wrong thing about Jordan Peterson. He is also clueless about white privilege.

“Resistance isn’t the same thing as winning,” but it’s still a good thing. And no, Republicans didn’t win because Mitch McConnell is a tactical genius or because ruthlessness wins, it’s because they had more votes.

A stranger stands up for two women who were hassled for speaking Spanish.

A former incel describes breaking away from his old mindset.

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If you’re a teenage rapist, senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr have your back

Which is to say like every other Republican senator but Murkowski they voted yes, for Brett Kavanaugh, accused rapist, to sit on the Supreme Court. I’m sure they’d default to the FBI investigation finding nothing, ignoring that the investigation was sharply restricted, because (according to one of the White House lawyers) a full investigation “would be potentially disastrous for Judge Kavanaugh’s chances of confirmation to the Supreme Court.” So several people who might have been a problem for Kavanaugh weren’t contacted. Heck, they didn’t even contact the two guys who supposedly told Senate Republicans that they might be Ford’s attacker. Why it’s almost like there’s no proof they even existed!

The truncated investigation we got is enough for the right wing to claim vindication, which is all it was meant for.

But I’m with slacktivist Fred Clark: “Kavanaugh’s denials expose the specific shape of what he’s denying like a cloth draped over a statue.”

Multiple prominent Republicans such as Franklin Graham have declared even if Kavanaugh did it, it doesn’t matter. 48 percent of evangelical voters also think it doesn’t matter. Neither does this guy. Not when they have the chance to shut down abortion, inflict pain on gays and funnel more taxpayers’ dollars to religon. If that means telling 17 year olds who rape 15 year olds “bygones! you get a mulligan!” (and we’re not even talking about the other two allegations against Kavanaugh), hey, no big! It’s worth it to get a reliable right-wing judge on the court. And I’ve seen very little blowback from other conservatives insisting that yes, it would matter (there are exceptions).

And Trump has mocked the Dems for being wimpy sissies who dumped Al Franken for a bit of groping.

I’ve had right-wing friends sharing the rape-apologist meme that Christine Ford was too ugly to be raped. They are now blocked.

A Florida Catholic, Donald Sanborn says we should believe Kavanaugh because he’s superior to Ford. Sanborn calls himself a bishop, but he is not, in fact part of the Catholic hierarchy.

Lili Loofbourow points out the absurdity of “the three women were conspiring against him” — what kind of dumb-ass conspirators would report public assaults rather than somewhere nobody else can be a witness for Kavanaugh?  She also suggests the public nature is the point — it’s how Kavanaugh and his bros bonded. Hey, for some guys drinking and brawling is what makes them awesome! For others, including President Shit-Gibbon, the cruelty of humiliating women (or blacks or gays) is just too much fun.

The network of “information terrorists” involved in Gamergate and Pizzagate were also active supporting Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh’s very sexist buddy Mark Judge sided with GamerGate.

Along with “those other two guys attacked Ford” the right-wing has also pushed “Ford was hypnotized” to lie as a defense. Or the classic, claiming other accusers were sluts.

Senator Cory Booker groped a young woman as a teenager, but there are significant differences: he went public of his own volition, acknowledged he was wrong, and says he behaved better after that. Which noted at the link doesn’t make it okay, but it’s not comparable to Kavanaugh.

Some conservatives did object to appointing Kavanaugh.

In other related thoughts:

Women talk about what they’d do at night if men were kept indoors.

Paige Patterson, a Southern Baptist leader who told abused women to stay with their husbands, is teaching a class on ethics.

The religious right talks a lot about how abortion is an American Holocaust, millions dead! But even though reliable contraception reduces abortion rates, they oppose it.

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Brett Kavanaugh is nothing like Emmett Till

Forced birther Ryan Bomberger recently compared Kavanaugh’s plight to Emmett Till: both falsely accused of a crime of harassment, both lynched. One of my FB friends actually flung “Remember Emmett Till” at me during an argument (she’s pro-Kavanaugh), so I’m going to take a second and explain why it’s bullshit. And why the claims he’s entitled to due process — innocent until proven guilty — are bullshit too.

Emmett Till said “bye baby” to a white woman, Carolyn Bryant (during the trial of his killers, she lied he’d physically assaulted her). Her husband and father brutally murdered Till. The jury found them not guilty. Till was lynched.

Kavanaugh isn’t being lynched. On the contrary, he’s getting a full legal hearing. And he’s not being denied due process: the Senate isn’t a courtroom and the standards for vetting judges are not “innocent until proven guilty.” The standard is “do we want this guy on the Supreme Court?” Considering allegations of rape is certainly legitimate, ditto questions about Kavanaugh’s finances, his judgment, his temperament and how he’ll vote. Whether or not anyone believes Ford, Kavanaugh’s getting a fair hearing.

And where Till paid with his life, the worst Kavanaugh’s going to suffer is not getting on the Supreme Court. He’ll still have his federal judgeship for the rest of his career.

While I’m used to desperate attempts by white male conservatives to insist they’re the truly oppressed ones, I can’t recall them sinking lower than this. But hey, the hearings aren’t over yet.

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Defend the Kavanaugh!

As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, more Kavanaugh accusers have come forward. Never fear, Trump toady and professional liar KellyAnne Conway: it’s a left-wing conspiracy. There are no allegations of Kavanaugh being a predator as an adult, are there? Which would be a fair point — maybe he did get his shit together — but we have multiple accounts saying he drunk heavily as a teen and treated women like crap. And rather than say “yes, I did that, but I’m not that guy,” Kavanaugh has lied under oath that he was a complete choirboy or maybe a choirboy who drank a little.

Will the Senate now drop him as it should? I don’t know. As I said previously, the Republican base wants Trump to crush the liberals and backing off doesn’t deliver. Trump himself is unsurprisingly supporting his fellow sexual assailant. Some Republicans still buy into “what boy hasn’t done this in high school?” Or that Ford didn’t fight him off hard enough so it’s not rape. Rep. Steve King goes with the line Ford’s rape charges are impossible to disprove, so it’s not fair — how can any man get on the Supreme Court if a woman can just cry rape? As LGM puts it, this makes sense by the right-wing standard that it’s better to let 1,000 rapists go free than believe one false allegation. But then, conservatives have never grasped that consent matters.

A high-school student says she finds the right-wing message that teenage rape shouldn’t hurt your career absolutely terrifying. More on the culture that spawns Kavanaughs.

In a post from a couple of weeks back, Dahlia Lithwick says it was inevitable the system would be weaponized against Ford.

Right-winger Tony Perkins says as a Christian he values the truth — and the truth is, Kavanaugh’s being persecuted!

An investigator points out that judging conflicting testimony from different witnesses isn’t unusual or unfair.

In a really bizarre attempt, conservative Josh Bernstein explains that Ford actually hit on Kavanaugh, then accused him for rejecting her. That’s a really bizarre line of defense as Kavanaugh has never claimed anything of the sort. I presume it’s another case of the Anti-Kitten Burners syndrome — people who don’t want to feel guilty for supporting Trump’s pick can tell themselves that they’re actually fighting a lying bitch! They’re the good guys!

Or maybe he reflects Dave Daubenmire’s view that women who don’t put out are committing sexual abuse (“how about all the times when you were a teenage [boy] and some girl … led you on and led you on and then, all of a sudden, pulled the plug? Every guy that has blood flowing through his body had that happen. Isn’t that sexual abuse as well?”).

And Camestros Felapton explains that no, rape cases that did not go to trial are not evidence of lots of false rape claims. Take that Chris McDaniel.

In other rape- and abuse-related news:

Kavanaugh isn’t the only sexist claiming he’s the real victim.

Designing Women-creator writes about how alleged sexual predator and CBS top dog Lester Moonvees kept her from launching new shows.

A Houston doctor raped an unconscious patient. He won’t do any jail time.

Bill Cosby’s going to spend at least three years in jail. His lawyers explains the verdict is part of the same war on men as Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers.

The fashion world’s bosses aren’t interested in #metoo.

Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison’s ex girlfriend says he was physically abusive.

A man rapes a five-year-old and gets house arrest. For 90 days.

Alleged sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly sticks up for Kavanaugh.

A pissed-off incel blames his mother for ruining his life: she gave birth to him! Nope, not kidding.

Image from Munch’s The Scream, all rights remain with current holder.

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Why didn’t she call the cops? Rape cases and rape culture.

I see people still arguing that Christine Ford has to be lying about Kavanaugh or she’d have reported it to police at the time. Let’s look at some rape/assault cases (sorry, I’m pressed for time, so almost no links).

Brock Turner sexually assaults an unconscious woman. His father tells the judge Turner shouldn’t have his life ruined for a few minutes of bad judgment. Sentence: three months in county jail.

Larry Nassar, a gymnastics doctor at the University of Michigan molested and felt up his patients for years. Patients complained to the university administration, repeatedly. The university does nothing.

In Alaska, Justin Schneider was charged with kidnapping and assault in a rape case. He pled guilty to one assault charge. No jail time. Prosecutor and judge say losing his job and spending a year on house arrest with his family is enough punishment, so he gets a free pass. But he’d better not do it again, by golly!

A rapist in Maryland some years back choked his victim before the actual sex act. Cops conclusion: he wasn’t choking her at the moment of penetration, so he wasn’t really using force. No charges.

A man in Colorado leaves an answering machine message telling a woman that yes, the sex they’d had the night before was rape. Prosecutor (now congressman) Ken Buck told the woman it still seemed to him like “buyer’s remorse.” No charges filed.

Elizabeth Bruenig, in a recent WaPo article, writes about how there was a rape case in her home town. The victim reported it, and got villified, with graffiti popping up everywhere suggesting she should be raped some more (FAITH, for “Fuck Amber In Three Holes”).

Multiple Protestant churches have covered up for rapists. As, obviously, does the Catholic Church. And mosques. And some Jewish communities).

A Brooklyn cop a couple of years back said that he wasn’t worried about the uptick in rape cases in his precinct because they were all acquaintance rape, which isn’t as bad as stranger rape (men who rape strangers, they’re the evil ones!). For some reason that eluded him, a lot of the victims decided not to cooperate with the police.

Cases like these tell rape victims they won’t be believed. And even if they’re believed, there won’t be charges or a trial. And that if there’s a trial, the court won’t want the rapist to suffer or see his future ruined. His redemption, and being sincerely sorry, is taken as a given. Conversely, rapists learn the risk/reward ratio favors them (as one guy put it after the election, Trump winning demonstrates you can commit sexual assault and not suffer any consequences). The system’s on their side. Bystanders learn that only losers get raped. Rapists are winners; siding with them and judging the victim (as in the Bruenig case, or Steubenville) makes you one of the cool kids. If you’re part of a college/church/organization, you learn you’re expected to shut your mouth at a minimum, at a maximum to provide cover.

Rape culture isn’t an organized set of beliefs. It’s dozens of individual acts, individual cases, all of which combined tell us what’s acceptable and what isn’t. What’s a crime and what’s just boys having a little fun. And until we root it out, women will continue not to come forward.

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Rape, predators and prey

As several bloggers and pundits have pointed out, it’s creepy that the response to Brett Kavanaugh saying he totally did not assault Christine Bresley Ford is to declare that even if he did, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Given the chance to pretend they don’t tolerate predators, that they protect human prey — something that’s part of government’s police function — the right wing picks the predator’s side. When a second accuser spoke up against Kavanaugh, the Republican response was to speed up the vote.

And we’re not talking incels and other creeps venting online, we’re talking the Republican mainstream. Of course, they’re not always pro-predator: if the predation is black-on-white, or hispanic on white, then they want the hammer dropped. Even after the Central Park Five were cleared, Trump kept insisting they were guilty. But white man praying on woman? No big!

This isn’t unique. Communities shit on rape victims. The religious defends in-church predators just like the Catholic Church. Paige Patterson, the former Southern Baptist leader who told women to stay with their abusers, is preaching again; some supporters say firing him for not reporting a students’ rape wasn’t Biblical. At this point, part of Kavanaugh’s appeal is that appointing him is a triumph for sexism: ” It has to be this guy, now, because he has been accused, credibly, of attempting to rape a 15-year-old girl in 1982—moreover because people believe this should be considered a disqualifying blight on his record. The thing that must happen is that those people must be defeated.” It’s a nastier version of owning the liberals, but it’s also about reinforcing male supremacy: men can do whatever they damn well please to women without consequences.

As I’ve said before, that’s the nature of patriarchy. I suspect it’s one reason court evangelicals are comfortable supporting Trump (or Roy Moore). Men are free to do what they want with women, it’s up to the women to find a way to restrain them. If not, the men are entitled to prey. Those who aren’t comfortable saying that aloud just lie: Bible-thumper Franklin Graham’s response to the allegations has been to lie that Kavanaugh stopped as soon as Ford said no. The stuff about him covering her mouth, turning the music up loud? Look, crickets!

Dennis Prager explains it’s taking the charges seriously that will damage “America’s moral compass” and the proper way to deal with sexual assault at work is to hide: “When my wife was a waitress in her mid teens, the manager of her restaurant grabbed her breasts and squeezed them on numerous occasions. She told him to buzz off, figured out how to avoid being in places where they were alone, and continued going about her job. That’s empowerment.” No, it’s survival. I’m sorry your wife is married to you, dude.

A White House lawyer says that if Kavanaugh can be brought down by these accusations — “brought down” meaning going back to his current job as a lifetime-appointed federal judge — “every man should certainly be worried.” Well, no, only men who’ve held a woman down and covered her mouth to prevent her screaming. As Lili Loufbourow says, the underlying message is that boys do evil things and we should just accept that’s the way of the world (not a new right-wing insight).

An alternative theory is that it happened but Ford misidentified the attacker. Right-wing think-tanker Ed Whelan actually accused another man by name; Kathleen Parker tried the same tack without naming anyone. This seems like a split-the-difference tactic (nobody’s lying, someone’s just wrong!) but as noted at the first link, it’s not getting any traction. And possibly Whelan came up with it after talking with Kavanaugh.

Law professor Amy Chua, who knows and supports Kavanaugh’s nomination, also told female students who wanted to clerk for him that “it was no accident” his female clerks look like models.

By the time you read this, I may already be a couple of developments behind. So to end on something a little more upbeat, here’s advice on consent: don’t make people drink tea.

 

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