Female rage is getting nasty, and it won't end well
The feminist fury post-Kavanaugh needs a target, but demonising men is not the way to go
I found myself wondering just how nasty the row could get over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the US Supreme Court. A new low was reached by Samantha Ness, a teacher from Minnesota, who tweeted: “So whose gonna take one for the team and kill Kavanaugh?”
Not just an incitement to murder, but a semi-literate one at that.
Dr Christine Blasey Ford, who made allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh dating back to high school, gave moving and plausible testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee at great risk to her reputation and safety. While appreciating that, you could also see it was not ideal that it had taken her 36 years to come forward.
Nor was it a good look to have the allegation made public just as the Republican-supporting judge was about to change the balance of America’s highest court. Her action could too easily be mistaken for political convenience, rather than civic duty.
The opposing side was even worse. The Christian Right didn’t seem to care whether there was any truth in Ford’s allegations, so indecent was their haste to install an anti-abortion judge. Kavanaugh himself gave an unpleasant, pink-faced performance, alternately petulant and angry. If he was a woman, they’d have called him hysterical.
Most sinister of all was the calendar he had kept from his teenage years. Who on Earth knows exactly what they were doing on a Friday in 1982, and for what reason might they have kept that evidence? Nor did I much like the anxious, sidelong glances his wife gave him, or the way he rudely pushed her out of the way (shades of Trump and Melania).
Still, any moderately sensible person would see there were holes in both arguments. Except moderate and sensible are no longer on offer. What we have instead is boiling female rage, which justifies thinking that any man who stands accused is guilty, because, you know, they got away with it for so long.
Republican Senator Susan Collins, a patently decent woman who endorsed Kavanaugh because she still believes in the presumption of innocence (crazy, eh?), was called a “rape apologist”. A female Georgetown University professor actually said that all entitled white men “deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine.” Boy, she sounds nice.
I can understand that the presence in the White House of an unrepentant “pussy grabber” who did a repulsive impression of Blasey Ford has caused furious disbelief among women, and that fury is seeking a target. But to demonise the opposite sex, with almost pathological hatred, is not going to end well. Historically, witch-hunts were evidence of moral panic. Man-hunts are just as ugly. Women are better than that.
– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2018)