What does it mean to ‘believe women?’

220px-Judge_Brett_Kavanaugh“Believing women” doesn’t mean we have to accept accusations as evidence. So what might it mean in real life?

• When a woman makes an accusation, it would mean pursuing all available lines of evidence to weigh the truth of her claims. In the matter of Brett Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS nomination, it would mean calling Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s buddy, to testify under penalty of perjury. So far that’s not happening. That the Senate Judiciary Committee is not taking such a step suggests they don’t have much interest in trying, as best as we poor humans are capable, of making a genuine attempt to determine the truth of the matter.

• When a woman’s accusation is proven, the person convicted of abusing or assaulting her will be given more than a slap-on-the-wrist punishment.

• And women a woman says she has been traumatized by sexual assault, we don’t wave our hands and tell her to toughen up instead of being such a victim.

None of this means accepting an accusation as evidence. What it does mean is taking the accusation seriously enough to learn the truth, and taking women seriously enough to deal seriously with the men who have assaulted them.

Given the state of our arguments over Kavanaugh — and I truly don’t know if he’s guilty or innocent of the allegations, though I’m inclined to believe his accuser — I’d say we’re not there yet.

Author: joeldermole

Joel Mathis is a freelance writer who lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife and son. He spent nine years as a syndicated columnist, co-writing the RedBlueAmerica column as the liberal half of a point-counterpoint duo. His honors include awards for best online commentary from the Online News Association and (twice) from the City and Regional Magazine Association.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s