In Trump’s world, women and assault victims are secondary considerations

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I recently had coffee with a female friend who, in the midst of our discussing politics, almost casually mentioned that she’d had a #MeToo moment decades earlier. She didn’t go into detail — she said she’s told almost nobody the details — but did allow that it had affected her life in significant ways.

Meanwhile:

As Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh continues to battle allegations that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford as a high school student, the president is worried about the safety and well-being of America’s young men.

A reporter asked, “What do you say to young men in America?” Trump responded “Well, I’d say that it’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of. This is a very difficult time.”

Wait for it.

According to the White House pool report, filed by Hunter Walker of Yahoo! News, Trump was later asked if he had “a message for young women” as well.

Trump’s response, per Walker: “Women are doing great.”

Ugh. It came on the heels of this story in today’s Washington Post:

The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh have sparked a wave of unbridled anger and anxiety from many Republican men, who say they are in danger of being swept up by false accusers who are biased against them.

“I’ve got boys and I’ve got girls, and when I see what’s going on right now, it’s scary,” Donald Trump Jr., a father of five small children, said in an interview with DailyMailTV aired Monday.

Asked whether he was more worried about his sons or daughters, Trump Jr. said, “Right now, I’d say my sons.”

Women are coming forward as never before to reveal the harassment and assaults they’ve endured, and the response of powerful men is: “We’re worried about being falsely accused.”

What you don’t hear is: “We need to teach our boys to treat women with respect.”

We’re not told: “Our sons need to understand they’re not entitled to women’s bodies.”

Nobody says: “Consent is mandatory.”

Instead, when confronted with the testimonies of countless women describing how they’ve been victimized, the response of so many powerful men is … to worry that they’re going to be the real victims. And we’re warned that concern is so powerful that it may become a political riptide that sends untold numbers of angry, scared men to the polls to ensure that our political processes don’t allow that to happen.

What’s happening here is that the legitimate concerns of women and victims are once again being made secondary to how men feel about it. I don’t want to see false accusations either. The statistics suggest it’s barely a problem. Still, for men, that possibility has become society’s prime problem.

In other words: Change isn’t coming nearly as fast as it should.

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.

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