Donald Trump Jr. just said that the current debate over sexual assault has made him more worried for his sons than his daughters. Ann Coulter mocked the “snickering at white men” and asserted “there has never been a more pacific, less rapey creature than the white male of Western European descent.”
Of course, there’s the current sexual predator who occupies the White House, who surrounds himself with men who disrespect and abuse women. And there’s the women staff members who make excuses and defend these predators.
Add to this famous media personalities, like Bill Cosby, who have committed the most horrific attacks on women and abused their power and privilege to do so. Add to this the Catholic Church’s shameful history of obstructing justice for survivors of sexual assault, which is being revealed with increasingly damning detail. Add to this the Jewish and Southern Baptist leaders assaulting their parishioners and condoning domestic violence by the men who practice their religion, and men on campuses who attack women and call the women perpetrators when they speak their truth—just like the dean at Catholic University has.
All of that feeds into the current debate over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, among others, are betting they can mobilize a party of angry white men to rally behind one of their own. They seek to perpetuate a toxic culture of male fury designed to hold women back and hold on to power.
Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski—along with the male Senators who proclaim their goodwill toward women—have an important decision to make, one that will either prop up the toxic male culture or begin to tear it down.
Women everywhere, from inside elevators to around the kitchen table, will continue speaking truth to power. Those in power need to listen.
Enough is enough. The Senate must vote against Brett Kavanaugh, and we must continue to challenge the culture of toxic masculinity and white privilege that produced his nomination.
Toni Van Pelt is a longtime feminist activist and president of the National Organization for Women. Spurred to action by attacks on reproductive rights in her home state of Florida, Toni has served in leadership positions at all levels of NOW since 1989; she was previously president of Florida NOW, director of NOW’s southeast region, a national board member and treasurer of the Upper Pinellas chapter. Toni is co-founder, president and public policy director for the Institute for Science and Human Values and former vice president and public policy director of the Center for Inquiry.
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