After trying desperately to find a way to support Joe Biden, disbelieve Tara Reade, and not get themselves covered in the sticky web of rank hypocrisy, feminists are slowly but surely beginning to realize that it’s impossible. There’s not a twisted argument in the world that can possibly justify their hatred of Brett Kavanaugh on the one hand and their blind support of Biden on the other. There’s not a feminist mind in the country sharp enough to explain why Christine Blasey Ford is a believable hero and Tara Reade is a bottom-dwelling liar. They are left with basically two choices: Admit that they went WAY too far in railroading Kavanaugh and others like him…or start taking Tara Reade seriously.
In a New York Times column on Sunday, Elizabeth Bruenig argued for the latter.
“Sexual assault is a crime unlike any other, and its hideous uniqueness is often manifest in the ways its victims cope. Cavalier dismissal of Ms. Reade’s story therefore runs the risk of advancing misconceptions about sexual assault and its aftermath,” Bruenig wrote.
“This is collateral damage that Democrats — who have spent the last few years championing the #MeToo movement — should be loath to incur,” she continued. “Democrats who subject Ms. Reade’s allegations to a level of scrutiny not widely applied to accusers in similar circumstances — such as Christine Blasey-Ford, who famously came forward during the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court to allege that he had sexually accosted her in high school — also open up past and future cases to reproachful disregard. Conservatives, like my colleague Bret Stephens, can see the plain gulf between how Democrats have approached sexual assault in politically advantageous cases versus Ms. Reade’s, and the evident hypocrisy threatens to discredit the entire enterprise.”
Bruenig’s argument was echoed by arch-feminist Jessica Valenti, who would probably rather chew her arm off than do anything to make Trump’s re-election more likely. Nonetheless, she acknowledged that if all the feminists who were calling for Kavanaugh’s head suddenly decide that #MeToo can be ignored when politically inconvenient, it is a dead movement.
“Like many feminists, I’m terrified of Trump’s possible reelection; there is no overstating the damage that another term of his presidency would have on Americans and the world, especially the most vulnerable among us. But we can’t abandon our values out of fear. Doing so is not only wrong but would undercut all the credibility the women’s movement has built around #MeToo,” admitted Valenti.
It took them long enough, but feminists on the left are finally coming to the (correct) conclusion that ignoring Reade or trashing her as a liar is not a sustainable answer. They are being forced to choose between their principles and Joe Biden. Admirably, at least a few of them have decided that Biden is hardly worth setting their movement back decades.