Guest post: It’s not about the lying

Originally a comment by iknklast on It’s the lying.

Of course, that idea of lying is what makes this interesting. Democrats have gone down for lying, and Clinton’s impeachment centered a lot around his lying. But the interesting thing is that the Dems were, for the most part, dealing with consensual sexual acts between consenting adults (even accepting the possibility that Lewinsky couldn’t be consensual because of disparate power, but with that caveat, most women can’t be truly said to be consenting, since men in general have disparate power over women in general).

The Repubs, on the other hand, who seem to get away with it, are not consensual. Anita Hill did not consent to being sexually harassed by Clarence Thomas. The girls that Roy Moore messed with were not adults, and therefore unable to give consent to an adult male. Kavanaugh also was not dealing in consensual sex, either in his teenage exploits or the more recently alleged college exploits.

So it really is about the lying to most people, and that is the problem. I don’t hold with lying, but I also believe that a person’s consensual adult sexual life is their own business, and should not be part and parcel of the election/impeachment process.

But rape? No, Kavanaugh is not about the lying, it is about the rape. Rape – a crime. But not just a crime, a crime against another human being, a human being with less power, a human being who is denied their own bodily autonomy by the choice of another human being to rape. A crime which deprives human beings of their peace of mind, their happiness, their confidence. And even if rape itself did not occur (no penetration), it is still a crime – sexual assault. And it is targeting a specific group, a group historically oppressed and disenfranchised, a group that in general has less power and less ability to affect change. And those excusing it should ask themselves – would they excuse such a thing if it happened to them? Would they feel it was just juvenile antics? Would they be willing to sit in their living room for the rest of their life watching the news talk about the person who had perpetrated this act on them, and realizing that this man was now in one of the most desired jobs in the entire country, making decisions that affect the life of the victim (and everyone else) and nothing being done about it – except, of course, mocking and shaming the ones who bravely came forward? We all know the answer to that – if they were the victim, they would scream from the rafters until the perp was shamed and censured. They would not stand for it. But if it’s a woman?

The problem often is couched as lying, and in the case of Gary Hart and Bill Clinton, I think that’s reasonable. In the case of consensual sex, I think it’s reasonable to say it’s about the lying. But in a case of sexual assault, it is not reasonable. That tells women that they don’t matter, it’s okay what a guy does to them as long as he doesn’t lie about it. (And a lot of people have suggested that it would have been okay if he would just admit it and say he’s learned from experience, he’s sorry, and he won’t do it again – note: THIS DOES NOT MAKE IT OKAY).

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