“This woman, whoever she is, is mixed up.”

Dick Polman at the Atlantic collects some of the ways Republicans are displaying their settled, instinctive indifference (or outright hostility) to women:

After Christine Blasey Ford, a clinical-psychology professor, put her name to the accusation, announcing publicly that she’d passed a polygraph and had shared her story in a 2012 therapy session, Senator Orrin Hatch, a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s all-male Republican contingent, told the cameras: “This woman, whoever she is, is mixed up.” He also said that even if the assault accusation were true, the past wouldn’t matter so much: “It would be hard for senators not to consider who he is today.”

His Republican colleague Bob Corker voiced sympathy for Kavanaugh, but none for his accuser: “I mean, I can’t imagine the horror of being accused of something like this.” Donald Trump Jr. joked on Instagram that Kavanaugh had merely had a schoolyard crush. And an unnamed lawyer close to the White House said that the alpha gender is under assault: “If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried.”

It’s all about him, and she is either irrelevant or a lying monster.

In a sense that’s inevitable, since he’s the one up for the Supreme Court seat…but in a more important sense it’s not, because if he can’t get to that seat except via all these manly dismissals of his alleged assault on a younger female person…then why are they so hell-bent? Why doesn’t this matter to them? Why hasn’t it put them off him? Self-evidently they don’t care about it enough to slow down the process, so that means they don’t care about it any significant amount at all. Senate to women: you don’t matter. We knew that, but it’s galling to watch it played out so publicly and emphatically by the people who govern us.

Now, the exodus of women to the Democratic Party appears to be accelerating, and for a more profound cultural reason than policy differences: the belief that Trump and his male allies refuse to fully see them as equal human beings. Trump lost the female electorate by 12 percentage points (although he won among white women). Meanwhile, a solid majority of men clearly didn’t care much that Trump had allegedly abused, harassed, or groped almost 20 women, or that Trump responded by calling the women liars and threatening to sue them. The president was similarly hostile last winter to the multiple women who came forward to accuse the Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore of molesting them as minors.

Yet they apparently can’t stop themselves displaying their contempt for women as if it were normal and only to be expected.

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