She’s apparently got a problem with rape. Go figure.
‘As Democrats, as women, we must ask ourselves: Do we stand with all women who report sexual assault?’
The aspect of feminism that affected me on the most powerful, personal level was the idea that when a woman came forward to report that she had been raped we would believe her — publicly and unanimously. I knew what it was like to have a man try to force sex on me; I knew what it was like to arrange my work life so that I could avoid the boorish men who made vulgar sexual remarks in the office.
I was always amazed—dazzled—when women were brave enough to come forward and tell others what had happened to them. For years, I’d been too ashamed to tell even my friends about the things I’d experienced. But now, if we all stood together, the force of our public belief in one another could change things. And it did. And it was exciting and big and important.
I was excited about Bill Clinton’s campaign, and I voted for him. I could not have been less concerned about Gennifer Flowers, who showed up in a press conference to announce she’d been his Little Rock mistress. I don’t care about the private, consensual sex lives of my elected politicians, nor do I care about those of my dentist, accountant or plumber. The nature of the Clinton’s marriage wasn’t my business. Plus, I was then involved in work for abused children, an area to which Hillary had devoted much of her working life. The Clintons seemed to me to be hugely impressive people.
But then I heard about Paula Jones, who came forward with a very different story — of the ugliest type of workplace sexual harassment. I was shocked and I was disgusted, and I believed her. I assumed we all believed her. Wasn’t that how we were changing the country for victims of these kinds of acts?
Immediately I was told by my lefty friends and by the lefty press that I was foolish, that I was naive, that I didn’t understand politics. Immediately this woman—who had come forward to describe a hideous event—was shamed as a big-haired, no-class hick who was telling a lie for financial gain.
It turned out that even radical feminists around would easily believe a woman could lie about sexual harassment for personal gain.
There was an exception to believing everyone that I hadn’t grasped right out of the gate. We were going to choose whom to believe.
Based on what?
Based on the politics and political power of the man accused.
I voted for Clinton again. Because I was starting to become a little less naive. And because the stock market was rocking, and because when I had a C-section, my insurance paid for four days in the hospital instead of two, which was a special gift to me from Bill Clinton. He was always good with women that way—he knew how to reach into the most intimate moments of a female voter’s life and make her grateful to him. Bill had dragged a four-night hospital stay through a nice neighborhood in Santa Monica, and I had darted out of my duplex apartment to grab it.
But then I saw Juanita Broaddrick tell her story, and I had a physical reaction. In 1999, she described his visit to her hotel room and the sex he forced on her. I sat in my living room watching her describe that rape and I thought: “She’s telling the truth.” My response was not considered; it was visceral. If it’s possible that one woman can listen to another woman tell her story of rape and just sort of know that she’s telling the truth, I had that reaction.
What did Hillary know, and when did she know it? She must have known a lot, and she must have known it early on. She knew that the kind of women who vote for Democrats care about three or four huge issues—abortion above all—and that if you stay on the right side of those three or four issues, much will be forgiven, or overlooked, or disbelieved. In short, Hillary understood politics, at its most base and distasteful level.
As Democrats, as women, we must ask ourselves: Do we stand with the women who report sexual assault—all women: big-haired, “slutty,” trailer-park, all of them—or do we stand, once again, with the Clinton machine and its Arkansas droit du seigneur?
When I was young, my father told me what his father told him: If I got in the voting booth and so much as reached for the Republican lever, the hand of God would come into that voting booth and strike me dead.
I’m not taking any chances.
But I won’t vote for a candidate who helped “destroy” the credibility of women who came forward to report that they had been preyed upon sexually by a powerful man. This year, for the first time in my voting life, I’m staying home.
Whether she stays home or not only matters if she lives in a swing state, of course. But I do feel her pain. I told a mixed male-female leftist group about my concerns, how I didn’t want a sexual predator in the White House – again – how I regretted being so blasé about voting for Bill Clinton twice, knowing what he was up to. And the response was: So what? He was good for our causes. And the next President will choose Supreme Court nominees. So we will vote for Hilary no matter what. They realize that he is a sexual predator (Bill Cosby’s name was mentioned) but they do not mind it at all.