#MeToo has mu­tated into anti-man cru­sade

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - MIRANDA DEVINE -

THE baby voice was star­tling when Chris­tine Blasey Ford be­gan tes­ti­fy­ing in Wash­ing­ton last week about her al­leged sex­ual as­sault, 36 years ago, at the hands of Supreme Court nom­i­nee Brett Ka­vanaugh.

Here was the Boadicea of the #MeToo move­ment, a Hil­lary sup­porter who once wore a knit­ted brain­shaped beanie in­spired by pussy hats, a psy­chol­ogy pro­fes­sor with three de­grees whose cre­den­tials were lauded at length be­fore­hand by Dianne Fe­in­stein, the Demo­cratic sen­a­tor who is us­ing her as a pro-abor­tion po­lit­i­cal weapon.

Here was Blasey Ford, pre­par­ing to slay one of the most pow­er­ful men in the land, a 51-year-old grown woman.

And she was speak­ing like a 13year-old Kar­dashian, all uptalk and vocal fry, with co­quet­tish man­ner­isms that be­lied her mis­sion.

“Thank you, sen­a­tor?” she sim­pered. “I think af­ter I read my open­ing state­ment I an­tic­i­pate need­ing some caf­feine, if that’s avail­able?” and then she grinned inanely while rock­ing side to side in a way that would be cute if she were seven years old and look­ing for a pat on the head.

The vul­ner­a­ble lit­tle girl de­meanour con­tin­ued through­out her state­ment, un­der­cut­ting its au­thor­ity but ren­der­ing the male Repub­li­can sen­a­tors across the cham­ber pow­er­less to chal­lenge her.

Her face was largely hid­den be­hind thick glasses and hang­ing hanks of pro­fes­sion­ally blow-dried blonde hair.

Only the peo­ple who know her well could gauge her sin­cer­ity but, to an out­sider half a world away watch­ing on TV, she was a woman self-con­sciously play­ing a role on a stage that is shak­ing the foun­da­tions of our civil­i­sa­tion in a way we don’t yet fully un­der­stand.

The Ka­vanaugh lynch­ing is the ul­ti­mate weapon­i­sa­tion of the #MeToo move­ment. This is a pow­er­ful mu­tant off­shoot of iden­tity pol­i­tics, a revo­lu­tion­ary mo­ment aimed at over­turn­ing the pa­tri­archy. It threat­ens not just to split so­ci­eties but the most intimate re­la­tion­ships be­tween men and women laid down over tens of thou­sands of years.

It de­fies rea­son and history by hold­ing that a woman is al­ways the in­no­cent vic­tim and a man al­ways the per­pe­tra­tor.

Men lie. Women never lie. But we know this is not true.

“Be­lieve women” read the plac­ards out­side. “Be­lieve Sur­vivors”. “Be­lieve Blasey Ford” “Men Are Trash.” Who do you be­lieve, Blasey Ford or Ka­vanaugh? Should we judge her on her girlie voice? Should we judge him on his petu­lance and self-pity­ing tears? It’s all emo­tion, im­pres­sion, in­tu­ition, prej­u­dice.

That’s not how civilised so­ci­eties judge guilt or in­no­cence. We be­lieve you are in­no­cent be­fore proven guilty, that it is bet­ter that 10 guilty men go free than one in­no­cent man be con­victed.

But all that has been turned on its head in a mil­lisec­ond.

“If some in­no­cent men’s rep­u­ta­tions have to take a hit in the process of un­do­ing the pa­tri­archy, that is a price I am ab­so­lutely will­ing to pay,” opined Teen Vogue.

The story Blasey Ford told is that when she was 15, she at­tended a gath­er­ing with friends from Wash­ing­ton’s pri­vate school elite. She claims Ka­vanaugh, then 17, was drunk, pushed her onto a bed and jumped on top of her, tried to grope her and re­move her clothes, and cov­ered her mouth when she tried to scream. He only stopped when Ka­vanaugh’s friend jumped on top and they all rolled to the floor, the boys laugh­ing while she es­caped.

She is “100 per cent” cer­tain it was Ka­vanaugh.

Ka­vanaugh is “100 per cent” cer­tain it wasn’t.

There is no proof. None of the four peo­ple she said were present can re­mem­ber any gath­er­ing. She told no one at the time. And yet she says it ru­ined her life. Even if what she says hap­pened did hap­pen, and even if she hasn’t mis­taken Ka­vanaugh for some other boy, so what?

In the scheme of sex­ual vi­o­lence, it barely rates. She was not raped, her body was not vi­o­lated, she re­mained fully clothed, she was not stopped from leav­ing the room.

It’s neu­rotic to in­flate a mi­nor as­sault into a life-al­ter­ing trauma that makes you in­sist on build­ing two front doors in your home and leaves you with a sup­posed in­abil­ity to fly in planes. It triv­i­alises the trauma of ac­tual rape.

Surely, as a psy­chol­o­gist, Blasey Ford knows that re­silience does not come from dwelling on long-ago in­ci­dents over which you have no con­trol.

Teenage years are best left in the past. It’s a time of hor­monal mood swings, clumsy ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and bound­ary-test­ing. The first cig­a­rette, first drink, first kiss, first fum­bled prac­tice sex. For some it’s a smooth tran­si­tion to adult­hood. Oth­ers lose their way. But it’s rarely easy.

Are we re­ally go­ing to reach back across four decades and try to me­di­ate how teenagers be­haved in the 1980s, the “Fast Times at Ridge­mont High” decade be­tween the taboo-smash­ing Baby Boomers and the he­li­copter par­ent­ing of the next gen­er­a­tion?

It’s all a sham, staged by the Democrats and fem­i­nist left of Amer­ica who are des­per­ate to stop Don­ald Trump ap­point­ing an­other con­ser­va­tive to the Supreme Court be­cause they fear abor­tion laws will be wound back. This is a cause so sa­cred that any means jus­ti­fies the end, even the de­struc­tion of an in­no­cent man.

But now it has been un­leashed, no man is safe from this Ja­cobin rev­o­lu­tion against the pa­tri­archy. All men have been dis­armed.

In the end, it will be the mothers of sons who re­sist, and you would not want to un­der­es­ti­mate their fury.


Brett Ka­vanaugh has his say atthe Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee hear­ing in Wash­ing­ton. Pic­ture: AP

Chris­tine Blasey Ford (above, left) af­ter giv­ing her tes­ti­mony.

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