The other night I went to hear the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by their new maestro Daniel Raiskin, perform Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony, commonly known as his “Titan”. Also on the program were Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor. It was an excellent performance.
I had brought along David M. Legate’s biography of Stephen Leacock to read while waiting for the concert to start. As I was attempting to concentrate on the chapter about Leacock’s battle with prohibition I could not help but overhear the conversation taking place to my immediate right. It had to do with the testimony that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford had given the US Senate Judiciary Committee the previous day against Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee for the American Supreme Court. The elderly lady in the seat next to mine was saying that she had previously had doubts about Ford’s claims that Kavanaugh had attempted a drunken sexual assault on her at a party they supposedly attended when they were teenagers thirty-six years ago, but after hearing her testify was convinced she was telling the truth.
I rolled my eyes, bit my tongue to prevent myself from making some rude remark about her lack of intelligence, and tried harder to concentrate on my book. Mercifully, the concert began a minute or two later.
Earlier this year the revelation was underreported that almost twenty years ago Justin Trudeau, who is now our Prime Minister, had been accused in a BC newspaper of having groped one of their female reporters. This accusation is entirely credible. It was made at the time of the incident in question, there is nothing to indicate that the accuser sought financial or any other compensation, and Trudeau did not yet have a political career to ruin. By contrast, Ford’s testimony is not credible in the slightest, except in the sense that it is a more believable accusation than the wilder charges levelled against the judge by the copy-cap accusers such as Julie Swetnik who have followed Ford out of the wood-works and into their minute of fame.
Being able to tell your story well and give the impression that you are sincere and believe it yourself does not make your story credible. Every successful liar has this ability in spades. To be credible, especially if it is an accusation of criminal activity against another person, your story must be clear and specific, internally consistent and supported by corroborating evidence. It is precisely these qualities that Ford’s testimony lacked. Her story was vague as to the where and when, she was caught telling falsehoods by Rachel Mitchell, the deputy prosecutor called in to question her, and the witnesses she claimed could corroborate her story have all said they have no recollection of having being present at the party in question at all, let alone of the events she claims transpired there. Furthermore, contrary to those who have expressed the idiotic opinion that no-one would have put herself through the ordeal of testifying if she was not telling the truth, she had an obvious political motivation for making the whole story up.
Liberals and feminists are determined to block the confirmation of Kavanaugh’s appointment to the American Supreme Court. They were determined to do so long before Ford testified, indeed, long before word of her accusations was made public. Their opposition to his appointment has nothing to do with their belief, whether real or professed, in the accusations of sexual misconduct that have been made against him except, perhaps, in the sense that their opposition to Kavanaugh explains their willingness to believe unsubstantiated accusations against him rather than the other way around. They have shown the same opposition to all conservatives nominated to the Court – and, indeed, have used similar tactics against them in the past. Remember what happened when Clarence Thomas was appointed twenty years ago? It is more intense this time around, however, because the liberals and feminists fear that if Kavanaugh’s appointment goes through there will be enough conservatives on the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Feminists and their liberal supporters see this as an apocalyptic, end-of-the-world, type scenario. For them, Roe v. Wade was a quantum leap of progress from the dark ages of the patriarchal past into the glorious future of sexual emancipation and egalitarianism. In the infamous 1973 ruling, the American Supreme Court struck down most state restrictions on abortion on the basis of an eisegetical and esoteric reading of the Fourteenth Amendment to the American Constitution. While the Radical Republicans who shoved that Amendment down the throats of the states at gun point in 1868 were hardly conservatives, it would undoubtedly come as a surprise to them to learn that they had given the female sex an exclusive exemption from keeping the Sixth Commandment. That, however, is how America’s solons saw things in 1973 and there is nothing to which feminists would not stoop in their desperate determination to hold on to that unprincipled exemption, including breaking the Ninth Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”
Indeed, the demands made by the latest wave of feminism, the #Me Too movement, all boil down to an insistence that women be exempt from this Commandment as well, or at least that they not be held accountable when they break it, which amounts to the same thing. Victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape, the feminists tell us, frequently fail to report these crimes because they are afraid they won’t be believed, that they will have to face a grueling cross-examination, and in the end will not receive justice anyway. Therefore, the feminists argue, we need to create a new cultural environment in which victims feel safe to come forward and lay charges against their attackers. Worded that way, their goal sounds unobjectionable, reasonable, and even praise-worthy but note that this safe cultural environment envisioned by the feminists is one in which the distinction between a genuine victim and a false accuser is eliminated. If it is the fear of being disbelieved and subjected to cross-examination that prevents victims from coming forward, then the only way to remove that fear is to establish a culture in which all accusers are believed to be telling the truth and are not subjected to cross-examination. This can only be done, however, by eliminating our means of distinguishing between a genuine victim and a false accuser. To eliminate these is to eliminate long-established safeguards which protect the innocent of both sexes against false accusations. Those safeguards include the right of the accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the right to confront and cross-examine one’s accuser. To do this is to give all women a licence to make false accusations against men.
This is entirely unacceptable. While some of the #Me Too feminists have the nerve to actually maintain that women never make false accusations of this nature – the whole, “nobody would put themselves through this if it were not true”, lie again – everyone knows this is not true. On the contrary, women – not all women, of course, but the less scrupulous among them – make false accusations of this sort all the time. Twelve years ago there was a famous example of this when the widely publicized “rape” of a black stripper by three white members of Duke University’s lacrosse team was exposed as a malicious hoax. Ben Stein in his recent remarks about the Ford/Kavanugh affair makes reference to several examples known to him personally of women making such accusations or threatening to do so. The fourth chapter of Dr. Marney Patterson’s Suicide: The Decline and Fall of the Anglican Church of Canada? (1998) begins by quoting the story of Potiphar’s wife from the thirty-ninth chapter of Genesis – when Joseph resisted her seduction attempt she accused him of rape. While Dr. Patterson’s main point in this chapter is to warn men in parish ministry against the dangers of seductresses he tells of an incident in which such a woman, having failed in her attempts to seduce the principal of a church school, accused him of making inappropriate advances on her. I remember when I was in college my sister telling me that she had to either give a deposition or testify in court on behalf of a guy we had gone to high school with against whom a false accusation of rape had been made. In the two decades since then I have encountered many men who had been in toxic relationships in which an ugly dispute had ended with the woman calling the police and making an accusation of some sort – domestic violence, sexual abuse, etc. Indeed, I wonder if there is anyone reading this who does not know personally of multiple incidents of false accusations or the threat thereof?
No, women do not have a right to be believed when they make unprovable accusations and the law must not be changed to give them that right. They have the right to be believed if and only if they can prove their accusations beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
In its demands to the contrary, feminism reveals its true nature. In its infancy, back in the nineteenth century, feminism’s objective of “women’s rights” may have meant that women should have the same civil and legal rights as men – to own property in their own name, be educated, pursue careers, and vote in public elections. It has not meant this at any point since feminism went into its second wave in the 1960s. Since then it has meant “special rights for women” and the rights in question are ones that ought not to be given even if it were to both sexes. The right to take human life at your will and for your own convenience. The right to destroy another person’s reputation, career, and life with unsubstantiated accusations.
A movement that would make absurd demands of this nature demonstrates by so doing that it is narcissistic in the extreme, delusional to the point of schizophrenia, and totally obsessed with power. Which is only to be expected from a movement that perpetuates its existence through the women’s and gender studies programs that universities set up in order to provide employment for otherwise unemployable graduates in which their students – perhaps victims would be a better word – are indoctrinated with a solipsistic, gender-based, reinterpretation of everything from literature to mathematics, in echo chambers where all dissent is squelched. A movement whose well-known slogan “the personal is the political” betrays its fundamentally totalitarian nature (a totalitarian regime is distinguished from all other kinds including the merely authoritarian by its refusal to acknowledge a private sphere into which the state has no right to intrude). (1) A movement that has become so much the kind of crazy that comes from the rear end of a bat that some of its leading figures have advanced, with a – pardon the expression - straight face, the notion that heterosexuality itself is an oppressive social construct whereas lesbianism is natural and normal. A movement predicated on the idea that all historical and traditional social, political, and cultural institutions were designed by men to perpetuate male power at the expense of women and to keep the latter in subjection and oppression, which idea goes way beyond saying that men and women were not historically treated equally or even, and this is not necessarily the same thing, that women have been treated unfairly in the past, but which interprets all institutions, even those which obviously benefit women at the expense of men, as tools of “patriarchal oppression.” Marriage, which historically and traditionally is society’s way of making men bear their fair share of the burden that God, Mother Nature, fate and the universe have placed on women as the consequence of sexual intercourse, in feminist ideology is regarded as an oppressive chain upon women. The long-standing tradition of treating the lives of young men as expendable by sending them off to fight and die for their country while keeping women and children safe and protected at home is, to any rational person, a tradition of female rather than male privilege but feminists still find creative ways of interpreting it as being the other way around.
That is the movement in which Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is an activist. This is something to keep in mind when evaluating whether what she gave to the American Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday was the heartfelt testimony of a genuine victim of sexual assault or an Oscar-worthy performance that was a cold-blooded attempt at character assassination on the part of a deranged fanatic desperate to protect at all costs the power that the self-appointed spokesmovement for the female sex derives from women’s ill-gotten exemption from the prohibition against murder and the ability which follows from that exemption to blackmail society by holding a gun to the head of the next generation.
(1) George Grant, commenting in 1990 on Roe v. Wade and its Canadian equivalent Morgantaler v. The Queen (1988), said that were it not for the fact that they involved the “slaughter of the young”, they could be seen as comedy which “arises from the fact that the majority of the judges used the language of North American liberalism to say yes to the very core of fascist thought—the triumph of the will” and that they illustrated Huey Long’s remark that “When fascism comes to America it will come in the name of democracy.”
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