“Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”
Hillary Clinton made that declaration during the 2016 election. Putting the irony of her remark aside, this is a recurring theme we hear from so-called advocates of abuse victims. In the era of #MeToo, women feel more empowered to come forward and share their stories about the men who’ve harassed them, groped them, assaulted them, and raped them.
But if this past week has proven anything, it’s that some alleged victims matter less than others.
On Sunday, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward as the woman who wrote the letter accusing Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. She alleges that at a party in high school, Kavanaugh drunkenly forced her on a bed, groped her, tried to remove her clothes and covered her mouth to prevent her screams from being heard. And that the only reason she managed to escape was because Kavanaugh’s intoxicated friend Mark Judge fell on top of them. Both Kavanaugh and Judge vehemently deny such events took place.
Democrats, mainly Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), did Ford a disservice by a) sitting on her letter for six weeks and b) apparently leaking it to the press despite her wishes of anonymity exactly one week before the Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on Kavanaugh. Whether or not you support President Donald Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee, Ford deserves a chance to make her case to the public. Hopefully, she will do so next week, as will Kavanaugh.
There’s this eagerness to always believe the accuser instead of interpreting the facts. In this case, there aren’t many facts to look at. We don’t know a date or location this alleged assault took place. There are no other corroborating witnesses. All Ford has are notes from a 2012 couples therapy session where she described what she allegedly went through and a successful polygraph her lawyer had her take in August. So the demand for the FBI to conduct an investigation into this is simply not feasible, especially since Kavanaugh has already passed six background checks.
Nonetheless, nearly every Senate Democrat has already declared Ford’s accusation to be “credible.”
No matter what the outcome of this confirmation will be, we will never know whether Ford or Kavanaugh was telling the truth. However, many people are forgetting that we live in a country where the founding principle of our justice system is that you’re innocent until proven guilty. As Mediaite alum Alex Griswold has pointed out, many view Kavanaugh as “guilty until proven innocent.” ABC political analyst Matthew Dowd apparently doesn’t believe in due process anymore, saying we must believe in the “she” after 250 years of believing in the “he” in “he said, she said” scenarios. Progressive commentator Ana Marie Cox argued that Kavanaugh has to take Ford’s “pain” seriously no matter if she’s lying or not. CNN’s Kirsten Powers believes merely defending Kavanaugh’s character is a “smear” against Ford. The View‘s Joy Behar declared Kavanugh is “probably guilty.”
In the midst of the political circus surrounding Ford, though, there’s been another woman who has been outspoken this week about the physical abuse she had allegedly gone through. Her name is Karen Monahan. And her alleged abuser is Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN).
Earlier this summer, Monahan’s son publicized her allegation against her ex-boyfriend of physical and emotional abuse that took place in 2016, something she would describe as “soul rape.” She specifically accused the current deputy DNC chair of dragging her off a bed and verbally assaulting her. Her son even claimed he has seen video of the incident that Monahan had recorded with her phone.
This week, Monahan called out Democrats, saying she was “smeared, threatened,” and “isolated” by her own party. She also shared a doctor’s note from 2017 documenting her claims against Ellison.
When I post this, it gets deleted every time pic.twitter.com/uAJNx8AgF5
— Karen Monahan (@KarenMonahan01) September 19, 2018
And yet, you don’t hear Senate Democrats calling for an FBI investigation into Ellison or pundits callings his alleged actions disqualifying or Hollywood expressing their support of Monahan.
Sure, the knee-jerk reaction when comparing Kavanaugh to Ellison is that Ellison hasn’t been nominated for a lifetime appointment in the highest court in the land. But before Trump named him as his SCOTUS pick, no one had even heard of Kavanaugh. Meanwhile, Ellison has been a prominent congressman for years, a top official in the DNC, and is currently running to become Minnesota’s Attorney General.
Now let’s compare the allegations made against the two men. Kavanaugh was accused of a physical assault in the early 1980s as a teenager. Ellison was accused of a physical assault two years ago as an adult. There is currently no one who can support Ford’s claim against Kavanaugh. Meanwhile, there’s supposedly video evidence that shows Ellison abusing Monahan, which is what made her son go public.
Between the two, you have one man potentially being given one of the powerful positions in our government with an obscure decades-old allegation made against him while the other is a high-profile political figure with a recent and more substantiated allegation made against him. Why should only one be taken seriously?
A new poll shows that only 5% of Minnesota Democrats believe in Ellison’s accuser. You can compare that to the 17% of Alabama Republicans who believed in Roy Moore‘s accusers in 2017. That’s more than triple the amount of Democrats who support Monahan.
Partisans on the left would rather turn a blind eye on Ellison because it doesn’t fit their narrative that only Republicans are anti-women. It’s the reason why to this day they’re still squeamish when talking about the allegations against Bill Clinton.
If you believe Christine Ford is telling the truth, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t believe Karen Monahan.
[images via Getty]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.