Thursday, May 19, 2011

Enabler, Heal Thyself!

Over at The Nation, Katha Pollitt has her say about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn accusations. Link here.

Much of what she says is cogent and on point.

She goes awry when she compares the rape allegation against Dominique Strauss-Kahn to the extramarital affair conducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Rape and infidelity are not the same thing.

Anyway, Pollitt tries to use DSK's alleged crime to advance the cause of feminism.

In her words: “Powerful men molest with impunity, enabled by friends, wives, political cronies, a servile press and a culture deeply hostile to women. Tell me again how feminism’s job is over.

You and I and everyone but Katha Pollitt knows that when it comes to powerful men who molest with impunity, even to the point of being credibly accused of rape, the best analogy is our own Bill Clinton.

Pollitt does not mention Bill Clinton because feminists chose to defend him. Even if the worst that Clinton did was a Lewinsky, he violated a standing feminist principle about workplace harassment: power imbalances invite abuse.

As it happens, Clinton was accused of much worse. Yet, when Juanita Broaddrick went on national television to detail how Bill Clinton had raped her, movement feminists dismissed the allegation or said nothing. 
Why would they take a woman's word for it?

If ever there was a group that enabled a powerful man to molest women with impunity, that group would have to be feminists.

As the old saying goes: enabler, heal thyself!

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