Recently we saw another two examples of what happens when a man decides to care about a woman’s right to her body. The woman suffers.
The reason is in many ways more disturbing than simply the ignorance that surrounds women’s rights issues. The men benefit from it. It’s not the benefit that’s the troubling part though, it’s the sudden clarity and understanding of a situation and then the complete lack of empathy displayed as they contort it to make it about them and leave the woman to deal with the aftermath.
The first example was in Sydney, where the NSW Labour Leader, Luke Foley (don’t worry, nobody knew who he was either) was accused of sexual assault, not by the woman he assaulted, but by Eric Abetz, another politician under parliamentary privilege.
Some may think that this is a good thing – a man calling out another man for sexual assault, what’s wrong with that? The problem is that the woman had made a decision not to report the assault which included retaining her anonymity and protected her from the vile online vitriol that we’ve seen directed to women brave enough to accuse a man of sexual assault.
This action, by a man vying for political points, robs the woman of her rights. Her right to take action against her attacker, her right to decide whether or not to come forward, her right to remain anonymous in a society that values the career of a man over a woman’s rights to her own body.
The media storm that occurred following the allegation was orchestrated to harm the labour party, and did that, but it meant offering the woman as collateral damage. For that moment, the accuser, Abetz, knew what Foley had done, knew that it was wrong and the media attention it would garner, and also likely knew the damage it would do to the woman.
But just like Foley’s initial action, Abetz didn’t care about the woman. Accusing Foley wasn’t about justice, it was about getting one over on his political opponent.
The other example was the completely unsurprising actions of Donald Trump. Except, instead of being the perpetrator of the assault, he was calling it out against a CNN reporter, Jim Acosta. Trump alleges that Acosta violently hit a female aide that was attempting to retrieve his microphone (after Trump refused to answer a question that would make him look bad).
There’s just one problem. Acosta didn’t assault the female aide.
That didn’t seem to stop the White House from releasing a doctored video that backed up their allegation. Yes, you read that right – the White House created false evidence in order to fuel the hate-fire they’ve lit towards CNN.
Lack of morals and ethics aside, Trump and his administration have attempted to valiantly come to the aid of a woman who was “assaulted” at the hands of a man. This from the administration that continuously attempts to cover up and dismiss the numerous allegations of assault against women perpetrated by Trump himself.
Trump and his cronies saw the opportunity to finally call out violence against women – except that it wasn’t for the benefit of the woman in question. It was to solidify their censoring of the media and attempt to damage the reputation of CNN.
Make no mistake, men like Trump, Abetz, and Foley, know exactly what is wrong and right. What is acceptable and unacceptable. They just choose to ignore it until it can benefit them.
This is worse than ignorance. This is sinister, devious, and evil actions committed by men that believe they are entitled to use a woman however they wish. Whether that’s to assault them or to accuse someone of assault when it is complementary to their goals.