Thursday, March 07, 2019

Sexual Hypocrisy

Politico reports

Sen. Martha McSally, a 26-year military veteran, said Wednesday that she was raped in the Air Force by a superior officer.

The Arizona Republican spoke at a Senate hearing on the armed services’ prevention of and response to sexual assault, an issue she called “deeply personal.”

McSally did not name the officer who she says raped her, and said she did not report the incident because she was ashamed and confused, and felt powerless.

“I stayed silent for many years, but later in my career, as the military grappled with the scandals, and their wholly inadequate responses, I felt the need to let some people know I too was a survivor,” she said at the hearing. “I was horrified at how my attempt to share generally my experiences was handled. I almost separated from the Air Force at 18 years of service over my despair. Like many victims, I felt like the system was raping me all over again.”

In her two-and-a-half statement about military commanders who tolerate such behavior, the Senator never once referred, directly or indirectly, to the Commander-in-Chief (of the Armed Forces when called into service).

In its "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump," Five Thirty Eight reveals that (as of late February) McSally has voted  "in line with President Trump's position" 95.2% of the time. She ranks fourth in the US Senate in the "difference between a member's actual and predicted Trump-support scores." (This considers Trump's vote margin in the presidential election.)

This is the Donald J. Trump Senator McSally so loyally supports:

I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look...

Yeah, that’s her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

Though an endorsement of sexual assault, this was not an endorsement of rape, unless Trump defined "anything" as "including rape."

Nonetheless, it's legitimate here to use an expansive definition of rape, given that McSally herself has when she remarks "I felt like the system was raping me all over again." And the list of women who have accused Donald Trump if sexual misconduct and/or assault is legendarily, almost incomparably, long.

Politico adds

The senator’s disclosure comes at a time when more voices — including Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a veteran who said in an interview this year that she was sexually assaulted in college — seem to be calling for new ways to address reports of sexual assaults in the armed services.

The  allegations, presumably truthful and accurate, by Ernst and McSally have come in the wake of the "MeToo" movement. But they came also after the election of Donald J. Trump, whose presidency has been faithfully supported by both.

Even after the election, McSally and Ernst have been careful not to link Trump to sexism and misogny. At a news conference in September, the President claimed "I was accused by four or five women who got paid a lot of money to make up stories about me."

Senator McSally, who now maintains she was raped twice, is still staying silent. If she wants to have a real impact on devaluation of women in the culture, Donald Trump should not be far from her lips when she comments about sexual assault. Better yet, she can try voting against the President's position once in a while. When she does, she can talk.

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