Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
WASHINGTON – Donald Trump Jr. just said that the current debate over sexual assault has made him more worried for his sons than his daughters. Ann Coulter mocked the “snickering at white men” and asserted “there has never been a more pacific, less rapey creature than the white male of Western European descent.” Of course, there’s the current sexual assaulter who occupies the White House who surrounds himself with men who disrespect and abuse women. And then there are the women staff members who make excuses and defend these predators.
Famous media personalities like Bill Cosby have committed the most horrific attacks on women and abused their power and privilege. The Catholic Church’s shameful history of obstructing justice for survivors of sexual assault is revealed with increasingly damning detail. Add to that Jewish and Southern Baptist leaders assaulting their parishioners and condoning domestic violence by the men who practice their religion. And men on campuses who attack women and call the women perpetrators when they speak their truth, just like the dean at Catholic University has.
All this feeds into the current debate over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham, among others, are betting they can mobilize a party of angry white men to rally behind one of their own. They seek to perpetuate a toxic culture of male fury designed to hold women back and hold on to power.
Today, Senator Susan Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski- along with the male Senators who proclaim their good will toward women- have an important decision to make, one that will either prop up the toxic male culture or begin to tear it down. Women everywhere – from inside elevators to around the kitchen table – will continue speaking truth to power. And those in power need to listen.
The Senate must vote against Brett Kavanaugh. And we must continue to challenge the culture of toxic masculinity and white privilege that produced his nomination.
Enough is enough.
Brittany T. Oliver, email@example.com, 202-628-8669