Thursday, September 27, 2018

Kavanaugh Hearing and Catholic Abuse: Overlapping Narratives — Same Catholics Who Support Viganò's Allegations Dismiss Kavanaugh's Accusers

The last several years have been, for those who have cared to learn, a brutal education in how pervasive rape and violence against women is. We saw how the perpetrators are so often believed, the victims blamed and discredited, and how various powers – employers and institutions, universities, media, law enforcement – have protected perpetrators, especially high-status perpetrators and allowed their abuses to continue. Bringing this system to light has changed it – but not enough. 
The hearings about whether Brett Kavanaugh is fit to be a US supreme court justice feel like the finale of this education: the test. Will what we have learned matter? Or will a Republican party that has, with minor exceptions, made itself one with rape culture, prevail?

What the Kavanaugh case has revealed this week is that himpathy can, at its most extreme, become full-blown gendered sociopathy: a pathological moral tendency to feel sorry exclusively for the alleged male perpetrator — it was too long ago; he was just a boy; it was a case of mistaken identity — while relentlessly casting suspicion upon the female accusers. It also reveals the far-ranging repercussions of this worldview: It's no coincidence that many of those who himpathize with Judge Kavanaugh to the exclusion of Dr. Blasey are also avid abortion opponents, a position that requires a refusal to empathize with girls and women facing an unwanted pregnancy.

Christina Cauterucci, "Toxic Bro Culture Finally Found a News Peg":  

The fact that this examination of party culture is happening in tandem with Supreme Court confirmation hearings could help observers comprehend what these stories are actually about: the intersection of white, upper-class male impunity and contempt for young women that infects communities across the country. The "lineup"” that Lescaze and Swetnick have described are not gruesome aberrations specific to the tony suburbs of D.C. in the '80s; they’re the predictable end product of a stew of entitlement, misogyny, one-upmanship masculinity, glamorized alcoholism, and a fetishization of virginity that shames women for having sex, thus discouraging them from identifying and reporting sexual assault.  

Jeet Heer and Kerry Howley talk back to Lindsey Graham, who has "a hard time believing" Kavanaugh's accusers:

Regarding right-wing Catholics who want to pretend that the gays (and Pope Francis) have created the abuse crisis in the Catholic church, Michael Sean Winters asks, "Do they even mention St. Pope John Paul II?":

He was the one who not only set the pattern for ignoring victims, but who led the Vatican in the '80s and '90s, when bishops were routinely told to reinstate priests, not to be too tough on "poor father." He was the one who promoted Theodore McCarrick not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times.

If memory serves me, St. John Paul the Great and his orthodoxy watchdog Cardinal Ratzinger were hell on the gays as all this was unfolding, too — so the hard homophobia of their papacies hardly resolved the abuse horror show, did it? Quite the opposite…. Well, I should qualify that they were hard on the open, honest, self-accepting and non-self-hating gay folks who refused to accept being tagged intrinsically disordered — not on the secretive, dishonest, self-hating ones inside the clerical club, whose secrets were kept and who were promoted to positions of power.

And then Winters asks right-wing Catholics wanting to pin the abuse horror show on Francis (and — my addition — the gays) the following: 

In light of your concern to stop sexual predation, do you or do you not support a full FBI investigation into the allegations leveled against Judge Brett Kavanaugh?

And, of course, the answer to that question is, Of course not. The abuse horror show is, to those folks' minds, about homosexual sexual deviants, not about the fact that (see Rebecca Solnit above) how pervasive rape and violence against women is. Only the gays deserve attention as the enemy to be overcome if we want to place society back on the correct moral path — in which men are permitted to remain men and rule the roost. Rape and all.

Avitai Scher, "#MeToo Is Making Colleges Teach Toxic Masculinity 101":

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