The hypocrisy of Hillary's feminists

Disturbing shadows hang over the legacies of some of history’s greatest heroes. Martin Luther made anti-Semitic comments that would later fuel the Holocaust. Thomas Jefferson sired children with his slave. Gandhi forced underage girls to sleep naked in bed with him, while Martin Luther King Jr. was a serial adulterer. Even Mother Teresa was, in actuality, far from a saint: she had an unsettling philosophy of pain and suffering that bordered on sadism.

Feminists have dreamt of seeing a woman occupy the White House since Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for President in 1872. It seems likely that, in five weeks’ time, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump 'lynching' firestorm is sign of things to come Hillary Clinton has said she'd consider 2020 race if she thought she could win: report Nielsen on leaving Trump administration: 'Saying no and refusing to do it myself was not going to be enough' MORE will at last fulfill that feminist dream. Yet a shadow every bit as dark as Gandhi’s or Mother Teresa’s hangs over the Hillary Clinton legacy: her husband’s alleged sexual abuse of women, and her own attempts to discredit and silence her husband’s accusers. Feminists, through their own silence, have abetted the Clintons in this tenebrous affair.

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Juanita Broaddrick says that then-Arkansas-gubernatorial-candidate NotBill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonCNN: Biden likened Clinton impeachment to 'partisan lynching' in 1998 Trump 'lynching' comparison draws backlash from lawmakers House Democrat pledges 'there will be open hearings' in impeachment inquiry MORE raped her in a hotel room on a campaign stop in 1978, and the reality is that — for a 38-year-old rape allegation — her claim is a credible one. The hotel roommate who found her in her disheveled and injured state immediately after the rape has testified on her behalf. Multiple parties have testified that Broaddrick told them of the rape in the 70s and 80s, before it came to public light in the late 90s, while Bill Clinton mistress Elizabeth Gracen has confirmed the lip-biting kink that Broaddrick described.

Newspapers from 1978 concur with the temporal details of Broaddrick’s account, including Bill’s presence in Little Rock that day. Given the he-said/she-said nature that typifies rape, the only details that could have possibly made Broaddrick’s case more compelling are a police report (complete with rape kit administration) or perhaps a stained blue dress.

Broaddrick’s detractors usually point to her 1998 affidavit denying the rape, which she later recanted. Feminists could explain to you that it’s understandable that a rape victim might not want to revisit her trauma on the national stage after 20 years, but they don’t. They could also explain to you that the existence of multiple Bill Clinton accusers (Eileen Wellstone, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Christy Zercher, to name a few) increases the likelihood that Broaddrick and at least some of these women are telling the truth — after all, they argued as much in the recent case of Emma “Mattress Girl” Sulkowicz — but they don’t.

Should Hillary Clinton be held personally responsible for her husband’s misbehavior? No; it certainly wasn’t her biting Juanita Broaddrick’s lip in that hotel room 38 years ago. But she should be held responsible for attempting to discredit his victims, staying married to a probable serial sex abuser, and allowing said abuser to campaign on her behalf. She should be held accountable for allowing her surrogates to slut-shame and trash-shame her husband’s mistresses, and her personal record when it comes to sex abuse isn’t exactly stellar. (Jacqueline Long or Kathy Shelton, anyone?)

But the feminists, by and large, remain silent. To their shame, Hillary-supporting feminists have shown more concern for the box office failures of a group of fictional female exorcists than they have the trauma of these flesh-and-blood women forced to watch their tormentors parade around the national scene to roaring applause. It’s become par for the course for feminists to aver on the rape allegations against Donald Trump while almost entirely ignoring the Clintonian sex abuse scandals.

When confronted directly with said allegations, feminists are quick to riposte with the rampant misogyny that is Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE, but this is logically incoherent. That Trump is misogynist does not necessitate silence on the Clintons’ sins against women, especially during the primaries when feminist advocacy for Bill’s victims could have made a difference in who won the nomination.

And while I can sympathize with the feminist who is now reluctantly supporting Hillary because Trump is the only major alternative, less understandable are the great majority of feminists who enthusiastically supported Hillary in the primaries, looking the other way on her sins against women the entire time: feminists like Lena Dunham, Gloria Steinem, and Madeleine Albright. It is little wonder that Steinem and Albright made stunningly anti-feminist statements in the course of their support for Hillary during the primaries.

The battle to put a woman in the White House may soon be won, but if feminists continue to remain silent and not support the Clinton sex abuse victims, it can mean only one thing: feminism will have won the battle at the cost of its soul.

Bridget Jack Jeffries is a historian and human resources professional from Chicago. Follow her on Twitter or GAB.


 

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