Former Georgia state congresswoman and gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is on the Joe Biden running mate short list and making no secret of her desire for the job, said on CNN Tuesday night that she did not believe rape allegations against Biden to be credible.

“The New York Times did a deep investigation and they found that the accusation was not credible. I believe Joe Biden,” Abrams said when pressed on further corroborating evidence that Biden’s accuser Tara Reade had been talking about a sexual assault by the then-senator way back in the nineties.

CNN’s Don Lemon pressed Abrams on the contradiction between her earlier “believe women” rhetoric about conservative Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, to which Abrams responded that Kavanaugh’s accuser was not given a fair hearing but Tara Reade was. Past tense. Over and done with now.

Lemon did not ask why Abrams considers The New York Times the official arbiter of who was and was not raped. He did not challenge her false assertion that The New York Times concluded Reade’s accusation was “not credible”. He did not point out that the investigation by the The New York Times took place prior to the emergence of the corroborating evidence in question. Abrams was allowed to coolly insert a false, baseless narrative into public consciousness and move on.

In reality, The New York Times is not the authority on who has and has not been sexually assaulted. That’s not a thing.

In reality, The New York Times did not conclude that Reade’s accusation is not credible, only that they “found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable” (which they later quietly edited down to “found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden” at the instruction of the Biden campaign, a very blatant act of journalistic malpractice).

In reality, The New York Times has smeared Reade with a scandalous hit piece dismissing her allegations because she has written approvingly of Russian president Vladimir Putin, implying that either (A) Reade is a Russian agent fabricating the allegations to help Trump, or (B) that it’s okay to rape women if they disagree with beltway consensus foreign policy.

In reality, two new corroborating pieces of evidence have been added to the growing pile since The New York Times published its “investigation” into Reade’s allegations: footage of Reade’s mother anonymously calling in to Larry King Live in 1993 during Reade’s last month of employment with Biden saying that her daughter was considering going to the press with a very serious allegation against a very prominent senator, and a former neighbor saying that Reade had told her about the sexual assault in the mid-nineties.

I have never been in the “always believe all women” camp; it’s a narrative that’s too easy to manipulate once you get enough people believing it. But at this point there are basically only two possibilities: either (A) Tara Reade was going around lying to her closest confidants in the 1990s with the very long-term goal of one day thwarting Biden’s third presidential bid decades later, or (B) a powerful man sexually assaulted a woman. One of these, in my opinion, is a lot more probable than the other.

I’ve been avoiding writing much about Tara Reade, for a lot of reasons. Firstly I’m a survivor of multiple rapes and it brings up a lot of ouch for me, especially since whenever I write about rape as a problem I always get a deluge of highly triggered men (and sometimes one or two highly traumatized women) calling me a man-hater and saying all kinds of nasty things to me. Secondly I’ve been trying not to spend too much time on the details of an election we all know is fake anyway between two establishment candidates we already know are deeply depraved.

But mostly I avoid the subject because it’s just so goddamn gross. It’s gross to watch liberals going around pretending they believe that Handsy Uncle Hair Sniffer would never dream of shoving his fingers into a woman without her consent. It’s gross watching the language of leftism being borrowed to defend pure, relentless victim smearing. It’s gross watching people who’ve built their political identities around pretending to care about women try to spin these allegations as Reade being dishonest for partisan reasons, when in reality that’s exactly what they themselves are doing.

Due to my experiences with and sensitivity to the subject matter, going through this stuff feels kind of like getting punched in the privates over and over again. There are smears everywhere, from the establishment narrative managers to their brainwashed rank-and-file herd. Yesterday some “KHive” asshole told me that Reade is mentally ill and talking about her experience will probably drive her to suicide, citing a baseless smear by McResistance pundit Sally Albright as his evidence. There’s a Twitter thread with thousands of shares going around right now where some liberal combed through all Reade’s old tweets highlighting typos she made and claiming they show Reade tweeting “in a Russian accent”.

It’s really, really gross.

And it hurts.

And there are definitely a whole lot of rape survivors experiencing the same thing about this story right now.

This is exactly the nightmare scenario that sexual assault survivors imagine when they contemplate coming forward. It’s why so many of them don’t. Especially when their attacker is powerful.

Nobody wants to have their name dragged through the mud by widely esteemed mainstream news media outlets. Nobody wants to have their entire past and entire social media history dug through to find anything that can be spun in the most negative light possible. Nobody wants to be told over and over again that they’re a liar, that they’re crazy, that they’re confused, all because they know they were sexually assaulted and said so. Nobody wants what can easily be the most traumatic experience of their life turned into a weapon to bludgeon them with before jeering crowds of millions all around the country.

And that sucks.

It sucks because if we’re to build a healthy world we’re going to have to get rid of all the people who shouldn’t be in power, and the very first lot we should eliminate are the ones who abuse their power to assault the sexuality of other human beings. If you use your power to rape people, you will with absolute certainty use it to do other unconscionable things as well, so eliminating those who do so is the first step toward health. That’s step one, and we can’t even get there, because blind partisan hackery turns pussyhat-wearing liberals into a bunch of snarling male supremacists.

I was 19 the first time I was raped. The last time I was 39. I never reported my attackers, for reasons the specifics of which I’m not interested in explaining or defending, but let’s just say that there are many messages you get sent by society telling you that if you report your rapist you are ruining a man’s life, destroying his family, career and future over one “mistake”. That it’s better just to suck it up because you’re strong and you can handle it.

You are taught that if you report your rape, you will be treated like the criminal, and the “investigation” that will take place will not put its spotlight on the accused, but on you, the accuser. You will have to defend your life choices and your character when you’re in the process of attempting to recover from a deeply harmful assault. You are taught that if you report these things that it’s you that will be shunned and shamed by members of your own tribe. And if the person is powerful, then you also know that this will likely end your career.

All these things are happening to Tara Reade right now. None of that has changed. Millions of young girls are being sent that message, once again, all across America, on screens large and small. They are being shown that if you accuse someone who has power over you of rape, you will be demonized and attacked, even by people who say they care about you, about a profoundly sensitive matter involving the most traumatic thing you’ve ever experienced.

And the thing is, that message is not a false message. You absolutely can be made the subject of vicious attacks if you accuse the wrong person of raping you. Attacks which press all your most painful buttons. Attacks which will try to convince you that you are insane. Attacks which will try to drive you insane.

And that sucks.

And I don’t know what can be done about it.


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71 responses to “The Way Liberals Smear Tara Reade Is Everything Rape Survivors Fear”

  1. All states require law enforcement to arrest the primary aggressor. I have been at at a couple domestics where the woman gets arrested and have plenty of times seen both get arrested. If they both have marks arrest both let the lawyers figure it out.

  2. Caitlin,
    Thank you for an excellent powerful story. Could not be easy to write.

  3. Ilya G Poimandres Avatar
    Ilya G Poimandres

    Have you read ‘Candide, or the Optimist’ by Voltaire? It is a very comical look at the extreme suffering of people, at the hands of either the state, or other people. Makes one get quite an indifferent opinion of the species!

  4. Ms. Abrams is who the Dems need to carry Biden over the finish line. Literally. She is the only one big enough to do it.

    This begs the question why no one has asked where did all the money go – to pay off people who were sexually harassed by members of Congress. Can’t we get that through the Freedom of Information Act. I’m sure Joey has his name on that list more than once.

  5. I can comprehend very well thank you. I didn’t miss any points.

    I’m not minimizing rape at all. I too am a survivor of sexual abuse. I sat with the same dilemma, I report or not ? I reported. I could not bear the potential p[possibility that they would perform the same act on another individual. I reported. Did I go through hell,..a little. But I felt much more strength that I reported and this individual was going down for their actions.

    There were many points being made in the article.

    Once again,…by a woman not reporting a rape or sexual act against her ,..then she lays open the potential possibility that these “attackers’ will perform the same heinous act on another woman.

    Please tell me how not reporting is OK ?

    So,..let me get this correct,…you think it’s acceptable to just not report a crime of rape because it will make you too uncomfortable to deal with the blowback investigation and you will be dragged through the mud if you do ?

    IF that is your perspective,..sounds pretty self-centered to me.

    1. If this is really your perspective,…you’re taking a cheap shot at a real crime victim because you don’t like her politics.

    2. Only one in 25 reported rapes is resulting in a prosecution these days. It’s difficult to see how reporting a rape can achieve anything positive under these circumstances. However the downside is guaranteed 100% of the time.

      To describe the choice of not reporting a rape as ‘Self centred’ is quite bizarre.

  6. Peter in Seattle Avatar
    Peter in Seattle

    I don’t chant the “always believe all women” mantra either, but I do believe Tara Reade. Even though justice delayed is justice denied, I hope Tara gets all the delayed justice she can.
    [P]eople who’ve built their political identities around pretending to care ….
    What a great encapsulation of today’s Democrats!

  7. Glenelg Smith Avatar
    Glenelg Smith

    Thank you for this story. I hope you write more on this theme.

    You spoke of your reluctance to write this, and you end with saying that you’re unsure what the answer is.
    This is a vast subject area, and highly charged. It may even go back to human biology, which won’t change easily or soon.

    But for me, this is what I heard you saying:

    (I will use the word “evil” as a code for something more nuanced, but that word is already part of the discourse, so I’ll run with that because it makes the argument clearer.)

    1. The act of rape traumatises the victim, so the act is an evil. So the perpetrator is also evil. (Code, remember)

    2. If the victim reports the rape, then the victim is attacked in a different way. This attack is also traumatising, and so is an evil act. Those those who engage in this attack are evil.

    3. Common knowledge of this consequence (to reporting a rape) is a threat of violence, and does psychological harm to any past, current or potential victim of rape, in addition to re-traumatising rape victims. This state of affairs is also evil, and so anyone who colludes with it is evil.

    It sounds like I am concluding that all of society is evil, but I am sure you understand the dynamic better than I do.

    Now, let’s apply this reasoning to the current situation.

    We have a president who is unworthy of the office, (and widely regarded as evil).
    We have a candidate who is unworthy, (and regarded by some as evil).
    We have people and institutions promoting an unworthy candidate by using an evil strategy (attacking a person who reported a rape).
    We have people and institutions trying to influence voters by using that same evil strategy.

    We already know the election is fake (illegitimate). But by using this evil strategy, the election itself becomes evil, and so anyone who takes part in the process is colluding with evil.

    I think this is an important observation you have made, and obviously it goes wider than that. A common distraction is to focus on the candidates, and argue about who is the lesser evil. But if the process itself can be shown to be an act of evil, then surely that is a whole new subject area.

    Thanks again for your work. Cheers.

  8. They are not ” liberals”.
    I don’t know what the importance of this story of States ongoing victimization( and discrediting) victims in the current mainstream publishing of lots of emotive stories to confuse and distract people is .
    I wouldn’t be pretending or supporting the illusion of different parties( ideology).

    1. Yes its an information overload.
      Haha liberals.

  9. Please continue to stand for justice at any cost. All the Prophets and the people who denounced injustice were persucuted. Remember them and think about what they were feeling when ordinary people persecutated them on the instigations of the powerfulls of their time. This will help you in your task. You must stand tall for the oppressesd. (sorry for not pefect english)

    1. All stand together. All refuse to cooperate with the evil empire.

  10. Agree, do you ever wonder why the idea of a political candidate, like Obama, Ralph Nader, Carter–I don’t know about the Bushes, who has no rape charges against him, no history of sexual assault, popularized? I know it’s a vindictive sort of messaging. But, Rape is an unqualified wrong, so why is there this idea we can put up with candidates with histories of so much of it, because ‘accusations can be faked.’ Really? What kind of vetting process is there when faked or not, accusations are coming out of the woodwork during elections? I thought the Kavanaugh hearing was a bit silly, not that Dr. Ford was wrong, but Kavanaugh was being nailed for an assault he did as a kid; I have to believe the young can change, reformed criminals do.Biden, on the other hand, has always been handsy–even on t.v., and Trump should have been disqualified for how he talked about women, Period.But, I think we’re so used to living in a patriarchy, we don’t even realize that when half the electorate can be subject to the other’s victimization, we’re not in a fair system at all.

  11. The population mind control system is managed by extremely clever but shady, wealthy but arrogant psychopaths who know they are above the law and apply all-pervasive methods of mind-control to entrench themselves in seats of power. I am among a minority of intellectuals who believe the elite globalists inadvertently created and now manage a self-destructive system. I believe things in the world will continue to challenge and oppress us until a global upheaval and major transformation occurs. Then wise, insightful, generous, eco-friendly, community orientated, truth-loving and peace-loving people will come out from their corners and hideouts to build a new and glorious civilization. I believe these pioneers, current dissidents, will rise to the occasion and turn the world into a paradise. Read more of this here:

  12. I wasn’t there to see the validity of Tara Read’s rape accusation against Biden, but I wouldn’t put it past him. After all. his drafting of the Bill that became the unconstitutional Patriot Act, his contribution to the formation of the for-profit prison industry, his being in bed with all Big Business, including Big Pharma and the fossil fuels industries, his contribution to Bill Clinton’s laying the groundwork for the 2008 Great Recession, his vote in favor if the Iraq War and so much more, the net effect of his time in Congress and as Vice-President has been to rape each and every one of the 99% and mother earth as well.
    That’s not a nod of approval for Trump. They are so much alike, except for how they talk (but talk is cheap), that it is astounding. I’d never vote for either of them.

  13. The Washington Examiner ran a piece today that I see as providing an explosive revelation on the boy’s club of men in the Senate.

    “As Gaviglio enters the room, the six-foot-two, 225-plus-pound Kennedy grabs the five-foot-three, 103-pound waitress and throws her on the table. She lands on her back, scattering crystal, plates and cutlery and the lit candles. Several glasses and a crystal candlestick are broken. Kennedy then picks her up from the table and throws her on Dodd, who is sprawled in a chair. With Gaviglio on Dodd’s lap, Kennedy jumps on top and begins rubbing his genital area against hers, supporting his weight on the arms of the chair. As he is doing this, Loh enters the room. She and Gaviglio both scream, drawing one or two dishwashers. Startled, Kennedy leaps up. He laughs. Bruised, shaken and angry over what she considered a sexual assault, Gaviglio runs from the room. Kennedy, Dodd and their dates leave shortly thereafter, following a friendly argument between the senators over the check.

    “Eyewitness Betty Loh told me that Kennedy had ‘three or four’ cocktails in his first half hour at the restaurant and wine with dinner. When she walked into the room after Gaviglio had gone in, she says, ‘What I saw was Senator Kennedy on top of Carla, who was on top of Senator Dodd’s lap, and the tablecloth was sort of slid off the table ’cause the table was knocked over—not completely, but just on Senator Dodd’s lap a little bit, and of course the glasses and the candlesticks were totally spilled and everything. And right when I walked in, Senator [Kennedy] jumped off … and he leaped up, composed himself and got up. And Carla jumped up and ran out of the room.’

    “According to Loh, Kennedy ‘was sort of leaning’ on Gaviglio, ‘not really straddling but sort of off-balance so it was like he might have accidentally fallen. … He was partially on and off … pushing himself off her to get up.’ Dodd, she adds, ‘said, “It’s not my fault.”‘ Kennedy said something similar and added, jokingly, ‘Makes you wonder about the leaders of this country.’”

  14. Blair Schirmer Avatar
    Blair Schirmer

    I was repulsed by some tweets lauding Chris Hayes for his ‘heroic’ reporting on Tara Reade.

    It was like watching cheerleaders squealing after getting noticed by the captain of the football team, and it was because Hayes and MSNBC deigned to finally notice Reade, a month after her interview with Katie Halper.

    I’m using time stamps based on the readily available 2:20 version of Hayes’ report:

    Hayes puts Reade’s accusation in the best possible light for Biden. This is not news reporting, what he’s doing, this is damage control on a story too big to conceal any longer, so Hayes tells it as the Biden campaign would surely want.

    For example:

    The intro photo’s chyron is not “Biden accused of rape” which is what Reade reported and would accord with the statutory definition of the violation, but instead, it’s “Biden campaign denies allegation of sexual assault.” There’s no mention anywhere of Biden’s refusal to publicly comment.

    Hayes’ opening framing is entirely sympathetic to anyone “desperately wanting not to believe” the accusation. Hayes rewrites MeToo to include a legitimate hesitancy to find women credible. He then implies Biden is among the “admirable” men we doubt would ever assault a woman. At 0:20 he frames the MeToo movement as not about believing women, and he shifts its definition to “fighting yourself” when you disbelieve women. Good god.

    0:35 – shows Tara Reade today, rather than when she alleges the rape happened, in 1993. Her 1993 photo Hayes delays showing for almost 2 minutes, and even then covers up part of her face with a caption, intentionally obscuring the photo of an attractive young woman.

    0:41 – “Reade briefly worked as a Senate Aide in Biden’s office,” implying she was unstable and making no reference to Reade’s belief as to why her stay was abbreviated, namely at Biden’s dictates.

    0:50 – Hayes goes on the emphasize Reade’s earlier statements, implying her story has changed. Why is this part of his lede? Why all the prefatory material before telling viewers exactly what Reade said, including her filing of a police report, which is never mentioned?

    Also omitted are all the witnesses who verify details of her allegation, including her mother calling into CNN.

    1:09 – Having buried it for as long as he can, and having interpreted MeToo as generously as possible towards someone like Biden, Hayes finally acknowledges Reade’s statement, that Biden “penetrated her with his fingers.”

    1:23 – Hayes says of Reade’s original 1993 complaint with the Senate that “such paperwork has not been located” instead of acknowledging it exists, and that we know it exists–at the University of Delaware.

    1:29 – Hayes makes it sound as if Reade herself is responsible for not finding her 1993 allegation, intentionally failing to state the U of Delaware, a public university, has it, and–to be blunt–is hiding it on Biden’s behalf.

    1:40 – Rather than talk about all the material and witnesses supporting Reade, Hayes runs with Biden staffers’ denial and only relays what Biden’s people have to say, not the numerous people Reade told about the attack.

    1:50 – Hayes also makes it sound as if this is the first affirming witness to come forward. Far from it.

    1:51 – By putting this part of Hayes’ version of events well after the 1993 date about which Reade is always clear, Hayes’ caption muddies the point, suggesting Reade is confused by 2-3 years on dates, as if Reade said she had been assaulted by Biden in 1995 or 1996.

    1:51 – Hayes and his producer place the caption bizarrely, concealing 1/3 of Reade’s face in the only photo he shows of her taken at the time of the rape, as an attractive young woman.

    2:13 – More muddying of the waters: The neighbor’s affirming Tara’s story is only “roughly contemporaneous” with events, according to Chris Hayes.

    2:15 – Hayes flatly lies. There is little tension within the “progressive coalition.” I have yet to meet anyone favoring most progressive policies (iow, a progressive) who isn’t taking Tara Reade’s allegation against Biden very, very seriously.

    The would-be VPs flacking for Biden are in no sense “progressives.” Hayes fails to mention Reade’s mother calling in in 1993 to Larry King live or the numerous other pieces of evidence and testimony favorable to Reade.

    This is shocking reportorial malfeasance. It’s state media. It’s damage control. It’s the best Hayes could do, given the story, for the Biden campaign–so he did it. In addition, through about 7:00 am, this video was impossible to find on the MSNBC website. It’s appalling. Chris Hayes is in no way an ally. What he is, is a superb, highly paid liar, who twisted Tara Reade’s story of being raped into a story of Joe Biden’s denial of that rape.

    [Do forgive any typos–must rush.]

    1. Blair Schirmer Avatar
      Blair Schirmer

      Yikes! I didn’t know the trick to get line spacing. 1,000 pardons.

    2. Bravo to Caitlin for writing this article despite having to dredge up painfully personal memories in order to address this sordid topic, and special thanks to you, Blair, for this time-stamped summary- it’s the best breakdown of the manipulative and deliberately mis-framed Chris Hayes report that I’ve seen yet.

      Anyone who watched that disgusting display of so-called journalism and thought what he did was ‘brave’ or ‘good’ or whatever needs to read this. That all these propaganda tricks were employed in a segment shorter than most commercial breaks is upper-level journalistic criminality. That it took more than a month since the story broke for Hayes to even bring it up is not newsworthy journalism. It probably took his editorial staff and interns that long to get all the reframing and BS just right so their higher-ups would approve.

      Like his mention of the criminal war against Yemen, it seems Hayes is allowed precisely two minutes a year to pretend to supposedly go off script and raise a topic that is otherwise considered verboten among his ilk. This doesn’t make him anyone to admire. He spends more time fixing his hair than thinking about the real issues plaguing the world. When you’re raking in $30K per day to not report the news, don’t think these two-minutes of bravery or courage are anything other than a slightly more subtle form of propaganda. That Hayes can deliver these lines with a concerned look and a straight face doesn’t make him brave- it shows him for the highly functional psychopath he truly is.

  15. The New York Times reported that they “found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden.” Probably because they didn’t look.

    This from the great investigative reporter Alexander Cockburn, 1941-2012, at CounterPunch.

    Biden The Lout from CounterPunch April 28, 2020

    A longer version of this article originally ran in CounterPunch on August 23, 2008 under the title “Change,” “Hope” … Why They Must be Talking About Joe Biden! We reprint the story today because it makes clear that the allegations of sexual misconduct against senate staffers has been swirling around Biden for many years, dating back to his first years in the senate. –JSC

    Biden is a notorious flapjaw. His vanity deludes him into believing that every word that drops from his mouth is minted in the golden currency of Pericles. Vanity is the most conspicuous characteristic of US Senators en bloc, nourished by deferential acolytes and often expressed in loutish sexual advances to staffers, interns and the like. On more than one occasion CounterPunch’s editors have listened to vivid accounts by the recipient of just such advances, this staffer of another senator being accosted by Biden in the well of the senate in the weeks immediately following his first wife’s fatal car accident.

  16. ” You are taught that if you report your rape, you will be treated like the criminal, and the “investigation” that will take place will not put its spotlight on the accused, but on you, the accuser …”

    When I read this sentence, I thought of the Epstein “investigation,” and how the “spotlight” has never been on the powerful “Johns” who alleged had sex/molested young girls.

    Bogus “investigation” & No “spotlight” on the people the spotlight should be on.

  17. ‘It’s gross to watch liberals going around pretending they believe that Handsy Uncle Hair Sniffer would never dream of shoving his fingers into a woman without her consent.’

    Well said. Rape is more an expression of power and anger than sex. I’m a man who likes sex but when my daddy taught me that women decide when I listened. I was about ten years old and the message took but it was a natural message to a man not so badly broken. In the world are many broken people.

    ‘Handsy hair niffer’ crosses boundaries. And Biden shows clear signs of anger.

    Before the horror of a Biden candidacy raised is ugly head I recall watching him at a goodbye tribute to Obama 3 years ago. I was struck by, what was clear to me, obvious pathology. Uncle Joe plays the jester to cross lines.

  18. This is the seamy side of our species, along with lies and mass murder for pillage.
    Thank you for finally taking on the very hard task of writing, Sister Caitlin.
    What would President Kushner do? This is worth looking at.
    Jared Kushner Is the “De Facto President of the United States” Says Former White House Official
    Donald Trump’s son-in-law pressed him not to declare a national emergency because he thought it would tank the stock market.

  19. Normand Drolet Avatar
    Normand Drolet

    Men and women, women and men, Truth will set us free.
    Thank you, Caitlin Johnstone for telling the truth ;
    thank you for speaking from the place where Truth is .
    By doing so, you bring us light, for the mind and the heart.

  20. Wow! Will you look at NLIGHTN being the judge and jury of Ms. Johnstone for not being noble and brave when the only thing that happened to her was being brutally raped by an ignorant savage. You are the ignorant savage

    1. Many people of the liberal faith are going to go off-kilter as their various icons, like the Democratic Party, the New York Times, and the associated official identity-group orgranizations, are exposed for what they are and collapse. Hence a bit of raving and ranting is to be expected. They should put that energy into either cleaning out the Democratic Party, or starting a new party more in line with their alleged principles.

  21. Another kind, critical and insightful article from Caitlin Johnstone. One of the most disturbing things it brings up is that some people still believe the NY Times when it is smearing anyone and anything that contradicts its establishment political and economic agenda. Stacey Abrams is now history – likely reduced to taking handouts from rich looters and their stooges in the media. People may support her but one doubts whether anyone still really respects her. The NY Times often carries subtly denigrating articles that seem to call for objectivity, so that they can later claim to have tried to be fair. I look forward to that day when the NY Times expresses its regrets about all the lies it has told, without later taking them back.

    One of the more hopeful things is that many people are more and more skeptical (not cynical) of mainstream media propaganda and its collection of stenographers and parrots. To me this means that the truth is becoming more important to many Americans than quick answers from the “authorities.” That is a great and powerful thing that will eventually have its way, no matter how long that takes.

  22. with all due respect,..I find it very odd that an individual as well spoken as you with the courage of a lion to surmount any and all topics that display injustice and hypocrisy would cower to not reporting an incident of rape that you are vehemently sickened by.  

    Your reason you state for not reporting is “You are taught that if you report your rape, you will be treated like the criminal,…”. So you can write about politics and all things wrong and be willing to be “silenced” by the MSM but not protect one of your woman friends from this sickening crime.

    By not reporting the physical rape you have allowed for that crime to continue on to another unsuspecting woman. I don’t comprehend your reasoning to allow for this to potentially occur again.

    Can you explain that please.

    1. Dear NLIGHTN,
      Your question shows you missed the whole point of the article. Go back and read it with a curious mind.

    2. Traumatic experiences and subsequent traumatic relations within the criminal “justice” system aren’t quite like a Yelp review to warn fellow diners of rude waitstaff or cold take out food… it’s not that simple. It’s a form of victim blaming to insinuate that it’s the survivors responsibility to prevent future attacks from the aggressor. There’s some great reading out there on what a traumatic event does to the physiological and psychological aspects of humans, maybe that’ll help you understand how it isn’t “odd” at all.

    3. God, comments like this make my skin crawl. You have no idea what life as a human being actually is

    4. The explanation given was more than sufficient. Now crawl back under your rock learn how to read.

    5. The explanation given was more than sufficient. Now crawl back under your rock and learn how to read.

  23. R Zwarich ('Caliban') Avatar
    R Zwarich (‘Caliban’)

    Ms. Johnstone writes:

    “And I don’t know what can be done about it”.

    There it is. There’s the awful truth that women should maybe take a lesson from. Nobody knows what can be done about it, because there’s nothing that can be done about it.

    Most sexual acts take place in complete privacy. Men are bigger and stronger than women. In large populations of humans, a certain percentage of people, (men and women both), are mentally depraved/deranged to one degree or another. We live in a ‘sick’ culture that actually causes a higher percentage of various kinds of mental derangements in both men and women. Some percentage of sexually deranged men present a threat to weaker males, usually boys. (I was sexually abused as a child myself, by a much beloved uncle). Some larger percentage of mentally/sexually deranged men present a sexual threat to women.

    Mentally deranged women present very real threats to other people, of both genders, as well, but forcible sexual assault is only extremely rarely one of those threats. But false accusations of ‘rape’ are very much a way that mentally deranged women ‘assault’ men.

    Unless there is physical evidence, any allegation of rape or assault cannot be proven, and thus is a matter of one person’s word against another’s. There is simply no way to know who to believe. Did the man assault this woman physically/sexually? Or is the woman assaulting the man with a false allegation?

    The #metoo ‘movement’ was a giant Mass Media-fueled exercise in mass mob hysteria. It was always inevitable that this Mass Media-fueled ‘movement’ would be politically ‘weaponized’. I tried, at the time, to get people, especially women caught up in the hysteria, to ‘see’ the inevitable ‘weaponization’ of their mass mob hysteria, and to understand that since the Mass Media are all owned and controlled by morally depraved people with an agenda that serves their owners, (the Ruling Elites, who think nothing of killing masses of people so they can get richer faster), when the Mass Media are on YOUR side, it is for very specific reasons, and in the end it will not likely turn out well for you.

    So here we are. Can we, or should we, ‘convict’ people on the basis of judging ‘credibility’? As disgusting as I thought Cavanaugh was, I didn’t think his accuser was especially credible. I thought frat boys were disgusting when I myself was a young man in college. Did a girl drunk on her ass at a frat party think these ‘gentlemen’ were going to treat her as a ‘lady’? Why was she even there?

    I think Tara Reade’s story is entirely credible. But if I were on a jury, would I, or should I, vote to convict, absent any actual evidence at all, based entirely on credibility? In such a case, should the better actor/actress prevail?

    This is a circumstance in the often tragic, often comedic, Human Condition, for which there is no solution. God or Nature, (take your pick), fashioned our species this way. Many elements of our human condition, which cannot be changed, are unfair to women. Many are unfair to men. But Nature, (or God either, apparently, if that is your pick), does not care about ‘fairness’ at ALL. Nature only cares that we are compelled to compete and survive long enough to reproduce.

    What can be done? NOTHING can be done to eliminate this tragic aspect of our Human Condition.

    As a father of daughters, it would seem to me that women would learn what I taught my daughters. That male sexual aggression is inherent in our species, and that some males are mentally deranged, and that therefore they must ALWAYS remain aware of the danger, and do everything possible to avoid putting themselves in dangerous, or even risky, circumstances.

    Yet in our sick “hook-up” culture, semi-inebriated women will leave a bar with a semi-inebriated man and put themselves in dangerous circumstances with a man they just met, whom they know nothing about other than he’s ‘cute’.

    Have women not yet learned that powerful men in prestigious positions are even MORE dangerous to them? Power makes people, (men and women both), feel ‘entitled’, and a feeling of entitlement can transform ‘normal’ male sexual aggression into ‘predatory’ sexual aggression.

    I taught my daughters to do everything they can to keep themselves safe by recognizing the dangers in their environment. For any woman to be alone, in privacy, with a man she does not personally know, whom she has not vetted as ‘safe’, presents a potential danger to her.

    I do believe Tara Reade. Why? Because circumstantial evidence supports her story. I would never vote for Biden anyway because he is clearly a morally depraved person who has voted to kill large numbers of people so his paymasters could get richer faster.

    If Ms. Reade were my daughter, I hope she might have known better than to allow herself to be in a compromising circumstance of potential danger with a morally depraved man.

    There is NOTHING that can be done about this aspect of our Human Condition, other than women recognizing and avoiding the danger. The danger itself CANNOT be removed from our environment. (A healthier culture could ameliorate the danger, but not remove it).

    “Believing women”, as some women absurdly suggest, requires that we pretend that mentally deranged women do not ‘assault’ men with false accusations.

    There simply is NOTHING that can be done about many aspects of our Human Condition, and this is one of them.

    1. I’m not sure how Tara Reade could have avoided being alone at some point with the man for whom she was working as a staff member, but otherwise I agree with the gist of what you say. I would add the further observation that both the right and the left often fail to face up to this problematic “Human Condition,” the former tending to use it as an illegitimate excuse for immoral actions, the latter failing to acknowledge it as the appropriate context in which moral judgments should be made.

    2. Interesting points, I half agree with most of them. However, I disagree that male sexual aggression is inherent….it is a by product of a sick society…..just like mental illness is not inherent. Drunk women, in drunk places, with drunk men……it is still not okay to rape a woman……AND it is not the woman’s fault. I do agree it is prudent when drinking to know the company your with……….however we live in a culture that encourages the young (and old) to drink with free abandonment. It is our culture, not the youth, who created the problem.We have the breakdown of families, young people with out role models or a father at home. I’m glad your girls do, although I’m afraid this is not true for half of the population. The point is….rape is immoral and wrong……drunk or sober…..

      1. R Zwarich ('Caliban') Avatar
        R Zwarich (‘Caliban’)

        I take it you are not a male, or else are a very unusual male. Trust me … Sexual aggression is programmed into human male DNA. Males have powerful chemicals coursing through our bodies that drive us to aggressively pursue opportunities to ‘mate’. (Geez … I feel like I am having to ‘prove’ that the sky is blue. C’mon … sheesh).

        I did not say, of course that it is “OK to rape a woman if she is drunk”. I said, or meant to say, that a woman that would put herself into such a dangerous circumstance as to be irresponsibly drunk at a frat party among disgusting testosterone-fueled young men, (whom even I, as a male, thought were disgusting when I was that age), has motivations that are hard to understand, (shall we say).

        If a person does dangerous things, and then gets hurt, any reasonable person would likely conclude that the person does bear at least some degree of responsibility for getting hurt after having ‘flirted with danger’.

        I do most certainly agree that our sick, pornified culture is anti-female, but women are, after all, the ones who act in porn, pose nude, take off their clothes in film, etc. Show me an innocent young starlet from Wichita that is shocked when confronted with the ‘casting couch’, and I’ll show you 10 conniving females come to Hollywood eager to learn who they can have sex with in order to get to be movie stars. There would not be a ‘casting couch if women were not willing to lay down on it to get what they want. (They don’t call it the ‘oldest profession’ for nothing).

        I think that many of the very strange things that ‘feminism 2.0’ (I’ve heard it called) has taught girls and women, such as your contention that they are not ‘responsible’ for the consequences of their own behavior, comprises a significantly large measure of what makes our culture so ‘sick’ and anti-female.

        A mature adult takes responsibility for the consequences of one’s behavior. A culture that teaches women that they are NOT responsible only leads women to that much more woe.

      2. And reproducing is not inherent??

    3. She’s talking about the victim blaming and parade of absurdity that follows when a woman actually reports her rape. And there is something that can be done: NOT reporting in this disgusting way on the woman, NOT going through her history, insinuating she’s mentally ill, NOT combing for every tiny anything that might “justify” her rape somehow. Isn’t that more than obvious?

      1. R Zwarich ('Caliban') Avatar
        R Zwarich (‘Caliban’)

        Ms. Johnstone, one of the most brilliant and wise writers I have encountered, (which is why I’m here), is wise enough to recognize that since women are not saints, (as many feminists seem to want to contend they are), and DO victimize men in MANY ways, including by false allegations of rape/assault, it is both ‘natural’ and inevitable that an accused man, whether innocent or guilty, would try to besmirch his accuser’s reputation, sexual history, and past behavior, including trying to impugn her mental health, in the course of his defense. (It’s much the same for men. They were looking at things people wrote in Cavanaugh’s HS yearbook, fer crissakes)

        I believe that it is because Ms. Johnstone realizes this that she makes the statement that she “doesn’t know what can be done about it”.

        Your contention amounts to just another claim that women should be free to behave any way they please without being held responsible for their behavior, and that society should protect them from responsibility for their own behavior.

        I recall my mother, in the 50s, and 60s, teaching my sisters that a girl’s ‘reputation’ was her most important and valuable ‘possession’, and that a girl must guard it by never engaging in questionable behavior. Now women seem to want to contend that women can behave any way they want, and their ‘reputation’ for their behavior should not be relevant.

        Human life just doesn’t work that way.

        It is NOT ‘fair’, in ANY way, when any innocent person, male or female, is victimized, but any mature adult surely has learned that life is simply very often not fair.

  24. What would you expect? Since when has any political action had any relationship with ethics or morality? If such is mentioned, as it often is, it’s nothing more than an unethical, immoral means to an end. The end being the power to hold a gun to the head of other people and force them to do this, or not do that. This, or that depending on which delusion of justified authority the political entity is subscribed to. They are sociopaths. They have no concern for your welfare, unless some aspect of it increases theirs. We can govern ourselves, or be governed by monsters.

  25. Strange that the prerequisite for being in line to be a Veep/possibly first woman President is to be a rape denier and supporter and defender of powerful men accused of rape. How’s that for a twisted litmus test?
    Thanks Caitlin for a well written and considered article. I am inspired by your approach in writing this. It is a staunch defense of Tara, and condemnation of the hypocritical elements in the “me too” movement and too many of its so-called supporters who fail to see their betrayal to those of us who have no political reason to deny a woman’s experience. This hurts all women who have been through hazing by disbelievers and see that betrayal is returning to the norm it was enjoying prior to Ford. Instead we have been delivered a shocking indictment of the very vehicle women hoped would enable a new way to “stand up.” If only Reade were believed and openly supported by all women, and not denied, we truly could change the culture. Guess we can’t have nice things!

  26. Charles Andrew Robinson Avatar
    Charles Andrew Robinson

    Yee ha this is not related get over it.
    Watching Toshiro Mifune in Samurai III : Duel at Ganruyu Island on the Criterion Channel. Do not drink Ozeki, it may be cheap only 7 or 8 dollars , but Gekkeikan is also cheap and beats Ozeki hands down. If you have more knowledge and money, so go for the awesome Sake that you know. But the Criterion channel, very nice for good old movies. (Japanese girl) Tee hee. (Me) Ah ha,ha,ha! or ha, want to hear a joke?

    1. Bad timing for a commercial break and jokes, Charles.
      But you know that. Hitting close too close to home?

  27. foster goodwill Avatar
    foster goodwill

    Caitlin, I understand your position on not voting for Biden,and basically agree,but you are not taking into consideration the fact that Trump moved us dangerously close to nuclear annihilation by taking us out of the START treaty, so whoever the Dems put up would be the lesser of two evils,because they would get us back into the treaty and other significant things like cancelling the Global Gag Order,and a bunch of other awful things. Here is Chompsky speaking of it.

    1. What evidence have you seen that Biden has any intention of doing anything other than to continue the new cold war escalations with Russia? Democrats have been pushing for these escalations far more aggressively.

      1. Yes. Wasn’t Hillary calling for a no-fly zone over Syria as Russian aircraft were providing the Syrian government with necessary air support? As the following article indicates, written during the heat of the prior American primary election, the Neolib Dems have become as much a war party as the Neocon Repubs. The article is naive about Trump, at least in retrospect, but on the money about his then-opponent.

  28. Sex is about power. Rape is about ultimate power. Those who are drawn to power feel it gives them certain rights. The sychophants of those in power condone it. Thus she was not sexually assaulted but merely drew to close to unscrupulous men in power and paid the price. Jod Biden I am sure looked upon his actions as a privlege of power and thought nothing about it. She did nothing wrong except get to close to power thinking it was benevolant but found it full of malice. And no, there is nothing you can do about it.

    1. What an impotent stand you take, Khatika.

      1. You are right. Most stands including this one are indeed impotent.

        1. You watch Caitlin speak like this, and all you can do is give back something as worthless as that comment. If that comment had a sound it would be the fart of a balloon being emptied.

          1. Reality is often like that. Without emotion and brutal. Too many hide from it instead of acknowleging the reality of life. Life is often ugly and wrong. Consider yourself truly blessed if you can avoid these things in your life. Many are not so fortunate.

            1. GGlenelg Smith Avatar
              GGlenelg Smith

              Spoken like a wise man. Which is not the same as being a wise man..

  29. Hey Caitlin,

    This an excellent recent book on our rape culture. Of course, it’s shocking to learn there’s been little progress:

    Best to you,

    1. What do you mean rape culture. Women have been raped throughout the centuries. There is no rape culture. It is the way of humanity. The strong prey upon the weak.

  30. Rape is abuse. If you are a man you can be abused if not raped. If you call 911 for help, the police will arrest you because they always arrest the man. After years of being beaten and screamed at, knowing you cant even dial 911, you will be insane with loneliness.

    1. John Zelnicker Avatar
      John Zelnicker

      “If you call 911 for help, the police will arrest you because they always arrest the man.”

      Just a small quibble. In my personal experience with domestic violence (not rape), sometimes it’s the woman who is arrested.

      It seems to depend on who calls first. The first caller is considered the victim.

      1. I called first. I was arrested. I am glad it worked out better for you.

      2. Not if the man is smooth and persuasive and can appeal to the policemen’s hostility towards women.

  31. Ms. Johnstone, I am so sorry to hear of your being raped multiple times.
    Congratulations on successfully putting them behind you.
    Your column today is most eloquent.
    The future is brighter because of it.

    1. Is it though? You make it sound as if things are already okay, while watching Caitlin go to bat for us. How can you be so relaxed and sanguine after reading something like that?

  32. Abrams goal is to be VP and/or president Thus her statement is about getting Joe’s nod.

    1. Strange that the prerequisite for being in line to be a Veep/possibly first woman President is to be a rape denier and supporter and defender of powerful men accused of rape. How’s that for a twisted litmus test?
      Thanks Caitlin for a well written and considered article. I am inspired by your approach in writing this. It is a staunch defense of Tara, and condemnation of the hypocritical elements in the “me too” movement and too many of its so-called supporters who fail to see their betrayal to those of us who have no political reason to deny a woman’s experience. This hurts all women who have been through hazing by disbelievers and see that betrayal is returning to the norm it was enjoying prior to Ford. Instead we have been delivered a shocking indictment of the very vehicle women hoped would enable a new way to “stand up.” If only Reade were believed and openly supported by all women, and not denied, we truly could change the culture. Guess we can’t have nice things!

  33. Unfortunately, there are males that do rape females; some on a regular basis. Some are police officers or politicians or soldiers that get away with it scot-free. And unfortunately, there are females that accuse males of things they have not done. The ” victims ” in either case get a very raw deal that they do not deserve. Many years ago I entered a meeting a little late and said happy mother’s day to some of the females in a corner. One of them screamed profanities at me and left the room crying. Months later I found out why. This woman hated her mother because her mother said and did absolutely nothing whenever her husband raped the little girl. People have no idea about what is going on behind closed doors; and lets face it there are a lot of very sick people in this world of ours.

  34. Abrams is forever tainted as liar. egads…is there no hope? only the evil survive. the good die young.
    Ladies! jump up angry! get mad! scream if you have to…do not mull it over. cry out ASAP.
    SEIZE the moment…tell the world! Promptly. go to the hospital. tell only a femme doctor or nurse….speak to female cops ONLY …! you lose too much coming out 27 years later: you can help prevent the RISE of evil easier than trying to push it back after it has success….
    one inch at a time. you are worth it.
    do not let it fester…think of rape as an assault and battery. point out da PERP!
    Speak up! Every little voice. one inch at a time…
    now we know both our presidential candy dates are soulless pigs…both probably insane.

    1. Will you be there to support them though? Or are you just eager to see someone else sacrifice themselves?

  35. Sexual Rape is similar to many other forms of rape. Capitalism is rape of the people that is repeated second by second with the police always defending the rapist. I am not trivializing sexual rape and I am not trivializing economic rape. Covid-19, made in the Ft.Detrick biological warfare lab in Md, is another form of rape. Most “flus” are made in warfare labs. Rape will go on as long as fascist men have control and re-stage the horrors that were done to them in their up-bringing. There is no escape, until socialism is realized.

  36. This is a powerful and moving statement, Caitlin. I trust and believe you – as only someone who has suffered a sexual molestation can (I was 11)…there was a court case – a technicality saw the perpetrator walk free. I understand what it means for the law to – in essence – say that I must have been lying or in collusion – the person defending a prominent lawyer later knighted NSW MLC … just doing his job – cleverly. Thank-you…

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your rape ordeal. I was also sexually molested when I was 11 years old. I didn’t tell anyone for many years, and at that point, it was too late — according to my mother who was also sexually assaulted when she was 5 years old, and raped when she was older, but still a minor. People have no idea how common sexual assault and rape are, and I would argue that the rape and/or assault of minor children is far, far more common than most people would believe.

      At least people are talking about it more these days. Hopefully, we will work our way toward a society where nobody would be able to get away with these crimes. Of course, we need to ensure that innocent people are not falsely accused, but I stongly believe that false accusations are extremely rare when compared to actual rape and sexual assault.

  37. These are your Stalinist Democrats.

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