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Monday, September 24, 2018

Accuser v. Judge should be about true justice--not misandry.

At this point, any Senate hearing on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh appears much less likely to illuminate the actual truth about alleged events than to illuminate the political, ideological and even the gender-based biases and agendas of senators.
What has been highlighted in this agonizing process, unfortunately, is how little so many people in Congress and in this country seem to care about the rule of law ... or reasoned and civil debate ... or true justice.
True justice does not allow automatically favoring the testimony of one gender over another. That's bald-faced bias, bigotry, discrimination.
Unfortunately, allegations rather than convictions of sexual assault have become fodder for building awareness about sexual assault in society at large. Legitimate awareness-building requires real evidence and proven cases, and it is undermined rather than advanced by aggressive assertions about unproven allegations.
The answer to sexual assault is not wholesale misandry.
Sexual assault is indeed a deplorable crime, yet the crime is not limited to men against women. A study reported in Scientific American [1], found that "the CDC’s [Centers for Disease Control] nationally representative data revealed that over one year, men and women were equally likely to experience non-consensual sex, and most male victims reported female perpetrators."
The fact that men also experience sexual assault in no way minimizes the fact that women experience sexual assault. But the surprising finding does remind us of the importance of basing our conclusions on evidence rather than on perception, on reason rather than feelings, on reality rather than ideology. 
If this republic is to continue and real justice is to be realized, we've got to get back to reasoned and civil debate and most importantly, to the rule of law. That means discerning and separating evidence from allegation, fact from fiction, and--perhaps most difficult of all--what we wish from what actually is.
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1. Lara Stemple, Ilan H. Meyer,"Sexual Victimization by Women Is More Common Than Previously Known," Scientific American, October 10, 2017. Accessed online September 24, 2018 at https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sexual-victimization-by-women-is-more-common-than-previously-known/ .

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