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Posted: October 10, 2018

Tolerating the intolerable led to rape culture and fascism

Kootenay Crust

By Ian Cobb

Op-Ed Commentary

Our once great southern neighbour and cousin this week reached the nadir of Donald Joneser Trump’s first (and God willing only) term as president when Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the US Supreme Court.

The swamp Trump boasted he’d drain has now been dredged, re-lined and re-stocked with fresh new slime and a stench stings the eyes of all but those who care more about having theirs over all else.

There was a time when optics mattered in politics.

If a politician looked like a greasy sack of bribes, they were most assuredly greasy bribe sacks. If voters didn’t do them in, their parties would shove them to the rear of the bus with the sign ‘unelectable but we want his party support’ hung around his neck. And then they’d find a candidate who came across as the least assholey.

That was the swamp to which Trump referred; a corrupt system tarnished by non-stop toadying to corporate backers. In many ways he is correct; it was obvious to the casual observer that the Washington swamp was heavily polluted by ‘special interests.’

But in perhaps the most classic example of ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss,’ Trump has dragged the White House and his nation into a swirling, chaotic quagmire that makes past administrations, such as George W Bush’s, for a recent example, look positively righteous and grounded. Who would have thought that GW Bush would be remembered as being presidential? Not me. But Bush was raised well.

Methinks Despotic Donnie had his way around his lavish rich eastern US white boy stomping grounds, slurping at his lolly while yelling at the help and copping a feel whenever and wherever he wanted, as he himself proclaimed. Imagine the howling for Bill Clinton’s head if audio like that came out. Shameless double-standarding is a sign of a government system nosediving to Fascism.

What that brief glimpse into the sordid mind of Donald Trump showcased was the rape culture that remains so prevalent, and now apparently so much better guarded.

That ‘culture,’ or insipid streak of ooze on a slide, has ensured that victims of rape and sexual abuse are seen as possible liars and the people accused of being rapists or abusers are innocent until proven guilty.

Because of the harsh glaring light that is shone on rape victims, and the fear they hold for their assailant(s), most of these crimes are not reported. Additionally, false sexual assault claims are rare.

And yet, Brett Kavanaugh was seen as mighty fine and fit for the US Supreme Court by Trump and company, even though Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at Stanford University bravely put forward a damning case as to why someone else should be chosen.

The ridiculousness of this entire affair was highlighted by Kavanaugh admitting he once enjoyed sucking down brewskies like Bluto Blutarsky and well golly don’t we all do things we regret or forget. Essentially, white privilege pulled the ‘boys will be boys’ card and got away with it because the American people are powerless to stop it.

Optics be damned. Ford was ignored and trivialized by a bunch of men and lobby whores. And master Trump ushered a rash, snivelling Igor into the Supreme Court; a guy whose expression and words scream ‘I am a privileged puke.’

During the almost 30 years I’ve been doing this work, I have published about 10% of all the information I have gathered or become privy to, as much of it was extremely personal, damning, unproven, debunked etc.

I once sat with and listened to a rape survivor tell her harrowing tale, wishing to bravely share the story of what happened to her so she could warn other women and make society aware of the predators walking among all of us.

It was heartbreaking and enraging to learn about the power her assailant continued to hold over her; and how she found no justice.

Shortly before I was to publish her story, she asked that I refrain, fearing backlash and not wanting to be recognized in her small community as a victim, even though I was not using her real name in the piece. A week before she was strong and determined and then she became extremely frightened and guarded.

The same thing that happens all too frequently; her truth and determination dissolved under a system that works for the criminal; the rapist over the victim. It is a system that was designed, built and maintained by men.

For a woman who has been raped to immediately appear before the police is a daunting and disturbing horror-show.

The woman I interviewed said she did not report her rape to the police because she was terrified of her assailant. Persistent bothering by said assailant over a period of years made her reach out to me. You see where I am going with this? This one page from the endless story of men abusing women, or other men, or children, tells you all you need to know why Brett Kavanaugh is now on the Supreme Court in the USA. And don’t think for a second that the rape culture is solely an American thing. It thrives in Canada, too. Doesn’t it rapey bastards? You know who you are.

The old boys’ club that designed, built and maintains this black hole of justice has been up to its soulless games for millennia and changing it will require great courage bolstered by greater support from society as a whole.

In closing, here are the words of a young Canadian woman I know, reacting to Kavanaugh’s appointment: “I’m very angry. I’m very sad and I am afraid. We live in a world where rapists walk free almost every time. They are in the White House and the Supreme Court, on our streets and really just everywhere. I have been assaulted; recently and years ago. Those people are still walking free. Every one of them. I speak out all the time. I fight every way I can and it feels like it is for nothing. I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel lost and helpless.

As a man – as a father, grandfather, brother and uncle – words like that make me want to find a deserving scumbag and bust his nose. They also break my heart and make me realize how unsafe our society remains and as a now elder member of society, it makes me sad and angry to think that my generation and the one before, which had such great potential, have so badly failed our children and communities by allowing or ignoring the starter packs for the rape culture to fester in our midst.

Ian Cobb is owner/editor of e-KNOW

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