The Hong Kong protests that began last summer have been rife with accusations of emotional and physical abuse against women. In addition to allegations of police assaulting detained protesters, there have been reports of activists and journalists receiving rape threats and being doxxed by trolls. Worse, women have recounted enduring humiliating and unnecessary strip searches by police.
Male violence at the highest levels of government has been tolerated for a very long time. Unfortunately for these men, women are no longer quite so willing to keep their mouths shut about it as they once were. This means that even voters who don’t really care about male politicians assaulting women know that on some level they should care, which is why so many double down on frantic excuses.
Because male experiences and standards of judgment are taken as neutral, and men tend to be in charge of determining what information is collected and how it is analyzed, data about women is often not disaggregated—or even collected at all. This can have serious consequences.
If Dr. Ford had behaved like Judge Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been dismissed as a liar and a crazy lady. Imagine if she had talked about how much she liked beer some 30 times. Imagine if she had displayed anger, hostility, arrogance, boasted about having gone to Yale, cried self-pitying tears, and thrown questions back in the senators’ faces, asking them if they ever had blackouts. Imagine if her high-school yearbook page were full of sexual slang and drinking innuendoes obvious to anyone who had ever been a teenager, and she had explained them away with obvious falsehoods. We would have said, well, that is exactly the kind of girl who was asking for it then and is lying now.
"So that idea of tying ideas about femininity, womanhood, and reproduction to a kind of modern athleticism that wasn’t rooted in competition—because that would just be too much for women—but certainly in exercise. But then you also have a group of folks who are seeing athletics as an avenue for race pride and expression: seeing it as a place where black people can assert their dominance. So especially when black women find themselves in competition with white women… This is the place where we can refute our supposed inferiority."