Lionel Shriver: Why Ford Is Not My Hero

Posted on Mon 10/29/2018 by


Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate testimony

By Andrew Bolt ~

Good sense – and brave – from author Lionel Shriver:

Droves of Democrats have hailed [Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey] Ford as a hero for her courage as a ‘survivor’.

But I fear the deferent and visibly fragile academic with a high, mousy voice makes a lousy role model for young women today, who are too often fed the message that weakness is their greatest strength.

Collectively, then, Ford’s culture has encouraged her not to put that incident in perspective and get on with her life, but to treat the assault as a precious commodity — as a means of commanding sympathy and special treatment, and as a source of identity…

Hey, I have my own sexual abuse story, and it’s way worse than Christine Ford’s. You’ll have to take my word for it — or not — because it’s my business. But it irks me to feel obliged to trot out my Official Abused Person credentials, without which I’ve apparently no right to pass comment… But I do have standing. Thus I can testify that what happened to me does not haunt my adulthood unduly, does not explain all my problems, and did not result in a host of ineradicable neuroses.

I don’t mean that others who still battle demons as a consequence of sexual trauma simply need to suck it up. I mean only to establish that moving on is possible, and to suggest that we start celebrating resilience as well as baring our scars.

Besides, all sins of the flesh are not equally grave. I’m betting that plenty of men also found Christine Ford’s testimony overwhelmingly underwhelming. In this climate, they’d be foolish to say so publicly, but that doesn’t change what they think.

That awful expression ‘rape culture’ puts penetration at knifepoint and unwanted knee-touching under the same indiscriminate umbrella. Such zero-tolerance levelling is not in women’s long-term interest. It portrays us as hypersensitive if not hysterical, dangerous to consort with and lacking in common sense.

Democrats’ pumping up of Ford’s moderately unpleasant story into a tear-inducing tragedy reinforces the worst of stereotypes: that we women are little birds so terrifyingly delicate that a mere brush against adversity leaves us broken-winged for life.

I ain’t no little bird.

Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.

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