How are white women from Europe portrayed in colonial racist discourse?
At the height of the #MeToo movement, which purportedly broke the taboo surrounding sexual assault and harassment of women, 75 women, the majority of whom were white, gathered in Washington, DC, on September 21, 2018, to publicly support Brett Kavanaugh, the nominee for the Supreme Court who is currently under fire.
Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor, alleged that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when she was just 15 years old. Two other women who made comparable claims backed up Ford’s testimony, but it was not enough to prevent Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Leading the charge was Sara Fagen, a former coworker who described Kavanaugh as “a person of honor, honesty, and high moral character… Those 75 Women for Kavanaugh described him as “a nice spouse, a good father, and a good friend.”
In the month that followed, Quinnipiac University released the results of an online survey in which it was discovered that just 46% of white women and 83% of all black people and 66% of Hispanics believed Ford. Although there was no gender split for non-whites, the statistics showed a startling disparity between white women and persons of color.
When white men are included, the situation becomes even more bleak: only 32% of white men believed Ford was speaking the truth. In general, persons of color were almost twice as likely to trust a white woman accusing a white male of sexual assault.
What might have caused so many white women to discount a fellow white woman’s arguments? What would also lead 63% of white women to vote for Roy Moore, the Republican Senate nominee with multiple allegations of sexual assault of underage girls against him? Or 53% for a self-professed “pussy-grabber”?