The Gaslighting of American Women

Jessica Valenti for Medium writes:

What we are witnessing right now through the response to Kavanaugh — and the slow-roll comeback of various men held to account by #MeToo — is a large-scale dismissal of women’s reality. It’s a national gaslighting by politicians and pundits saying Yes, I’m sure something happened to Dr. Blasey Ford, but the poor thing must be mistaken. It’s a mass trauma perpetrated by leaders who would tell women in their most painful of moments that it’s men who are the real victims.
The truth, though, is not that most men abuse women — it’s that the small number who do are able to get away with it multiple times. For example, according to a 2002 study, six percent of men attempt or commit rape, but more than half of them will attack more than once, averaging about six rapes each.
Why is this minority of bad men able to get away with abusing women over and over? Because “good” men make it easier for them.
Knee-jerk sympathy for men accused of wrongdoing — something feminist philosopher Kate Manne dubs “himpathy” — isn’t new.
As feminist writer Thomas Millar put it nearly a decade ago, “It takes one rapist to commit a rape, but it takes a village to create an environment where it happens over and over.”

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