Among the right-wing organizations bolstering the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court are a number of male supremacist organizations—some of which have been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center in their research into the sexist ideology which seeks to counter feminist progress and stymy women’s equality.
The Men’s Defense Association (MDA), National Coalition for Men (NCM) and Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) have all thrown their support behind Kavanaugh. It should come as little surprise, however, that they would remain stalwart in the face of the mounting sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh from multiple credible survivors and has an anti-woman and anti-equality record. It is an ideology of perpetuating this kind of violence that forms the core of their missions.
Groups like MDA, NCM and SAVE often speak out about the injustices they feel men face being accused of rape and sexual assault, and they use the false spectre of a widespread phenomena of false reporting to call for men to join them in fighting back against efforts to reduce violence.
“Groups like NCFM use litigation to challenge what they perceived as discrimination in favor of women and try to influence policy on domestic violence, sexual assault, divorce and custody cases,” the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote in a report on male supremacy. “In reality, they offered little help to men other than blaming women or advocating to deny women the structures that they did have to resort to discrimination or violence—one of the biggest grievances of the men’s rights movement, for instance, is the Violence Against Women Act in 1994.”
In actuality, false rape allegations are exceptionally rare, and most rapists are never held accountable—but this has not stopped male supremacists from lobbying for the protection of accused predators. Under the Trump administration, they’re seeing more and more success in advancing those kinds of protections, and in rolling back the rights of survivors.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos sparked outrage when she met with alleged rapists and male supremacist groups during a review of policies around campus sexual assault. These groups wanted her to make extreme changes to Obama-era guidance on Title IX that brought rape and sexual assault survivors across the country more avenues for justice on campus—and in the end, she did. New guidance rescinding the Obama directives eliminated accountability mechanisms for investigating cases, gave accused perpetrators more rights than their accusers and made it more difficult for survivors to be found credible.
These new standards will undoubtably make survivors hesitant to come forward and testify. More than that, it will put survivors who come forward at risk for additional harassment on campus, rather than protection. “[DeVos] is now advocating for processes that inhibit safe testimony, like mediation and direct cross examination; a one-sided right to appeal,” Sarah Nesbitt, the policy and advocacy organizer at Know Your IX, told Rewire, “and a standard of evidence that not only fails to comport with that used in comparable civil processes but also that, by definition, prioritizes the accused student’s right to educational access over that of the complainant.”
DeVos’ rules came right out of the male supremacist handbook, much like many of the President’s own comments on the topic of sexual violence. Most recently, Trump expressed fear for “young boys” in the wake of allegations against Kavanaugh, and claimed the women who accused the Supreme Court nominee were, much like the dozens of women who have accused the President himself of similar crimes, liars and political agents.
The outcry over false rape accusations and the unfairness of being “MeToo’ed” or otherwise held accountable for perpetrating violence begs many questions. If men are so often falsely accused, why are women so infrequently accused wrongly of sexual assault? If they are so afraid of being wrongly accused of sexual assault, why aren’t they afraid of being accused murder or theft?
Rape is one of the most underreported crimes in the country. Only six of every 1,000 reported acts of sexual violence actually ends with a prison sentence. The very idea that men are ready to riot about such a rare event—one much less common, for example, than the over 98 percent of rape and assault reports that are not false—is very telling.
In this context, however, it also makes perfect sense. The more fervor and frustration male supremacist groups raise around the myth of widespread false rape allegations, the more people will support putting an alleged sexual predator on the Supreme Court. Their support for Trump’s nominee directly fuels the attacks against Kavanaugh’s accusers which have emerged on the national stage from political leaders, many of whom share their anti-VAWA agenda and, more largely, their ideology around rape and sexual violence.
If you needed any more evidence that those who support Kavanaugh’s confirmation prioritize protecting accused predators over keeping survivors safe and heard, this is it. The phone number you’re looking for is 202-224-3121.