*Note: This article contains language about sexual assault that may be difficult for survivors to read.*
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has recently come under fire for both his comments involving infanticide and the racist photo from his medical school yearbook. As a result, there has been talk of Northam being forced to resign. If this happens, Lieutenant Governor Fairfax would become Virginia’s Governor. However, Fairfax has recently been accused of forcing a woman to perform oral sex, aka rape, at the 2004 DNC Convention. Vanessa Tyson, the woman who made the allegations, has recently hired the same legal team that represented Christine Blasey Ford.
According to the Washington Post, Tyson reached out to them before Fairfax was inaugurated in 2018. Washington Post chose not to run with the story due to lack of corroborating evidence. Meanwhile, lack of corroborating evidence did not stop them from publishing allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. Unfortunately, it’s not just the media showing double standards. Prominent DC Democrats are just as guilty. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is reportedly bringing a Kavanaugh protestor who screamed at Sen. Flake in an elevator as her guest to the State of the Union. Just yesterday, Ocasio Cortez spoke at an event where she ranted about sexual abusers serving in office. I agree, sexual abusers should not be in office. Unfortunately, AOC has yet to utter a single word about the allegations that have come out against Fairfax. Other Democrats, specifically those who were leading voices insisting for us to “believe all women” during the Kavanaugh hearings, have also remained silent. Today, Henry Rodgers of the Daily Caller asked around 10 Democrat Senators about the allegations against Fairfax. None of them made a comment about it. Even Bernie Sanders, who previously spoke about believing Dr. Ford, would not respond when asked about the allegations against Fairfax. Instead, he ignored the questions and even faked a phone call to avoid answering them.
So what happened to the “believe all women” crowd? Where are the calls from celebrities and prominent Democrats asking us stand with survivors by automatically believing any and all sexual assault allegations without due process? In Ford’s case, every witness Ford named said they were not there and/or did not know Kavanaugh. With no corroborating evidence, no recollection of the year or location it happened, and with witnesses denying Fords’ claims, we were supposed to believe her anyways. If we didn’t, even if we said that we thought something happened to Ford, but that it wasn’t Kavanaugh, we were told we were “standing against survivors” or “standing against women.” As a woman and sexual assault survivor myself, I believe it’s wrong to suggest we cannot support both survivors and due process at the same time. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive.
When people speak up about “believing all women” when someone on the other side is accused, but they go silent when the accusation is made against someone on their own side, they do not care about sexual assault. They do not care about helping survivors. They only care about using sexual assault survivors as political pawns to push an agenda. If the people who were dragging Kavanaugh for the claims against him actually cared about sexual assault, they would be giving just as much attention to the allegations against Fairfax.
If we truly care about survivors, we should be willing to call out sexual predators on all sides – whether it’s Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Al Franken or Roy Moore. To those who have lectured us on “believing all women,” until you can also speak up about those accused of sexual assault on your own side, your words are empty.