It’s good to see this happening, those who made allegations about the sexual misconduct of Brett Kavanaugh being investigated. After all, the central claim is that we should indeed believe those women – and usually it is women for obvious reasons concerning the patriarchy – who come forward with claims of sexual abuse. For how can we clean society of such foulness without taking seriously those who complain and their evidence? But equally – in a just world at least – we’ve got to take seriously what is being said in these accusations. That means at least chasing, if not prosecuting, those who make false allegations. Partly because we’ve made the effect on the perpetrators of abuse so serious, partly because false allegations poison that well of belief, don’t they?
The Senate Judiciary Committee referred a woman to the Justice Department who admitted her sexual assault allegations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh a “tactic” and a “ploy,” according to a Friday letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley to FBI Director Christopher Wray. In the letter, Grassley describes that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) received a letter in September from a “Jane Doe” who claimed Kavanaugh and another person raped her “several times each” in the backseat of her car—but did not give the incident date or location.
To believe, until investigated at least, an accusation is fair enough. But the corollary to that is that knowingly false accusations have to be regarded as an equally serious matter. Not something to just be ignored:
Grassley, in a letter to the Justice Department and FBI, said a woman by the name of Judy Munro-Leighton took responsibility for authoring an anonymous letter that made allegations that Kavanaugh and a friend raped her. After she was tracked down and interviewed by Senate investigators, the woman recanted and said she was not the author and had never met Kavanaugh.
Grassley claims the woman is a left-wing activist and told investigators it was “just a ploy,” he wrote in the letter.
Well, maybe she is an activist and maybe she isn’t. But she did attempt to deny a guy a job by lying. Which is something that should at least be discouraged, no?
All of which leads to what we should be doing about such allegations of sexual abuse, Sure, believe the accuser, but as Ronnie Reagan used to say, trust but verify.