I’ve been participating in the #Mooreandme shitstorm (pardon my French) on Twitter, where feminists and other people concerned about the smearing of rape victims have been coming down on Michael Moore’s head, trying to get him to reconsider and apologize.
This is the video that started the whole mess, from Keith Olbermann’s program. Moore’s offending comments, including calling the accusations a bunch of “hooey,” are towards the end.
Now, I don’t know what happened that night (or nights) and neither does anyone else. However, I am not automatically assuming the accusers are telling lies because they are part of a government conspiracy to put Julian Assange away, which the apologists on the Twitter feed are saying. Frankly, I don’t give a crap about Wikileaks. It will go on if Assange drops dead tomorrow.
I am concerned about the women involved, and seeing to it their accusations are taken seriously.
This is what “rape apologism” means. Assuming without evidence the rape didn’t happen, because all women are vindictive bitches (or in this case, politically motivated bitches). Assuming the men involved are always lily-white saints without a misogynist bone in their bodies who would never do such a thing. No matter the evidence showing false reports of rape are around 5%, the same as for various other crimes.
I have three of Michael Moore’s films. I have counted myself a fan of his work (although that assessment is growing thinner by the minute). I’ve watched him many times on Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann’s programs, and he is the sort of prominent progressive we need. Having said that, he is dead wrong about this, and he should apologize. Most of us can hold more than two thoughts in our heads at the same time; “Wikileaks is a good and necessary thing,” “Julian Assange’s prosecution is almost certainly politically motivated,” and “Julian Assange could still be a rapist” are not mutually exclusive concepts.
Michael, come off your high horse and listen to your fans. You make a point in your films of “standing up for the little guy.” Can’t you also stand up for women?