If the past year of unrelenting sexual assault scandals has taught us anything, it’s that personal violence and political violence are inevitably intertwined; the tragedy of our sexual politics is not just that so many men prey on women, or that those men so routinely escape consequences for their actions, but that we live in a society where men who view women as fundamentally disposable and worthless are allowed to set our priorities and control our institutions. If the President of CBS sexually assaults women on a regular basis, feminist show runners are not going to get picked up by CBS. If Matt Lauer has a history of preying on his female colleagues, then NBC News is going to be quietly dissuaded from reporting stories that shine a light on sexual assault. If the most powerful men in media are sexual predators, an accused sexual predator can run for President and be given more generous treatment than his female opponent. If that accused sexual predator becomes President, he can appoint Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Violence against women doesn’t just take place one-on-one, through individual rapes and assaults. It’s structural — it’s built into our assumptions and our institutions, inflicted from the top down. Sexual assaults or incidents of misogynist violence are not just tragic accidents, or outliers. They are the intended outcome within a culture that is built to empower men at women’s expense.
Sady Doyle on men who hate women.