By Cindy Dampier
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Donald Trump Jr. told reporters that the #MeToo movement made him more afraid for his sons than his daughters. As Cindy Dampier reports, he is not alone in his sentiments.
There’s a long list of things parents worry about: test scores, stranger danger, dirty clothes that never quite make the hamper, lack of calls home. But, in certain circles, this week saw a new parental worry topping the list: the false sexual assault allegation.
In the wake of the hearings that ultimately confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a wave of angst swelled on social media, notably under the hashtags #ProtectOurBoys and #HimToo (both of which have been appropriated from their original uses to connote an anti-MeToo stance).
Recently, a mom’s #HimToo Twitter post claiming that her Navy vet son was afraid to go on “solo dates due to the current climate of false sexual accusations by radical feminists with an axe to grind” went viral, then was quickly denounced by the son in question.
The Trump family has stoked the anxiety, too, with President Donald Trump noting his belief that false sexual assault allegations make it a “very scary time for young men in America.” Donald Trump Jr. told reporters that the #MeToo movement made him more afraid for his sons than his daughters. First Lady Melania Trump’s message to people reporting sexual assault: “You need to have really hard evidence.”
A chain of like-minded, amplifying political voices locked on to the narrative, and the dusty old ghost of the girl who cried rape found a scary new life.
If you weren’t paying close attention, you might have thought we had put the stake through her heart a long time ago. Think again.
“It’s a very powerful lie,” says Kaethe Morris Hoffer, executive director of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation. “And that’s why it recurs so frequently.”