An op-ed published by The New York Times on Monday raised eyebrows for declaring that the “Believe all women” mantra was manufactured by the right.
In a piece titled, “‘Believe All Women’ Is a Right-Wing Trap,” journalist Susan Faludi began by claiming that conservatives are “having a field day” ever since Tara Reade came forward with her sexual assault allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden since “they’ve caught feminists in a new hypocrisy trap,” noting either the silence or defense of the presumptive Democratic nominee in comparison to the battle cries that were made on behalf of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford during Brett Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS confirmation in 2018.
“In fact, ‘Believe All Women’ does have an asterisk: *It’s never been feminist ‘boilerplate.’ What we are witnessing is another instance of the right decrying what it imagines the American women’s movement to be,” Faludi claimed, insisting that the “all” in the pro-women slogan was added by right-wing commentary.
Faludi went on to observe that the hashtag #BelieveAllWomen is “by a wide margin, used mostly by its detractors.”
“Conservatives have been oddly immunized by their shamelessness. How do you fight, to quote W.B. Yeats, ‘with one/Who, were it proved he lies,/Were neither shamed in his own/Nor in his neighbours’ eyes?’ The right, being averse to principle, has long known how to turn the left’s expressions of principle into Achilles’ heels. Even when it has to make up the expression,” Faludi wrote. “Good luck finding any feminist who thinks we should believe everything all women say — even what they say about sexual assault.”
She continued, “The ultimate hypocrisy would be a women’s movement that rallies behind the banner of reductive hashtags about what every woman thinks. Feminism was birthed out of a desire that women be treated as individuals, not as a cookie-cutter ideal or a faceless stereotype.”
While conservatives used the #BelieveAllWomen hashtag to hammer the #BelieveWomen mantra pushed by the left when a Democratic politician is accused of sexual misconduct, critics pointed to a July 2019 tweet from the Women’s March using the hashtag #BelieveALLSurvivors.
Critics panned the Times piece for essentially redefining the definition of #BelieveWomen.
“Guys, conservatives are at fault for an interminably-repeated nostrum from the Left, because the Left realized it was stupid now,” conservative commentator Ben Shapiro said.
“Ah, so it’s the Right’s fault that the Left adopted a scorched earth position on #MeToo, bereft of all due process and common sense, in its effort to torch Kavanaugh It’s not ‘believe all women.’ It’s just ‘believe women.’ Deeply unserious writing,” radio host Buck Sexton reacted.
“This is like saying conservatives were the progenitors of the notion that the proletariat should command the means of production,” Commentary associate editor Noah Rothman wrote.
“In one way Faludi is correct: motto was #BelieveWomen not #BelieveAllWomen, & the latter *has* been used to troll feminists. But silly to deny the vast number of statements clearly implying *all*,” writer Cathy Young pointed out.
“Lol these people are so shameless,” The Hill’s Saagar Enjeti tweeted.
“Rather blatant attempt at goalpost moving,” RealClearPolitics co-founder Tom Bevan said.
Biden has repeatedly denied the allegations Reade has made against him, insisting that the assault “never happened.”
During an MSNBC interview last week, Biden claimed he didn’t even remember Reade from his Senate staff.