There is a strange disconnect occurring within Democratic party. Supporters of Hillary Clinton are undoubtedly socially progressive—advocates for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, feminists, and pro-choice. Clinton, herself, has put women’s rights at the center of her campaign, working to decrease the wage gap, help young, disadvantaged girls attend secondary school, increase maternity leave and child-care benefits, among a myriad of other issues.
Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, has been accused, by multiple women, of sexual harassment and even rape. Yet where is the outrage, the push for evidence and justice; why, on this issue, are her supporters so neutral?
It is important to preface this with the fact that Clinton has not been found guilty in any of these instances. According to this extensive list of allegations by The Washington Post, Clinton has officially had two women accuse him of sexual harassment and assault, and one woman, Juanita Broaddrick, accuse him of rape, which she reiterated on Twitter only yesterday.
I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73....it never goes away.— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) January 6, 2016
Hillary Clinton, herself, has said that women who have accused men of sexual assault “'have the right to be believed.” When faced with the potential double-standard of supporting her husband despite this claim during a campaign event, she did not back down: “Well, I would say that everybody should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence.”
Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported. https://t.co/mkD69RHeBL— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 23, 2015
This is a perfectly reasonable stance for Hillary to take, but the court of public opinion, so quick to snap to judgment when it comes to other famous men accused of sexual assault such as Woody Allen, Sean Penn, and Bill Cosby, somehow remains discomfitingly quiet when it comes to Clinton.
If the default should be to believe survivors of sexual assault and rape, why hasn’t there been a bigger backlash against Clinton, particularly from many women who would be speaking out if it involved a male candidate?
Even celebrities who have been outspoken proponents of feminism, such as Lena Dunham, America Ferrera, Michelle Kwan, Abbi Jacobson, and Kerry Washington, or respected politicians such as Madeleine Albright, are backing Hillary for president with no qualms.
This is not to say that they should not be supporting Hillary’s campaign and presidency; rather, that questions should be raised regarding her potential knowledge of these issues. There should be a larger dialogue occurring concerning these allegations—they should not be swept under the rug.
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