Politics

‘All Women Have a Right to Be Believed’ Isn’t Feminist

“I always thought feminism should exist to promote equality, opportunity, and achievement for all women. But that hasn’t been the case in recent times. It seems the only feminism the leftwing and its media allies recognize requires a qualifier that they never apply: leftist feminism.”

In the wake of Judge Roy Moore, Senator Al Franken and others being accused of indiscretions, a criminal justice issue arises. While many prominent figures on the right have summarily abandoned Moore, the left is, at best, vacillating about Franken and at worst, justifying his behavior. But the left has long had a proclivity for blurring lines, muddying waters, and obscuring details when it comes to Democrats’ bad behavior — up to and including lawbreaking.

Back in 2015, Hillary Clinton wrote, “You [reported rape victims] have a right to be believed.” Many people were rightly stunned at the audacity, not to mention the astonishing irony, of such a sentiment coming from one of the greatest enemies of female sexual assault victims ever to have roamed the political landscape. It’s only in the very recent past that Mrs. Clinton’s husband’s numerous female victims find themselves vindicated by high-profile Democrats who, in ancient hindsight, find the worthless condemnation of President Clinton’s voluminous sexual misdeeds expedient when aspiring to higher office.

But what such a statement also does, aside from turning due process on its head, is makes us continue to question the true goals of American feminism. Women must be believed, but not men? What happened to gender equality as the feminist’s goal? And, even though Mrs. Clinton had it wiped from her website, her acolytes have run with it.

Before we move on in the discussion, I’d like to ask what true feminism is? Because, watching modern feminists, they don’t seem to embrace all women. I always thought feminism should exist to promote equality, opportunity, and achievement for all women. But that hasn’t been the case in recent times. It seems the only feminism the leftwing and its media allies recognize requires a qualifier that they never apply: leftist feminism.

I admire strong, independent women. My mother was an immigrant (legal) single mother, I’ve worked with many excellent female cops and supervisors, and I’ve been married to a strong woman for 38 years (I hope I got that right, hon). In fact, my wife served her community as a firefighter for 25 of those years. She seems to be the essence of whom logic would dictate feminism should honor. But it’s not likely, as a conservative-libertarian woman, she’d even be allowed at the meetings. Not that she minds. She refuses to call herself a feminist because the left has hijacked and corrupted the term.

It’s dangerous when Secretary Clinton and her leftist allies make or adopt such a blanket assertion, which is essentially a statement about a person’s guilt or innocence. Think about it. If, as an investigator, I must believe the victim who says the suspect raped her, then I must not believe the suspect who tells me he did not rape her? We can’t believe both at the same time.

Victims “have a right to be believed” may be a clever bumper sticker, but apply even a smidge of critical thinking and its premise crumbles. See how something so lefty feminist can lead to such feel-good nonsense? As long as it appears as if it’s all about supporting women, it doesn’t matter if it makes sense, as long as it sounds good in the media. But what about the comment as a practical matter?

As a cop who investigated a lot of crimes, including rape, my job wasn’t necessarily to believe or disbelieve anyone. My job was to take the investigation seriously; assuming, but not necessarily believing, the victim was telling the truth.

For years, feminists have been touting that women are just as good as men, just as smart, just as strong, just as capable—equal. Feminists have made a big deal about women entering and excelling at traditionally male-oriented jobs (like firefighting), which they claim proves women are equal to men in every way—sometimes even going as far as to argue males and females are the same. While men and women are, indeed, equal; they are obviously not the same. After all, isn’t that nature’s point?

So, how is it, when it comes to reporting a rape, women must be believed? Must we also believe a woman if she reports a specific suspect committed robbery, theft, property damage, or any other crime? If not, why not? It makes as much legal sense. And remember, it was a lawyer who issued the original statement.

Words are powerful and have consequences. While the emphasis on Hillary Clinton’s words seems intended to support women, does it instead patronize them? Does it treat women as children who need “extra” protection within the criminal justice system? It’s as if women need to be spotted a few points to guarantee equality.

While conducting an investigation, a police officer’s primary objective is to do his or her part to preserve and collect evidence and obtain accurate statements in an effort to achieve justice.

As a cop who investigated a lot of crimes, including rape, my job wasn’t necessarily to believe or disbelieve anyone. My job was to take the investigation seriously; assuming, but not necessarily believing, the victim was telling the truth. If she weren’t truthful, she’d be committing the crime of false reporting.

Anyway, according to the supreme law of the land, it is the suspect who actually has a “right to be believed” in the form of a presumption of innocence. As a cop, I didn’t have to like it. But I had to recognize it was the law and a necessary component of a fair criminal justice system.

A political statement such as what Mrs. Clinton wrote has no place in an intellectually honest conversation, and certainly not in a criminal investigation. In fact, applying it would corrupt any sexual assault case. Yet, this assertion was clearly a political effort to insinuate liberal feminist emotion into what should be an objective investigation of a serious crime.

As human beings, it’s natural that police officers may tend to believe one person over another based upon observations and information they gather during an investigation. If I were to automatically “believe” (leaving room for no doubt) the victim, wouldn’t I be violating that important legal tenet that gives the accused the presumption of innocence?

Believe is such a potent word. Its definitions all have one thing in common: to take something as true. When you accept something is true, by definition, there can be no doubt. Believing involves an intellectual and emotional investment—sometimes an enormous one. When dealing with reporting crime, why don’t we leave what we believe for religion and our personal thoughts and, within the legal system, rely on what we can prove?

While conducting an investigation, a police officer’s primary objective is to do his or her part to preserve and collect evidence and obtain accurate statements in an effort to achieve justice. Sometimes that will mean a rape victim, following a conviction, will see her attacker go to prison — hopefully for a very long time. At other times, that will mean a rape suspect, falsely accused, will see a malicious liar go to prison — hopefully for a very long time.

Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens Contributor and retired Seattle police officer. He has served as a field training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys riding his Harley and hiking and biking with his wife who is also an English major and a retired firefighter.

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