A Sad Day for Women: Their Movement Loses All Credibility
Juanita Broaddrick. Jane Doe #5. Whatever name one knows her by, she is known because of what she claims happened to her 21 years ago. She claims that William Jefferson Clinton, Attorney General of Arkansas at the time and currently President of the United States, raped her. I can hear the mainstream feminists screaming now - can't you?
By Carolyn Gargaro
February 26, 1999
Published in the South Jersey Courier Post March 03, 1999
<straining to hear...>
You can't? Actually, neither can I.
Where are the screams? Why is there nothing but silence from many groups who usually would be up in arms about something like this?
Why are women, and people in general, turning their backs on Juanita Broaddrick? Where are the feminists who blew a gasket when Clarence Thomas was accused of talking about a pubic hair on a Coke can? (gosh!) Where are the women who claim that telling dirty jokes in the office constitutes sexual harassment? Where are they as Juanita Broaddrick explains how Bill Clinton allegedly raped her? I remember hearing from many women's organizations, over and over, that women don't make these things up - women don't make up sexual harassment stories, they claimed, and they certainly don't make up rape stories! That's what was said when other men have been accused, even when the accusers have presented unsubstantiated claims. Oh, but how the tune changes when the accused is Bill Clinton!
There is also no doubt in my mind that if it were a pro-life Republican in office, the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) would already be screaming bloody murder. N.O.W. continuously complains about the Promise Keepers and how they "control women." Well goodness me - do the women of N.O.W. believe that alleged rape is less serious? If not, then why aren't they as vocal about this as they are about the Promise Keepers? They cry foul when the Southern Baptists talked of women "graciously submitting," yet they are less vocal when the issue is Bill Clinton and rape?
(note: N.O.W. has finally issued a press release in which they state that they find Broaddrick's story both credible and disturbing. However, much of the press release is spent attacking conservatives, accusing them of being late in defending women's rights. This seems to be an attempt to turn public attention away from the real issue - Bill Clinton and the alleged rape charges.)
The women who are coming forward, as Juanita Broaddrick has, with allegations against the President, are not easily categorized as members of the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy", something which is commonly used as the excuse for Clinton's woes. The women who are charging that Bill Clinton assaulted them are not right-wing zealots, but members of his own party!"...a campaign worker in 1978, a legal secretary who worked for one of his ardent supporters that same year, a Democratic fundraiser in Washington, a volunteer in the White House. Bill Clinton was so busy assaulting his own supporters that he never had time to get around to his enemies." (Capitol Hill Blue, 2/22/99)Now, I will admit that Juanita Broaddrick's story can not be proven. Yet her description of events ring true, and her actions are consistent with that of other rape victims. In addition, the description of events would not be uncharacteristic of Bill Clinton, considering his track record.
Of course, the question that arises is, why didn't Broaddrick come forward in 1978? But isn't the answer obvious? She was worried that no one would believe her! Clinton was the current Attorney General of Arkansas, who was running for Governor. Can you imagine her, in 1978, where it was commonplace to "blame the victim", claiming that the Attorney General raped her in her hotel room? Back in 1978, most states did not have effective "rape shield" laws. At that time, a defendant in a rape case could bring up the victim's prior sexual history and put her on trial. Clinton could have used Broaddrick's history to try and destroy her and ruin her reputation. Remember, this is the same Clinton who told Sidney Blumenthal that he would have smeared Monica Lewinsky as a "stalker" if she exposed their affair- the only thing that stopped him was his DNA on her dress.
In addition, why would Broaddrick lie now? Broaddrick wasn't exactly eager to tell the story. Her story came out during her testimony to the Grand Jury. Prior to that, she was subpoenaed in the Paula Jones case. Not wanting her story to come out, Broaddrick filed a false affidavit in the Jones case. She probably would have continued to deny the rape allegations, except that she was then called before the Grand Jury - a place where she would not lie. She still didn't tell her story to the public until untrue rumors started floating around, and she felt she had to tell her story to the public to set the record straight. Broaddrick's public statement was the result of her finally admitting under oath that it happened and then the subsequent rumors. Without the Monica Lewinsky story, Broaddrick's story probably would still be hidden.
Why are people so complacent on this? If the same allegations were made against Newt Gingrich, can anyone imagine the mainstream feminist groups, or anyone else for that matter, remaining silent? Frankly, this silence sickens me.
As many people remain silent on this issue, some of the gains women have made in recent years are slowly being erased. Women have fought against the attitude that it's the "woman's fault" when she is raped, yet we already have people on television, minutes after Broaddrick's interview was aired, accusing her of lying. They blame everyone except Bill Clinton, accusing the "right wing" of trying to "bring down the President" and "distract the nation" with this story. First, if Broaddrick was trying to "bring down Bill Clinton" why didn't she come forward in 1992 when Bill Clinton was running for office? Second, do these people believe that women should just "keep their mouths shut" about rape? Are we going to sit back while yet another woman gets trashed and called a liar?
Patricia Ireland commented, during the Lewinsky scandal, that "all men cheat", so that Bill Clinton's actions weren't so out of the ordinary. Does N.O.W's silence indicate that they think all men rape? Is this what they are telling us - that we should "expect" such behavior?! Or is this another case of mainstream feminist groups closing their eyes to uncomfortable situations, as they have done time and time again, because of Bill Clinton's pro-choice stance? Do they really think that removing a sexual predator from the White House will harm abortion "rights"? Is Roe v. Wade going to be magically repealed if Clinton is removed?"
Numerous women have told similar stories in the past few weeks - stories that are strikingly familiar to those of Broaddrick and others. Yet the White House has refused to comment on many of the allegations. They have refused to say whether Clinton was in Little Rock on April 25, 1978, or answer numerous other simple questions. As the White House refuses to answer questions about the case, I have to wonder - if Bill Clinton is innocent, why the refusal to answer a few simple questions? Why are people not demanding that Clinton explain himself?"When was the last time you heard of a man accused of rape issuing a "no comment"? Put yourself in that position: If you were unjustly accused of such a heinous crime, how would you react? Would you casually dismiss questions when the entire country is talking about it? Does that sound logical?" Joseph Farah, Impeach the rapist WorldNetDaily 02/26/99Are all the women who have made claims against Bill Clinton lying? ALL OF THEM? Somehow all the women are lying but Bill Clinton, who has proven to be a liar over and over again, is suddenly telling the truth? For those who might say "Yes - those women are all lying" - you have proven my point regarding women being set back - this is the exact type of attitude women have been fighting against! Yet, when it comes to Bill Clinton, it seems as if the "old rule" of "blame the victim" is somehow an acceptable "rule." As the women who support Bill Clinton sit by, chanting how they are so "pro-woman," Clinton's female accusers are trashed. And people wonder why rape victims are scared to come forward....
What's terribly sad about this whole situation besides the fact that a women was assaulted, besides the fact that we may very well have a rapist running the country, is that women look like absolute hypocrites. Yes - we do. How else can we explain the silence of mainstream feminist groups on this issue? If it were a Republican President, feminist organizations would be calling for the man's head on a platter, whether the allegations were proven or not. But they close their eyes when the fingers are pointed at Bill Clinton. This eats away at the credibility of the women's rights movement, and portrays women as fickle beings who will cry about rape victims' rights in one breath while they hail an accused rapist in another.
So what happens now? I don't know, but what we do now is an indicator of the status of women in America. Will American women undermine themselves and each other as women in other countries so often do and remain silent to protect their precious man, Bill Clinton, and their precious abortion rights? Or will women finally wake up and take a stand and say "NO - we will NOT excuse Bill Clinton anymore. We will NOT excuse a rapist" ? I dearly hope it is the latter, but unfortunately, so far it seems to be the former.
How many women have to be abused before women will wake up and speak out? How many? And how long will we as a Nation sit in denial and excuse such actions? How long will we turn our backs on women as long as "the economy is good"?
This is not a "right-wing" or "left-wing" issue. I ask all women, whether they are liberal or conservative, to join me in speaking out about a man who claims to be "pro-woman" in public and proves to be "anti-woman" in private.
This article copyright © 1999 by Carolyn Gargaro and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.
- NBC Suppressing Broaddrick While Plugging Lewinsky on ABC
- Silence of the Feminist Lambs
- NOW President Supports Broaddrick, Blasts Conservatives
- Rape accuser explains why she didn't speak out sooner
- Full transcript of NBC Dateline Report on Juanita Broaddrick
- The President is a Rapist
- Clinton has History of Sexual Violence