By Alyse Kaminski | Staff Columnist
Last Tuesday, President Trump claimed that, “it is a very scary time for young men in America.” He also made the comment that, “you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of,” and that this is a huge problem that goes beyond what happened with Brett Kavanaugh.
I do not agree with President Trump on much of anything, and I really do not agree with him that men are the ones who need to be scared.
I don’t want this column to be about whether or not I think Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is telling the truth or if I think Brett Kavanaugh is guilty. That is a separate conversation. I want this to be an examination of if it is really a “very scary time” for men in America.
False accusations happen. We are living in the #MeToo age, and sometimes I wonder where the evidence is regarding someone’s accusations. However, I also believe that there are more sexual assaults that go unreported than accusations that are false. An article from the The National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women states that only 2-8 percent of reported sexual assaults did not actually happen.
A recent article from The Cut explores the likelihood of false accusations. Reporter Katie Heaney spoke with Joanne Belknap, a professor at The University of Colorado Boulder and Sandra Newman, an author with expertise in this area. The article covers false rape allegations among college students and when it comes down to it, only .005 percent of sexual assaults that are reported among college students turn out to be false.
Just with this point alone, it is obvious to me that it is not scary to be a man in America. Along with President Trump, I also feel for men who have lost a good reputation because of false allegations. However, I am waiting for actions from President Trump that prove he also is interested in making America a safer place for women.
There is a reason why my mom bought me pepper spray for my walks downtown. There is a reason I call my friends when I know they are walking alone. There is a reason men from the military taught my all-girl gym class self-defense in high school. And there is a reason that 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are actually reported, as noted on RAINN’s website.
America was not a safe place for women during the time of Ford’s experience, regardless of whether or not it was Kavanaugh that assaulted Blasey Ford. America is not a safe place for women now, either.
We live in a country where there are people who value a male athlete’s future over the safety and wellbeing of a woman.
In 2015, Brock Turner raped a student and went to jail for three months for it. Not only did he serve a ridiculously short sentence, but people were concerned about what the sentencing meant for his swimming career.
In 2009, CNN reported the case of Robert H. Richards IV, a man who received an eight year prison sentence for sexually assaulting his toddler daughter. Despite the short sentence, Richards did not serve it, because the judge ruled he would not “fare well” in prison. His punishment was then reduced to eight years on probation and he had to register as a sex offender.
We live in a country where dangerous men do not go to prison even though they harmed their children. The system is broken and it seems to be working in favor of terrible people.
Therefore, it is scarier to be a woman in America than it is to be a man. But, for men like President Trump, who have made explicit comments about women, I guess it is a scary time. Men today cannot get away with speaking about women the way that Trump did on the Access Hollywood bus.
I truly believe, however, that there are more good men than those like President Trump. I was fortunate enough to have been brought up by men who prove this to me everyday. I am fortunate enough now to have a boyfriend who respects me. It is not difficult to be like that and for them, this is not a scary time in America.
Anyway, midterm elections are coming up. It is so crucial to vote for candidates who have the best interest of women in mind and I am not just talking to any female readers here. A country that supports and fights for both men and women is one where no one should be fearful.