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Bill Clinton open mouthGood morning! This week, I wrote about Juanita Broaddrick, and her allegation that Bill Clinton raped her in a hotel room in Arkansas, almost 40 years ago. Buzzfeed came out with an extremely well-done, thoughtful interview with her, and I wanted to engage honestly with her claims, because I don’t see a lot of that on our side.

We cannot know for sure — none of us — but she seems believable, and I think I believe her. I quickly jotted down a few thoughts about what this might mean. Did it mean Bill Clinton is an evil man? I said I don’t think so. I think all of us can do evil things, and all of us have done evil things. Every time we’ve tried to hurt someone, we’ve done evil. But very few of us, I think, are actively evil people.

Because my thoughts were quick, a few were more sloppy than not:

To sum up, I think Bill Clinton could very well have raped Juanita Broaddrick; that it doesn’t make him an evil man, or irredeemable (I’m Catholic; we’re all forgiven, if we’re sorry, and Broaddrick says Bill Clinton personally called her up to apologize). It doesn’t even necessarily make him a bad feminist — you know, later, once he stops doing that.

This section read as though I presumed to forgive Bill Clinton on Juanita Broaddrick’s behalf. I am truly sorry for that. I don’t believe in God, but I do still love (most of) the tenets of my church, and redemption is central to it. That no matter what we do, if we truly repent, we are forgiven — maybe not by the people we wronged, but by God if such a thing existed. If Bill Clinton had seen the error of his ways — unknown — and had striven ever after to Do Right, then yes, I believe he can be redeemed. (All of this language assumes he did it, which, again, while I tend to believe it, will likely always be unknown.)

Also in that small little paragraph was a suggestion that Bill Clinton could still be a good feminist. This needed about 17 more caveats and conditionals; I thought that was covered by “it doesn’t necessarily” etc, and it clearly wasn’t. For the record, I think Bill Clinton is an okay feminist as far as supporting his wife’s ambitions — and even that is suspect — but his actions and deeds have never been all that great for women, starting with the time he signed the Welfare bill, which marked the last time I voted for him. (I voted for Nader in ’96 and 2000 because of that one signature. I wasn’t trying to “apologize” for Bill Clinton, or say rape is okay when Bill Clinton does it. I DON’T EVEN LIKE BILL CLINTON.)

The other main point at which people took offense was my saying that back in The Day, men might not have even known they were raping, just as long as it wasn’t in a dark alley. This was considered Grade A Rape Apology by a host of readers. But I stand by it. No, it doesn’t make it “okay.” No, it certainly doesn’t make it “good,” and I promise I don’t “love” it. But truly — back then, men were taught that a girl has to say no a couple times before she says yes, so no one will think she is easy. They honest to God were. Why do you think we’re in the middle of a national discussion on Rape Culture if we weren’t trying to unteach what came before?

Is that what happened with Clinton and Broaddrick? Again, no one can know. Maybe he knew she didn’t want to, didn’t fucking care, and could give a shit about “seducing” her. I was posing a possibility that came out like a declarative, and I am sorry for it.

Also, in attempting to show how intellectually honest I am, I said I mostly believed Bill Clinton’s accuser but for some reason (which I still haven’t thought out properly, and which still remains vague in my mind), I didn’t believe Donald Trump’s. This is (mostly, I think) because her claims of violence sound so outlandish — death threats, etc — while Clinton’s was mundane and therefore easily understood. I discounted the anonymous woman’s claims despite her having a corroborating witness because Trump doesn’t really have a reputation for teenage girls. But his host at the time, Jeffrey Epstein, certainly does, and I should have taken that into account. I should also have left her out of it.

I asked Robyn to read this for me before I post — Dok, having been raised Catholic like me, saw what I was trying to say instead of the red flags — and she still disagrees. She thinks the focus on redemption is unhelpful; that trying to redeem oneself is for one’s own feelings but does nothing for the victim. I want to make it clear, I don’t think you have to forgive anyone who has wronged you whether they’ve tried to redeem themselves or not. But I hope people who have hurt others do try to atone for it. Otherwise, you might as well just keep doing your evil, because why not?

I sincerely apologize to Juanita Broaddrick that my post read as though it was excusing Bill Clinton for her. I’m sorry to readers who thought I was saying rape is just dandy (though I don’t think it’s a fair reading of the post). And no, I don’t love Bill Clinton, I think he’s a jerk, and likely raped at least one woman. I still think we’re all redeemable, though, and that you’d be dismayed to learn some of your loved ones’ secrets — that it’s very likely they too pushed a woman past consent, and that hopefully, if they’re teachable, they’ve been ashamed of it since.

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  • Bub the Leftwing Zombie

    I thought you did a pretty good job of negotiating a minefield Rebecca, all things considered. You may have stepped on a toe popper or two along the way however…

    • rebecca

      thanks Bub. the commenters here were all very thoughtful, even if they disagreed heartily. but the commenters here know me, and probably gave me the benefits of some doubts. out in the real world, the condemnation has been mighty.

      • Bub the Leftwing Zombie

        It is a fraught subject to discuss.

        • jowgajen

          Which is why there should be safe places like this for discussion.

      • natoslug

        Out in the real world, there are a metric fuckton of people who see only black and white. And in such a binary world, it is impossible to recognize historical context or acknowledge that humans are complex critters. It’s a lot simpler to just shout at anyone who lacks their own perceived commitment to the cause.

      • Perkniticky

        Wonkette is a bubble of mostly reasonable people. That’s why I so enjoy hanging out here. The real world (or rather online world) seems to be full of enraged crazies these days. This really is one of the few places you could have a thoughtful discussion about this subject. And I thank you heartily for helping to foster such a community.

        • beavertank

          This is the one place I’ve ever found that reading the comments isn’t a way to spike your blood pressure and lose all faith in humanity.

          • Cindyinencinitas

            I usually end up just having to explain the laughter and work piling up around me.

          • Perkniticky

            I come here to revive my faith in humanity, especially after reading comments on NYTimes pieces about Hillary on facebook.

      • Lizzietish81

        What comments?

        • meepmeep09

          In case you haven’t already seen an answer…Twitter response was bad, real bad. (Dunno about FB and other social media sites.)

      • arglebargle

        Why in the world would you go on any social media outlet other than Wonkette?

      • OddMan

        I just want to pile on a little more and say thank you Ms. Schoenkopf. You have help create a unique and thoughtful place for us all to come to to discuss the issues of the day. And have some Dick jokes and snark along the way.
        As far as I am concerned you are The Woman and I tip my hat to you.

        • Celtic_Gnome

          Of course, with Larry Willmore gone, you’ll have to take up the slack on a lot of different discussions.

  • Spotts1701

    My thoughts haven’t changed, but I saw you getting dogpiled on Twitter (very good repartee with some of the more odious ones, but that one doof who crossed the line really irked me for some reason). This isn’t a cut-and-dried case, so of course nuance is required in an area where nuance is considered “apologizing”.

  • Vecchiojohn

    “Ah cause yore pain. And then ah FEEL yore pain.”

  • msanthropesmr

    Fuck. Nuance in opinion pieces. Haven’t seen that in a long time. You mean it’s possible to hold complicated opinions based on conflicting information? I’m shocked.

    • Wes Grogan

      Theoretically, yes. In practice, it can prove difficult.

    • pragmatist3

      Republicans are immune from this disorder.

  • msanthropesmr

    So dok, you ready to push the big red button to burn these comments down?

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Well, Rebecca, I don’t believe her, because I’ve been conditioned over 25 years of observation of Clinton Derangement Syndrome to not believe anything that can’t be independently verified concerning Bill Clinton, whose super power seems to be having the most loathsome enemies on the planet who will say absolutely anything in an effort to bring him down.

    • Lizzietish81

      I said in the original article I just don’t see Bill as a rapist and maybe that’s CDS, but rape is a domination thing and he just doesn’t strike me as that type.

      I could believe it was one of those situations where what happened isn’t clear, or that he failed to get proper consent…but not forcing a woman who clearly isn’t interested.

      • OppressedMass

        It’s the saving grace of Bill’s kind of male vanity – he wants to soak up adoration to feed his ego/prop up his insecurities. I know the type well; forcing is not in their playbook.

        • Jay Vaughn

          That really hits the nail on the head of why I believe him.

    • SassyMissDem

      This. I can’t quite believe her either. Because of all the hateful rhetoric surrounding the Clintons.

      It’s like the little boy who cried wolf. Possibly this incident is true, but after so many false alarms, who can say.

  • Jenny

    I got what you were trying to say and frankly you’re a much better person than me, cuz I don’t believe her for shit.

    I see a woman who was in an unhappy marriage looking for any way out. She had a lover but he wasn’t a huge leg up like Clinton. She fucked around with him, lover found out. She said she was raped to cover. She’s got to stand by that story or lover would leave her (he eventually did and guess what SHE blames Clinton for that.) Clinton becomes a household name, now she has to stand by her story to everyone.

    She screams jilted lover, not rape victim. She focuses on Hillary, not her “rapist.” Who does that shit? Oh I know, a woman so mad at the woman who has what she wants.

    This is coming from the pyscho woman brain of a jilted lover – me. I know it when I see it.

    I know it isn’t a popular opinion and I don’t care.

    I won’t give credence to a woman who uses rape to cover up her infidelities. Believe the victim my ass.

    • lroom

      I didn’t believe it either for exactly those reasons.

      • Jenny

        I’ve been the person overly invested and knows how that sting haunts you.

        But more importantly, my ex husband’s dick got me into more situations with other women than I had ever wanted. I’ve had women in my home, holding my children, who were there just sizing up what they could do once I was gone. Then oops he isn’t leaving his wife for you lol what are you, dumb?

        Way too many times, so I see this woman.

        She’s transparent and despicable for using rape. Rape is serious and not something you use to make yourself feel better.

    • OddMan

      I am also in the ‘I don’t believe a damn thing Ms. Broaddrick said’ camp. There are too many people who think that the Clintons are both the devil incarnate. And will say and do anything to bring them down, and did.

      Having said that, I hope to hell I am right.

      If your two posts were to make us re-think our positions, you have succeeded, a little.

    • Jay Vaughn

      If Starr doesn’t believe your story about how Bill is awful it isn’t to be believed.

    • jowgajen

      I find your explanation plausible, especially since I was a woman old enough in the 80s to see the sort of shit both sexes pulled. (And still do, we just paint a glossier veneer over it now.)

      Also, I hope your life is better now. And that you find meaning in it and don’t let your past dominate your present or future.

  • Callyson

    I’m sorry to readers who thought I was saying rape is just dandy (though I don’t think it’s a fair reading of the post).

    I didn’t read it that way. I did still disagree with it, mostly because I’m not as forgiving on this issue, but I didn’t see it as excusing rapists FFS. Sorry to hear people gave you shit on Twitter, though you may have to prepare for more. Stay strong!

    • limberrat

      It wasn’t just twitter, it was trending on FB last night as well.

    • Shan the Libtart

      I didn’t read it that way, either.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Yup, same here. I don’t see the issue that way either, and I definitely don’t think Rebecca was endorsing rape by any stretch of the imagination, but we’re dealing with people who prefer a binary approach to everything, which is pretty much a sign of immaturity.

      • I Only Like Cats

        I have a very hard time seeing past binary and even I’m at a loss where they got this nonsense.

    • jmk

      I didn’t read the piece that way, either – but apparently, the problem with a lot of the people who gave Trix shit about it on Twitter and the Facebooks was that they didn’t read it at all.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        They were sent here but alt-right aggregators looking to rumble.

        • jmk

          They’re all aswarm over on Wonkette’s page on the Facebooks, also too.

  • i defer in all of this rebecca to my wife, who has strong feelings that i cannot step on in any way. i am sharing this with her (she’s a very public feminist herself) because it says things that she would want to hear that runs counter to gavin polone’s piece that really stuck in her craw. i’m interested to hear her take.

  • Oblios_Cap

    I got your point. I’ve also thought Clinton was the last fairly decent Republican President, too. I’ve never been all that fond of him or the DLC.

  • anwisok

    Not raised Catholic, still got what you were intending us to get. Still, you are right to admit you could have said it better. :( It is ok – nobody’s perfect!

  • Cindyinencinitas

    As a card-carrying woman, and one who has been forcibly touched more than once, I do believe that a lot of men can be confused or overcome by their feelings and urges and otherwise decent men may have found themselves doing regrettable things at one time or another. Whether they learn from these experiences is the most important thing to me and that is what I took away from your piece. You are walking through a minefield for sure. I am already crippled with self-doubt just writing this post. I will always admire your courage and your command of the language and the critics can fuck the fuck off if they take shots at you for trying to pick your way through this topic.

    • Lizzietish81

      Fuck as a woman I’ve gone over the line with touching.

      • Cindyinencinitas

        Well you rock on, you lusty dame! I believe I have as well.

        • Lance Thrustwell

          I got my ding-a-ling grabbed once, during Mardi Gras, by a woman walking by. She and her friend turned, laughed, and kept walking. I wasn’t upset at all. But I realize there is NO comparison there to the countless times that happens to many women, plus the intimidation factor that a man automatically brings to the encounter whether he means to or not. It’s apples and oranges. I can say with some relief that I’ve never, as far as I know, intimidated a woman in that way – or hopefully any other way.

          • Lizzietish81

            I’d say she was trying to intimidate you.

          • Lance Thrustwell

            . Didn’t work! Kinda made my night, tell you the truth.

          • Cpt_Justice

            I’m glad you weren’t upset or traumatized or insulted (& I understand all the reasons why that’s so), but it was still wrong & you are still owed an apology.

          • pstockholm

            I mean you walk around with it hanging out like that, what did you think was gonna happen?

          • Lance Thrustwell

            Ha! Reminds me of another thing I saw in that fair city once – a stripper, out shilling for her club, was engaged in a conversation with a young man out on the street. After a bit, she just reached into his pants, grabbed his johnson, and led him into the club, him grinning broadly.

            Now that’s direct marketing!

          • Historicat

            That’s effective but not very efficient.

          • Jenny

            There’s actually a video on youtube where a woman goes around cat calling men. To her surprise the men love it and it failed to make any of them uncomfortable. Because women are not men. They’re rarely if ever in a position to feel threatened by a woman.

          • jmk

            They should do a video in which a large man catcalls smaller men, and then see what the smaller men think about it.

          • Jenny

            Now that’s a video that would work.

          • YoBunnyBunny

            Right, men rarely ever feel threatened by women hitting on them or grabbing at their dicks. But if they were locked in a jail cell* with several touchy-feelly dudes who think they have a great smile… They’ll see the difference.

            *Not a prison-rape joke. But a lady on the blog used that as an analogy to explain why being “complimented” with a cat call isn’t as innocuous as it seems.

          • OppressedMass

            It’s like dating: men are worried about rejection, women are afraid of getting killed.

          • Cindyinencinitas

            The idea of some woman grabbing your unit is funny. The other way around, not so much. And bless you for being respectful to the wimminz. I do appreciate it.

      • marxalot

        Being somewhere in the middle, having fooled around with both, I can say: every side does it.
        The question is, do you stop when so informed? Do you understand that it was bad when informed later?

        • Lizzietish81

          Not always, but now looking back I feel terrible.

          • gedjcj

            I appreciate your honesty. I’ve been on the receiving end, it was uncomfortable, but I suspect it’s asymmetric; I certainly had no fear that I would be physically overpowered, plus it wasn’t something I had deal with constantly or even very often. (When I was much younger) I’d been come onto in a way that was meant to intimidate me, but emotionally not physically.

            These interactions are complex, given how easily communication and social interaction can go awry, why should anyone think it will be easier when sexuality is added to the mix?

            Speaking of social interaction I sent a FB friend request to someone I think is you; I’ve been worried that you might think I was cyberstalking you, I’m not. (I learned your name when you posted a screen grab of a twitter exchange.)

          • Lizzietish81

            Well I have one pending from a guy I don’t know….

          • gedjcj

            Does his profile pic show him holding an adorable toddler?

    • Spotts1701

      I had a roommate who had a drunken hook-up when I was in college. The next day he was definitely having issues of remorse because he knew he was drunk, he knew she was drunk, and he had no clue what happened and whether whatever did happen was consensual (by him or by her) or not. He spent about a week convinced that the police were going to come and get him for a sexual assault charge before he talked to the woman and they were able to piece together what happened.
      It can get really screwy when you take imperfect, flawed people and try to fit them into neat little boxes.

      • Cindyinencinitas

        Word.

  • parkii

    I totally understood what you were trying to say, and agreed with a lot of it. I think historical context really matters, and that there are probably tons of men out there who have forced (usually not physically) women into acts they didn’t want to do before we got to where we are today, and most of those men probably didn’t realize that’s what they were doing at the time, and might not even now. I also think redemption is important, for all the yelling we do about criminal justice reform and getting rid of “the box” and second chances, are we not willing to accept that men who have raped may be redeemable as well?

    (I am also skeptical of the Clinton Derangement Syndrome possibility here, I can’t say that I don’t believe her, but I can’t say that I do, either.)

    I also couldn’t believe this was a trending topic on facebook yesterday, damn. You really riled some people up. Probably every one of them was someone who has never read anything you wrote before, though.

    • I Only Like Cats

      I think we should enforce reeducation because it’s more than understanding what they did was wrong, it’s them knowing they’ll never ever do anything even close to that again.

      • parkii

        Yes, clearly “redemption” can only come with both punishment AND education/therapy/treatment/whatever works.

        • I Only Like Cats

          See: Scandinavian prisons for what works.

    • Lizzietish81

      slightly OT, but this reminds me of some outrage about Game of Thrones showing a woman being raped by her husband adn my sister, a medieval historian, was like, wtf people this happened all the time!

      She wasn’t condoning rape, but pointing out that the culture was very different and more than likely this was your married life as a woman.

      • marxalot

        Recall that there was no such thing as “marital rape” for centuries, because that was one of the “wifely duties” and if she didn’t wanna, he could just go ahead anyway because she was his property. There was no question of consent, only ownership

        • Lizzietish81

          Exactly.

        • Shan the Libtart

          It wasn’t until 1993 that the last 2 states in the US made marital rape illegal. Oklahoma and North Carolina.

          1993

        • cmd

          Which is why claiming that marriage as defined by GOD and the BIBLE is a crappy thing.

      • I Only Like Cats

        The problem is GoT is a fantasy world and there are multiple places in the book where consensual sex was changed to rape in the television show, taking away the women’s agency (especially those who are usually powerful, independent, and in control). If it was a historical show, then the conversation would be different.

        • Lizzietish81

          Well not for nothing, but I suspect Martin has a fetish about women who enjoy being dominated.

          • I Only Like Cats

            Yeah, I know what you’re trying to say, but that outrage is justified, in a way that a TV show about one of Shakespeare’s creepier plays (which is all of them) wouldn’t be.

          • Lizzietish81

            But also, I find it a bit strange to bring up the agency of women when they are being raped. A woman with agency can still be a victim of rape and being raped doesn’t take away that agency.

            Also the scene in question was a rape scene in the book (and like way worse because Martin is a freak)

            So no I don’t think the outrage is warranted. It may be fantasy but it’s based heavily on history and it’s just a case of people not liking being uncomfortable. I mean where was the complaining when women were being raped during the Dothraki raids? Nothing.

            Furthermore, a big part of the story, especially in this last season has been women taking charge of their lives. Sure other fantasy does that, but those women tend to have agency early. In the case of say Sansa, she’s only recently been able to take control of her life, and even then she’s still at the mercy of men.

            It paints a far more accurate picture of the lives of women than most fantasy and makes their struggle that much more compelling.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh9XeJ78yVE

          • I Only Like Cats

            Rape is a common plot device used for giving male domination, and the scenes are almost always written for men. This is why I can hear about and sympathize with other women’s experiences but sexual assaults (outside of true crime shows) bring out a fear in me I never knew I had. Besides that, only allowing women to have sex lives if they get raped at some point, or only having heroines who at some point get raped kind of promotes something really weird and inexplicable. Why can’t a strong woman go through her whole life without meeting a bastard who treats her like a sex object in fiction escapism that is presumably geared towards both genders?

          • Lizzietish81

            It can be overused, but I think GoT uses it well. Brienne has never been raped, but has been threatened. That’s life for women, even now when rape is illegal. Imagine being a woman where rape is a fact of life.

            I don’t think you’ll find many men who thought the rape scenes were hot or appealing. They were uncomfortable to watch, which they should be.

            And your other assertion about women only having a sex life via rape? Danny? Cercei? Shae? I think you’re oversimplifying far too much here.

            And what’s this about “strong” women again? So only “weak” female characters should be subjected to this abuse? It’s a rather odd thing to say.

          • I Only Like Cats

            No I actually think all fleshed out female characters whether they can’t hold a thimble for vacuousness or can literally move the planet are “strong” it’s a reference to the writing and character, not physicality. I’m kind of tired and confused and there was a weird guy on the bus last night creeping on me from afar until my boyfriend kisses my shoulder and glared at him so this isn’t a conversation I want to have right now but there are plenty of articles that explain what I’m talking about, like authors choose the narrative and which parts they want to showcase. Rape doesn’t have to be a thing in a “historical” fantasy because it’s a freaking fantasy, and the author clearly wanted it there. If he was going for realism there would’ve been a lot more POC, especially nobility from the Middle East, based on the time period. As well as the fact that he used a modge podge of cultures and some elements were from the Vikings, and any assault in that culture could’ve gotten you killed, castrated, or divorced by your wife. So it’s not really realistic. But like I said, go look up some articles they have much better explanations that I wouldn’t remember at the moment.

  • I Only Like Cats

    Pretty sure people just wanted to get in a moral panic. Most of the people I saw misconstruing the story were men and women who’ve never had anything of the sort happen to them. Us victims were trying to have a freaking conversation about the nuances of this issue. So screw everyone who took it to the furthest extreme warped logic could take it.

  • So is this place the bizarro Brietbart or not?

    • beavertank

      The colors don’t LOOK inverted… but that’s just the kind of crap bizarro would would try to pull to convince you it wasn’t actually bizarro world.

  • Indiepalin

    Bill isn’t running, Hillary is. And against a corrupt sexist who made his fortune on the backs of countless disrespected women. Or should the wife be held responsible for the sins of her husband? In that case, let’s go after sweet, innocent Melania.

    • ZangoCrudmonger

      I look forward to our sweet Melania Overlord….she’s going to win, yes?

  • Alan

    I still have no reason to believe her.

    • Cpt_Justice

      Yes. I know that women can be confused, or traumatized, etc. but how many of them go through a lengthy affidavit process denying that nothing at all happened to them, only to totally reverse that statement later?

  • Lance Thrustwell

    Probably saying the obvious here, but there are degrees of rape – all the way from knife-to-your-throat, total-force scenarios, to we-were-drunk-and-she-said-“no”-once-but-didn’t-fight.

    Are they all rape? Of course. It would be muddying the waters even more than they are to start using a bunch of different labels for an act with a common denominator – lack of consent.

    Assuming her story is true – and it probably is – I think it’s likely that whatever happened that evening was much closer to the second scenario than the first. There’s no question in that case that Clinton is – or was – a bad guy; the question is – how bad?

    About that, I have no right to tell anyone how they should feel.

  • alanb

    One of the first widely publicized case of date rape was the 1990 rape of Katie Koestner. Here is a quote from that article

    My attacker admitted I told him “No” more than a dozen times. He said, “Eventually she stopped saying ‘No’ and I knew I’d changed her mind.”

  • Wes Grogan

    Words, man… they can be a real bitch sometimes.

  • goonemeritus

    I haven’t raped anyone in my almost 60 years on this planet and I count myself a pretty marginal feminist at best. I would point out like my failed attempts at being a dutiful Catholic my attempts to rigorously adhere to feminist ideals are undermined at every turn by my own laziness. Whether Mr Clinton did or did not rape Ms. Broaddrick is not for me to say. I can say however that Hillary Clinton will get my vote in November.

    • Swampgas_Man

      Thank you. This is one of those article and subjects I wouldn’t touch with an 11-foot pole.

      • goonemeritus

        I find your anti Polish rhetoric shocking.

  • Cpt_Justice

    It’s hard to reconcile the fact that someone people admire might actually be criminal, but it is amusing to think that all the factors which rape apologists use to mitigate their crimes “must’ also be applied to someone most rape apologists hate ;-).

    FTR, I get the feeling that Clinton was a pig in his younger years, & mot likely got out of hand and should have face punishment for his actions, but still do not believe any of it was actually rape. His most accusers have been far less believable than most, for one reason or another. I would have focused on that rather than tried to try write not one, but, two, pieces that seem to shrug off rape as something that “can be forgiven if therapist says he’s sorry.”

    • jmhm

      I think you may be missing that spiritual forgiveness, which is between the individual and their higher power, the forgiveness of the victim, if any, and exoneration are three entirely different matters. It’s why JP2 forgave the guy who shot him as a man and a religious leader and yet didn’t lift a finger to keep him out of jail.

      If only someone had written a piece which explored those distinctions…

      • Cpt_Justice

        No, I’m not missing that; I just don’t see how we can apply it, here,m because it’s not up to any of us to forgive him: we aren’t the ones he might have raped, and there’s no saying he actually did it.

        • jmhm

          See, in this post it was explicitly mentioned that Rebecca felt that she should have specified spiritual redemption, which is between the individual and their higher power, and not Ms Broaddrick’s forgiveness, which is clearly not hers to give or withhold.

          Which makes this very specifically not a piece that does, or seems to, shrug off rape as something that can be forgiven if the rapist says he’s sorry. Although that’s actually not a decision for you either.

          • Cpt_Justice

            Exactly. I think the piece was not well thought-out, and “fixing it” is only making it worse.

          • jmhm

            I’m confused. The fact that your point is completely wrong based on even a cursory reading of the material you’re supposedly responding to proves your point?

          • Cpt_Justice

            Wow, you are confused. I’m not wrong, you’re just somehow desperate for this piece to be coherent or sensible.

          • jmhm

            Oh, OK. I thought we were discussing the piece. You’re a rather dimwitted troll who can’t articulate a problem with it. Blocked.

          • Cpt_Justice

            Oh, the irony.

  • jmarie

    I have never read Wonkette before and never will again. What a jumbled mess.

    • I Only Like Cats

      Bye then!

    • Treg Brown

      Thanks for the page click $$$

    • Brazilian Fart Porn

      You added so much….

    • wide_stance_hubby

      I have never read jmarie before and never will again.

      • arglebargle

        I never read jmarie long before you didn’t.

        • wide_stance_hubby

          LIES! I have always never read her first!

          • Cindyinencinitas

            If I have to pull this car over…

          • wide_stance_hubby

            ok, ok. . .

    • elviouslyqueer

      And yet here you are…

      http://i.imgur.com/QuYD3.jpg

    • arglebargle

      We hardly knew ye. Probably for the best.

    • beavertank

      And that’s the way we likes it!

      • Wes Grogan

        Uh huh uh huh!

    • jmk

      You could have taken the time to read both articles to understand the issues being covered in this piece. You could have taken a moment to think it through and try to understand what Trix was addressing.

      Instead, you chose to post a valueless splart that makes you sound like an arrogant and petulant twit who thinks we give a shit what she reads.

      Your lack of engagement and smug judgmentalism are no loss to the vile snark mob.

      And you probably smell funny, also too.

      • jmarie

        Yeah about that. I did read both and still found them messy. Perfect reading for the ‘vile snark mob’ that seems to populate the blog though. Carry on…

        • jmk

          What was “messy” about them?

          • jmarie

            Sorry, but due to my “lack of engagement and smug judgementalism” you’ll have to just guess.

          • jmk

            So… nothing, then. You just like to baselessly bitch.

            Good to know – but then, it’s nothing I didn’t already suspect about you.

    • Lizzietish81

      Thanks for the click revenue though

    • Cindyinencinitas

      That was deep, thoughtful, and thanks for playing.

    • TeeRaak

      The 90’s is coming back in style again…
      https://media4.giphy.com/media/Qdk7jQBfBK6je/200w_d.gif

    • gedjcj

      Well. Bye.

  • memzilla

    “Wonkette has nuanced discussion, well-written articles, and intelligent, witty comments.”
    #SaysWho?
    “Polls, human adults, babbys, kittehs, owls, some of your smarter rocks.”

  • DemmeFatale

    Eh, ol’ Bill never makes things easy.

    It’s gonna be fine. Haters gotta hate, and they know they are losing. they’re desperate.

    When the next idiotic notion falls from the lips of Trump or his minions, the hoards will move on.

    • Toadette

      Soooo, sometime today, right?

      He always says something shitty by dinner time.

  • wide_stance_hubby

    Nuance + internetuals = fail.

  • memzilla

    This comment has been deleted in order to calibrate and pre-register The Banhammer of Loving Correction™.

  • beavertank

    I have to say, I was pretty surprised to see Wonkette trending on Facebook yesterday. And I was equally glad to see that Dok had locked down that comment section too.

    I read through most of it even before that, but didn’t jump in myself because I didn’t feel I had anything useful to add, but I was extremely glad to see that even when emotions were running high the commenters still kept their heads and kept their responses saner (and smarter) than 99% of the other things you see online.

    Even though the world at large seemed to be trying to jump on Wonkette I was still pretty proud of our vile snark mob.

  • Joe Beese

    Signing that “welfare reform” bill was indeed an act of unforgivable treachery. And what did Hillary think about it?

    … Clinton herself boasted of it. “I agreed that he should sign it and worked hard to round up votes for its passage—though he and the legislation were roundly criticized by some liberals, advocacy groups for immigrants and most people who worked with the welfare system,” she wrote in her 2003 memoir, Living History.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/moneybox/2016/06/hillary_clinton_s_role_in_welfare_reform.html

    Allow me to repeat that for emphasis: worked hard to round up votes for its passage.

    Can our Wonkette please clarify why this issue was worth voting third-party in 1996 and 2000, but is not worth it now?

    If she has no better answer than “Donald Trump”, then the Intellectual Honesty Thing ought to compel her to be more forthright about acknowledging the stench of her candidate.

    • Lizzietish81

      Yes, this is relevant.

      And you were doing so well recently.

    • Brazilian Fart Porn

      Not now because Hillary is a political animal who tends to govern with the majority that will vote for her. That is why she went right in 2008 and left this primary. She will stay more leftish because her base is more leftish. And Jill Stein has no chance in hell at winning EVER.

      • I Only Like Cats

        Once in power she votes left either way though.

    • beavertank

      So, to clarify, you’re asking “why was this issue worth voting against [one person who signed something into law] and isn’t now worth voting against [an entirely different person whose worst sin is speaking well of that signature]”?

      The answer is right there if you care to actually look at it…

      • Joe Beese

        She didn’t just speak well of the signature. She “worked hard” to get the votes to pass it in the first place. She brags about it.

        • beavertank

          In a book published thirteen years ago…

        • I Only Like Cats

          She’s not a fascist! That’s literally the only thing that matters right now is she’s not a fascist! We think she’s great and yes, she made questionable decisions 20 freaking years ago, but all that matters this election is there is a Nazi/Buzz Windrip running for president!

        • Lark_in_the_AM

          Because, of course, it’s not legal for someone to change their mind after seeing the results of what they thought would be a good piece of legislation and then understanding that it wasn’t. Or maybe that just plays into the “women are always changing their minds, they’re so unreliable” misogynistic mindset, so that whatever the hell she does (stubbornly refuses to change position in the face of solid evidence, so character flaw of inflexibility, or abandons previously stated position when the person judging perceives there is public pressure for her to do so, so political opportunist), she’s wrong.

          Why don’t you be honest and just come out and say there is no possible position, policy or change she could make which would cause you to support her? It would be muy refreshing, rather than to keep hearing you come up with the same old crap to try to “prove” that we are all sellouts for supporting her over Trump, or, especially, Dr. “I’m selling out to the anti-vaxxers for votes even though I’m allegedly a physician who has some claim to understanding the science” Stein.

          • Joe Beese

            Tell you what. If she changes from saying Libya was “smart power at its best” to “a terrible mistake that finally taught me the futility of American military intervention in the Middle East”, I’ll put her fucking bumper sticker on my car.

          • beavertank

            At this point I’d settle for you actually managing to stay on topic. Not that I’m likely to get even that much.

          • Joe Beese

            You got wheels on those goalposts?

          • beavertank

            I’m sorry your reading comprehension is so poor that you believe I’m shifting the goal on you by mocking your inability to actually stick to the topic at hand. I’m afraid there’s nothing more I can do for you there, though.

          • alwayspunkindrublic

            I think everyone is familiar with your opinion of Hillary. Fair enough, it’s your prerogative. It’s just that you seem to enjoy sticking it up other people’s asses at every opportunity. I don’t agree with everyone or everything I read here…but I don’t understand your need to harp on it incessantly and suggest that otherwise smart and decent people are somehow complicit in what you imagine to be her crimes. If you really have such a low opinion of so many others here, find a place you like better.

      • jmhm

        Which, of course, is someone who actively supported Sanders making that argument? Because he not only voted for the crime bill, he asked VT to put him in office on the basis of that vote.

    • rebecca

      I don’t know how many times we have to tell you this, Joe, it’s because WE SAW WHAT HAPPENED WHEN WE VOTED THIRD PARTY.

      YES, BUSH REALLY WAS WORSE THAN GORE, and American life got FUCKED.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would upfist you, Rebecca, if only they were alive and at a keyboard to do so.

    • Spotts1701

      Oy, here we go again…

    • Ms.MLG1979

      Can our Joe Beese allow us to have a conversation regarding the very important issue of sexual assault without changing the subject to one he thinks is more appropriate?

      • Shan the Libtart

        Thank you.

        • Ms.MLG1979

          Have you noticed how frequently this happens on the sexual assault articles or articles discussing “women’s” issues? Because I have.

          • Shan the Libtart

            Oh, yes. It’s just been a while since I visited any sites where that happens.

      • Joe Beese

        Fine.

        Josh Duggar said he was sorry for his sex crimes too. Is he in the clear now?

        • Ms.MLG1979

          If you can show me anywhere I said I thought anyone was clear of sex crimes because they apologized, I will mail you $100. I didn’t. I haven’t. You won’t find it.

          • Joe Beese

            That wasn’t directed at you. Our Wonkette said:

            we’re all forgiven, if we’re sorry, and Broaddrick says Bill Clinton personally called her up to apologize

            Duggar actually made a public apology. But she rightly treated it as worth jack shit.

        • Shan the Libtart

          Maybe you should have just stuck to deferring to your wife on the subject.

        • Ms.MLG1979

          Joe, I misunderstood your comment at first. I took a minute, and my light came on. I apologize for misunderstanding, but I have to get my hair cut now.

        • Ms.MLG1979

          Pedophilia is incurable. It never goes away. Not all pedophiles act on their impulses, but many do. Serial rapists don’t usually stop either. They rape an average of 6.3 victims in their lifetimes. I do not know if Bill Clinton is a serial rapist. I just don’t. When you add in factors of fame, money, power, different times with different attitudes, politics..shit gets really complicated, really quickly. I get your question, and the distinction you’re trying to make, but with all the unknown factors at play with Clinton, and the fact we can be certain about a lot of what Josh did, it’s hard for me to compare the two properly. I can tell you this-Josh Duggar may be sorry, but he’s dangerous, because even the treatment program he went to emphasizes blaming the victim. That’s so awful it makes me sick. As for Clinton, I still have a lot of thinking to do. I’m not religious. Forgiveness is a concept of a different color for me because it isn’t attached to religion the way it is for Editrix. We’re all just trying to make as much sense out of senseless things as we can. And thank you for asking. I think male voices and listening are much needed in this conversation. What do you think?

          • alanb

            Pedophilia is incurable. It never goes away.

            Beware of such gross generalizations. I am unaware of any cases where primary pedophilia has been cured. However, that comes with a couple of caveats. Pedophilia is defined differently by different people. Law enforcement tends to define it as sex with anyone under the age of consent. However, psychologists define it as sexual attraction to anyone prior to the age of puberty by someone who is at least 16 years old and is attracted to someone who is at least 5 years younger. Inappropriate attraction to post-pubescent children is called hebephilia.

            To complicate matters further there is secondary pedophilia which is defined as attraction to children when no appropriate adult object of desire is available. Primary pedophilia, on the other hand, means that the person is largely incapable of sexual attraction to anyone but children.

          • alwayspunkindrublic

            People crave mortal certainty. Expressing nuance on the internets is an invitation to the lynch mob. How dare you not know the answer!

          • Ms.MLG1979

            I’m just a dumb lady. A walking target for mansplaining-see below. If I stayed in the kitchen blowing sammiches, or whatever, this wouldn’t happen!

          • alwayspunkindrublic

            You took the risk of sincere discourse, which is rarely rewarded on the interwebz. As I mentioned the first time Rebecca brought this up, I was impressed by the Wonkers who had the courage to look into their own hearts and be honest, confess doubts one way or the other, regardless of whether I agreed or not. Someone will always see that honesty as vulnerability and try to exploit and bully….it’s why I think the internet, by and large, is such a poisonous place.

            Personally, I think Bill is a predator, in the sense that he used disparity in status and power to take advantage of women not his equal in those areas. Does that make him a rapist? I have no fucking idea….I’ll never know. Does that mean we should dismiss him as a human being and the good he has done in his life? I don’t know either. MLK was a philanderer, Caravaggio was a monster….should we burn his art or devalue the civil rights movement on account of it? I think not. But what the fuck do I know? Your opinion is always valued by a lot of us, even being a girl and all.

          • Ms.MLG1979

            You’re a thoughtful and kind man. I value your opinion, too. I don’t have to agree with an article or comment to enjoy or appreciate it. Different perspectives help us learn and grow. They’re interesting and useful. I want to hear them, precisely because they make me consider things I haven’t. Throw pebbles at my window any ol’ time! ;)

          • alwayspunkindrublic

            You go, girl. And I’ve tried..I can only throw them about as far as Texas for now.

      • jmhm

        You’re funny. No, of course he can’t, because his man’s voice is not being heard here on the subject of his choosing. Silly lady person.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      I hear she sang off-key in church one time.

  • Bad Granny

    I have to admit, your article made me uncomfortable. The whole subject makes me uncomfortable, most likely because I find Bill Clinton so damn likable so what does that make me?

    With that said, I think I was pickin’ up what you were puttin’ down and that also squicks me out. I remember when the concept of marital rape was novel, when good young ladies only had sex fantasies that included non-consent because nice girls couldn’t really want sex. Notice I didn’t call it rape, because at the time, to us, it wasn’t rape (we were wrong, it totes was rape). My first husband was at times suspicious of me because I didn’t hate sex and on occasion would even initiate it (though a big part of that was probably because he was just a misogynistic asshole looking for an excuse to hit a girl because he was too much of a chickenshit to hit a man).

    I think you are brave for even being willing to broach a difficult topic. My impression of you has long been as a thoughtful, good, smart, strong woman with great hair and epic side boob, and the fact that your article rattled me has done nothing to change that.

  • wide_stance_hubby

    For what it’s worth, Rebecca, Clinton lost me at DADT and DOMA. Either I might forgive, but both: nopes.

    • Jay Vaughn

      Bill was anti-DOMA though, he just didn’t waste political capital fighting a losing battle. And DADT was considered a milestone for gay rights. It might be bad by today’s standards but it was a huge fucking improvement at the time.

      • wide_stance_hubby

        Disagree–respectfully. DADT institutionalized secrets about lies and lies about secrets and went on to be horribly abused, as I knew it would. And DOMA let us know just how expendable we were to him.

  • Doug White

    Dunno… I certainly got what you were saying… but then I lived through that era you are talking about. I think I can honestly say that almost every single guy I know was guilty of ‘pushing the envelope’ when it came to getting a woman to agree to sex. I know I was. I have always firmly believed that nearly every single male adolescent goes through a period of what I can only call ‘sociopathy’ where their desires to carve out some kind of ‘alpha’ space for themselves in society overwhelms their ability to empathize with others. The vast majority of males get over this by the time they become adults… and most probably get through the period without doing horrible, irreversible damage to another human being…. but it is a large demographic… even a small percentage can result in many people being harmed. But as Rebecca said, even if the only benefit of ‘seeking redemption’ is that it stops you from continuing to offend… that alone makes it worthwhile. I’ve tried very hard for the past 40 or so years to make sure I never again act as if I am the only one that matters…. in any transaction… whether romantic/sexual, or in business, or simply when interacting with another person in society. Sometimes I still fall short (particularly when driving a car…. not sure what it is about that paradigm that brings out the a-hole in me..), but I also never stop thinking about it and reminding myself to remember the other person has feelings too.

    • Astraea

      As someone who had her boundaries pushed and crossed, teenage guys need to get the fuck over themselves and their fucking “phases.”

      • Villago Delenda Est

        Well, most of them do. But they go through them, and our society doesn’t do a very good job of helping them find a way through them except through a realization that they were assholes, time not to be one.

        • Astraea

          Yeah well, boo hoo, meanwhile teenage girls pay the price.

          • Villago Delenda Est

            Biology sucks. What can I say?

          • Astraea

            I can’t even respond to this right now. Jesus fucking christ.

          • gedjcj

            Well that went off the rails. Which is too bad because it briefly touched on what I see as the key issue. Someone needs to teach boys, well children, appropriate behavior and coping skills. When I was thirteen most of what I “knew” about behaving with girls I learned from other boys or soaked up from popular culture.

            We’re making some progress on that front, but not nearly strongly or early enough. It’s also embedded in a broader social context which tends to privilege and empower men while marginalizing and devaluing women, that has to change before we can ever get through this.

          • Doug White

            The point of my post wasn’t to make Astraea or anyone else uncomfortable, nor to ‘rationalize’ the behavior that we’re discussing. What young men do in many cases is BAD. I did some bad things myself. The point I was trying to make is that when something is literally not seen as bad by the person doing it… the solution is probably not to demonize or write off those people, but to see if they are willing to change once the correct path is made clear to them, and also to work on changing society as a whole so that it IS clear to everyone that the behavior is wrong.

            For example, a child raised in the South in the early 1800s should not have been considered ‘irredeemable’ simply because they allowed slaves to cook their food or clean their room or carry their burdens. HOWEVER, if that child is later brought into a different society and taught that the slaves are actually people… no different from them… and that ‘owning’ slaves and commanding them is evil…. then we can make a determination of that child’s morality that has some meaning.

            That said, I completely understand why the people on the receiving end of the bad behavior might not be in a forgiving mood. That is why I have spent the last couple of decades trying REALLY hard to never slip back into that kind of behavior, whether in dealing with women, or employees, or my kids, or anyone over whom I might be in a position to assert my agenda…

        • jmhm

          Those same boys generally find ways to control themselves when it comes to crimes our society takes seriously enough to actively prosecute.

          • Villago Delenda Est

            Some of them don’t, though. You do have a very valid point, though, given that the “justice” system goes out of its way to protect white affluent males from the consequences of their actions in ways that black males can only dream of.

      • Berkeleybear94

        I fully agree. The issue is really with their parents and peers in most cases though – that is, that they are so fucked up about sex that they don’t exactly model “enthusiastic consent” and/or explain that sex isn’t about (or shouldn’t be about) conquest or game playing (at least without clear understanding that the game is being played intentionally). And sadly more than a few women have been socialized to think sex is such a huge taboo to cross that they should “resist” rather than being clear about their feelings, plus all the socialization women get to be “nice” and conciliatory all the time. Which boys tend to see as deception (again based on their fucked up cognition and socialization) when that “niceness” doesn’t translate into immediate sexual gratification. There are also some studies suggesting men are generally just shitty at understanding nonverbal cues, both positive and negative, so guys really don’t know what women want unless they get told it directly (and even then they are stupid about it). From all these misunderstandings are MRAs and date rapists born.

      • Doug White

        Of course. That pretty much goes without saying. However, I think the point was that writing off 75% of the male population (or more) as irredeemable is probably not a workable plan. So what would work? Changing the way we teach young men? De-sexualizing the image of young women in the media? I don’t know…. I only know that when I was 16 and doing what I was doing, there was literally not one tiny bit of feeling that it was something really ‘wrong’… any more than leaving the slowest/weakest kid as the ‘last pick’ when choosing up basketball teams was thought of as ‘wrong’. It was so ingrained into our thought processes that it was just considered ‘normal’. When a girl grabbed your hand and said ‘no’… to us it didn’t mean “there are no circumstances under which I will allow you to touch me there!”… instead it meant “sorry, but you have not yet taken the right steps to have earned the right to touch me there.” We honestly thought we were supposed to ‘back up’ and try a different approach.

  • Vincent Ricola

    I stayed out of the first thread for the most part, but I will say here that the idea that rape has always been treated with the same disdain as it is in 2016 is completely wrong.

    Almost every movie before 1990 – and quite a few after then – shows how the rape of women was approached by society. Revenge of the Nerds is considered a classic, even though it has multiple scenes of “boys being boys” as it relates to revenge rape scenarios. As did Gone with the Wind. And Animal House. I could go on. “No means yes” was a jokey thing that was said in mixed company and no one blinked an eye.

    We have made huge progress in defining and helping to eliminate some of the worst of the rape culture I grew up seeing in the media, which was nothing compared to what my mom and grandmother saw and heard growing up, but we also don’t get to rewrite history and pretend that all men had the same awareness then that they do now. Woman had to push for change in those attitudes and it took decades to accomplish. This is why it’s called progress.

    I am a feminist and I am not voting for Bill Clinton in 2016, I am voting for his wife. Whatever happened or didn’t happen with Juanita Broaddrick is not going to change my mind because I do not see Hillary as an extension of her husband. She is a capable woman in her own right, which is all that matters to me.

    • YoBunnyBunny

      If women were complicit in all the crimes, known and unknown, of their husbands, every wife would have wrap sheet this long.

      • Ms.MLG1979

        Blaming uninvolved women for the acts of the men in their lives is the same as blaming them when men rape them. Women are not responsible for men’s behavior. We don’t “make” them do things. Period. Kill that idea, and we win a huge part of the sexual assault battle. If you are complicit, that’s a horse of a different color. This should be obvious.

    • OddMan

      Yours is one of the best replies yet on this subject.
      I too am not going to vote for Bill Clinton this year.
      I am voting for an entirely different person who is a qualified and capable leader whom I trust with the Presidency of the US, Hillary Clinton.

      • cmd

        I like her better than I ever liked him.

    • Tallmutha

      Ever seen Blume in Love (1973), written and directed by Paul Mazursky? George Segal cheats on his wife. She leaves him and takes up with a younger live-in boyfriend. He obsesses over her and tries to win her back, with mounting desperation until finally, he rapes her. The scene is not ambiguous, it’s definitely rape. She winds up pregnant, and in a starry-eyed romantic final scene, they reunite. The movie was a big critical hit and Mazursky remained a filmmaker popular with sophisticated audiences for several years.

      • Vincent Ricola

        I haven’t, but it’s not hard to imagine. Rape was definitely a “romantic theme” in the 70s and 80s. Harlequin built an empire on the idea that ladies just need the dashing pirate to push a little harder for sex to realize that they are actually in love. It was how the world worked when men were in charge of the messaging.

        • YoBunnyBunny

          I don’t know. Based on how many boyfriends were still pushing me to enjoy sex with them, a good bit of the world still has men in charge of the messaging. And I don’t get it because I’m like “Dude, I’m 31. I think I’ve already figured out when I want to have sex or not.

          • Vincent Ricola

            We’re getting there… slowly.

    • The Farce Side

      Hillary’s qualifications are all that should matter, but even up in Canadaland, a shocking number of people are anti Hillary because of Bill.

    • Redgyal

      This.

  • Allen03

    Your last post was much better–I’m not sure I can even understand what this current word salad is trying to say!

    The best comment on read on the last thread said Broaddrick may very well have felt she was raped, and yet Bill did nothing wrong, especially by the prevailing sentiment of that era that a women had to actually say no for it to be no. Maybe they went back to the hotel room, started consensually messing around, and Bill was all into it while she was just silently putting up with it, eventually decided she didn’t want to continue but didn’t say no, and afterward felt she was raped. The point is, there are scenarios in which both are right about what they feel but neither did anything wrong. Because I believe in giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, that’s what I’m going to go with until proven wrong. It’s a bad situation, and I feel for both parties, but its not something anyone can do anything about but to suggest people pay more attention to their partners and be more careful in how they communicate, something we can probably all do better at to make sure there is no misunderstanding.

    The second best comment on the prior thread said that despite the situation between Bill and Broaddrick, this has nothing to do with Hillary, which I completely agree with.

    • AnOuthouse

      You know your word salads.

      • Allen03

        Sorry I didn’t keep it to third grade reading level for you

  • TeeRaak

    As seen on the Street….

  • Look Closer

    I guess I’m wondering why this story warrants two columns in one week? I already I’m not voting for Bill Clinton.

    • Wes Grogan

      It was trending on Facebook yesterday after being featured on The Blaze and other sites, bringingt a LOT of attention from far-right people in particular, so I think it is justified that Rebecca posts clarification.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        As seen above, this is one of those triggers for the troglodytes of the right, who are consumed with hatred of the Clintons.

  • Da_King

    Sorry Wonkette, but your motives are transparent, and despicable. This is still an apologia for a serial sexual abuser named Bill Clinton, an attempted redemption for an unapologetic scumbag, and we all know why you’re doing it. HILLARY 2016, right ? Hillary, the one who trashed the “bimbos” Bill abused, and who tried to blame the whole thing on a “vast right-wing conspiracy”.
    Feminists, my arse. You’re in bed with the devil.

    • beavertank

      I can see nuance is lost on you.

      • lroom

        Along with everything else.

    • Spotts1701

      Well then, better the devil we know than the one we don’t.

      • Brazilian Fart Porn

        And I hear the devil is kind of horny.

        • Spotts1701

          Horny devils are the best, though.
          Um, I mean, that’s what I’ve heard. From other people.

    • Hairstrike Alpha

      Did you know Jill Stein’s veep thinks violent monster Bashar Al-Asad is a swell guy? A guy who’s prisons are known as torture machines and who’s happily used chemical weapons is awesome. Also, ‘Deeze Nuts’ is beating Jill Stein in Texas. OUCH!

      • Bad Granny

        Check this guy’s comment history. He ain’t comin’ at us from the left, he’s just trying to seem that way.

        “I’m not a feminist, I just play one in anonymous comment boards” – this guy probably

        • jmhm

          Oh, I particularly like the white, white way he manxplained to the young WOC who said something he didn’t like that she was too young and stupid to have an opinion, because that’s totally what feminists do.

          • Bad Granny

            #whitemansplained

      • Joe Beese

        There is significant pro-Nuts media bias.

    • jmhm

      Of course. The way real feminists support each other is by saying women they disagree with had the wrong fucked into them by a guy.

      • beavertank

        So evil IS an STD.

        • jmhm

          I think it’s why they’re all so shit-scared that somebody out there might want to stick a dick in them.

      • Bad Granny

        Stealing this. Ain’t even gonna be sorry either.

    • Hairstrike Alpha

      Donald Trump has been accused of multiple rapes- how do you square that one, chump?

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      Right, because there has never been a vast right wing conspiracy, and also, Hillary is the same person as Bill. *pats*
      Da king of what?

    • Villago Delenda Est

      You’re projecting like mad. All that raw hatred and a total lack of reason.

    • Tallmutha

      You’re talking to a lot of us for whom HILLARY 2016 goes without saying, and I doubt that many of us need to find a way to exonerate Bill as a precondition for that. I take Rebecca at her word, that she wrote about Juanita Broaddrick now because Juanita Broaddrick’s profile has been raised again.

    • Jenny

      Out of salted rat dicks already? Fine, I’ll order more but save a little for next week.

    • Cindyinencinitas

      BOO!

    • SnarkOff

      You’re right. We should absolutely support Trump. He’ll make a fine Leader of the Free World.

    • pstockholm

      I’m not in bed with anyone just at this exact minute. sadface.

    • jmk

      Oh puhleaaaaaaaaaze.

      First, no one is apologizing for Bill Clinton. All anyone is doing is attempting to address the issues raised by the sudden re-emergence of Ms. Broaddrick’s claims.

      Second, when the Buzzfeed piece quotes Ms. Broaddrick herself as saying that Bill Clinton apologized to her, your idiotic characterization of him as “unapologetic” falls flat.

      Third, there WAS a vast right-wing conspiracy, you dipshit – for example, you might want to do some research into the Arkansas Project, Richard Mellon Scaife’s overt attempt to derail Bill Clinton’s administration by pumping up and inventing scandals to accomplish what the right wing couldn’t do at the ballot box. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkansas_Project

      Fourth, some fuckwit with the asinine name “Da_King” does not get to tell genuine feminists that we’re doing feminism wrong because you don’t approve of the conversation, so go fuck yourself on that one.

      And finally, the motives that are transparent and despicable belong to the people who are using this woman’s story to try to torpedo Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign by impugning her husband. That’s fucked up and shame on you for supporting that bullshit aim.

      So…go the fuck away.

      • alwayspunkindrublic

        You’re the best.

        • jmk

          You make me blush.

          • alwayspunkindrublic

            I know good when I see it. The Jesuits would’ve loved you.

          • jmk

            The ability to argue in detail was always prized in my mouthy, loud Irish family, and I sharpened my skills when the whole damned lot of them (except me) were seduced by Reagan.
            As a practicing passive aggressive, my mom is fond of the Gish Gallop, also too, so over time, I’ve learned to take on the crazy one point at a time.

          • alwayspunkindrublic

            It took me a minute to figure out all the concerned guests showing up are either Trumpholes or Stein zombies who definitely don’t give two fucks about either Broaddrick or women in general. They interpreted emotional honesty and nuance as vulnerability, and like ticks sensing blood, descended on the place like a plague to try to bully and intimidate. They deserved the thrashing you gave them and more. Thanks for your service, comrade.

      • SisterArtemis

        Hear, hear!
        Eleventy billion upvotes!

    • I Only Like Cats

      Well, time to close this thread and find a new one.

    • SisterArtemis

      So…. the motives are transparent? what are those supposedly transparent motives which are so despicable?

      I thought the motive was to explore a tough and painful process, and judging from the comments from many, interest in that discussion that’s not unique to Rebecca.

    • doktorzoom

      While your mind-reading skills into Rebecca’s TRUE motives are impressive, your reading skills are seriously deficient. Bye!

      — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

  • Ms.MLG1979

    Rebecca, in my opinion, this piece shows a great deal of grace, strength and thoughtfulness. It’s not easy to express your thoughts publicly, especially when the subject is such a painful one, and you do this without anonymity, with the added complication of this being your source of income. Sexual assault has to be discussed, openly and honestly, should have been long, long ago, and no one should feel they cannot discuss it because they don’t know the perfect words to use, or way to feel about every instance of it. Thank you so much for your compassion and concern for your readers, and for people in general.

    • Lance Thrustwell

      Hear, hear.

    • pstockholm

      This says it all.

    • Cindyinencinitas

      Spot on, gurl. Thank you.

    • YoBunnyBunny

      Hopefully, one day we’ll be able to talk about the crime of rape like we talk about all other crimes, preferrably more with facts and less with gut instincts or emotions. Our society doesn’t talk about it enough, and when we do talk about it, we’re always one blog post from a nuclear meltdown. This isn’t to say we should be chatting about who raped whom at the water cooler. Not like that. Our problem is we don’t understand just how complicated sexual assaults and abuse are, especially between people who know each other. We really need to move beyond the He’s A MONSTER vs. She’s A LYING FAME WHORE!!!!! script.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        There you go, right there. This is a central problem in discussing this issue, which Rebecca made a good stab at addressing. It’s COMPLICATED. It’s not binary. There are so many ways that people miscommunicate, and it is so obvious in the arena of sexual relations, which have so much fucking baggage attached to them thanks to the fucked-upedness of Paulite garbage melded into Christianity in general.

        • Cindyinencinitas

          The ex and I were talking about it once and when I told him that this happens to women inside their bodies that seemed to really make an impact on him. As much of a dick as he was and probably still is, that idea made him cry.

      • Ms.MLG1979

        I could not agree more. You’re a wise little bunny.

  • Iron Monkey

    I can’t imagine that anyone who thought about it would think Rebecca a rape apologist, but I have been drinking the Wonkette Kool-aid since Jessica Cutler was still employed in a congressional office.

    • AnneBonny

      There are many different ways to be a rape apologist. I liked a lot of her original post, but was uncomfortable about some of it, and I’m glad for the second post.

  • Hairstrike Alpha

    Editrix, why go back for a second helping? The first one was bad enough- I get what you’re saying. A person can commit a bad act and then through good acts wash out the bad one. This is why I believe Colin Powell redeemed himself for his UN speech but you’re just sinking deeper and deeper. Personally, I don’t know what the fuck to think of Juanita Broaddrick just like I didn’t know what to think of Kobe Bryant’s rape allegation.

    I just don’t understand how you could so easily sweep the claims of Jane Doe with Trump under the rug. Yes they sound outlandish but given that Donald has a life long history of discarding other people the moment they aren’t useful to him (see Roy Cohn) and likes to bark threats I find her story easily as credible as Juanita Broaddrick’s.

    • Shan the Libtart

      Maybe she just needed to talk about it with the Wonkers some more.

    • SisterArtemis

      I actually think the particulars are not so much the issue as the ways in which we talk about rape, and men who rape, and men who might have raped the the situation is murky and we’re not sure, and men who don’t understand when the line has been crossed, and what all the REST of us (women and men) are left to deal with it all.

    • Serai 1

      It sounds to me like Trix feels she needs to clear the air about what SHE said in the article, rather than just bringing up the whole subject just because.

      • Hairstrike Alpha

        Right I got that I just felt like for people the original piece made angry (not me by the way- I didn’t like that she dismissed Trump’s accuser out of hand given the circumstantial evidence and Ivana Trump’s disclosure) I just felt like there is no real “right” way to talk about rape without taking an absolutist stance and eternal condemnation for it. So by introducing complexity you’re going to anger people with whom the issue is the “accuser is always right”. I picked Kobe Bryant’s rape trial for discussion because being an NBA nut I followed it pretty closely and noticed some serious issues with how the case was laid out but that said, I was not sure if the woman was telling the truth or not.
        I just know that with Juanita Broaddrick since the right wing wanted to get Clinton for ANYTHING and literally did get him for anything this rape would have been perfect to malign him and Hillary for eternity and yet the GOP congress didn’t spring on it. I dunno, there’s just a lot that doesn’t add up and with an absence of physical evidence which is impossible now it will always be that way to me.

        • Serai 1

          I completely agree with what you’ve said. If it were my blog, I wouldn’t have brought it up at all, mainly because of my suspicion that it’s a trap to get everyone talking about Bill and stop thinking about Hillary. But any post that has to do with moral complexity is going to bring out the doubters and the trolls and the shitheads who want to deny that there’s any nuance or weirdness or complicated ANYTHING about subjects like this, because it’s so much easier for them to cut the world into distinct little pieces so they feel they have the whole puzzle. (That’s a fucking mixed metaphor, but fuck it.)

  • Paperless Tiger

    “When Jones’ attorneys subpoenaed Broaddrick, she signed an affidavit saying she’d never experienced unwanted sexual advances from Bill Clinton.” – WND.

    It comes down to which of her stories you want to believe. Getting emotionally involved with someone who lies is co-dependent behavior. Oh, this time she’s telling the truth! Riiiiight.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      If it supports the current wingnut narrative, that’s really all that matters.

    • Serai 1

      Because the gods know, women who experience sexual trauma NEVER try to do whatever we can to forget it. We NEVER change our minds later about what we’ll SAY happened. We NEVER keep our silence for decades because we think we won’t be believed. And we’re certainly NEVER pressured to keep quiet by anyone like, say, family, friends, acquaintances, whoever. And the gods know, we’re certainly not vulnerable to manipulation or thought-fucking while we’re trying to deal with such things. (And denial? PFFT. That NEVER happens in such cases.) Nope, none of those things ever happen.

  • Tiaras&tweetybirds

    Before Dok closes this thing,I want to say some things.The clintons are enigmatic, larger than life figures.I find Bill clinton the politician fascinating.But to quote sen.mccaskill,I wouldn’t trust him with my daughter.I kinda believe ms.brodderick,even though there are gaps in her story,notably one that,she didn’t accuse Hillary intimidating her until Hillary started running for senate.But I think in all these chaos,Hillary’s story gets lost.I believe if she hadn’t married bill,she could’ve already become president.Being a millenial,I don’t remember anything from the Clinton years.So I chek out old videos in youtube.The 1992 Hillary is so different than 2016 Hillary.She was so energetic,full of life & humor.I watch their 60 mins interview,where bill comes off as a douche,but Hillary is defiant in the face of society’s norms.She was basically saying,yes my husband committed adultery,but last time I checked it wasn’t a crime.But after sometime into their ptesidency,u start to notice things,Hillary becomes a lot more rigid.The stories about her, from white house staff,after healthcare failure are oncredibly sad.Then ms.Lewinsky happens,which if the accounts from white house staff are to be believed,leaves her more heartbroken.I mean,look at the pictures of her,bill & chealsea the day after bill came clean,she is rigid,hiding her face under the sunglass,holding her daughter’s hand to find strength.My point is,Bill may have emotionally scarred many women in his life,but Hillary is definitely one of them.I guess u can say,well,she should’ve left him.But after being raised in a very dysfunctional abusive household,I will say this is not as easy.Human emotions do not follow any structured criteria.On last note,Hillary,not bill is running for president.She has enough accomplishments of her own to qualify for the job.So,pls let us judge her on that.

    • Bad Granny

      Lol, concern troll is concerned.

      • Tiaras&tweetybirds

        also a muslim,so please harass away.

        • Bad Granny

          So?

          • Serai 1

            So, you’re being an asshole.

          • Bad Granny

            Usually.

        • Astraea

          No one here cares about your religion.

        • Bad Granny

          To clarify…

          • Tiaras&tweetybirds

            Sorry, wasn’t really familiar with ur comment history.I thought if I get called a concerned troll in wonkette for a prohill post,it must be by a wingnut.Sorry again,English is not my first language.

          • Bad Granny

            I think I misinterpreted your intent in your first post, so I apologise for starting the cranky.

          • Serai 1

            Please don’t let these comments discourage you. This subject has brought a lot of trolls here, so some of the commenters are snappish about anything that doesn’t “look right”. You are welcome to post your thoughts. I, for one, appreciate the calm tone of your comment and the points you made. :)

          • Serai 1

            That’s COMPLETELY uncalled for.

          • Bad Granny

            It is uncalled for that I don’t judge people based upon their faith or lack thereof?

          • Serai 1

            It’s uncalled for that you dismiss someone who’s making a good faith effort to add to the discussion, just because their grammar isn’t up to your standards. I certainly hope you never need to communicate with people who speak a different language, because then you’ll find out how nasty it is to have people make fun of your inability to speak and/or write perfectly.

          • Bad Granny

            Well since you asked…

            I snarked at her (?) because her somewhat rambling post echoes some familiar right wing concern troll points. She (again, assuming) responded that she is Muslim in case I want to abuse her for that. I THEN MADE IT CLEAR THAT I DON’T CARE WHAT HER FAITH IS.

            BTW, you seem to have missed the part when I apologised for the original snark. I don’t apologise for having no desire to mock her faith.

    • SnarkOff

      Protip: Capitalization and punctuation go a long way toward getting strangers to read your shit. I can’t even get through this annoyingly punctuated paragraph.

      • Tiaras&tweetybirds

        sorry,will try to do better in future.English is not my first language

      • Serai 1

        Holy shit, could you be snottier to someone making good points? I get irritated by such things, too, but just dismissing someone because of how they use commas is pretty shitty.

        • SnarkOff

          Actually, yes, I could definitely be snottier. Thanks!

          • Serai 1

            Okay, then I won’t bother with you anymore. If you can’t make the slightest effort to read something that’s actually really good and interesting just because OMG COMMAS, then I can’t imagine your opinion being worth much, either.

    • Ms.MLG1979

      Folks, this commenter is not a stranger to us, or a troll. His/her thoughts are just as valid and deserve to be heard as much as anyone else’s.

      • artem1s

        agreed. i’m not sure what their problem is with this post.

        • arrrghle

          Lack of paragraph breaks?

      • Tiaras&tweetybirds

        it’s her.:)

        • Ms.MLG1979

          Hi, sweetie. :)

    • artem1s

      I agree that Hillary has undergone some radical changes as a result of the CDS. One of those is her decision to go no the listening tours and not give a fuck about press conferences and knee jerking every time the media starts on another round of bullshit. She’s better at campaigning this time around and has built her own network of support. She has jettisoned the bad actors from Bill’s circle who looked the other way so they could ride his coat tails to power. She’s much wiser and smarter now and she has honestly won the approval and support of a very wise and accomplished President and that shows too.

  • Lark_in_the_AM

    I wasn’t really certain what you meant by your first post, but your second post does help clarify what it is you were trying to get across. Thank you for that, and for your honesty, always.

    In truth, I don’t know what to think about the allegations, but the thing is, whether they are true or false, they should have zero bearing on the election. Hillary is who is running.

  • jangoodell

    Rebecca, I totally understood what you were saying. The whole sex culture when I “came of age” was male-biased even as women became liberated. As we claimed our bodily rights, too many men misread our freedom to mean we wanted sex, indiscriminate wanton sex (because they did?). I, too was disappointed by Bill Clinton an could not vote for him a second time. I am also disappointed that so many blame wives for their husbands’ infidelities and various other crimes/indiscretions.

    • Enfant Terrible

      Back in the 1970s, we covered a lot of ground with regard to sexual liberation, but one thing we did not address was male entitlement/privilege. And I would say that Juanita Broaddrick paid a price for that.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        These things take time. Yes, male entitlement/privilege was only a very small blip on the radar then, but we’re getting better. The struggle for equality is never easy.

      • arrrghle

        And she’s not the only one. In fact I remember quite a few questionable encounters myself, and I was an actively radical feminist working pretty hard on the male entitlement thing.

        History takes time to happen.

        • SisterArtemis

          Truer words…

  • SnarkOff

    My thoughts, FWIW: 1. The Court of Public Opinion is dangerous. The best way we have to decide guilt or innocence is still the legal system. If a case does not make it to court, for whatever reason, we really can’t say for certain whether a person is guilty or innocent. 2. People will always overlook inconvenient truths in order to get “their” candidate into office. This is true whether it’s Clinton or Trump. 3. Rebecca, you are a glutton for punishment. 4. I appreciate your honesty nevertheless.

    • Lily412

      “1. The Court of Public Opinion is dangerous.”
      I think that depends. Propaganda can be dangerous, but sometimes we need people reading up, speaking out, and giving opinions on what’s going on in the news. The reason why is that no one is going to jail because a bunch of people online called them a rapist, but having that discussion (however vehement) can cause authorities to actually take cases seriously. I’d cite the Cosby allegations here. After being accused over and over for years by different women, and it ultimately being swept under the rug, when those allegations went viral (for lack of a better word) it stirred up interest again, eventually leading to the reopening of the Constand case, in which he could be, and has been, arraigned on criminal charges.

      • SnarkOff

        I don’t disagree. But if you read the stories, at least in the MSM most people hate so much, they tend to rely on facts — often as found in public legal records. It’s a much more reasoned, sound approach to determining whether a case should be brought to trial. Not to malign Rebecca in any way. Just pointing out that this stuff is hard to get right.

  • mark1964

    A test to be truly honest with yourself: same situation, but it’s Trump (or Romney or Bush). Same tone and conclusion?

    • SnarkOff

      I don’t actually agree with Rebecca on this issue. But I will say that the difference here would be that the GOP, no matter who the nominee, promotes policies that are deeply harmful to women. Despite Bill Clinton’s alleged personal history with women, the party overall is much better on women’s issues. So if it were me I’d be more likely to give Clinton a grudging pass.

    • jmk

      What makes that an impossible comparison to draw, is that Bill Clinton – in addition to being…whatever it is that you think he is or was with regard to this subject – doesn’t ALSO support a platform and policies that are harmful to women and restrict their rights, tries to disadvantage them legally, socially, and economically, and actively seeks to restrict their activities and their access to resources and legal protections.

    • Bad Granny

      As a matter of fact, I had that conversation right here in the noncomments of Wonkette just a couple weeks ago when some busybody showed up worrying about Melania’s sexual history. I nicely invited her to fuck off.

      What do I win?

  • Maluhia

    At least you’re talking about the hard stuff, and that’s hard to do. Few get it perfect when talking about the hard stuff, and if we all were too afraid to talk about it because of fear of backlash for not being perfect, then things never change. The first step on hard issues is openly talking about them. So thank you for that.

    Bottom line as it pertains to August 2016: this has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton and the election.

    But it’s one of those things that I think most Democrats wish would just be never spoken of again, because that’s easier and this topic sucks, but it’s still an important topic and I respect you for writing about it!

    • Villago Delenda Est

      The thing is, this issue is being brought up by the usual suspects for precisely the reason that it’s August 2016 and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee. The Clinton hate machine is fired up again.

      • Serai 1

        Indeed. It’s telling that they raise it now when Trump’s poll numbers are heading into single digits and they’re desperate for anything to distract people. Why haven’t they been talking about this since the start of the campaign? Saving the big guns for last? It’s just too sleazy, and it’s pretty disappointing that so many people aren’t seeing THAT sleaze, only the sleaze involved in the actual story.

  • thirdeblue

    I view situations like this as a real-life Rorschach test with people seeing and reading into what they want to based on values, past experience, and biases.

    I have no opinion on whether Bill Clinton did this thing or not, but its not relevant to the politics and campaign of today except as a question of character of Hillary Clinton for keeping her wagon hitched to a man who is, at best, a sleazy cad.

    Too bad then, for the Republicans they decided to nominate Donald fucking Trump.

  • ltmcdies

    when I first read your piece, Rebecca I thought back a conversation I had years ago with an ex.

    he was telling me story (because he was an ass) about the time he and couple of friends had taken a female friend to a beach with a bottle of wine and then all of them had sex with her ..because she “wanted it” according this ex.

    When I called him on that and pointed she probably didn’t feel she could refuse he got quite huffy at the notion since I was suggesting that what they’d actually done was rape this girl.

    I haven’t seen or had contact with this guy in 20 years but I’m willing to bet he STILL doesn’t get that the girl in question might consider that to have been a rape. And that the law would likely agree with her

    I think that’s where Bill Clinton may very well have been or still is.

    My second thought….it’s unfortunate Mrs. Broaddrick wound up swimming in the soup of the right wing media because it’s stains. It stains her testimony of the events, it stains her comments post. I cannot reasonably read her comments and not remember there were men in prison who needed DNA evidence to overturn wrongful rape convictions because memory is so faulty and pliable, even when no one means to affect it.

    And I am NOT SAYING this woman wasn’t raped. I am pointing out why I can’t take her comments at face value entirely. Even though she is well spoken and has no reason to “lie”. Time and the public eye have a way hardening memories that might be a little bit different from the actual event.

    My third thought…Bill Clinton is not on the ballot. If this case were to go to trial, Hillary would not be sitting in the dock with Bill.

    If she were called to testify what that be…was she in the room …no….well then unless Hillary is providing some sort of alibi….she adds nothing to any court case.

    For me this whole blame Hillary for Horndog Bill smacks of that “well is she kept happy between the sheets he wouldn’t horndog” which is the height of sexist bullshit.

    And it does not that Mrs. Broaddrick appears to have been used by the right wing for political purposes.

    It’s not like the same right wing give a rat’s ass about any other rape victim or even believe them.

    this is a minefield with no good here. But at the end of the day I simply cannot tar Mrs. Clinton with her husband’s bad behavior.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      But those who hate the liberal vision of America…the one true to the intent of the Founders…will do anything to impede it.

  • ginos_way

    When I read the original Broaddus post, I thought, oh, yeah, this is gonna be a thing. Sure enough, that post made the FB hooley trending list last night, which means some asshole decided it needed less than finessed interpretation. I understood the post, didn’t agree with some of it, and hoped reaction to it didn’t distract from the wider body of work here (yours). Nice to see your re-treatment of it here.

  • kellson

    The only solution is to watch a video of her accusation. After all, that’s how we caught Bill lying about Monica so well that he’s now a textbook example on liars.

    • Jay Vaughn

      You seam nice. I do hope you stick around.

      • thewendyb

        Oh JAY! I bet you say that to EVERYONE.
        I WIN.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Well, we figured out Teh Donald was a liar due to every piece of video he’s ever been seen in, so there is that.

    • Bad Granny

      Which textbook?

    • Serai 1

      Oh, goody! Talking points! Tell us the one about how Hillary sent her bagmen out to murder this woman.

  • SisterArtemis

    DAMN Rebecca! You are one brave women to wade into the fray again. And thank you for that.

    I like the original post, reading it perhaps a little differently than either you or other ex-Catholics, but understood your point about Bill (or other rapists) not necessarily being evil even if guilty. I’ve been having this same discussion with feminist and right wing friends for years.

    So thanks for wading into this again – I think it’s important; I hope other people do to, and continue the conversation.

  • Brian

    You clearly do not understand there is only one way to deal with difficult topics.

    http://www.goldenthreadgallery.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/BlackWhite-300×225-300×225.gif

    Choose one.

    • SisterArtemis

      my whole world:

    • Xerocky

      So, no doesn’t mean no? Sometimes it means, ‘keep going, I like it’?

      • Brian

        so, you didn’t read the article? Because that’s not what it says.

    • Serai 1

      Kind of amazing how your point isn’t being heard.

  • Berkeleybear94

    Rather than engage the trolls and truthers, I’d like to try and add a piece of context to one of Rebecca’s points. I’m old enough (barely) to have hit puberty right as people were finally felling a need to issue “No means no!” PSAs because boys overwhelmingly were led to believe by things ranging from movies to their parents that anything short of a woman kicking them in the nuts was “maybe”, and as often as not seen as a challenge to show women “what they were missing out on.” Anyone who isn’t old enough to remember the 70s and 80s has no sense of what the perceived norms of what constituted rape were back then. Think about Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind or every time John Wayne held a woman to stop her from hitting him – and then magically turned hatred into lust through the magic of his gaze. Even today we have tired jokes played out in TV shows about how women never want sex or just do it to make their husbands happy – which by the standards of some feminists is at a minimum coerced consent. So now imagine a whole legal system based on that view of women and their sexuality and you might begin to understand why Rebecca (and I) can see how Bill Clinton could have seen himself as not committing a criminal act in his interactions with Ms. Broddrick. Especially given Bill’s finely honed tendency to think in legal terms when it suits his purposes (It depends on definitions as he so infamously said).

    If you want to read a good exploration of the legal standards and how issues were perceived during this time, I strongly urge you to seek out the writings of Susan Estrich. She is a law school professor who has written about rape, gender and the law at length, and on multiple occasions has been brave enough to share her own interactions with law enforcment in the aftermath of a violent assault (how they treated her was terrible, and she was one of the “lucky ones” because her story at least fit “real rape” as far as the cops were concerned).

    While Estrich writes about it better than I can, I’ll share a few things about the law regarding rape at that time. Until the mid 80s in many states there was no such thing legally as rape by a husband of his wife on at theory that “I do” meant yes forever. Most states at the time of Bill Clinton’s interaction with Juanita Broddrick included resistance being both persistent and overcome by force for any action to be rape. So a man could (as happened in a case I have taught before) take a woman’s keys, block her way out of his apartment and demand sex before she’d leave and then argue the lack of “force” and/or “resistance” in the act itself meant it wasn’t rape.

    We have evolved a lot on our understanding of consent and sexual assault in a short period of time. I believe this is a good thing. But from my perspective it is quite possible to see why Bill Clinton didn’t think he’d done anything wrong, and given his tendency to motivated cognition (that is to perceive facts as most favorable to him and cement that version in his mind over time) I have no real difficulty thinking that even today he sees his conduct with her as blameless. That doesn’t make it okay, but it does help explain the seeming disconnect between the two principals accounts.

    • Jenny

      I was about 7 when Priscilla Presley’s documentary about Elvis aired. There’s a scene where Elvis rapes Priscilla and one of the national talk shows had a conversation about it. I happened to be amongst my grandmother’s coffee friends when they discussed this. One after another they all agreed it wasn’t rape. It was just her duty to have sex with her husband and she doesn’t have to like it but it isn’t rape. Rape is for strangers.

      I told my mother about it and she and her friends were split, maybe rape, maybe not. (Also too Go away I was harshing their high.)

      This was the 80s and rape today isn’t anywhere near the lexicon of rape today. Years later someone on Oprah (yeah I watched a lot of Oprah after school) brought it up and said no that is rape. And it was like a revelation for the entire audience. You could see light bulbs go on. It was fascinating to watch. I feel kind of lucky to witness something like that even if just through tv. The younger generation has no idea just how recent womens’ rights truly are.

      • Xerocky

        Juanita and Bill weren’t married though. Even if what was considered ‘normal’ during the time that it happened is taken into account, they weren’t married, at all. He was married to someone else.

        If Bill Clinton were black and it were 5 years earlier, he would have been lynched.

        • Jenny

          My post was in regards to the attitudes of the times. Scroll down and read what I think of Juanita. Go on now.

        • SisterArtemis

          That may be true, but kind of misses the boat here

    • Xerocky

      ” Bill Clinton could have seen himself as not committing a criminal act in his interactions with Ms. Broddrick. ”

      “Then he tries to kiss me again. And the second time he tries to kiss me he starts biting my lip. … He starts to, um, bite on my top lip and I tried to pull away from him. And then he forces me down on the bed. And I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him “No,” that I didn’t want this to happen, but he wouldn’t listen to me. … It was a real panicky, panicky situation. I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to “please stop.” And that’s when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip. … When everything was over with, he got up and straightened himself, and I was crying at the moment, and he walks to the door and calmly puts on his sunglasses. And before he goes out the door, he says, “You better get some ice on that.” And he turned and went out the door.”

      No. Don’t blame the movies. He’s a rapist.

      • Berkeleybear94

        Read the whole thing and try to understand the law as it stood, not your current views. No wasn’t enough. Even if everything she says is verbatim perfect recall, at that time the mere fact she let him into the room and didn’t physically resist to her utmost would take it out of the scope of rape as defined by many jurisdictions. The classic common law definition of rape required force sufficient to overcome “the capacity of the victim to resist” – not just any element of force. As Estrich eloquently speaks to, there was a view that only a gun to your head or a knife to your throat was enough to establish force clearly in a legal sense – otherwise you were expected to have kicked bit and fought back like your life depended on it for it to count as rape. Because, much like honor killings in the Middle East, there was a view that a loss of “virtue” was so serious that women should risk death rather than submit. One of the first victories in redefining rape (along with getting rid of marital privilege) was lessening and/or eliminating resistance as an element.

        Is Bill Clinton a womanizing asshole – absolutely. Would he be convicted today – probably, but I bet he has a very different account of what happened and he’s pretty convincing. Would he have seen what he did as rape – seems pretty clearly not based on his conduct then and since. Would most people at the time in Arkansas – I’m guessing not given what I know about the law, the culture and the actual prosecutions around the country at that time. But again, this is nuanced and you clearly aren’t interested in nuance.

    • Ragnar

      Sexual assault has always been wrong, whether or not the perpetrators feel like they have license to commit it.

      • Berkeleybear94

        My entire point wasn’t to speak to write and wrong – that is a question of morality and ethics. I don’t think Rebecca was (and I certainly am not) suggesting Bill was right – he has repeatedly shown a disregard for the feelings of others, especially women, and acted in a morally reprehensible way. But that’s a personal judgment by me.

        The only thing I’m trying to point out is the law on the books in the 70s didn’t see sexual assault through a modern lens. Rape was a very narrowly defined and difficult to prove act. And if you are someone like Bill Clinton who tends to judge their conduct not morally but by purely legal standards (a trait he shares with a lot of very successful lawyers) then it is more comprehensible that he could walk out of the room seeing himself as not having done anything wrong because he didn’t commit (in his mind at least) a crime. Go back to what he said about defining sex, for example, to get a sense of how he processes what to you and me are straightforward moral questions.

        • SeekingBarbie

          I was a young woman in the 70s and I understand and agree with your explanation. There really was a presumption that a woman who didn’t die or suffer serious injury hadn’t really tried to prevent her assault–being paralyzed by fear or just a desire to stay alive wasn’t an option.

  • tdraicer

    You are, of course, free to believe her, but as you note (without giving it, imo, the proper emphasis) we don’t and can’t know. That being the case, no one is under any obligation to have an opinion. That you believe her doesn’t make it true, anymore than that I tend to disbelieve her makes it false. What it does do is inject into this campaign an issue that doesn’t belong.there.

    • Xerocky

      “You are, of course, free to believe her, but as you note (without giving it, imo, the proper emphasis) we don’t and can’t know.”

      BZZZZT. We’ve been told over and over again that we should believe it when an accuser comes forward, right?

      • SisterArtemis

        We’re not on a game show, we’re in human society. It’s messy. Grow up.

      • Panika MCD

        if you read both articles you may have noted that Becca’s questioning of Ms. Broaddrick’s account extends pretty much only to the asserting that HRC shaking her hand and thanking her for her service to her husband’s campaign were somehow a treat.

        hope this helps!

      • HanBarbara

        Nice straw man. I don’t see anyone here saying that any man or woman who accuses another of rape should believed no matter what the circumstances.
        I think we have an obligation to listen and consider, not necessarily believe.

  • J_JamesM

    Here’s the thing: I think that to be forgiven, you have to actually admit what you did was wrong. I don’t know for sure if Bill Clinton raped Broaddrick, but I believe it’s possible, even likely. What isn’t possible is redemption for the act while he denies he did it.

    • Oily Messiah

      So much this. Absent a public admission of guilt and apology any private admission of guilt and apology is meaningless if he continues public denial.

    • SisterArtemis

      Forgiveness is the act, and the choice, of other people (if one doesn’t believe in supreme beings). It is up to them to forgive or not, based on their own criteria. Admission of guilt is not necessarily one of them.

    • Panika MCD

      paraphrased from the Buzzfeed article in Becca’s article on Monday and reprinted here:

      “Broaddrick says Bill Clinton personally called her up to apologize”

      hope this helps.

      • Xerocky

        Isn’t that a tacit admission that he rapped her though? Actually, strike the word ‘tacit’.

        It’s an admission of guilt. He rapped her. If he were black he could have been lynched for what he did. If he were poor, he’d have gone to jail.

        • Panika MCD

          you really need to work more on your reading comprehension skills and spend less time consulting tea leaves.

        • Slavakitty

          See, how spell check works, when you put in a typo, it underlines it with a squiggly red line! Isn’t that something?

      • Slavakitty

        Aw, jeez! Did it again. You beat me to the punch, Panika.

    • Xerocky

      In this case, to admit that he did something wrong, would be admitting to a very serious crime. So…

      • J_JamesM

        So…? So what? I’m not saying it’s likely, I’m simply explaining why Clinton can’t be forgiven unless he fesses up.

    • Slavakitty

      Calling her to apologize doesn’t count, then? Just asking.

  • Iam Reading

    I think he did it. And I know he yanked the Democratic party hard to the right.

    • jmhm

      Well, on that latter charge, no, he really didn’t. The Democratic party was in many respects further to the right than the Republicans until the late sixties, and the surviving silverbacks of that era made a point of shooting down Clinton’s attempts at progressive change to put him in his place.

      Jesus, Pat Moynihan, whose revenants are poisoning the discourse unto the next generation (hey there, Luke Russert!) made his bones in the Nixon administration by making the case that the government had done too much for black folks at a time when New York was run by liberal Republicans.

      Doesn’t anybody do the reading?

  • Xerocky

    “Because my thoughts were quick, a few were more sloppy than not:”

    Isn’t it the job of the writer to think prior to writing? Lest they come across as a hypocritical idiot?

    Evil? He’s a rapist. Make of that what you will. He’s a rapist, and his wife covers for him. If he were anyone else, the author wouldn’t have pondered the question of his evil nature for a nano second.

    Mind you he also fired a cruise missile at an aspirin factory for the sake of changing the media narrative about his affair with a young intern while being the most powerful man in the world.
    Imagine if you made your living there? Try to for a minute, put yourself in the shoes of someone who worked there and then didn’t have a way to feed their family. In the Sudan mind you.

    The question isn’t is he evil, the question is why anyone would give him a break about it at all?

    • Jay Vaughn

      You seem nice. I do hope you stick around.

      • Xerocky

        Thank you. You seem nice too Jay.

        • Panika MCD

          oh, bless your heart.

        • Serai 1

          the point ————————————–>

          your head

    • Panika MCD

      if Hillary were anyone else, no one would be accusing her of “covering” for him. maybe you need to think a little more before writing lest you come off as an asshole with an agenda.

      • Xerocky

        That’s not true. She is covering for him. She’s said that people who have been raped should come forward and not be silenced. Except for Juanita I suppose? For her there are no rights?

        I’m the a hole with the agenda? You’re an apologist for a rapist. Just like Hillary. Lol. You’re a pathetic hypocrite. Go twist in the wind like the author above in a vain attempt to explain how you’re not. LOL.

        • Jay Vaughn

          Go back to DC brah.

          • Xerocky

            I’m enjoying this.

          • SisterArtemis

            what do you find enjoyable, Xerocky?

        • Panika MCD

          what? are you a psychic? have you won the lottery yet? or do your secret super powers only extend to knowing the inner-workings of HRC’s mind 40 years ago? that is one impressive Ouija board you have there.

          • Xerocky

            Darling, you don’t need an Ouija board to talk to the living.

            By saying nothing about it, not turning him in to the police, we can assume that that’s a tacit agreement on Hillary’s behalf that she’s fine with her rapist husband.

          • Panika MCD

            oh, so you knew HRC 40 years ago and right after she thanked Ms. Broaddrick for her service to her husband’s campaign she turned to you personally and said, “she’ll never talk about how my husband did bad things to her now!”???? the fish in your story is getting awfully big!

          • Xerocky

            There’s no fish in my story. He rapped her. What are you talking about?

            Hillary intimidated her into silence. I guess for a woman to do that to a woman is ‘feminism’ or something?

            How does ‘thanking her’ change anything exactly?

            ‘thanks for staying quiet’ ?

            Just admit that this whole thing stinks.

          • Panika MCD

            oh, if it’s so intimidating how about we shake hands and I’ll thank you for contributing to this discussion so you can too be threatened and leave?

          • Slavakitty

            Check your spelling, Darling. Maybe it’s time you “rapped” this up?

    • Jay Vaughn

      Lazy troll is lazy.

    • doktorzoom

      Weasel Zippers visitor is boring, banned.

      • NotALiar

        I had to Google weasel zippers. Oh god. I usually just check breitbart, wnd, and gateway pundit. Weasel zippers is weak! Sad!

    • Michael Smith

      “The question isn’t is he evil, the question is why anyone would give him a break about it at all?”

      Well, redemption was an aspect of the discussion. Can people be redeemed? Why do we care about redemption right now?

      Well, because this is the husband of the democratic nominee and the subject can’t be avoided. Avoiding the subject would be truly hypocritical.

      But Bill is not running for President; Hillary is. Thus, the question is really whether she can be redeemed if she truly “silenced” Juanita. And whether, if not, it is still okay to vote for her when the alternative is Donald Trump.

      Isn’t politics fun?

    • NotALiar

      Turd!

  • Bernarda Alba

    Sexual predators do not have green skin and fangs. They are ordinary human beings, often people who are liked and valued by their communities. It is natural for us to defend people we like and value against allegations of misconduct, to protect our own egos as much as to protect the accused. When we get to the point where we can acknowledge these essential facts and deal with them honestly and directly, we’ll be in a better position to fairly and effectively handle the problem of sexual predation.

    I have no trouble believing Juanita and she deserves a fair hearing and if applicable her day in court. Bill Clinton is a proven creep. He’s one of the main reasons I haven’t wanted Hillary as president. But she and the Democratic machine decided this was her year and 86ed all other candidates. They want me to hold my nose and vote for her? Sure, okay. Am I happy to have Bill in the White House again? Hell no.

  • Oily Messiah

    I had an interesting experience in that Juanita Broaddrick is a friend of a friend on Facebook. This subject came up and she came in to weigh in (or was kinda dragged in by some right wing asshat that was arguing the point that Bill’s rape is relevant to Hillary’s canidacy). Overall, I think it was a good experience to hear the story more directly from the person.

    • HanBarbara

      I did read the Buzzfeed interview. All of it. If what she is saying is true, he physically overpowered her when she told him no, said that she was in a relationship, and pushed him away after he kissed her.
      That’s full on stranger rape. The only thing he didn’t do was jump out of an alley. If it happened exactly the way she described it than I really don’t see how it would be forgivable other than him serving a jail sentence and undergoing some kind of rehabilitation.
      But where I think she really loses credibility is that she signed an affidavit saying that it didn’t happen. She has also attempted to drag Hillary into this whole thing after the fact. She was intimidated because Hillary thanked her and shook her hand? Come on. Was Hillary supposed to say ” I suspect that my husband rapes women and I’m trying to find out the truth from as many women as possible?”

  • GunToting[Redacted]

    I had a friend who said his father’s advice was “‘No no no’ means ‘yes yes yes,’ and ‘I’m calling the police’ means ‘I’m calling the police.'”

    • doktorzoom

      But just look what a long way we’ve come, to Yale in 2011 frat boys proudly chanted “No means yes! Yes means anal!” and were very, very upset when Yale banned DKE for five years.

      Some days I’m unsure whether to be disgusted it happened, or relieved something was done about it.

  • SassyMissDem

    I’m 43 years old, I remember when girls were told not to seem too “easy”, and that guys would be guys. It’s true. I was also told I was “ruined” because I was an 18 year old having sex with my boyfriend, obviously unmarried, so yeah, I was ruined. So. People were awful, but hopefully we learn better.

    • Janicen

      Open, honest communication is essential but yet it did not exist just a couple decades ago. Nice girls didn’t say certain words and were criticized for seeming too eager and yet we were expected to eventually give in. It was a terrible time and I’m glad for the upcoming generations of women and men that we have moved on from it.

      • Slavakitty

        There’s still a lot of ground to cover, *cough* *Steubenville* but things are improving.

    • Serai 1

      Rebecca mentions how guys were taught that girls would say no first to seem virtuous, but she doesn’t mention that GIRLS were taught that, too. Whether by direct instruction from, say, MOM, or by osmosis from books and movies, we all thought even if we DID want to have sex, we should push back a bit or we’d be thought “sluts”. It was an echo chamber, with the same crappy idea being bounced back and forth in behavior but only benefitting one side.

      • SassyMissDem

        Yes, that’s right! You were supposed to play hard to get, push back, or be counted as a slut. Movies tv, and books showed that all the time.

  • Ducksworthy

    I’m sorry. This is relevant how?

  • NerdWithNoName

    “trying to unteach what came before”
    Next time the movie ‘Rocky’ is on TV, (not Rocky II or 122, just Rocky) watch the seduction scene in Rocky’s apartment. Adrian says no about 6 times and he won’t let her out of the place. If they made that scene today it would be picketed and with good reason. We have come a long way.

    • Michael Smith

      Think about “Baby, Its Cold Outside”

      • Serai 1

        …which was a sarcastic song about sexual mores and how ridiculous they are, not a rape apology.

        • Jay Vaughn

          Fucking thank you. It is a shitty song but not a rape song.

          • Serai 1

            I always thought it was a charming song, for precisely the reason I stated. It’s cute and funny at the same time that it’s sharp and witty.

      • NerdWithNoName

        My grown up daughter pointed out how date rapeie that song is. I had never noticed. The young can teach the old.

        • Serai 1

          It’s not date rapey. It’s actually CRITICIZING the sexual mores of the time. Saying it’s “date rapey” betrays a lack of subtlety in thinking about the subject, as well as a lack of knowledge about the history of the song and its writer.

    • HanBarbara

      I remember my Mom (of WWII) generation telling me that it wasn’t unheard of for young men to drive a young woman to an isolated place, and imply that if she wasn’t willing to “put out” she could walk home. The girl who found herself in that kind of situation was considered to be more of a fool than a victim. We have come a long way.

      • Serai 1

        That’s the origin of the practice of carrying “mad money” in one’s purse – always have enough for cab fare home in case he gets grabby.

        • HanBarbara

          Hence the “fool” part. Also that a young woman should date a young man known to the family or community and not a soldier or sailor that she met at a dance. Massive movement and dislocation of people and changing mores. Women had work outside the home and more freedom, and society hadn’t caught up.

  • Michael Smith

    I think the “unlearning rape culture” aspect of sexual crimes makes its difficult to bring nuance to the discussion without undermining that effort. Because apologizing for people who were indoctrinated by a bad, now discredited orthodoxy seems to provide justification for rapists today, or to at least undermine the notion that our understanding of rape is as simple as “just don’t do it.”

    Its a lot to think about, and difficult to talk about, because the implications are quite serious.

  • Belasaurius

    Wonkette is being referred to as a “feminist website”

    • Ben Hosp

      “feminist website” = “website owned by a woman”?

      • beavertank

        Mommyblog recipe hub?

        • Ben Hosp

          I guess she did mention the word “feminism” a couple of times, so sure, whatever.

      • SisterArtemis

        Well, they do let the wimminfolk speak up around here

    • Dutchman

      We all know what a credible source the Daily Stinker is.

    • HanBarbara

      Hopefully the site doesn’t ge inundated with b-tards, misogynistic gamers, and MRA trolls. The banhammer will be working overtime.

      • SisterArtemis

        too late…

    • Serai 1

      It isn’t?

  • Serai 1

    I certainly got your point and said so. My viewpoint comes from having gone through just such an incident myself when I was a young adult. It’s very easy to yell NO HE DEFINITELY DID IT AND KNEW IT, when you’ve never actually been in that kind of situation and so can’t see how there could be any nuance at all. But there can, and very, very often there is, and that doesn’t make it not-rape. It just makes it FUCKING COMPLICATED, and lots of people just can’t stand the idea of this issue being complicated. It has to be SIMPLE – which human interactions never are.

    For what it’s worth: 1) You’re brave to engage with this again, and 2) can we PLEASE END THE ISSUE HERE on this page? Because this has NOTHING to do with Hillary and her ability to run the country. It’s a SIDE ISSUE that’s being pushed to distract people from Trump’s possible devouring of our entire fucking planet. Ugly as it is, it’s irrelevant.

    • Shan the Libtart

      It’s also given people who obviously still need to discuss the issue for personal reasons a place to do it. So I think there’s some good here.

      • Serai 1

        Of course there is. That’s why I said we should end it here, not cut off the discussion. It’s a sad awful topic that is always in need of discussion. (Nobody knows that better than me – I couldn’t talk about it to ANYONE for MANY YEARS.) But bringing THIS instance up many times seems to me to be playing into the hands of those who’d like ANYTHING to distract us from the idea of voting for Hillary, which is why I think it’s being raised now in the media.

        • Shan the Libtart

          I understand and agree. I just wanted to point out that even if the reason it’s being brought up in the media again is bad, the discussion here has been really wonderful.

          • Serai 1

            Yes, for the most part. Kinda disappointed at people snarking about commas and such bullshit when someone wants to weigh in from another country.

          • Shan the Libtart

            I think they kissed and made up.

  • Belasaurius

    so I get the feeling that a dick joke would be inappropriate here

  • Marsupial99

    I think that seeing things through the lenses of age have a lot to do with people’s thoughts on this. If you are younger (20s, 30s, or so) you have a very strict sense of what is right and wrong based on what you learned, and what you figured out for yourself. Getting older (get off my lawn!), things get murky, not necessarily because of fuzzy morals and grey areas, but because of this: Whatever age you are, if you are lucky enough to live another 30 or 40 years, I PROMISE you that there will be things, at that time, that are considered, hideous, inhuman, and unthinkable, that we are doing during the course of our days RIGHT NOW.

    In no way is this meant to minimize any kind of rape or tragedy. I think about the things that my parents (and others) did in the ’60s and ’70s that they would be arrested for today. Drunk driving? Meh, go sleep it off. Beating your kids? They must have had it coming! (I once had a cop tell me, when I was about 10, to go home and take my beating.)

    Everything changes.

  • Ragnar

    I still don’t understand what your psuedo-theological views of evil and redemption have to do with Juanita Broaddrick’s trauma. And how does Bill’s “support of his wife’s ambition” make him an “okay feminist”. It’s a really basic expectation/requirement of people in partnerships. Sadly this doesn’t always happen but I really don’t see how that makes him a feminist. And you don’t believe in God but you’re still projecting your residual church tenets onto an emotionally and psychologically taxing situation that doesn’t even involve you. Your church with its Patristic philosophies that enable gender oppression and domestic abuse and whole-heartedly believes that human beings are born in a state of original sin, but you don’t believe that people are evil tho. I do believe that people can transform but one has to be “redeemed” in the eyes of another, based on the concept and context behind the history of that word in the Christian tradition, but in whose eyes can an unapologetic perpetrator of assault be “redeemed”? And I say perpetrator without the scare-qualifier “alleged” because “redemption” requires that one need be actually guilty of that which they need be “redeemed” of.

    • Jay Vaughn

      You seem nice. I do hope you stick around.

    • jmhm

      I do believe that people can transform but one has to be “redeemed” in the eyes of another, based on the concept and context behind the history of that word in the Christian tradition

      Your understanding of Christian tradition on this point is almost bizarrely wrong.

      If you’re talking about Catholicism, confession is a matter so private that it would be a mortal sin for a priest to say that a sin had been discussed, much less what was said about it, and the priest is not forgiving the penitent but performing the sacrament of cleansing the soul which is a gift from God.

      If you’re talking about protestantism, it only exists because they reject any intervention between human beings and God.

      Seriously, does no-one ever do the freaking reading?

      • alwayspunkindrublic

        Best description of the sacrament of confession I’ve ever read. And I’m Catholic!

        • jmhm

          A very smart priest explained it to me :)

          • alwayspunkindrublic

            A very wise priest once told me-when I was on the verge of chucking it all out the window-that the beauty of Catholicism is that there is room in it for an outlier, a renegade, a doubter like me.

  • Michael Smith

    This subject is highly contentious.

    • Skadi

      Understatement of the century.

    • pstockholm

      Wait till next week, we’re gonna re-visit GMOs.

    • DemmeFatale

      Still not as troll filled as anything with guns.
      Do all the ammosexuals have psychic powers of defense or something?
      Oh, silly me! It’s called the NRA!!)

  • Redgyal

    Editrix, I’ll just repeat what a lot of other Wonkette are saying. Men have the upper hand in society so it’s on them to control themselves. Not on women to explain or understand their actions.

    • SisterArtemis

      Nor is it the place of men to tell us not to discuss it, or look for explanations, or understand – which is different than condoning – any actions.

      • Redgyal

        Well I’m a woman so I’m assuming that comment wasn’t directed at me. But I see your point.

        • SisterArtemis

          I didn’t assume you were, given your screenname.

          I didn’t read your comment as telling anyone to shut the conversation down, I should have maybe specified that. But I do hear it elsewhere, including other posts int this thread – kind of a “how dare you think about this more deeply”

          I think part of what you were saying is that we are not OBLIGATED to have that discussion.

          But yeah, that wasn’t directed at you, specifically. Sorry.

          • Redgyal

            No problem. It’s a tough subject to think about.

  • Meadowbrook

    Let’s get this straight, since you are Catholic and so am I , YOUR LOGIC says it was OK for all those priests to molest children. NONSENSE! Bill Clinton has a problem, and he uses his POWER to get access to women and molest (at best) and RAPE at worst which in my book is EVIL

    • beavertank

      The frequent use of fully capitalized words makes it clear that you’re serious and know what you’re talking about. Well done.

      • SisterArtemis

        HEY! Capitalized-WORDZ libelz!!!

        [sorry, a bit sensitive about this since I was using lots of CAPPED words for emphasis last night (instead of coding italics, due to typing sideways on my tablet laying flat on my back]

        • beavertank

          Oh man, HTMLing on a mobile device sucks so hard. I frequently have to decide if italics are really worth it when I’m on my phone too.

    • YayConspiracy

      I don’t think this is what Rebecca meant at all. She is trying to explain what she wrote a few days ago in an honest way. You may not agree, but she did not give out a blank check for rape or abuse.

    • SisterArtemis

      I give you a 7 for passion, but a 1.5 for reading comprehension

      her logic does not say any assault is OK. Period. That’s not even the question she’s raising

      • beavertank

        It’s kind of a lot of sound and fury that ultimately means nothing since they didn’t seem to actually understand a thing about what they read.

        They didn’t even pick up the atheistic ex-Catholic part, just the word Catholic.

        • SisterArtemis

          probably a intersectional reality that just doesn’t come into meadowbrooks awareness

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      Let’s not get into the “who’s a better Catholic” contest, yeah?

    • Jay Vaughn

      You seem nice. I do hope you stick around.

    • Panika MCD

      no one said you had to share her opinion. quit pretending to be persecuted by an oped.

    • doktorzoom

      Trump Troll is boring, banned.

      — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

  • Dutchman

    Since I stand by what I said on the original piece I’m just going to cut and paste my original words here. So it is written, so it shall be….

    I am from the I just don’t know school of thought on this. Since I wasn’t there, thank you Dog, it’s difficult for me to make that judgement. Would Bill cheat on Hillary? Absofuckingtively. Did he rape Juanita? I just don’t know.

    What I DO know is that there have been 938 million investigations costing 811 brazillion dollars by every type of horrid person from the right for a period spanning decades that have shown us nothing other than the fact that Bill Clinton doesn’t think a blowjob is sex.
    He’s wrong about that just in case you were wondering. My skeptic meter tends to be skewed toward belief in Bill and Hillary

    • Amalga

      My sentiments exactly.

  • LiberalsRNuts

    Rape is a myth anyway.

    • Slavakitty

      Gosh. You seem nice.

      • SisterArtemis

        Getting close to time for hymns again…

        • HanBarbara

          Oh holy banhammer
          Thy metal’s brightly shining…

      • LiberalsRNuts

        That’s what these feminazis are saying. Don’t blame me that a president can rape many women as well as sexually abuse many more and get away with it with the fake third wave fembots.

        • SisterArtemis

          Oh! Oh! I want to join the Third Wave Fembots! Where do I sign up?

          • LiberalsRNuts

            No need to sign up. Just read the screeching harpies at wonkette.

          • Slavakitty

            Where’s that banhammer when we need it? Oh, Doooooc?

          • LiberalsRNuts

            Poor wittle baby wants to silence those that disagree with them. Typical libtard.

          • Slavakitty

            Arent you a cutie pie!

          • Skadi

            You’re right. We would like you to hush, please.

          • SisterArtemis

            Grownups having an actual discussion don’t want to listen to the epithet filled blather of shallow arguments. Don’t you have some sleazy board you can go spew on?

          • YayConspiracy

            Look at your screen name. And we are the screeching harpies?

          • Slavakitty

            Shhh. Don’t feed the troll. Anyway, self awareness ain’t his strong suit, obvs.

          • LiberalsRNuts

            My accurate screen name has what to do with this?

          • NotALiar

            You seem nice and super cool.

          • SisterArtemis

            Ooooo! The Screeching Harpies! My new band name!

            You’re so much fun, dear – bless your heart! :) <3

          • Panika MCD

            harpies tend to persecute those who have committed suicide and are relegated to the 7th Circle of Hell. hope this helps!

            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/DVinfernoForestOfSuicides_m.jpg

          • Slavakitty

            Sister, you devil you! Can I join too?

          • SisterArtemis

            Oh I think it will work soooo much better if there’s an army of us.

        • BosGrl

          Rush, is that you?

    • YayConspiracy

      Bless your heart (with votes).

    • The Witch of Endor

      And you would know this, how?

      • LiberalsRNuts

        Read the article.

        • The Witch of Endor

          I did. And you would know “rape is a myth” how?

          • LiberalsRNuts

            Ask your mother.

          • Jay Vaughn

            Hehehe Good one. Fucking shit ass trolling bro.

          • The Witch of Endor

            Gotcha. :)

          • Skadi

            Ooh, ooh! Are we playing the Dozens now?

          • Panika MCD

            BORING.

        • beavertank

          I would recommend you do the same, since you pretty clearly haven’t.

          • Slavakitty

            He may have read it, but there’s a difference between reading and comprehension. And assuming he would get the gist of Rebecca’s post and still make such an awful, socially unacceptable assertion gives him more credit than he deserves.

    • Jay Vaughn

      What the fuck has happened to Trolls. Back in my day we respected the fucking craft.

      • Shan the Libtart

        That’s what happens when EVERYBODY gets a ribbon just for participating.

      • NotALiar

        Right? This shit is tired and boring. Sad!

        • Jay Vaughn

          When I was young you fucking learned about your target for days before striking. And then you didn’t just jump in with “Rape lulz”.

          • NotALiar

            Yea the alt right need to take some creative writing classes. But education is “gay” and learning is for “libtards”

    • JesusWasAHippie

      Your username is unfortunate, because I have this (naive?) hope that there’s NO ONE who is not a psychopath that feels rape is a myth. No matter their politics. You’re really feeding into the “Conservatives sure tend to be misogynistic assholes” train of thought.

    • Panika MCD
    • doktorzoom

      Troll is boring, banhammered.

      — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

    • Serai 1

      I would post something here, but you don’t deserve my wit.

  • The Witch of Endor

    Rebecca, I do see where you’re coming from. Having grown up in the 60s & 70s I know the culture and you described it accurately. However, I don’t think that any journalist can safely describe what happened to Ms. Broaddrick in context to the era and not come out looking like an apologist. It’s Ms. Broaddrick’s story, her life experience, and anyone commenting on that is going to come under fire–and rightly so. I’m sorry to say that because I like and respect you and I think I know your motives but it’s not your place or anyone else’s to explain.

    • Jay Vaughn

      By that logic though there can’t be any discussion of rape though.

      • The Witch of Endor

        I disagree, but I’m willing to be convinced. I should say that I based my original comment on how I would hypothetically feel if someone wrote this article about a man who I believe raped me. I suggest you read it in that context. I don’t think that shuts down discussion regarding rape but I’m ok with people pointing out what I’m missing.

        • SisterArtemis

          I would say this: there are damn few days when I read the news, scan the headlines, and don’t reflect on the ethical issues involved in the stories. Sometimes I just think about it, sometimes I talk about it with friends or customers, or comment here. Once in a while I’ve in the past I’ve blogged about stuff; in fact a lot of blogging is that weird intersection between the diary and journalism, publicly sharing personal musings.

          I think that’s what Rebecca has done in these last two pieces; in the second, she’s explored the experience of writing someting quick and in the moment, and dealing with some of the response to it.

          For me it’s part of an ongoing conversation – with this particular topic, up till now, it’s been more restrictd to people in my RL circle, but suddenly in the very public blogosphere.

          You don’t have to participate in the conversation. Some people actually probably shouldn’t, for their own healthy reasons. Some people shouldn’t because they’re not trying to have a conversation (lookin’ at you, trolls).

          But I’m glad we’re talking about it.

          • The Witch of Endor

            I think communication is the only path to change so I’m glad we’re talking about it, too. Some of my reaction is personal but I don’t want to imply that I want discussion to stop. As I said, I understand where our ‘Trix is coming from. What I”m more concerned with is the sense of entitlement Bill Clinton felt and the fact that this isn’t really addressed. Sorry, I”m not 100% due to health issues, so if I’m not being clearer, I apologize.

          • Serai 1

            You know one of the main reasons why I’m glad we’re talking about it? Because I’m seriously tired of the BLACK / WHITE attitudes on the subject. People talking as if this were a cut-and-dried subject, and there is NO ROOM FOR NUANCE OMG FUCK YOU. That really gets up my ass, because I know for a fact that there is TONS of nuance to practically any sexual encounter. But sex is such a personal issue, and one where we’re still learning how to teach our kids and each other about all the ramifications, and so so much of what we think is bound up with our own experiences, which are always much more real to us than the experiences of others, no matter what they are.

            Boiling down to FUCK IT’S COMPLICATED. And pretending it isn’t only makes things worse.

          • doktorzoom

            If my upvoter worked, which it still does not, know that I would upvote this.

          • Serai 1

            Ooo, thank you! *grins*

    • Historians and literary scholars define the term presentism as applying the knowledge and morals of the present time to events and ideas from the past, and it is considered to be bad scholarship in most cases. Instead you try to put your discussion in the context of the morals and ideals the person was exposed to at the time, and compare that person’s behavior to what was common and moral for that time. That doesn’t make your personal experiences less important or wrong, but it does mean the question, “Did Clinton realize he was doing something wrong when he did it?” a real and important question. I personally found Rebecca’s discussion interesting and thoughtful (and being a former catholic also saw where she was going easily.) It doesn’t make your experience any less wrong, less hurtful, or any less important. But looking at the context, Clinton may not have realized he was wrong until afterwards, apologized, and seemingly changed his behavior, although not as much as he should have. That makes him perhaps less evil and more ignorant (and selfish).
      I’m saying this as a rape survivor. I am not saying that anyone has to forgive a rapist, but that trying to understand why a rapist might not have realized the extent of how wrong what they where doing is not forgiving, it is attempting to understand. I also want to share this with you, not because it is what you are doing (you’re not) but because it is the length to which applying modern standards can be taken. I sent Rebecca a supportive tweet about the original article. A day later someone sent me a tweet calling me a repulsive rape apologist. I tried to explain that he was misreading the article, and that for an english professor his reading comprehension and scholarship was poor. He went a little crazy, promising to screen capture my tweets and show them in his classes, and to many, many people as an example of a rape apologist, then blocked my account (so I couldn’t get any evidence of his harassment of me). In other words, he refuses to try to understand the context, and condemns anyone who does as being guilty by association. I can understand his feelings, given our modern context, but I am not forgiving his actions (which are highly unethical, just as Clinton’s were) and if I can ever get past the online alias he is using I will report his actions to the university at which he teaches (unless that was a lie as well).

      • The Witch of Endor

        Thank you, Virginia Dreaming. I knew nothing of Presentism and it does make a difference.

      • The Witch of Endor

        Sorry, I’m a little slow on the uptake. Again, thank you, Virginia for sharing your experience. I know it’s not easy and I appreciate you taking the time and effort to explain.

    • Serai 1

      I went though this kind of experience, and I think it’s a good thing for people to discuss the subject, because it’s in discussion that minds get changed. (Then again, I would never go out in public under my own name and declare what happened. Some people are braver than me, yes.) My only objection to this is the fact that it’s being pushed back into the news now to serve the rightwing machine and their flailing desperation to get a fucking lunatic elected.

      • The Witch of Endor

        This is an incredibly good point. I’ll try to keep it in mind in the future. :)

    • Rotational Symmetry

      I just don’t see how you get from “This was common in the 1980s so I believe it’s probably true” to “This was common in the 1980s so I think it’s okay if it’s true.” I see Rebecca saying the first thing, and people reacting as if she were saying the second thing.

      • The Witch of Endor

        Uhm, I MAY have over reacted a little bit.

    • Xerocky II

      Perhaps you’re just a terrible judge of character, but rape was still rape in the 7o’s. If that’s what it was like in the backwoods burg you lived in, I feel sorry for you, but don’t denigrate the whole world just for the sake of letting Bill Clinton off of the hook.

  • georgiaburning

    Everyone, even someone who has committed an outrageous act against another, has opportunity to repent and ask for forgiveness. Whether you accept that person’s contrition depends on how you feel about the original act and the validity of the penitence and subsequent behavior.

    This is true whether we’re taking about Bill Clinton or anyone else. And there isn’t a real “right” answer on forgiveness, sometimes you just can’t.

  • OrdinaryJoe

    I have four choices.
    1. Not vote for Hillary because her husband is fat fuck.
    2. Vote for Trump even though he is a one man cluster fuck.
    3. Vote for one of the 3rd party candidates who are IMHO all dumb fucks.
    4. Not vote and whine about what happened like a lame ass fuck.

    If I consider policy only, the things in the Dem Platform are the things I believe. The only way there is a chance in hell for any of that to happen is if HRC is elected. So I will vote for her. AND all in all I still believe she is at heart a decent human being who has a genuine desire to fix things in a way that will do the most amount of good.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      ^this^

    • ZangoCrudmonger

      I’m sure there’s a thing choices->cat eventually. Hillary is under the gun not only for herself but Bill. She shouldn’t be there, but there it is.

  • pgjack

    Rebecca Schoenkopf makes it quite clear that this piece is her opinion. We are all allowed to have opinions and all of our opinions are burdened with bias. No one except the people involved can know the complete facts of this incident. Was Clinton overly aggressive and indeed a rapist? Did the woman put herself in a position of implied acceptance? Form your own opinion but don’t pretend that opinion is fact.

  • btwbfdimho

    Rebecca, you posted two wonderful pieces about the issue, and yes, your intellectual honesty should be truly appreciated.
    And you wrote I think all of us can do evil things, and all of us have done evil things, and approve your message.

    BTW, even ignoring rape, adultery is a crime in 21 states, which probably makes Clinton a criminal, and we may discover that our leaders are not “better than us”. Surprise surprise.
    http://www.freep.com/story/life/family/2014/04/17/in-which-states-is-cheating-on-your-spouse-illegal/28936155/

    We live in a world of moral ambiguity and relativity and “There is no atrocity that hasn’t been deified, no virtue that hasn’t been stigmatized.” (Guess who wrote it?).

    So then what? Stop judging others and avoid jumping to conclusions? Good luck with that.
    We expect those highly educated should know better. Yale Law School graduate, really? I just keep my expectations low: hormones + power = dangerous thing. Period. And If he does it again, I just hope it would be his problem, not mine.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW0gj3n4D1Q

  • JD Mulvey

    I appreciate that you’re trying, in good faith, the explore ways that you may have misspoken.

    But I don’t believe that you need to accept responsibility for the furor among rightwingers. I believe that they are acting in bad faith. They pull things out of context in order to pummel their “enemies” and score (they think) rhetorical points.

    Fuck those guys.

    Keep up the good work, Rebecca.

  • Bemused

    Bill appears to have consistently walked right up to the sexual harassment and sexual assault boundaries time after time. Would it be surprising if he crossed them sometimes? Nope. Is he still doing it? No idea. While he was a good president, he doesn’t seem to be good human being. Does that make Hillary a bad person or likely to be a bad president? Nope. There’ve been a lot of great women whose husbands were lousy.

  • Ricky Gay

    I respect our Editrix’s opinion and also those who disagree with it. But a lot of the flack I saw on social media reads like so much crocodile tears, shed by those who simply wanted to beat up an uppity lib/feminist.

    • JD Mulvey

      Exactly. The only rape those people care about is one committed by someone whose ideology they hate.

    • DonnaDiva

      Yep. These are people not known for their sympathy toward rape victims in general.

    • DemmeFatale

      …And wallow in a deep hole of Clinton-Hate at the same time.
      (Two birds with one stone!)

      • Ricky Gay

        yes, a kidney stone

  • D.j. Lord

    Best thing that this lady can do is STFU

    • Belasaurius

      what did Juanita Broderick do to you?

      • Serai 1

        and which “lady” is he referring to?

        • gedjcj

          My question, too.

    • Serai 1

      …said the pot, calling the kettle “black”.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      From Trump’s anus lips to God’s ears. Fuck off.

    • Mission Drifter

      I know DJ Lord. You, sir or madam, are no DJ Lord.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DeRYLb5Pckg

    • doktorzoom

      Best thing this commenter can do is STFU. Happily, my Banhammer can help with that.

      — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

    • JD Mulvey

      I’m not sure what any of this has to do with the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union.

  • John Iwaniszek

    You rock, Rebecca.

  • Marr

    Popular culture up until the eighties not only taught men that no means yes, but taught girls to say no even when they meant yes. Part of this is because women weren’t supposed to want to have sex because it only sluts and whores had sex. The other part was the man can’t control himself around attractive in sexy attire excuse which if true would mean every public beach in the world would turn into orgastic rapefests every summer, but they don’t for some reason. Hmm wonder why.

    Like slavery we know this BS culture we were taught is is wrong, now. And also like slavery, there are still people who want go back to if not full revival, at least a limited version. We can’t apologize for the culture back then. And can’t fix it accept to teach others better now.

    The fact that people are now shocked and appalled by these things actually gives me hope that our culture is moving in the right direction.

  • Rotational Symmetry

    I was personally stunned by how many people read “It’s believable that this happened, because it was the 1980s” and thought it meant “It’s okay that this happened, because it was the 1980s”.

  • If what is clearly evil today is forgivable when set in the context of the past, why are they thinking of renaming buildings at Yale?

    • JD Mulvey

      I don’t believe that Wonkette has any authority over the names of buildings at Yale. Could be wrong though.

      • Or authority to forgive Bill Clinton or not. I was just asking, isn’t there some analogy here?

        • JD Mulvey

          You made an attempt to point out a perceived hypocrisy, apparently neglecting to realize that Wonkette and Yale are two different entities.

          Analogies are something else entirely.

          • doktorzoom

            You know, Hitler was really bad with analogies, too.

    • Alex Ruthrauff

      Because it’s a completely different motherfucking thing from this, perhaps?

      • I’m sorry you see it that way. Grasping analogy is indeed sometimes hard.

        • beavertank

          And drawing a false equivalence isn’t making an analogy.

          What you have here is not an analogy.

        • Ants In My Eyes Johnson

          Meanwhile, your analogy is laboring so hard in its attempts to “work” as applied, that, if it were getting minimum wage, it could support three kids and a college student.

    • gedjcj

      If we ignore the fact that she didn’t say that, I’d go with this:

      It’s one thing to admit that something happened and acknowledge that it was socially acceptable at the time, and something else entirely to build monuments celebrating it.

      I’m just spitballing here.

      • Are the monuments celebrating the no-longer socially acceptable activities of those memorialized, or their other admirable qualities? The renaming effort looks to paint a broad brush, that what are now misdeeds negate all other positive influences. Would that apply to a Clinton, such as here?

        I’m just asking questions about the equivalence or lack thereof.

        • gedjcj

          I’d like to leave the Clinton’s out of this, because it doesn’t seem to pertain.

          None of these questions have simple answers so let me posit some others.

          Martin Luther King Jr led a movement which brought about profound social change for the better. We honor him, now we have a National Monument to him. We have learned that he was an imperfect person who had multiple extramarital affairs. Should we now deny his legacy?

          Robert E Lee forsook his oath, championed a cause treating humans as chattel, led hundreds of thousands to their death in that cause and helped create a permanent rift that still divides this country 150 years later. He did this out of a deep personal code of loyalty and chivalry. Shall we now glorify his personal integrity over the results of his actions?

        • Hairstrike Alpha

          It’s a false equivalency and you’re grasping at straws….you cannot equivocate an alleged rape as awful as such a thing is to the real knowledge of slavery. Bill Clinton has never been tried or convicted of rape so this is all heresay but we KNOW what the Confederacy was and what it stood for. The equivalence would be a US University celebrating Stalin or Hitler to any Confederate shitbag…

    • JD Mulvey

      I think ol’ “Aaron Overton” is a driveby. Which is okay, but did he have to use a pic of my brother-in-law Bernie?

      • Yeah, don’t usually read this stuff, but it was linked to from elsewhere. I’m so sorry I spoiled your lack of diversity in thinking. The ad hominem attack was a nice touch, though. Really drives home your point.

        • JD Mulvey

          Gonna share which nutjob blog you clicked here from?

        • doktorzoom

          You know, if I hadn’t already banned you for trolling, I’d banhammer you for not knowing what the fuck an ad hominem argument is.

          • JD Mulvey

            You sir, have a clear lack of diversity in your definition of ad hominem.

          • DT

            WHY DO THEY ALWAYS USE AD HOMINEM IF THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT IT MEANS?!?!?!

          • Shan the Libtart

            They only know it means their feefees got hurt.

          • doktorzoom

            Because they don’t have the brains God gave a red herring?

    • Shan the Libtart

      Because you can rename buildings but you can’t un-rape someone.

    • beavertank

      Because not demonizing someone’s spouse for their bad acts, and maybe even being able to forgive that person for their bad acts, is in no way equivalent to putting up a monument to them…?

      The two topics are pretty fundamentally unrelated. Not to mention what a private institution chooses to do (or not do) for PR purposes isn’t really a valid metric for anything related to this story.

    • doktorzoom

      JAQ-off troll is JAQing off, also banhammered.

      — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

    • btwbfdimho

      Speaking of which, I met Hillary at the Sterling Library in 1992, while she’s campaigning for her husband. What I remember from her: her lovely smile and that she was wearing a short skirt and had fat legs (ohhh, what a sexist comment….).

  • 3338070

    It’s one thing to say that, from a Catholic perspective, a rapist can be redeemed. it’s another to say it wasn’t really rape, or he didn’t know better. Given his legal education, if nothing else, he did. And we know that many men throughout history have not “alpha-maled” women because they understood that forcing them was wrong, whatever the cultural norm or definition at the time.

    • Brazilian Fart Porn

      Even legally, back then, it wasn’t considered rape (more than likely);him being a lawyer wouldn’t have meant he knew it was wrong. All the way into the 80’s a husband beating the crap out of his wife inside of his house, the police had to have permission to enter the house. My dad shut the door in the cops face many times, and they could do nothing.

    • DT

      Where is this weird notion coming from that all lawyers know every law? Besides that, Brazilian has me covered.

      • 3338070

        The author asserts, with no evidence beyond referring to the culture of the time, that Bill might not have known that forcing himself on a woman who repeatedly said “no” and Stop” was a bad thing. I assert, with an equal lack of evidence, that it’s possible he did know it was a bad thing and an illegal one. Not every lawyer knows every law, but I feel it’s a safe bet that in 1999, after two decades of public hue and cry about rape and date rape in particular, it is almost impossible that he did not know. But,of course, I speculate just as the author did. And I also assert that, whether he knew it was illegal or not, his disrespect of this woman’s wishes in re: her body, makes him NOT sort of a good feminist. I agree with many commentators here that this would not impact Hillary’s presidency (though I will not be voting for her, or Trump, for a bazillion other reasons).

  • thenearesthippie

    Random thoughts. I’m still deeply skeptical of Ms. Broaddrick’s allegations, for obvious reasons. I reject the assertion that “back then” a man could rape without really knowing he was raping. If we’re defining evil as *intentionally* trying to hurt someone, then I’ve never done evil, and so I reject the assertion that we’ve *all* done evil. I believe that redemption is possible, but extraordinarily rare. I also believe that redemption is only possible if one admits the evil thing one has done and accepts the consequences for it in the here and now. I didn’t vote for Bill in 1996 because of his support for welfare “reform.”

    • Serai 1

      I reject the assertion that “back then” a man could rape without really
      knowing he was raping. If we’re defining evil as *intentionally* trying
      to hurt someone, then I’ve never done evil, and so I reject the
      assertion that we’ve *all* done evil.

      Do you understand how you’ve contradicted yourself here?

      • thenearesthippie

        No, I really don’t. I’m saying that “back then:” men who raped knew what they were doing and thus were hurting someone intentionally. (They just cared even less about it then than they do today.) I’m also saying that not everyone has hurt someone intentionally. Not seeing the contradiction.

        • DT

          You are not seeing the contradiction because you can’t understand something that is a fundamental truth. Do you think every single person involved with slavery knew precisely how evil it was? Do you think anyone can ever unintentionally harm someone? Or is it only with rape that you think all perpetrators are 100%, fully aware that they are pure evil incarnate?

        • Serai 1

          The contradiction is in you judging whoever it is you’re judging, but then insisting that YOU are not subject to judgment. It’s not possible for men to have done “evil” without realizing it, but it’s absolutely CERTAIN that you’ve never done any evil because YOU didn’t intend it? Sauce for the goose, kiddo. Either the benefit of the doubt is to be given, or it isn’t. You can’t have it both ways.

    • Squirrel_t_robot

      I’ve been skeptical about Broadrrick, as well.

      She should have pressed charges. Yes, even in 1978. Rape is a serious crime.
      By not pressing charges, she hurt her case, and a rapist remained free to rape again.
      But she didn’t press charges, supposedly because she was having an affair with a man not her husband at the time.
      And there is the yuuge red flag for me.

    • DT

      I’m pretty fucking skeptical that you’ve never intentionally tried to hurt someone. That’s like someone thinking they have the right to cast the first stone after Jesus’s speech.

  • The Witch of Endor

    ok, at the risk of pissing off people I like, I think a *little* levity is desperately needed.

    • gedjcj

      “Two Corinthians walk into bar, the bartender says ‘What is this some kind of joke'”

  • Squirrel_t_robot

    I take issue with Broaddrick’s claims – I don’t believe her story, in fact, but so what?- especially the one where Hillary ‘enabled’ Bill’s sex life.
    That bit rankles.

    No woman is in charge of her husband’s sex life. Hillary – by most accounts from friends – was not aware of Bill’s actions.

    Hillary was also humiliated on the national stage by her husband; few of us will ever have that horrible experience, I wager. It’s pretty insulting to call her an enabler of the man who so throughly humiliated her.

    Hillary didn’t rape anyone. Her husband no doubt was, what we call today, an addict. It was sex – love, acceptance – Bill was addicted to; he probably still is.

    Hillary didn’t quit her marriage, and her reasons are her own.

    • Jenny

      I really don’t like that people equate her staying with acceptance or covering up. It says to me that these people don’t understand human emotion or have never been around someone like Bill.

      • JD Mulvey

        It makes perfect sense once you factor in that Hillary is evil personified and is directly personally responsible for all the ills of the world. Then everything becomes clear.

      • Squirrel_t_robot

        Do they truly believe Bill and Hillary didn’t do some couples therapy?

        There is no doubt in my mind they did a lot of therapy.

        And Hillary was the injured party, for crying out loud – they always shoo that fact away, as if being humiliated by one’s spouse so publicly was no big thing.

        • JD Mulvey

          Among a certain breed of men, it’s always the woman’s fault. If Hillary couldn’t keep her man from straying, she’s a bad wife.

          • Squirrel_t_robot

            Yup.

            Broadrrick herself doesn’t get to accuse Hillary of anything, but she has.

          • JD Mulvey

            Yep –I should have said among a certain breed of men and even some women

        • Jenny

          I hope that they did, that’s the only thing that could fix that, and probably a life or death scare and a drop in testosterone.

          But what most people don’t get is that a guy like that doesn’t HAVE to rape. They’re already in control.

          My ex has that magic. He could make you feel like you’re the only one around. Just a bit of kindness and “concern.” A little bit of remembering something you said in passing. The projection of confidence and strength and a bearer of opportunity. And he’d sweep you off your feet.

          I asked him why he and he said he just couldn’t say no to the opportunity. And then he’d drop them because he has responsibilities (or I’d catch on.)

          And then I would feel like the victor! He had other opportunity and he chose me. Yaaay me!! I win. And he would grovel and put me back into the center of his world. The most important person. Until the next girl offering comes along. And I’d go nuts wondering who what were.

          Breaking out of that cycle is almost impossible without serious interventions or leaving.

          • Squirrel_t_robot

            From my rehab experience, I see Bill Clinton as a typical sex addict: always craving love and acceptance, and trying to achieve it with sexual intimacy.
            Bill Clinton always wants to be loved. His bio father died before he was born. His mother worked; she married a man who fathered Roger, while Bill had no father.

            Bill Clinton also changed his name at age 16 – from Billy Blythe to William Clinton – to get some love and acceptance.

          • Jenny

            I agree and it makes a lot of sense. For whatever reason people confuse sex with love.

          • JD Mulvey

            Isn’t “sex addiction” just another cop out? As in “I can’t help myself –I’m an addict.”

            Real addictions are crippling things for the people who have them. Really really liking sex just isn’t the same.

          • DT

            No, and it seems like you read nothing of the comment you’re replying to. I view it much more like ADHD; it’s a really real disease that fucks you up, but A LOT of people are using the diagnosis as a cover-up.

          • Xerocky II

            boo hoo.

            he’s a sex addict, so …make his wife and enabler president.

          • DemmeFatale

            I met Bill a few times, and he was unbelievable.
            Photographic memory, (which meant loads of details and facts in conversation), very warm and intuitive people skills, highly intelligent and analytical, and extremely charismatic.
            There is a very dark side to that coin also, but I can see how tough it would be to leave all that behind.
            I know Bill is very controversial, but I’m tired of dealing with all the white hot hate.

          • Jenny

            Honestly, where could someone go after a guy like that? I don’t really blame Hillary at all.

          • DemmeFatale

            And…we lived in the same town, so I saw her give a lot of speeches.
            She grew and grew to the speaker we see today.
            I think he’s had a lot to do with that.

      • Xerocky II

        Someone like Bill? A known rapist?

        I understand, he can give a speech. But clearly the man is a remorseless sociopath.

        After he was caught in a repeated bold face lie about Monica, he had a cruise missile fired at a medicine factory in the Sudan. It was destroyed, and everyone in media at the time agreed that it was a ‘wag the dog’ situation. He ruined lives, the people who worked there were out of jobs. It cost our country millions to pay back the owners of the factory, which took years. He could have killed someone.
        Did Hillary ever distance herself from him? Try for a moment to see past your school girl crush and realize that Bill Clinton is a great speech giver, but he’s actually, like his wife, unhinged.

        • Jenny

          Oh oh don’t go anywhere! I am in a vehicle and will reply to you with a real response shortly.

        • beavertank

          You’ve got a funny relationship with the facts.

          Yes, the US did bomb the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory as you claim. But that’s where your relationship with reality seems to end.

          There were indeed media allegations that it was a wag the dog attempt to distract from domestic issues… and subsequent investigations into the bombing concluded that not to be the case.

          The US also didn’t “payback the owners of the factory”. The owner (singular) sued in the DC circuit to get compensation and lost. Then lost again on appeal. And that was that.

          But, y’know, why bother with facts? They’re so inconvenient when they don’t line up with what you want to be true. Far easier to instead make shit up, right?

      • DemmeFatale

        I didn’t understand it then, and don’t understand it now. Why is any of this Hillary’s responsibility?
        Their marriage is none of our business!
        Judge-y prudes point at Bill or Hillary and see an imaginary scarlet letter.
        It’s just another excuse to pour out their blind hatred.

    • pmclean1319

      My god. Sex addiction is no excuse for rape. Bill Clinton is not the victim here. Jesus Christ people…

    • DonnaDiva

      “especially the one where Hillary ‘enabled’ Bill’s sex life.”

      Grinds my gears something fierce. No one who posits this view ever explains exactly *why* she would want to do such a thing as encourage her husband to screw around and then proceed to destroy the women he did it with. There’s really a much simpler explanation: Bill fucked around behind her back and lied about it.

      • Xerocky II

        And after he got caught, red handed in front of the whole world, lying and lying and lying about it, and then fired a cruise missile at a medicine factory in the Sudan for the clear and obvious sake of changing the subject, did Hillary object?

        No. She didn’t.

        • Plushinobi

          Or maybe she did. In private. Where disputes between couples belong. None of us know what happened and what she went through and it’s not really our place to judge.

    • Xerocky II

      “especially the one where Hillary ‘enabled’ Bill’s sex life.
      That bit rankles.”

      Post Monica, did Hillary distance herself from Bill? No. So, she’s complicit.

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    I didn’t know how to approach what seemed like an apologia for a reprehensible act because of a political stance, and I still feel your logic and caveats make your whole approach weak. I feel like it would have been better unsaid.

    But I agree wholeheartedly with your statement that forgiveness of those who have done you wrong is not required. Our culture and our media are too focused on the supposed redemptive powers of forgiveness, and therapy culture is rife with it. I believe in the freeing power of not forgiving one’s tormentors; it’s the only thing you said in either article that makes any sense to me.

    • dshwa

      I’ve had therapy, and it’s never been about forgiving other people. It’s about moving on from, perhaps is the best way to put it, your past and both the silent, and not silent, grip it has on your present. Forgiveness is one way to do that, and maybe there’re therapists who push it as the only way.
      Forgiving yourself is a big part of it though.

  • JD Mulvey

    On the bright side, Wonkette now has a large sample to use in studying whether nutjob pageviews are as good as normal people pageviews.

  • BadKitty904

    As soon as I read that post, I thought to myself “This is going to be ugly.

    While I didn’t always agree with every phrase of what was being said, I think I understood it. Interestingly, being a somewhat religious-type myownself, it never occurred to me that anyone could not see that the theme was redemption – how a good person could do a bad thing, but still, ultimately, be a good person. Welcome to this fallen world, thou Son of Adam…

    However, it was obvious to me that said post was purest troll-bait. Vicious, malicious people and groups, who can only see things as black or white, would deliberately misconstrue the post to do the only thing they’re capable of doing – turning sugar to shit.

    Saying or doing what you believe is right, knowing full well that others disagree and/or attack said effort, is my working definition of courage. I say, “Bravely done, Miz ‘Becca.”

    • Serai 1

      Psst. You missed a closing tag there.

      • gedjcj

        “[shift],”

  • King Beauregard

    “But truly — back then, men were taught that a girl has to say no a couple times before she says yes, so no one will think she is easy. They honest to God were.”

    I used to date a woman a little older than me, who was from that era. And I found it frustrating as hell: I’d respect her “no”, then she’d get made that I didn’t press on. “Women are supposed to put up a fight,” she’d say.

    That attitude doesn’t justify rape but it sure didn’t clarify consent either.

    And, even into the 80s (and possibly the 90s) they were still trying to persuade people that “if she says no, it’s rape”. We know that now, but back then, it was considered a new thing by a big chunk of society.

    • Squirrel_t_robot

      I never understood that mentality.

      I suspect it’s from the school of ‘good girls don’t’ which is total bullshit.

      • King Beauregard

        That’s almost certainly where it comes from: a woman is allowed to want it, but only after her resistance has been worn down. We even still have vestiges of that to this day, “slut shaming” and the like, where a woman who owns her sexuality diminishes herself.

      • DonnaDiva

        It’s the same school that makes women ashamed of taking care of their sexual health by asking doctors for birth control or demanding that partners use condoms. It’s why we’re way behind Europe in controlling unplanned pregnancy and STDs.

    • gedjcj

      That attitude doesn’t justify rape but it sure didn’t clarify consent either.

      As I would have said elsewhere, if comments were allowed, communication and social interaction go awry easily enough as it is. Why should we think adding sex into the mix should simplify it?

    • Xerocky II

      We’ve all be through it King. The only answer is to distance yourself from a woman who plays those kinds of head games, and tell everyone you know about the fact that she does it, lest she ruin some innocent person’s life.

  • Logic of Color

    I can only ask myself if I would try as hard to forgive or rationalize a republican accused of this. If credible stories started going around about McCain from 30 years ago or Paul Ryan or Romney what would my reaction be? No one has been convicted of anything but I have to face the fact that my opinion of Bill has gone way, way down. I’m still proud to vote for Hillary since she was probably a victim in all this too (though in a very different way) but I’m done with Bill.

    • beavertank

      Comparing how you’d feel if Paul Ryan, or Mitt Romney, or even Donald Trump were the targets of these accusations seems wrong to me.

      Hillary Clinton isn’t being accused of rape. The person standing for election isn’t the target of these accusations.

      A better (but still imperfect) comparison would be how you’d feel if Sarah Palin’s husband were accused of rape.

      • Brazilian Fart Porn

        Or that Laura Bush being accused of involuntary manslaughter.

        • Squirrel_t_robot

          Considering how young Laura was, that must have been quite traumatic for her, killing someone with her car.

          I suspect it has colored her entire life.

          • DT

            It’s the one area I won’t touch when I go all anti-Bush.

          • H0mer0

            also too sad a place to make an easy sexual innuendo (though I still did —and I feel horrible about it! But not horrible enough to delete the post)

        • beavertank

          The notable difference with that case, however, being that the incident itself isn’t in question. She was at fault in a car accident that resulted in a death, and even she doesn’t dispute that.

          But in that case, as in this one, I don’t feel that it reflects poorly on her spouse.

          George W. Bush is garbage for a great many reasons, but a fatal car accident his wife was involved in long before they had even met isn’t one of them.

      • Logic of Color

        Fair enough. Same result though. Done with him, no problem voting for and supporting her (well, not Sarah but you know what I mean).

      • Xerocky II

        Actually, when they ran for office back in the 9os, they ran as a ‘2 fer’. So, yeah he’s campaigning for her, he’ll be in the white house, he’ll be helping her make decisions, if not making them himself. So, yes, she’s complicit in his crimes.

        • beavertank

          So… if I’m hearing you correctly… you’re saying that because a person’s spouse campaigns with them (which NEVER EVER happens outside of the Clintons) and plans to live with them in the White House should they get elected… that person is “complicit” in their spouse’s crimes?

          Not only is that a big ol’ slug of idiocy, you then make a bizarre non sequitur leap at the end too.

          Are you drunk?

          • Panika MCD

            certainly has his/her pants in a twist which would be avoided by simply following the rules of the pants-free zone.

        • Panika MCD
    • SisterArtemis

      If I were done with every man who had extremely poor judgement, I’d have no men in my life. Not saying that’s not an option, just saying it’s not the path I’ve chosen.

  • btwbfdimho

    I guess my moral relativism in judging Clinton works this way:
    George Bush lied about Iraq, resulting in hundred of thousands of people dead (& still counting) and he doesn’t give a fuck, while Clinton raped a woman and that crime is probably in the back of him mind today.

    • Xerocky II

      George Bush didn’t lie about Iraq though. The entire security apparatus of the free world agreed with him, as indeed did Hillary.

      I don’t see any reason to agree with your second assessment either. Clinton went on to continue as a sexual predator. Becoming involved with Monica Lewinski is just one example. He was the most powerful man in the world, she was an intern. He cared not a jot for her feelings, and he tuned her life into a punchline.

      After he was done doing that, he fired a cruise missile at an aspirin factory in the Sudan, and act everyone at the time called a ‘wag the dog’ situation. He wasted an expensive missile, he destroyed a functioning part of an important medical factory, a place of employment that was feeding families.

      How do you know what’s in the back of anyone’s mind?

      • jmhm

        And yet you claim to :)

        I beg you, please be strong and keep on making this a referendum on George W Bush and discredited Joe Klein conspiracy theories of the nineties in every possible venue. Those two are absolutely the hill you want to fight the last great battle on. A great nation is counting on you.

  • Squirrel_t_robot

    I say – and I know folks disagree, but my POV – Broadrrick doesn’t get a pass to spend years accusing someone or his spouse of a crime when she didn’t press charges in the first place. Remember: she also denied Clinton raped her, as well.
    But to come out today with claims Hillary ‘knew’ and ‘enabled’ her husband, is just wrong.

    • Angela Gies

      This is a common response (see dickhead comedian metzger).
      If it’s not true, they would take her to court for libel/slander.
      Unless the case couldn’t be proven in court, or no one believed them….hmmm.

      • Hairstrike Alpha

        Were you alive during the 90’s? From the timeline and SoL of when the rape allegedly occurred Juanita Broaddrick could have still had an entire team of conservative “elves” working as her attorneys pro-bono for a civil suit or any number of wingnut AG’s for a criminal suit. This shit falls apart when it’s closely examined and much like the Kobe Bryant case it makes women who were definitely raped look potential false accusers and furthers rape culture.

        • Shan the Libtart

          The statute of limitations was probably up anyway. Currently in Arkansas, it’s 15 years. Back then, it was probably shorter.

          • Hairstrike Alpha

            Didn’t the alleged attack occur in the 80’s?

          • Shan the Libtart

            1978 I believe.

          • Hairstrike Alpha

            Hah, I wasn’t even alive! Bill Clinton is A OLD!

          • Shan the Libtart

            Pup

        • Angela Gies

          The reason I brought up metzger, and my point was, not using the legal system doesn’t equal lying. But I absolutely agree that there are instances of false accusers avoiding the legal system for their own protection. However, the simple fact that one didn’t use the legal system doesn’t prove anything at all. Rape and innocence are both very difficult to prove.

          • Hairstrike Alpha

            Yes but doesn’t it call into question the veracity of any rape claim when the accuser is willing to go public, give interviews, allow themselves to be politically exploited but do nothing legally? Most rape survivors who are shamed into silence don’t have entire sides of the political spectrum exploiting their alleged attack….I’m sorry but I highly doubt this particular account.

          • Angela Gies

            It took Cosbys accusers a lot of time to go the legal route and due to statutes of limitations some can’t at all. I’m only saying the conclusions you can really draw from a lack of legal action are limited in general. But I have the same feeling about this case that you do.

          • Hairstrike Alpha

            I agree with you completely about the Cosby accusers and I can see where this fits into your reservations but the broader narrative is very different. Juanita Broaddrick has been wingnut fodder going back decades- the Cosby accusers were mostly silent with none of the real high profile women coming forward and saying “yes I am a public face and he raped me” which I can understand why they didn’t- power of Cosby, his brand and the stigma associated with being a woman who’s raped.

            Broaddrick I feel hasn’t been subject to that scrutiny because she’s never taken him to court and legally tested what happened. I honestly don’t know whether he did or did not rape her but given the sleazy machinations of the right wingers involved I have a hard time with it.

          • Ants In My Eyes Johnson

            This isn’t like Cosby at all, though. Cosby’s abuse of women was well-known among the comedy community, an open secret. His victims, which were many, often DID try to report, but were shushed up or dismissed as liars. There is evidence supporting that Cosby was procuring drugs with which to incapacitate his victims.
            The Cosby case is almost an exact opposite of the Broaddrick case.

        • Slavakitty

          Thank you. Maybe I’m missing something, but just why did she agree to meet him alone in a hotel room? Back in1978 that would have been all his defense team needed to claim the encounter was consensual. It’s a wonder the Nuttosphere didn’t pick up on that.

      • DT

        That’s a systemic societal problem, though. The same logic is used to put black people away all the time. In any instance, you can’t say for sure that one is guilty, just that justice failed individuals.

      • Jen_Baker_VA

        Not everyone would “take her to court” She is obviously disturbed, no matter what the credibility factor, and most liberals would probably just as soon not add to that with more drawn out court cases.

        Why is it that so many these days say “If it is not true, they would sue!!!!” when it is /never/ that easy?

        • Angela Gies

          Exactly, my response is to a comment stating her claim isn’t valid because she didn’t use the legal system. Many people don’t for valid reasons which doesn’t mean they weren’t wronged. In this case it could really be either party.

      • beavertank

        Yes, because showing defamation against a public figure is an easy thing to do.

        Oh… wait… it’s not? And all such a trial would serve to do is keep the allegations in the headlines everywhere and maybe get a monetary judgement from someone who can’t afford it to be paid over to people who don’t need it?

        Gee… I wonder why the Clintons didn’t take your brilliant legal advice.

        • Angela Gies

          That’s my point, victims of both rape and slander don’t use the legal system for a host of legitimate reasons.

    • Xerocky II

      It’s ‘wrong’ but factual. Is it as ‘wrong’ as rape?

  • teapartyidiots

    What always made it hard for me to believe her is that Ken Starr didn’t find her credible. That guy would have put up Ted Bundy if he thought he could legitimately hurt Bill.

    • Squirrel_t_robot

      Probably because she changed her story from one telling to the other.

  • gene108

    Has anybody corroborated, if then state AG Bill Clinton was at the same hotel as her? There was media there supposedly.

    I just think that would be a logical starting point, with regards to the credibility of her claims.

    • Justin

      I take it that you never bothered to watch the 30-minute NBC investigation of this story? The one where they actually interview Broaddrick and the multiple witnesses who back up her story?

      People should not be debating this issue until they examine all of the on-the-record, first-hand testmonial evidence, rather than reading second-hand print accounts of it.

      But for your covneience, here is the relevant excerpt from the NBC Dateline transcript (from NBC’s Senoir Investigative Correspondent Lisa Myers) that addresses your question:

      “So NBC News tried to figure out the date of the alleged assault.

      Broaddrick gave us access to all the business and personal records she says she could find. We also checked public records, nursing home records and convention schedules.

      And indeed there was a nursing home meeting at the Camelot Hotel in Little Rock on April 25, 1978. Further, state records show Broaddrick got credit for a nursing home seminar that was held that day, April 25.

      So was Bill Clinton even in Little Rock on April 25, 1978? Despite our repeated requests, the White House would not answer that question and declined to release any information about his schedule.

      So we checked 45 Arkansas newspapers and talked to a dozen former Clinton staffers. We found no evidence that Clinton had any public appearances on the morning in question. Articles in Arkansas newspapers suggest he was in Little Rock that day.”

      Now I suggest that you go watch the full 30 minute segment that features all of the evidence they uncovered which backs up Broaddrick’s claims.

  • pmclean1319

    The article you wrote originally did nothing, absolutely nothing, to elevate the conversation about Bill Clinton’s alleged rape. You advocated for Clinton using some of the same arguments propagators of rape culture use to justify and muddy the waters regarding rape. It does not matter what Bill was taught, it does not matter that it was the 80’s, it’s doesn’t even matter if Bill later apologized over the phone. Rape is a crime, and if Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broderick he is a criminal. Period. It is mind-boggling that such a piece was written on a feminist site. I truly hope that this comes out as a wake-up call for you to reexamine your perspective as a writer and a feminist, because for that moment when you wrote that article, you acted as a proponent for rape culture.

    • beavertank

      Sure are a lot of people coming around today that are totally incapable of grasping nuance and subtlety.

      This insistence on black and white only with no room for anything else must be exhausting in the face of a firmly gray world.

      • alwayspunkindrublic

        One of ’em was a Trumphole, the other a Bernout. Nothing says “delusional moral certainty” more than that bunch.

    • Jenny

      “Rape culture” wasn’t even a thing 10 years ago, let alone 40. That is the point she has been making this whole time.

      Why is that so hard for so many to understand?

      • Angela Gies

        I don’t think that term means what you think it means.
        “Rape culture is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s. It was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence. Many feminists have provided great definitions of what rape culture is and how it plays out everyday.”
        First Google result

        • Shan the Libtart

          I think she just means that we’re talking a lot more about it, not that it didn’t exist as either a cultural problem OR as a properly defined feminist issue.

          • Hairstrike Alpha

            Now you’re just lying on behalf of the Clintons! With your nuances, why do you hate WOMEN???!!!!!!11!!

          • Shan the Libtart

            I guess I’m just a BAD FEMINIST.

        • Jenny

          I’m actually well aware of the definition. It was not in the lexicon of every day use as it is now.

          The fact that people are aware of the societal conditioning we’ve placed upon ourselves for generations is coming to light is a good thing.

          What isn’t a good thing is taking the term and attempt to condemn or reapply it to the past actions of a generation who literally didn’t have that enlightenment or nuances.

          It was a different world and culture and expecting past actions to meet today’s standards is not possible.

          That’s like expecting a 64 mustang to pass today’s emissions standards. It just won’t happen.

          • Angela Gies

            No, it’s like saying slavery was fucked up even if those who benefitted from it felt it was ok because of the “culture of the times”.
            I’m sure doing unto others also became a thing in just the last ten years.

          • Jenny

            There was a Different World episode about that subject. Self realizations are hard.

          • beavertank

            Is there some kind of name for resorting to a comparison to slavery to back up your argument? Like the slavery version of godwinning a conversation?

          • Jenny

            Ha the slavery thing did cross my mind but I say some pretty controversial shit already and I really didn’t want to open up that can of worms. Plus yeah, societal caste systems, skin color, religion, and wealth all play into slavery, and writing papers for wonkette reseach journal isn’t a job yet!

            So I went with the car analogy instead.

          • Hairstrike Alpha

            Uhm actually at a time owning a slave was perfectly legal and permissible until it wasn’t. Marital rape is still controversial because for the longest time it was just considered rough sex until it wasn’t. It’s all evolving and as our country slowly leans toward protecting women from abuse, rape, etc. the legal definition and socio definition of rape is also changing. I was taught “no means no” and I live by it but when I was a teen the first ad campaigns about it that I can remember were launched. You can’t just view the past by a contemporary lens or you wind up looking and being ignorant.

          • DT

            No, it’s saying that, WHILE slavery was fucked up regardless of those who benefitted, condemning every person who benefitted as a morally abhorrent person who should have known something basically no one was taught is asinine and unhelpful. You get to say slavery is definitely wrong because you were TAUGHT ABOUT IT.

          • Angela Gies

            There were also large portions in society that were voiceless, women and slaves who knew they were being wronged. To say society didn’t know is far too broad. The people in power knew they didn’t want to be slaves. The rapists never thought it would be ok for them to be raped. They were all familiar with the concept of doing onto others as they’d have done unto themselves and actively chose to ignore it.

          • DT

            That’s a … weird position to take. You’re also mixing and matching groups of people and ascribing thoughts and motives that make no sense.

          • Jen_Baker_VA

            There is also that society DIDN’t know. A few individuals knew, and worked and through hard work and long progress changed society.
            On the topic of slavery, specifically, humans as an animal all through out our history really honestly thought it was not only ok, but ordained by god. So to suggest otherwise is faulty.

          • Shan the Libtart

            Thank you! Now I know what else bugs me about the analogy. It’s not a matter of who, whether or when anybody knew the institution of slavery was wrong. It’s that the slaves and their owners knew EXACTLY what they were at all times. Not so with the concept of consent that we’ve been talking a lot about recently. There are people who may be asking themselves, because of these discussions, questions about past experiences. “Was that rape? Did I rape someone? Was I raped?” And the answer STILL isn’t always clear.

            I am only bringing this up because I was in a…murky-consensual situation about a year ago. Maybe I’m looking at at it through the lens of having come of age in a time before these kinds of things were talked about to such an extent or whether there’s some other reason. But it happened to ME and I’m still not comfortable examining those questions very closely. And I feel like I should be.

            This shit is difficult.

          • Jenny

            Shhh they think google gives them the answers to everything!

          • DT

            That was my point.

  • inva

    You people are deeply sick.. rape, his second, got kicked out of Oxford and the Rhodes Scholarship program for his first, well maybe not his first, who knows… plenty of sexual assaults, Hillary covered for him, intimidated these women, and this is OK with you feminists. Deeply sick

    • pmclean1319

      Thank you. Yes. I cannot believe what I’m seeing with these comments.

    • gedjcj

      I, too believe every allegation that has ever been made against him. Even Troopergate. I know the original source later “admitted” that he and his buddies didn’t bring women around to Governor’s mansion for Bill to have, but that they brought women on the promise to show them the governor’s mansion so they could have sex while they were on duty. Obviously Hillary got to them.

    • beavertank

      Assumes facts not in evidence.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      Oh yeah, a real crusader for women’s rights drops in from Breitbart to pontificate. Fuck off back to World Net Daily before the chemtrails get to you.

      • beavertank

        Shit, we’ve got chemtrails again? I thought the repellent was supposed to keep those away for at least six months.

        • alwayspunkindrublic

          The infestation is bad. I think we’re going to have to get out the cattle prods and nets.

          • ZangoCrudmonger

            The Faceplace link is boiling over, to boot. The amalgam of BoBs and Breitbartions is a noisy mess. It’s every RW talking point hopped up on Redbull and hotpockets.

          • beavertank

            Those were my hotpockets goddamnit. I even put my name on them.

          • Kavefish

            It doesn’t count unless you rite your name on ’em with pee.

          • DemmeFatale

            Now, there are two groups that deserve each other!

      • Hairstrike Alpha

        You can stop chemtrails by spraying vinegar into the air…

        • Shan the Libtart

          But it has to be organic apple cider vinegar.

          • Hairstrike Alpha

            Does it? No wonder I feel stupid….I’ve been spraying white wine vinegar and the chemtrails have been gittin’ into mah hair!

          • Slavakitty

            Oh noes!! And you have such lovely hair! Such volume, such body!

    • Jenny

      Good. Cya

  • Boo Hoo

    Can we go back to fart jokes, or something? All this adulting is giving me a migraine.

    • gedjcj

      “I’m sorry, the world needs grownups”

      • BadKitty904

        Amen. Now, more than ever.

      • JParkerSD46

        No, no, no. The correct phrase is “Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too.”

  • anon_the_great

    I’ll get all hopped up about this when charges are filed or a civil suit initiated. Until then, it’s all gossip.

    • r€nato

      ugh. Did you say the same about all the women Cosby drugged and then raped over his career? Do we really need to have here that discussion about why women frequently do not report rape?

      • SisterArtemis

        ugh. Are you here to discuss, or to lob little digs at other posters?

        • jmhm

          that’s one of them-there rehetorickle questions, is it not?

      • Jenny

        Well they did file civil and criminal charges. And didn’t sign affidavits stating that the rape never happened. Oh and every prosecutor and attorney they’ve talked to found them credible unlike the accuser in this story.. So there’s those differences.

      • doktorzoom

        Tiresome troll is tiresome, banhammered.

        — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

        • Hairstrike Alpha

          HEY, DONT BANHAMMER ME! Oh, haha you meant a DIFFERENT tiresome troll…my mistake!

          • doktorzoom

            Please. You’re a tiresome regular!

        • SisterArtemis

          And just when I was retorting too!

          basically telling said banhammered one, it’s not a fricking rooster fight, say what you need to say, no need to attack.

          this seems to be what makes our conversations here work, when they’re not being slimed with trollishness

          • Slavakitty

            A considered, rational response!! Ewwww.

  • exinkwretch

    My Irish grandmother was a lapsed Catholic so I don’t know the ins and outs firsthand, but I suspect redemption for a rape beef would require a hefty “honorarium” to the bishop. No, not THAT bishop.

  • DT

    “Why do you think we’re in the middle of a national discussion on Rape Culture if we weren’t trying to unteach what came before?”
    This.
    THIS.
    OH MY GOD FOR FUCK’S SAKE, THIS!

    • SisterArtemis

      Yep, I felt a little… er… emotional reading that. This shit is hard!

      I was talking with a couple of friends about these two articles by Rebecca, and the comment chains it’s inspired. We – 3 white women – noted it’s about a clumsy a conversation as trying to talk about race and racialized politics. Clumsy, awkward, stumbily – but when we don’t shut down, when we look at all the murky grey areas, it really helps. Difficult, but necessary.

      • DT

        The thing that bugs me about liberals going out for blood is it validates the concerns of the conservatives out there. Why change their position now if they’ll be pilloried for their past views anyway?

        • Slavakitty

          Oh, I dunno. If your views are so unpopular, maybe you might want to consider why?

  • pragmatist3

    At the risk of slinging cliches, I don’t think any of us have this stuff entirely figured out. That why brave people (such as our Editrix) need to say their piece and react openly to the reactions they get. We make progress that way. We won’t make progress by making up our minds in the abstract and then closing the echo chamber.

    • Cindyinencinitas

      Why not? That’s the way everybody else does it.

  • Panika MCD

    this is the first thing I thought of when I read this and the related comments this morning. in light of pramatist3’s comment, I’ve decided to stop thinking about whether it will or won’t be helpful to this discussion and will just say, “take what you will from it.”

    https://theawl.com/patricia-lockwood-rape-joke-2e9bd41d80b1#.qts3qebdk

  • Hairstrike Alpha

    Did Dead Breitbart’s home for neo-Nazi Quislings link to this post? There sure seems to be a lot of alt-right half assed skinheads knocking about

    • jmhm

      Oh, probably. But it was also linked to from Glenn Beck’s bunker (becktesgarten?)

      • DemmeFatale

        Is that the place near Becki-becki-becki-stan?

        • jmhm

          Nah. They have good hair there.

  • Rooby_Roo

    Why is this story even relevant? The last I checked, everyone in the USA is considered innocent of an accusation unless proven guilty without a shadow of a doubt; Bill Clinton is NOT running for office; Clinton was never arrested or indicted of a crime on this allegation; the statute of limitations on the case (if a case were to be perused) is long over; the accuser is 73 and the accused is 69 — the memories of a 40 year old incident are likely to be inaccurate. Whatever Clinton’s past indiscretions, it is unfair to try someone in the court of public opinion and even more unfair to try to taint Hillary Clinton by perpetuating this discussion.

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      It is relevent because no one believes her, as it goes just about all the time. And relevent because precisely people are saying Bill did this so she is unfit because /he/ did something. Neither should be a thing that is true, and yet both of them are true.

    • beavertank

      It’s relevant because it keeps getting dredged up, again and again, by people who are against Hillary Clinton becoming president.

      The fact that any crimes her husband may (or may not) have committed have no bearing on Hillary Clinton herself never seems to matter to them. They dredge it up again and again anyway, and use it as a justification for why she shouldn’t be president.

    • Xerocky II

      His wife is running for office though. And she’s running on the ‘vote for me because I’m a girl’ ticket. So, yeah, it’s relevant.

      • beavertank

        Yes, this is the kind of person I’m talking about dredging her back up. Real paragons of humanity.

      • Plushinobi

        No. Just no. She’s running on the “I’m a qualified candidate who happens to be a woman” ticket. Also,she is not responsible for her husbands actions.

      • Panika MCD
      • Amy!

        @doktorzoom:disqus, this one came back.

        • jmhm

          Aw, dammit, let him talk. His theory rests on the warm esteem the citizens of this noble experiment hold for the disinterested probity of those magnificent public citizens Joe Klein and George W Bush. Believe me, this is definitely the conversation we want to spend the brief gaps between Trump gaffes having.

      • doktorzoom

        Well, at least you used the same username on your new account to make banhammering you again easy.

        — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

  • going4baroque
  • Vail Beach

    I don’t think this semi-apology is going to salvage your career. Too bad. The key blunder here, which you address but weakly, is that you preemptively want to forgive Bill Clinton and say he’s redeemed, even though he’s never taken responsibility for what he did, never apologized to Ms. Broadderick, never done anything but deny this happened and imply that she’s delusion and politically motivated. Each day he compounds his crime by failing to take responsibility.

    (And I say this as a Clinton voter. I understand the official Clinton position is that Broadderick is lying, and that’s shameless. Two cheers for you for at least being honest in reviewing the facts, even though you swim away from the implications.)

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      Maybe you need to pause, re-read the article again, and try this post over?
      I really think that you do.

    • beavertank

      “…salvage your career.”

      That’s cute. You’re not from around here, are you.

      • Amy!

        Clearly, the Editrix is going to fire @RSchoenkopf:disqus any minute now. She’ll be bereft! Out of work! Thrown out on the street with her infant child to starve!

        Fortunately, Donna Rose has a protector, none other than the Editrix! Who will no doubt also take care of Donna Rose’s misguided mother. Thus we prove that private charity works!

        Or possibly something else, but not sure what that could be.

        • beavertank

          It would be an interesting application of “stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself” if nothing else.

        • Cindyinencinitas

          Give her the Box of Shame! To the streets with you, and your little lion babby, too! Ha! Can we listen at the door when the boss tells her off?

      • Hairstrike Alpha

        Jokes on them! Editrix already hit rock bottom when she took possession of a site devoted to dick jokes, Coctober buttsechs and pony memes (well the third one didn’t exist when she bot it).

        • beavertank

          Coctober is coming up fast, too. It’s almost time!

    • malsperanza

      I don’t think this semi-analysis is going to salvage your careeradd a damn thing to the discussion. Shoo, now. Shoo!

      • Jen_Baker_VA

        I like the av tho. Sassy and winky.

        • jmhm

          Deserves better, though.

    • beavertank

      “…never apologized to Ms. Broadderick…”

      The woman herself has said that he attempted to apologize to her in 1991.

    • Panika MCD

      no cheers for you at least reviewing the initial article that set this whole thing off because obvious you are so above actually reviewing source material.

      “Broaddrick says Bill Clinton called her a few times after the assault but she never picked up. Aside from a letter his governor’s office sent her when she won a nursing home award in 1984 — Clinton scrawled “I admire you very much” on the bottom — the next time she heard from him was in 1991, when, she claims, he confronted her in person to apologize.”

      https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/juanita-broaddrick-wants-to-be-believed?utm_term=.mnlrBKEpel#.mpKzj9J0VY

      • Jenny

        Oh but that’s because he was running for president!! Not for her rape because eeeeeeevil!

    • jmhm

      And this is a matter you’re so well-informed about that you came within one tiny little letter of spelling the woman’s name correctly.

      It is, parenthetically, grotesque for an alt troll to be using David Niven as an avatar. He spent the war in England fighting your nazi uncles.

      • Slavakitty

        Devastating!! Keep being awesome, jmhm. I’m taking notes.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      How the hell do you know Broaddrick is not lying? ….and regardless, Rebecca gets to discuss all angles of this complicated situation and her own feelings without being mistreated.

    • Jay Vaughn

      You seem nice. I do hope you stick around.

  • DonnaDiva

    I’m 47 and was well into adulthood before I even became cognizant of the idea that men plying women with alcohol to get sex from them was fucked up. I had grown up watching innumerable movies and shows with characters doing just that and it was considered cute.

  • Jenny

    Opinions I don’t like are evil! Reading comprehension is evil!!!

    You’re all bad femi nazis for not condemning rape culture as I know it today!!!

    YOU’RE FIRED!

    • efoveks

      Do I get a golden parachute with that?

      • Jenny

        Yes but I keep the rip cord.

  • BeverlyCrusher’sWig

    Woah, I’ve never been to the Wonkette Facebook before today and damn if a couple seconds didn’t make me feel sick to my stomach. I’m so sorry Rebecca because neither this article nor the one before it (or any article anywhere) calls for harassment. Honestly, you’re way tougher than me for even writing so honestly about what you think and how you feel about this difficult issue and all the Wonkers who are sharing their personal experiences and thoughts are kick ass too. I just feel terrible that others felt the need to yell and say horrible things to everybody. God forbid a topic not have easy answers. Well at least it reminded me that Facebook is stoopid.

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      Facebook is stoopid.

    • DemmeFatale

      I went there to write a supportive post, but could not stomach it.
      I think that the RWNJs are extra mean because they’re desperate, and know they’re gonna lose this thing.

      Brave, brave Rebecca!
      Thank you for making us think!

      • ahughes798

        Unfortunately, don’t be so sure about the Repubs “losing this thing.” Trump and Clinton are very close in the polls.

  • h4rr4r

    The part of the article I find troubling is the vote for Nader in 2000. I suppose everyone truly has made mistakes.

  • Largely Lurking

    You call this a comments section? How am I supposed to know what to think when all your opinions are so squishy? Nice blog, though. How did I just find this?

    • Amy!

      Oh, no, comments aren’t allowed. Ask any troll, or check out the Sunday “Dear Shit-fer-brains” feature.

      If you’re new, and not just de-lurked, do check out the Rules for Commenting Radicals. They’re enforced with a Loving Banhammer of Kindness (and also pileons by commentors (but that can’t happen, because comments, as noted, are not allowed)).

      • Largely Lurking

        Wait. And helpful replies with links to rules? Is the rest of the Internet doing this wrong? Maybe I can finally get over my lurking issue…nah.

        • Beaumarchais?

          Has anyone mentioned the “no pants” rule?

          • Shan the Libtart

            Ugh. I KNEW I’d forgotten something important!

          • Vegan and Tiara

            Pants are for weak, low energy, losers.

        • Cindyinencinitas

          We’ll be here when you figure it all out. Good luck.

        • jmhm

          Just, no cheese with bivalves, unless you feel like it.

    • DemmeFatale

      BTW: don’t hesitate to ask, if you don’t understand things like “cedar cheese.”
      It’s a misspelling on a found shopping list that just took off, Maybe someone with decent skills can find it. (My skills are terrible.)

  • Paperless Tiger

    Empathy is a fine thing, but in this case the lady changed her story, so empathy becomes an indulgence. This is political currency. Phillip Yoakum, a Republican operative, evidently tried to blackmail Broaddrick into making an allegation against Clinton in 1992, right after Clinton won the Democratic nomination. At that time, Broaddrick refused, but later she did make the allegation. Did the Republicans up the ante? They certainly are getting some mileage out of it. The evidence for the crime is shaky. Broaddrick’s first husband didn’t even recall the notorious lip injury. On the other hand, the evidence for political intrigue is compelling.

    • Vegan and Tiara

      I never believed Bill Clinton was a rapist. Bill Cosby I had NO problem believing he was a rapist. I always thought he gave off a creepy vibe.

  • dblaess

    Actually, in the apology “apology” the lady says she doesn’t believe in God, but does believe in the tenants of her Church. Believe she also said she was Catholic in upbringing. The Catholic Church I understand still believes in God and bases those tenants she believes on the word of God. Seems her belief in God and the Church tenants based on God, might be as loose in reality as her apology “apology” is.

    • Hairstrike Alpha

      Uh, actually no that’s not true- the bible can be interpreted as god’s word and it can be interpreted as a philosophy. All religious texts are that way- that’s why Thomas Jefferson removed all the hokey supernatural shit from his bible or the Gnostics had a bible in which Christ was not actually divine. You can read a philosophy, accept the tenants of that philosophy and still think the philosopher is mostly full of shit. That’s how most intellectuals view Marx or Nietzsche….

      • dblaess

        If I understand you….Marx was full of shit, but his works/philosophy that was used to found communist governments in the 20th century was acceptable?

        • Cindyinencinitas

          Who said that? I didn’t see that. It was a hypothetical, but good try.

        • jmhm

          Actually, Marx had some valuable insights into the structure of capitalism, but had no comparable skill for creating new systems. You’re welcome.

        • Hairstrike Alpha

          No, what I was saying is Marx made some valid points in his critique of capitalism and the exploitation of the labor class by capital but he was full of bullshit in that he viewed every issue in life through the lens of class struggle.
          Also, to defend Marx for a moment his idea of Communism was a temporary state to remove class status and notions of property rights with his ultimate goal being democratic socialism. The problem is the regimes founded on Communism got ahold of centralized power and refused to diffuse it as Marx wanted. Even Marx knew communism could not survive as a long lived structure…the modern planned economy is actually an interesting nexus between Marx’s ideal state and capitalism.

          • efoveks

            You were paying attention in class! :)

          • Hairstrike Alpha

            I earned A’s when I showed up to every lecture :-)

          • dblaess

            So the word of God as tenant for jedeo/christian morals is a valid start to an idealized world?

          • doktorzoom

            Sorry to whoever was typing a reply to the troll when the banhammer hit, but their crimes against English could no longer be tolerated.

          • Jenny
          • jmhm

            is sad.

          • Left Coast Tom

            I think to further defend Marx against his modern-day followers…as well as Engels w/ the “false consciousness” bullshit…Marx, from my understanding at least, thought he was offering a scientific theory of political economy, in the real “falsifiable statement” sense of “science”, and not the bullshit current-Marxist “useful framework” sense. So…he made falsifiable statements about the nature of communism as a Hegelian synthesis of class conflict and capitalism, and communism actually occurred in neo-feudal societies like Russia. That would be falsification. Which is fair, except for all the nonsense that’s been offered on the topic since then.

    • jmhm

      The social justice teachings of the Church can be viewed distinct from its religious message, as can most things derived from the teachings of religious leaders who were also philosophers. As Gandhi said, I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

      Also, strictly speaking, what the Church has is tenets. Tenants are people who pay rent to use your space.

      I’m thinking as you’re not clear what tenets are, your own knowledge of them might be loose as well

      • SeekingBarbie

        Thank you for the tenet-tenant correction–it’s such a pet peeve of mine, I was afraid it would be too snarky for me to comment on it. Not that snark is allowed in the non-comments…

        • jmhm

          I’m getting a little cranky about people who clearly know little and care less about religion, social justice, feminism, US political history and even the names of the players not even troubling to google the basic facts before they come swaggering in to Pronounce shit they read somewhere.

          • efoveks

            The immediate pejoratives really get to me. With all the choices that we have surfing the intertoobze, they could just go off elsewhere. But no….

          • jmhm

            Well, this one’s an all lives matter-style wingnut fringe racist asshole (they will never learn to adopt less distinctive nyms when they hide their history), so this is probably as close to an intelligent conversation as it has.

    • efoveks

      There is nothing insincere about her apology, if that’s what you are implying or thinking. People can believe in godly conduct (striving to be a better person, for example) without believing in God Himself. Does that help?

    • Panika MCD

      I don’t believe in go either. should I toss the Golden Rule out the window? oops! appears you already have.

    • Be Gin

      If any church has tenants they should be paying rent.

    • doktorzoom

      Troll who doesn’t know “tenets” from “tenants” is boring, banhammered.

      — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

      • Be Gin

        NUTZ!

        I was just getting warmed up! Had the flamethrower lit and my fireproof suit on! C’mon Doc!

        • doktorzoom

          Look, they seem cute and fun to play with at first, but then they grow and start tearing up the furniture, and the whole parlor gets trashed.

          • javadavis

            Wander is right about them.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        I hope you took your vitamins today. You’re going to need your strength to swing that hammer all day

  • Wulf2000

    If Bill Clinton was a Republican, the writer of this article would not be so forgiving.

    • efoveks

      Ouch. As someone who was actually around in the 70’s and remembers the so-called sexual revolution, I’d say she’s trying to reconcile the attitudes of then with the prevailing thought of today.

      • Lee Hillhouse

        Yes. I was around then, too. People today who are too young…. They have no real idea how sex was dealt with in the 60s and 70s. It was like a different planet.

    • DT

      This is literally true of every issue ever, it’s how brains work.

    • Panika MCD
      • beavertank

        The comment this was replying to is long since deleted, but I will still ALWAYS upfist this gif.

    • SisterArtemis

      You don’t really know that

    • Be Gin

      Thank you for pointing out what you perceive to be shortcomings in such a concise manner.

      You must be the life of the party wherever you go.

  • Slavakitty

    I think the reason the crime of rape is distinct from other violence is due to the stigma associated with the honor vs shame tradition that still exists in patriarchal societies. Rape of the civilian population in wartime is a useful way to demoralize your opponent. Destroying the “purity” of the women brings shame upon the whole society. Honor killings serve to restore the honor that the shameful victim robbed from the family. And, sorry folks, we’re still essentially patriarchal, which is why the word of a rape victim is much more likely to be doubted than someone who’s been carjacked. It’s why so many people, men and women both, are more apt to blame the victim, because they feel she ought to be ashamed, whether or not she is innocent, and why so many rape victim are reluctant to come forward. It takes a huge amount of courage to endure the hostile response. This also serves to explain why Rebecca is currently being savaged on Facebook for merely posting about the topic. It takes people out of their comfort zone, for sure.

  • Jenny

    Also too Rebecca, I found this song that I have adopted as my anthem. You can borrow it also too if you like!

    https://youtu.be/O4hh1YhDfbA

  • Yuengling

    Why do so many people nowadays only find value in free speech when it is speech with which they agree? This is disheartening. Rebecca has put forth an argument that I may not fully support, but it has certainly made me consider the topic in a different light.

  • Vegan and Tiara

    I don’t think Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broaddrick, and even the Republicans who investigated her claims found them difficult to believe. She also thinks the Clinton’s murdered Vince Foster, her husband AND her cat. I think Clinton’s a horndog (don’t hate the player, hate the game!), but he’s no rapist. If you want to talk about rapists, let’s talk about gross ole Bill Cosby.

  • Be Gin

    My whole life has been a struggle with ambivalence.

    The nuns said God loves me…then they frighten me with hell.

    I was told to honor my parents…but my fathers rages scared me and mom couldn’t stop him when he became violent.

    I was told that Family was the cornerstone of life, I was supposed to love my family…but two of my older brothers tied me to a tree and left me there for half a day. A policeman found me and brought me home after he took me to the hospital for the ant bites I received.

    At the dinner table I learned how to hate from my own family. The news was always on and I learned that the rioters were “black devils”, that protestors were not human and weren’t good enough to waste a bullet on.

    Authors I admired in my youth turned out be racist and sexist. The comic books that gave me some respite advertised junk that was worthless.

    And sex? By the time I was 20 I was an absolute mess.

    Does this mean I am apologizing for Bill Clinton? No. Does this mean I forgive Bill? No.

    It means that the human condition is a lot more complicated and messy than the common man and woman wants to know about. They want simple frameworks, simple answers and comforting paradigms.

    But as I learned and continue to learn…it ain’t necessarily so.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      I love your reply.

      • Be Gin

        As Ringo Starr once sang:

        “You have to pay your dues
        if you want to sing the blues.
        And you know that it don’t come easy!”

  • Vegan and Tiara

    Hmmm…so Wonkette’s FB page is full of RWNJs crying about Rebecca saying that Bill Clinton could be forgiven. I thought Christianity was based on forgiveness?

    • Amy!

      <horrified>Not for Democrats! <loathing>Never for a Clinton!!!</loathing></horrified>

      • Jen_Baker_VA

        Pretty much that right there.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Buncha sad ass hypocrites attacking whichever one of these lovely ladies manages that cesspool for the crime of admitting she herself was the victim of rape. One piece of shit woman spent half the thread accusing women of lying about rape- not realizing she was making the argument that we shouldn’t believe Broaddrick. I tried hard to stay out of this, realizing that this is a complex and sensitive subject and that honest people could have good faith disagreements. But those useless fucks on faceplace can all go fuck themselves

      • Vegan and Tiara

        I mostly stayed out of the conversation too. I think rape is a horrible crime, and I believe most women (and men) who say they were raped, probably were. HOWEVER, people do make false accusations and lie, so I don’t just automatically believe Juanita Broaddrick’s story, in fact, she’s been pretty widely discredited. I also think there is a HUGE difference between extra marital affairs between consenting adults, and rape. I think Clinton is guilty of the former (which is really none of MY business), and I think he’s innocent of the latter charge. Also, Bill has not had any other women come forward and say he raped them, and those types of creeps tend to have patterns of bad behavior. I won’t even bother going in to the fact that the Clintons have been accused of every crime under the sun by the GOP, yet have managed to not get convicted on a single charge. I think it’s just more of the GOP’s bullshit.

    • Jay Vaughn

      Don’t none of those buttlickers know Jesus from a squirrel

  • Pookabun

    I’m going to speak up as a woman who was raped in the 80s. Twice in fact and one of them absolutely didn’t know it was rape. So I have to agree, it was a different mindset. The fact of university education or legal knowledge on Clinton’s part would not have made much difference, I don’t think. Now maybe he did know it was rape, assuming it was, but very possibly it wouldn’t have occurred to him. I’m not a fan either but there it is.

    • DT

      I’m sorry that happened to you and heartened that you seem to be strong about it.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      I am so sorry this happened to you.

  • sadboy

    No good way to discuss the subject, unfortunately, without pissing some people off. I respect the Editrix’s efforts, however, to at least try to give the issue a fair treatment.

  • ahughes798

    I thought Hillary was running….not Bill. I don’t give a flying eff about Juanita Brodderick, because I think that after having picked through every bit of trash on the Clintons that Ken Starr had picked through….and Starr and the Republicans were out for BLOOD…did they find any substantiation for her claims? I don’t know what or who to believe in this case. But I do know this: People lie, people lie like motherfuckers and about anything and everything, and those who do don’t care who they hurt. The McMartin case is a prime example, and so is this one:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-what-went-wrong-20150405

    Lots of people believe JB, lots of people believe BC. I don’t know for sure, I honestly don’t. Hillary is running for President, not Bill. JB is not even germaine to this election.

    • beavertank

      And yet, lots of assholes (right and left) keep bringing her up. Along with anything else about Bill Clinton they think will prove unpopular. Which means it’s something that has to be addressed, unfortunately.

  • Gabriel Wainio-Théberge

    you know what? if you wanna make this broad argument about redemption, which I’m not unsympathetic to, I like Christian morality too – and you want people to take it with any degree of moral seriousness? make it on behalf of someone who’s not Bill Clinton. make it on behalf of someone who’s not one of the most powerful and respected men in the country in spite of everything he’s done, who doesn’t have a net worth of $80 million, who might conceivably ever face some real consequences for it. someone who is going to be locked away in a brutal, inhuman prison system for the rest of their life and never be mentioned in the media again. someone who no-one will automatically flock to defend in the comments section because they liked him as President or want his wife to be President. say this when there’s some damn stakes other than the good repute of someone who has far more of it than he deserves. don’t set up a double standard for the rich, famous and politically convenient.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      Locked away forever?! The average sentence for rape in our country is 8 years.
      The DOJ has all these kinds of stats.

      • javadavis

        Averages can be misleading. It could be probation or never prosecuted. It could also be never reported or it could turn into victim blaming. It could also be totally fabricated, ruin several lives and leave the accused (and convicted) in prison for life, like the Wenatchee sex-ring case. (case finally refuted, but some died in prison before the main ‘witnesses’ recanted, saying they were coerced and feared for their lives.).
        Rape is a highly charged issue, and thus attracts lots of different parasites that obscure the issue for victims.
        It is true – some ‘victims’ lie. I could not imagine lying about such a thing, but I could not imagine shooting my neighbor for being the wrong ethnicity or shooting a kid just walking back to his dad’s hose – and those things have happened.

        • Lee Hillhouse

          Yes. This is very complicated. It is very difficult.

      • Ants In My Eyes Johnson

        In effect, that sentence usually turns into a year or two at most. Less with good behavior. Sometimes it just goes straight to a few months probation, because, ha ha, women’s rights don’t count for shit — unless said woman is accusing someone that is somehow advantageous to pursue.

        I feel for Broaddrick, I really do, but at this point, after all that has happened with respect to the incident that she claims happened, it’s like, “what exactly do you want, lady?” She hasn’t even brought this to Bill, she’s just using it to hound Hillary at this point. I don’t think even she knows what she wants; Hillary sure didn’t rape her, and nothing Hillary does can bring her the closure she needs.

        • LA Julian

          That’s the problem — by making herself a willing tool of people who have repeatedly demonstrated that they have no ethics and no truthfulness whatsoever, Broderick has discredited herself as much as Benghazi mom. I can only contrast her to Anita Hill, who was dragged through the mud by the government and the media and public, and never backed down or changed her tune, and is a more inspiring figure of resistance to sexual harassment than ever.

          • Ants In My Eyes Johnson

            Yes, exactly!

      • ahughes798

        Judges take most unkindly to men who rape minors, and often send them away for a loooooooooong ass time.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      She commented on what she wanted to comment on. She owns the place. neener neener.

    • Panika MCD

      thanks for that theory straight out of Animal Farm, but, in this country, we tend to give people the benefit of the doubt until proven guilty. I don’t know who died and declared you judge of who is and who is not deserving of defense. however before you decide that this publication doesn’t give a shit about poor defendants, you may want to read more of it as it criticized FL state attorney Angela Corey 2 days ago for being shitty to all of her defendants except George Zimmerman.

    • Are you new around here? Because I’ve been reading Wonkette since before Rebecca took it over, and arguing for things like justice and a good defense and innocent until proven guilty and second chances for marginalized people who are often not granted those things is kind of a staple around here. Like, it’s a common enough thing that regular readers mostly take it for granted that the writers are concerned about those things, and don’t need to be reminded that the prison and justice system is unfair to poor people, minorities, those without political connections and so on in an article about Bill Clinton. Because there will likely be an article on one of those very situations within a day or so, if not the same day.

      Context. It’s a thing.

  • Lee Hillhouse

    OK, so….Spike and Buffy have consensual and very rough sex. They play the ….she says no but he goes for it anyway and it is SO very good the house falls down. Then Buffy decides….NO MORE. It is so degrading to have this kind of sex with this soulless creature. Spike, who was not there for all of the inner philosophical meanderings tries to have sex with Buffy. Buffy says NO and this time means it. Spike tries one more time. Buffy kicks him backwards and now he gets it. She really means NO. ….but he is still labeled an Attempted Rapist. Unfairly, in my opinion.

    Sorry, I get all my deeper thoughts from Joss. I am a lesbian and feminist and have worked with survivors of rape and women rarely lie about it BUT…..sometimes they do.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      My point being….not made. This was a long time ago. Hillary didn’t rape anyone and she is running against a man known for his brutality toward women, including accusations of rape. Hillary 2016!

      • Mel S

        Hillary is an enabler, says women who are raped matter, but defended a rapist, and defended another in court. I’d vote for her when hell froze over.

        • javadavis

          Wow – as a founder of a legal aid group she defended a client as the judge in the case asked her to do, even after she asked the judge to accuse her. That is very, how do you say, ethical of her, to carry out her duties as an officer of the court.

          • Panika MCD

            the whole indigent defense system does fall apart if those appointed to represent the indigent don’t at least try to defend their clients.

        • Lee Hillhouse

          Once again, innocent until proven otherwise and everyone gets a defense and it was her god damned job.

    • Mel S

      Liberals tend to live in fantasy, and that’s the only way your argument makes sense.

  • Lee Hillhouse

    Also, the right wing has a lot of fucking nerve. Trump, also an accused rapist, just hired Bannon from Dead Breitbart, to run his campaign. Bannon says there is no such thing as rape in marriage. Eww. I hate the right wing.

  • Silver_Witch

    Thank you most excellent article(s). I believe Clinton probably is not a nice man and I have been sad for decades that I voted for him. Sadly, I can’t vote for a woman that lives with a man that forces himself on woman and then lies to all other woman.

    • Vegan and Tiara

      So you won’t be voting for Trump, then? Surely you couldn’t vote for a man who was accused of rape by HIS OWN WIFE????? You know, the wife he cheated on? Personally, I couldn’t vote for a man who financially raped all those small business owners, like Trump did.

      • Silver_Witch

        No I won’t be voting for Trump. Surely nothing I posted implied I would. This is the first time in my long life I will be voting for NONE OF THE ABOVE. Sad comment on the way politics have gone in america. I voted Dem since 1974….not this year at least not for President.

        • Panika MCD

          glad to hear you’re still going to the voting booth.

          • Silver_Witch

            Would not miss it….love voting.

          • Panika MCD

            I once got to vote twice in one day. went to my polling place to vote on school board and they told me if I wanted to vote on the library board I had to go down there. they had chosen it to try out a new touch screen voting system. the system sucked, but it was fun to be able to go in twice.

          • Msgr_Moment

            Did you vote early as well, or was it just often?

          • Panika MCD

            it was just often. I usually vote early, but, at the time, I had split up candidate research with a few other people. my neighbors, since they had kids, got school board and they were out of town during EV that year or I wouldn’t have gone to my precinct polling location. now we can vote anywhere in Travis Co. on E-Day.

      • Msgr_Moment

        Funny how so many more people are raising their voices that Hillary having an allegedly rapey husband disqualifies her from being President than are raising their voices to say that Trump allegedly raping his own wife disqualifies him.
        No, not really funny at all. Sexist. Sad. Pathetic.

        • Vegan and Tiara

          Also, very, very typical.

    • ltmcdies

      so a wife is responsible for her husband behavior…OK then.

      there is no way out….either a woman is a separate entity from her spouse or she isn’t.

      for that matter….do mothers own their sons behavior….what about their daughters…do we do the “sins of the fathers” thing for kids and grand kids.

      So no, no, no…we aren’t playing this game….either all family wear what the worst acts of it’s individual members commit or they don’t.

      Or this is a stick to use on one particular presidential candidate regarding actions committed by her spouse.

      say hi to Jill for us..

      • Silver_Witch

        Yes if she supports him after the accusations and then sets out to shame and denigrate the women. If she continues to live with him…then yes.

        I have a mother that “stood” by her man, my father who raped his daughters and goddess only knows how many others. Her response upon finding out and me asking her to just ask if it was true was “no – I don’t want him to think I don’t trust him, what do you want me to do leave him”.

        Hell yes…until women stop supporting men when they act in these ways WOMEN will never be safe. Until women realize they have their own power and don’t need the coattails of a man we will never be safe.

        Until “men just being men” or “being unable to resist” is no longer accepted woman and children will never be safe.

        And yes mothers and fathers who support their son when he rapes a woman then they are responsible…..comes to mind the young man that raped a woman by the dumpster and his father complains that his life is ruined for 20 minutes of action and his mother is so disturbed by his sons treatment (not by his raping a woman) she can’t buy drapes for her home. Yes those parents should be shamed – not prosecuted – certainly shamed.

        • ltmcdies

          look…women are either an extension of “their” men or they aren’t.

          I know that’s hard ass but it is what it is. We can’t keep wearing other peoples behavior.

          How many state houses have made it difficult to impossible for American women to exercise their reproductive health care rights?

          How much money does the average American woman make compared to the average American man?

          How many working moms have access to family leave…how may pregnant American women have maternity leave …(here’s a comparison Mat leave is a year in Canada)

          And how will Donald Trump and his GOP congress handle those issues. Will they make it so that women like your mother have more options. Or will they defund Planned Parenthood and do nothing for income inequality.

          Narrowing options for women married to abusers.

          it is what it is. I don’t deny it really sucks.

          • Silver_Witch

            It totally sucks…enjoyed the conversation and I agree with much you are saying….I am not sure Hillary really cares about woman or the poor or gays….it is hard to know with politicians and this Trump thing is just too far fetched to even believe he has any standing at all – talk about a man not fit…geeze.

            Hoping I have to eat crow for my inability to believe in Hillary…sadly though I simply don’t think she can or will do shit for the poor…but I know the rich will get richer.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      I understand but there is a chance she believes him.

      Donald Trump will do horrid things to everyone, the world over, including women and children. He has said this. He supports torture and nuclear weapons…. ….and he has been accused of rape more than once. ….and some of us old feminists also can see the wife as a victim. Only two people on the planet know what really happened. Juanita and Bill. ….and being a horndog does not make him also a rapist.

      ….but Trump will rape us all. The whole god damned planet and every bit of life on it. He will load the Supreme Court with conservative justices. That will be the end of my healthcare if they end Marriage Equality because I am unemployed. I get my healthcare from spousal benefits. It will make all of my life harder. Inheritance…. All those things married heterosexuals take for granted.

      It will send women and in reality mainly poor women and teenage girls, back to the alley, back to the butchers, for their abortions. I was around before Roe v Wade. I knew a girl once who used a Drain-o douche. She lived but her entire insides were scarred and damaged for life.

      Internment camps for our Muslim citizens. That is grim and a probability.

      Trump does not believe in climate change. He would turn the whole damned planet into a piece of trash. We owe this beautiful jewel of a planet tender care, not abuse. He will diss our allies and he will use nuclear bombs on our “enemies”. He says waterboarding will be the least of his torture.

      I think all of that and there is much much more, is much worse than being an enabler. So, it is your vote but ………

      • Silver_Witch

        Yes it is my vote….and my friend I understand yours. I support you in voting for who you think is best.

        I too remember before Roe v Wade….my mother would have aborted us if she could have…but she could not. Sadly because she could not we were raised in Hell…beated, raped by our father and underfed. Hatred is a horrible thing.

        I hope I am wrong about Hillary and I hope she is not the Hawk I believe her to be. I will happily eat crow after the election if she does well and does fight for women, gays and the working poor.

        Peace be with you and be assured that should Trump win he will not have the power to do 1/2 of the things you fear. Presidents just don’t have that kind of power….thank the founding fathers for checks and balances!!!

        After so many years of voting I simply can’t vote from fear anymore.

    • Ants In My Eyes Johnson

      Broaddrick had no evidence to back up her story. She waited more than a decade to come forward. She signed papers recanting. She has since gone off the deep end with Hillary conspiracies, and her story only seems to be brought up as a means of harming Hillary’s campaigns.

      Why would you be surprised that Hillary might believe her own husband over Broaddrick? If someone came forward tomorrow and accused your father or husband of raping them 20 years ago, but had no evidence, no reports, nothing to back it up but their claim, who would you believe? Someone you barely know at all, or someone you’ve known for 20+years? Especially if they then, at one point, officially recanted with legally-binding documents?
      I’m not saying Broaddrick is a liar; no one but her and Bill knows for sure what happened during that encounter, and it could easily have been rape, especially by modern standards. I’m saying that this is an absurd thing to demand of a person — to demand that they tear their family apart, and abandon their marriage/family, all because of claims that have nothing to back them up? People just don’t work that way in real life.

      Furthermore, I find it entirely hypocritical that people focus on Hillary, when she didn’t do shit to Broaddrick. It’s not like Bill disappeared off the face of the earth — go confront him at a speaking engagement or something, make sure that every interview he gives mentions Broaddrick, or something. HE is the one who Broddrick said raped her.

      • Silver_Witch

        Many raped people recant….many abused children do the same, because their are abandoned by family and shamed by society. It is a complex issue.

        If you don’t believe Broaddrick that is your choice…the issue however is bigger than just that. See posts above.

        I promise you that I would totally address it will Bill Clinton had I any power to do that….I think it is a shame that men can ruin lives, be sexual predators and abuse their power.

        That won’t end until WOMAN stop accepting that “men will be men” that men have the “right” to women…..by Hillary shaming the women her HUSBAND slept with and/or raped we are all brought down.

        As long as women believe they can not be powerful without a powerful man we are all without hope.

        As to your question would I believe a woman that accused my father or husband of rape – yes I would. I surely would take a step back and question him….investigate and frankly believe…especially if there were a pattern (i.e., Clinton’s many escapades).

        • ahughes798

          As a survivor, i will say that being raped CAN ruin you your life. If you want it to. One can get help. For free, even. There are feminist groups that offer help to women who have been raped or abused or both. Planned Parenthood will find you a low-cost or free therapist. So will your county’s mental health division. I didn’t forgive, or forget, but I refused to let it ruin the rest of my fucking life. And that, my friend, is where the power is.

          • Silver_Witch

            I have had more therapy in my 60 years than you can imagine. Because I believe rape is wrong does not mean I have not healed. Because it angers me that men get a “free pass” for raping woman or acting as predators where women have to consent due to job pressures of the power men hold over them.

            I have not let my father’s repeated rapes and beatings “ruin the rest of my life”. I work, have relations, a child (grown) and an okay life. I have never forgiven and will never forget what had been done to me or my sisters or any woman/child that continue to be raped by an approving society. Would I have chosen this LIFE fuck NO….do I wish my mother had had the ability to have an abortion in the 50’s fuck yes…she hated us as much as my father did and she let him to as he willed.

            Thank you for sharing though.

        • Ants In My Eyes Johnson

          I didn’t say I don’t believe Broaddrick. I said I don’t know what happened — I could see it being either way, frankly –and I then said that, with the way her case unfolded, it is absurd to hold it against Hillary for HER not believing Broaddrick over Bill/not choosing to leave her husband, based solely on Broaddricks claims.
          I also said that Broaddrick going bananas after Hillary is stupid and irrelevant to her case.
          I would like to add that the way she’s become a full-on anti-Hillary conspiracy nut isn’t doing any wonders for making me give a crap, and I don’t think that’s unfair to say. Hillary didn’t do shit to her, and Bill is still alive, well, and does public shit; nothing is stopping Broaddrick from dogging the very person she says attacked her. Instead, she only shows up during Hillary’s political campaigns, at the behest of opposing political forces (who don’t give a shit about women except as tools, and certainly don’t give a shit about rape), and disappears the instant her presence is no longer politically strategic. Were Broaddrick after Bill, I’d care, she’d be seeking closure , or justice, or just something defensible; that she’s decided to trade in her narrative currency to help try to derail the political career of someone who didn’t harm her just means that my ability to give a shit about the relevancy of Juanita Broaddrick is just one of many things that the continued barrage of this election cycle has eroded into near non-existence.

          • Silver_Witch

            Sorry I think I hear you…so sorry you can’t hear me. This is the nice thing about our country we can disagree.

            I understand why Broaddrick feels as she does about Hillary.

            I watched as the whole mess unfolded and frankly felt betrayed by President Clinton when he was on TV shaking his finger and announcing that he did not have “sexual relations” with that woman only to hear later that he did and he lied to the whole country after so many of us defended him….but that didn’t matter as politicians lie…as Hillary Clinton lies and panders. It is our system.

            Have a wonderful weekend!

          • Ants In My Eyes Johnson

            OK, then, why does Broaddrick “feel the way she does about Hillary”? Hillary didn’t rape her, and Hillary didn’t even know she said her husband raped her 78 until the late 90s.
            Again, we’ve got a perfectly good Bill over there, not dead, not a hermit by any means. But she ignores him to go after Hillary, and also spreads bullshit because she believes that Hillary had a bunch of people killed.

          • Silver_Witch

            I can’t speak for Ms. Broaddrick and why she is doing what she is doing in regards to Ms. Clinton. I know that much of what she says is about President Bill Clinton.

            At least I can say how I feel. Ms. Clinton most probably will win the presidential election, and if she appoints President BIll Clinton to important tasks and has him advising her and serving with her I will find that distasteful….but then I find the fact that my father is invited to Christmas with my family and I am the black sheep for outing him distasteful too. Seems men who are perpetrators against women are not really ever held accountable.

    • Jay Vaughn

      That some hardcore patriarchal bullshit right there. And whats worse is it’s disguising itself as feminism.

      • Silver_Witch

        In your humble opinion perhaps that is truth. From this feminist I can assure you that until women stand up to the rape culture of “men just being a man” we can never hope to change the value of women.

        Hillary stood by her man for power and did worse by denigrating and the shaming the women involved in his rapes and even in the consensual sexual relationships. Shaming women and “forgiving your man” are just a continuation of the “men will be men” or worse “men can help themselves belief and leave all women open to rape, abuse and having to consent to keep jobs, safety or even abuse by police. The woman had to obligation to Hillary – her husband did….and yet she did not shame him…only the women.

        It is a huge and complex issue. Which in my 60 years I have witnessed, survived and understand perhaps a wee bit better.

        • Jay Vaughn

          You seem nice. Hope you stick around.

  • cutter

    dAll this amount of news space spent on all issue about someone who is not running for Pres. Let’s spend our valuable time discussing the specific issue to improve the economy and equity for each person, technology impact on the future, climate change, individual rights, privacy, et. We have many issues to discuss. Let’s put our time to better use in building a better society, US, and world. Wonkette, this message is for you also–use your space for better use. Try to be something bigger and better than People mag or the Inquirer. I’m beginning to wonder about the journalist endeavor of the WONKETTE.

    • Panika MCD

      “Nasty, Vile Little Snark Mob” didn’t tip you off? some people need catharsis to pursue all those worthy endeavors. for that, people like me have Wonkette to turn to. thank you for your concern.

    • Silver_Witch

      And so we should just ignore the ugliness of mens behaviors….after all woman matter so little right?

    • Mel S

      It’s all about gender until Bill Clinton rapes a woman, then it’s about everything but. Am I right?

      • Lee Hillhouse

        This may be above you but a couple of things we do right…..INNOCENT until proved otherwise and everyone gets a defense. She says he did. He says he didn’t. It was decades ago and even Ken Starr didn’t use it. THAT says a lot, in my opinion BUT the truth is…..only two people on this planet know what really happened…..Bill and Juanita. NO ONE ELSE. Certainly not you and certainly not me. ….but Rebecca was mainly discussing forgiveness and whether someone can be forgiven. The average sentence for rape, in this country, is 8 years. So even if he had been found guilty and gone to prison, it would still ALL be in the very far past. YOU want to hang a man for something YOU have no idea whether or not he did. ….and Hillary may not be an enabler. She may be….a forgiver. She may believe him. WE do not know.

        • Ants In My Eyes Johnson

          If bill had raped Broaddrick, it’s not like he’d go home afterward and tell Hillary that; if he mentioned Broaddrick at all, it would have been in the context of him making a consensual mistake with a woman.
          It was more than a decade later that Broaddrick claimed he raped her. Time doesn’t change what happened, whatever it was — but it does make it very difficult for people to determine what happened, especially if there’s no evidence to either claim. I’m not surprised Hillary believed her husband’s story — again, IF he raped Broaddrick. Broaddrick also signing a statement claiming that Bill didn’t rape her has also complicated things.

          Taking this out on Hillary is incredibly unfair and stupid. She didn’t do anything, but she is somehow being blamed for it.

        • I get the concept of believing women when they say they’ve been raped, but I don’t get how one can realistically extend that to the wife of the accused. Find me anyone who’s been married for a good few years, is still happy and in love with their spouse, who has a child with that spouse, but who would drop everything they know and believe some the word of some random stranger or distant acquaintance who accused their spouse of doing something awful over the word of the person they love and live with and parent with. It’s completely illogical – no one would do that.

    • Enfant Terrible

      This is a difficult topic and I appreciate the hell out the author for raising it, as well as the commenters who discussed it in good faith. I don’t know if we can achieve any sort of closure on this, but maybe we can find some measure of enlightenment.

  • Mel S

    I don’t give a crap what Bill did. I didn’t vote for him one single time. I registered republican my first time voting specifically to vote AGAINST him in 1996. I was 25.
    That being said, Hillary is his enabler. Knew about what he did. Called his victims bimbos. Did the whole stand by your raping man thing. Is still married to him.
    That to me is completely unforgivable.
    And, the writer of the piece, kindly go F! yourself with a bat wrapped in barbed wire.

    • beavertank

      You sure do seem to be sure of some facts you couldn’t possibly have personal knowledge of. All that AND a nice lil’ threat of violence? You seem ripe for a visit from the banhammer of loving correction.

      • Mel S

        Wait… Let me go see if I care! Oh, nope, I sure don’t!

      • Mel S

        Show me where I threatened anyone!

        • Panika MCD

          we only tell people to go fuck themselves with rusty votes ’round these parts.

    • Bad Granny

      Way to stand against sexual violence!

      • Panika MCD

        s/he also has some choice words for PP in her comments history.

        • Bad Granny

          Lol, stand with women indeed.

          • Mel S

            Bill and Hillary stand with women don’t they? You know what? I’m not running for president, so…

          • Panika MCD

            and you’re also not welcome here.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      You are talking to a woman extremely abusively while claiming to care about the abuse of women. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. …and you obviously don’t give one single fuck about women. You don’t claim to care about the abuse of women while being verbally abusive to one. Stupid.

      • Mel S

        I was extremely polite about it. I asked kindly.

        • Lee Hillhouse

          YOU are an abuser. That is what YOU are.

          • Mel S

            You are arguing facts you can’t possibly know anything about.

        • Enfant Terrible

          Oh?

          And, the writer of the piece, kindly go F! yourself with a bat wrapped in barbed wire.

          I’d hate to see what you’re like when you lose your cool.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      ….and you don’t even make sense. You start by saying you don’t give a crap what Bill did and then the entire rest of your post is about how horrible what Bill may have done, is…… KMA

      • Mel S

        Read what I wrote again. Real slow. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

        • Enfant Terrible

          Lee summarized your comment fairly. Maybe *you* should re-read what you wrote.

    • Panika MCD

      see what we have here folks is a person who hates anyone with a D next to their name equally and spends their days and nights spewing their hatred of all things liberal on any liberal website s/he can find. BORING!

      • Mel S

        And you reserve your love for those with an R, right?

        • Panika MCD

          I have affection for certain Rs, but they’re probably people you’ve never heard of in your pitiful little crusade.

          • Mel S

            Umhmmmmm… That’s believable.

          • Panika MCD

            Kel Seliger, Robert Duncan, Kevin Eltife, Sarah Davis…to name a few.

    • doktorzoom

      Predictable troll is predictable, banhammered.

      — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        jesus, I didn’t even get a chance to rant. BTW, cleanup on the Hillary thread

      • Ed Faunce

        It is as if we were talking to a ghost. Scary.

      • Msgr_Moment

        I hope you’re getting combat pay, Sir, for doing the Lord’s work.

  • Ed Faunce

    Mel, your outrage is heartfelt. I am sure you support and volunteer at women’s shelters and give money to Planned Parenthood who helps out women survivors of sexual assault. Right? On the subject of the writer of this piece, she has more balls than you do writing out in the open, using her full name and her reputation. So suck it you coward.

  • gingerwentworth

    I remember exactly– all the years of my childhood, watching television, being distressed inside, watching on the screen as men grabbed women, and the women fought, then suddenly relaxed and began madly kissing back. IT NEVER FAILED. This demented man- dream was taught one million times over to boys and men, and girls and women too. Just persevere! This is how it’s done, y’all. And that’s where men got this truly horrible idea.

    • OMG! So true! I’m nearly 70 and rape was romance was for Bill, Hillary, Juanita Broaddrick…and me! We all grew up with it. Watch John Wayne overpower Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man. Feel the stirring in your loins when Rhett Butler overwhelms Scarlet. It was everywhere. Powerful, superior men spanking women, throwing them around, tying them up, overpowering them … all for maximum cinematic erotic effect. The message was pervasive in the culture. Little girls learned it and so did little boys. We’ve all come a long way, baby.

      • JD Mulvey

        I’m from the Luke and Laura generation. Every little girl aspired to grow up to have such a romance.

        • LA Julian

          Nonsense. For many of us little girls, it solidified our devotion to Diana, and our forswearing of romance altogether, because it could never be anything but slavery and abuse. You speak only for you and weaklings like yourself.

          • JD Mulvey

            Thanks for sharing. Your sure it wasn’t romance that forswore you?

          • doktorzoom

            Let’s keep it civil, please. Yes, even though the other person was uncivil first. I would prefer not to have to close the thread.

          • JD Mulvey

            Aww, doc… sometimes you’re just no fun at all.

          • doktorzoom

            I know! I love it!

          • doktorzoom

            You know, you were doing just fine until you insisted that someone else with a different experience/perception was a “weakling.” You’ve made some valuable contributions to Wonkette, but please knock that Manichean bullshit off right now.

            — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

          • DemmeFatale

            Where do you think you are, name caller?
            This isn’t the place for you.
            We’re not facebook.

      • LA Julian

        Some of us little girls watching those movies wanted Rhett and co to DIAF, and vowed never to have anything to do with men, since that was what “lurve” and romance meant – abuse and cruelty and rape.

    • And you know it wasn’t until years later than my sister and I even realized we’d both been raped numerous times. I was even beaten once in an attempted date-rape situation and it never occurred to me or my parents to report it. Since I’d managed to avoid actual genital penetration, it wasn’t a thing. My mother stoically drew me a bath and filled it with epsom salts to soothe my mangled bottom. I told my girlfriends. We’d all gone to school with the guy. They thought it was hilarious. I remember sitting there stunned by their reaction before joining in on the merriment. I kid you not.

      • gingerwentworth

        I believe you, Sharon. I’m 67 myself.
        My mother’s response to anything I told her– as far as I can recall was– ‘that just means he likes you!’

  • Lamashtar

    I’m sorry if it makes me a bad woman, and feminist, but I don’t believe people automatically when they say a crime was committed. There should always be an investigation. Always. But support does not mean blind faith. We don’t know what happened, and without an actual police investigation, we won’t, ever. I have zero faith in news media to act in their place.

    We have to make our decisions based on provable facts and policies the candidates offer. Only one of them is good for this nation. Everything else is noise.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      Thank-you! There are exactly two people who know what really happened and neither of them are here tonight. Hillary is the one running and she raped no one.

  • Exninja

    I was a teen in the eighties, and knew that forcing myself on a female was morally wrong. I also knew that it was punishable by prison. Not exactly the dark ages, Rebecca.
    So sad that a man can can leave a woman bleeding, crying and traumatized for life, yet be defended by a female because of his party affiliation. I don’t understand this brand of progressivism and feminism.

    I have a lovely teenage daughter. I have explained to her that nobody has a right to touch her against her will, ever, and to let boys know that she has a dad who cares about how she is treated
    Pretty shocking of me to protect her, considering that I came of age in the days of ” Alpha Male Sex”. I must not be a real progressive, and certainly not a real feminist.
    And no Rebecca, my nice grandfather didn’t cheat on his wife by brutalizing young women in hotel rooms. He was a prince of a southern man who raised a great daughter. ( my mother), and taught me how to treat women.
    I think you suffer from situational ethics, and I think Juanita Broaddrick is a woman of immense courage to come forward, knowing how she would be treated by people like yourself.

    • gingerwentworth

      Actually you came of age when the second wave of feminism was already maturing and these things were being talked about all the time.

      • Exninja

        Not according to this article. I thought we were still slave owners then?

      • Lee Hillhouse

        Evidently he doesn’t know about the 60s and 70s.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      Rebecca did not defend rape or a rapist. She wondered about forgiveness. Jeez. ….and everything is not crystal clear and we still have innocent until proven otherwise and only TWO people know what happened. Two. ….and you are not one of them. …and I am a feminist, lesbian, severe abuse survivor and I hate rapists to the depth of my being and yet, can still discuss forgiveness.

      • Exninja

        Clinton never asked for forgiveness, nor did he ever make amends. And the ENTIRE article is based on the premise of rape. Rebecca may have situational ethics, you seem to have selective reading comprehension. And you hate rapists, I get it. Most of them anyway, unless they are rich white politicians. I find them all equally reprehensible, even the powerful ones.

        • Lee Hillhouse

          He would only ask forgiveness if he did something and you have no idea whether he did or did not. Juanita says he asked forgiveness. There are only TWO people who really know what happened and YOU are not one of them.

          • britishvoiceman

            and a person could ask for forgiveness after coming to the realization that he made a genuine mistake and misread the signs – as you say, we simply don’t know.

        • Lee Hillhouse

          Actually, I also have semi-situational ethics. Anything else is fascism. …but with rape, I am 100% against it and against the rapist. We DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. …and yes, if not the premise of rape, what would there be to forgive but it was about forgiveness. ….and I actually don’t much like Bill Clinton. I like his wife. I just am not willing to hang a family for something the man may….MAY….have done, 40 fucking years ago. …..but you go for it. It seems to make you feel all haughty and ethically pristine.

        • Jen_Baker_VA

          You obviously did not actually read the article. Or have been following the story. Juanita herself claims as part of her narrative that he asked for forgiveness.

    • Lee Hillhouse

      Everything in your post assumes Juanita is telling the truth. ….and you have no way of knowing. ….and I am never impressed with men who claim they are Grrr to abusers of women while being verbally abusive to women.

  • Mike Steele

    Sorry, Rebecca, but this post is even more convoluted than the first. Next time your active mind is overflowing with random thoughts, speak them into a voice recorder, stick that in your nightstand and play them back when your child reaches puberty. None of your posits or assumptions are relevant to Bill Clinton, whose boorish behavior remain(s) ed unchecked for decades. In addition, he is not running for POTUS this time, so the less said about him, the better.

    • Jay Vaughn

      You seem nice. I do hope you stick around.

  • You know, if I learned anything from the Democratic primary this year, it was that it’s perfectly possible for liberal men, even some who call themselves feminists, to engage in fairly disgusting sexist behavior when they aren’t getting their way. You know, like calls to “bern the witch,” or calling female voters “vagina voters,” implying they aren’t smart enough or informed enough to make a decision based on actual facts, and just default to making a choice based on gender instead. Or holding a woman responsible for the decisions and/or actions of her husband or male boss, or actually saying that she is not a separate person with separate thoughts and opinions from the person she married. Or telling women on Twitter that they deserve to be raped/stabbed/die in a fire because of who they’re voting for.

    None of which rises to the level of an actual rape, of course. But I don’t think it’s entirely unrelated, either. In 2016, many men still get angry and act out when women don’t do what they want. Including liberal/progressive/feminist men. Maybe that’s why I don’t find it all that crazy that a relatively liberal, kinda-feminist-at-least-in-relation-to-his-wife man in the 70s could be fuzzy about consent. Not taking what women say seriously is just really deeply entrenched in our culture. That applies to political opinions, sex, and everything in between.

    I am not really sure what we’re supposed to do with thoughts and feels about Bill and Juanita at this stage of the game. The statute of limitations passed a long time ago. The possible victim declined to make her case in court, even when presented with the most sympathetic prosecutor imaginable – the possibility remains that she was willing to falsely accuse the president on Dateline, but not willing to perjure herself. Given the industry devoted to Clinton scandals, most are which are bullshit, I figure it’s about a 50/50 shot. Bill Clinton was enough of a pig that I could buy him crossing consent boundaries, and anyone named Clinton gets hounded enough that I could buy that the story could have been made up out of nothing. Or the facts could be somewhere in between. There’s just no way to know.

    What I AM pretty sure of is that Hillary Clinton didn’t rape anyone (it’s one of the few things she’s never been accused of, I think ) and blaming her for her husband’s actions is actually pretty disgustingly sexist! Treating the possibility of her winning the presidency as some sort of validation of Bill’s possible misdeeds is sexist. And looking at the people in contention to be president this year and voting against the one person who has some good ideas and isn’t likely to nuke the planet, doesn’t want to deregulate everything, doesn’t think Wi-Fi cooks children’s brains, and actually knows a few things about how to do the damn job, because that person’s husband MIGHT have committed a crime (or might have just been the target of a false accusation) nearly 40 years ago, is just stupid. Bill’s already been president. We can’t retroactively take it away from him, anymore than we can retroactively take it away from any of the other men who held the job who were also pretty awful about women (Jefferson? Kennedy? Ringing any bells?) All we can do is cut off our noses to spite our faces… or, you know, not.

    • jmk

      YES. THIS.

    • britishvoiceman

      I agree with you, and as a liberal man, I’m personally disgusted by some on the left referring to Melania Trump, who also isn’t running for president or any other public office as a “prostitute”, a “ho” or a “Russian mail-order bride”.

      • Yeah, it really comes from all over, doesn’t it? I haven’t been thrilled watching supposed liberals slut-shame her for the nude modeling photos, or say they make her unfit to be First Lady. I mean, really? There’s no reason for that. Nor did I like watching fellow Hillary supporters – who should really know better, if anyone would, go after Jane Sanders’ clothes or hair or whatever.

        I expect misogynistic attitudes from the right. Seeing so much of it come seemingly out of nowhere on the left has been eye-opening. And disappointing. Although I probably should have expected it; I do remember racists appearing in unexpected places around eight years ago.

  • ken T

    Thanks for your intellectual honesty.

    So the feminist liberals, progressives and collectivists that vote early and often each election for Democrats are going to pretend that for the past 8 years the Democrat party has been claiming, without citing any evidence, that the “Republicans are waging a war on women”?

    Thats right, the party that mostly consists of rich, white hetero men hates women. I always admired the way yall can say that without laughing.

    And because of this war( that no one can demonstrate is taking place but is somehow more of a threat than Moslems who have, in real life, indescrimanately attacked, Killed, wounded and maimed thousands of US citizens on US soil. } you must vote for the woman who enabled her husband to sexually victimize women throughout their married life.

    Then SHE will be the first woman POTUS.

    Anything but another rich white “woman hating” Republican.

    After all, Former President Clinton called her himself after likely raping her and apologised.

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      a: Muslims. B: The war on women has plenty of supporting evidence; just because you choose to ignore it means jack and c: you have no idea what intellectual honesty is.

      • ken T

        Look, ive only heard of Repubs raping little boys. What supporting evidence is out there that is worse than rape and murder to support a War on Women Waged by Repubs?

    • Msgr_Moment

      Tell all the women who live in states with gerrymandered GOP gubmints who now have to undergo onerous hurdles to exercise their legal option to abort that there is no GOP war on women.

    • doktorzoom

      Troll-B-Gone applied

      — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

      • mfp

        dammit…you’re too quick, dok…i’m always late to the party

      • britishvoiceman

        I really wish they had a moderator like you on youtube, yahoo, alternet, etc, etc.

  • Tosca

    The thing is…Bill Clinton is not running for President. Would it be relevant if Hillary was accused of rape? Absolutely. Would it be relevant if she stone cold knew her husband was a rapist (as opposed to having had a consensual affair) and helped silence and intimidate the victim? Yes. Is there evidence that happened? Not that I’ve heard.

    It’s clear Ms Broaddrick believes that Hillary knew about the rape and she (Ms Broaddrick) felt intimidated by her. But that’s not something she can testify of her own experience, and thus out of the area her testimony is useful. She could testify to Hillary’s *actions* that she witnessed, but she can’t testify to what Hillary knew or didn’t know about the alleged rape, or what the *motives* behind those actions were. Ms. Broaddrick’s allegations against Bill Clinton should be listened to, although proof is unlikely at this stage. But her allegations against Hillary Clinton are hearsay and should be dropped.

    So why is a woman being judged for the behaviour of her husband again?

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      Because she is Hillary. The most evil that ever eviled!!! She has a time machine you know. That whole big bang? Her fault.
      Also, it is relevant anyway, even though in a perfect world the wife would not be blamed for the sins of the husband, as it were. If nothing else it gets people out of their comfort zones and actually talking about this stuff, PLUS, it has right wingers actually supporting a rape victim which is hellishly rare, when the accused is white.

      • Msgr_Moment

        Oh, be serious. The Big Bang? That was Bill. Obvs.

        • Jen_Baker_VA

          NUH UH. That was bills in the 90s, but then Obama stoled the time machine and it was his, but now it is all Hillary’s fault.
          I saw someone on the PBS last night claiming the 90’s surplus was all thanks to George the first, and the Republican congress. I kid you not. If it is good, it was an R, if it was bad, always a D.

          • britishvoiceman

            Oh, that’s just not fair – next, you’ll be claiming that poor Melania plagiarized her speech.

    • JD Mulvey

      Well cause if she was any kind of real woman, he’d have been able to keep it zipped, obvs.

      • britishvoiceman

        Oh, course – Repubs NEVER cheat, do they?

    • Sakonyachen

      Because that woman is Hillary. And the people who don’t want her elected failed to put up a decent candidate against her so they have to resort to every tiny thing they can smear her with. I guarantee If Trump were elected you would never hear this woman’s name again, case or no case. I can’t even say she might not be full of shit. I haven’t read the details so I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find a few Trump signs in her yard. Knowing Bill Clinton though, it wouldn’t surprise me if she was a full fledged lefty and being totally honest.

      How is this Hillary’s fault? Because she has been running for POTUS for 40 years I guess. The wolf crying has gotten so bad that I almost can’t believe that either Clinton did anything wrong or disagreeable ever. Even the shit I watched them do and disagreed with at the time. It’s like if they found an old toenail clipping in the carpet of the Oval Office the GOP would commission a DNA test to find out if it was Bill’s. Clippingsgate or something.

  • kaydenpat

    Can we discuss Secretary Clinton instead of rehashing Bill Clinton’s issues which are not relevant to the November election?

    • Msgr_Moment

      No, because otherwise we might have to discuss why a major-party presidential candidate candidate for President refuses to divulge his tax returns.

      How else can we salvage our both-sides-do-it narrative?

      • Tzip

        She refuses to reveal her emails.

        • rebecca

          mmhmmmm. you are very smart and not at all regurgitating stupid points. I’m sure you were equally worried about the millions of emails deleted by the Bush White House and Colin Powell, and how they used RNC servers. You seem honest like that.

          • kareemachan

            Yeah, Cheney the dick was really , really, REALLY good at getting rid of emails and other incriminating evidence.

        • Msgr_Moment

          Have we cornered Colin Powell on his yet? Still, emails is a bit more honest than the whole “enabler” industry.

        • beavertank

          You mean the tens of thousands of emails that were turned over to the FBI and also released publicly at her urging?

          Or do you want her thousands of personal emails, which are not subject to FOIA requirements or something that any rational person would demand released?

        • Jay Vaughn

          You seem nice. Do hope you stick around.

          • doktorzoom

            Not gonna happen, my friend. Already banned. (Them, not you)

          • Jay Vaughn

            :( (sadface)

  • Mavenmaven

    This is going to be one of those rough days, it is “trending on FB”: Wonkette: Website’s Editor Says Bill Clinton’s Alleged Rape ‘Doesn’t Make Him an Evil Man’
    Fortunately we, your loyal readers, also believe in forgiveness.

    • Shan the Libtart

      I made the mistake of peeking at the FB comments. It was so abusively awful.

      • JD Mulvey

        Isn’t social media wonderful?

        • Shan the Libtart

          So many sites now have only FB for commenting. It’s so vile. I mean, even friends and family get shitty with each other on FB. So strangers seem to think rape/death threats are just hunky dory. I wish the US would be as pro-active about threats as they are in Australia. But “free speech” here, so…ugh.

          • JD Mulvey

            I never really did before, but lately I’ve become a great user of the “block” function. People get one chance. They’re a dick one time, then goodbye forever.

          • britishvoiceman

            Agree 100% screw the First Amendment and let’s join the rest of the civilized world in making hate speech illegal,

    • Tzip

      Great. Then post your address, so people can rob your house so you can forgive them. What a swell guy you are.

      • JD Mulvey

        You seem nice.

      • Mavenmaven

        Sure. 68-40 Austin St, Flushing, NY 11375. Make sure to be open carrying when you drop by!

      • Mason

        Why would you openly wish/plan/hope for others to be harmed?

        You seem nice.

  • califmom

    I’ve never read Wonkette. Now I know why. What a poor excuse for a writer.

    • beavertank

      Hello, goodbye.

    • JD Mulvey

      Thanks for the pageview, califmom!

    • Jay Vaughn

      You seem nice. I do hope you stick around.

    • doktorzoom

      You seem nice. And banhammered.

    • What a poor excuse for a comment.

      • beavertank

        Very weak. Sad. Pathetic really. Everyone’s saying it.

      • Panika MCD

        the name is very poorly constructed. I’m not saying it is, other people are saying. and I think it’s something that should be looked into.

        • Mason

          What does my name say?

          • Panika MCD

            morning numbers or illuminati. I can’t tell.

          • Mason

            Oooohhh…both of those are great!

            I’m just boring enough to use my actual first name.

          • doktorzoom

            If you joined the Marines, you could be a Mason Jarhead.

          • Sakonyachen

            Does that mean he could store weed in his head? Asking for a friend …

      • britishvoiceman

        Oh, Snap!

    • ibwilliamsi

      Your aversion to well thought out commentary is explained by your never having read Wonkette before.

    • kareemachan

      Well, doesn’t that show an independent, objective viewpoint.

      In other words, “aren’t you special”.

  • JD Mulvey

    Rebecca: I’m sure it sucks to be on the receiving end of the rightwing umbridge machine, but fuck those people. In a day or two they’ll go back to kicking puppies or something. You’re tougher than a thousand internet bullies.

    • doktorzoom

      (Umbrage. J.D Rowling made up the other spelling as a pune, or play on words)

      • JD Mulvey

        Never assume a pune when simple poor spelling would suffice.

        • doktorzoom

          Don’t worry about it. When I taught first-year writing, I was astounded at the number of new college students who thought that the farthest you could see was way out on the “verizon.”

          • Pixie_Duster

            It’s so far – you can’t hear me now.

        • Msgr_Moment

          Wars have been fought over punes! Ask Cato.

  • Scrolling down the page reading (and mentally filling in some blanks where deleted non comments are) I am somewhat amazed at all the self-proclaimed defenders of women crawling out of the woodwork to yell at a woman for having and voicing complicated thoughts.

    Explain to me again how the man who is married to the woman who will quite possibly be the first woman president (and who has been the first woman to do this, that, or the other thing a whole bunch of times already) can’t possibly have feminist leanings or redeeming qualities, but internet trolls have this whole supporting women thing all figured out.

    • Jay Vaughn

      You’re forgetting one important fact: BURN THE WITCH!!!1!

  • Uncleduke87

    TL;DR, rape is only bad when I disagree with the rapist.

    • doktorzoom

      See, this is where the “didn’t read” part can trip you up: post actually says: “ I DON’T EVEN LIKE BILL CLINTON” and that Rebecca voted against him after his Welfare “reform” bill.

      Banhammered, but definitely an amusing comment history. Guy has a name inspired by a Garry Trudeau character based on Hunter S Thompson, all his other posts are about pop culture, and this is his only post about politics. Weird. Maybe all the others were deleted.

      Steinbot, maybe?

      — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

  • onechancefancy

    I really don’t like this paradigm where writers are made to feel like they should backtrack or explain what they wrote — just because readers’ cognitive biases are tweaked.

    Isn’t “third-wave feminism” something about women being able to think and explore stuff without having to deal with a bunch of finger-wagging? Maybe it should be more about giving the waggers a one-finger salute.

    • doktorzoom

      Eh, I don’t think this is backtracking at all. It’s a reply to readers’ critiques, many of which were thoughtful, others of which resulted from things Rebecca thinks she should have explained better (always a useful thing in a conversation), and still others of which were simply kneejerk rants, which she actually gives very little attention to.

    • Mason

      You see how well one-finger salutes work while driving to get people on your side. That would be about the same here.

  • Shan the Libtart

    “TL;DR so I don’t know anything about either the articles, the author or the ongoing discussions but I’m going to wade in and outrage-post based on what my friend said in the Facebook comment she tagged me in after wildly misinterpreting the original article!”

    • Mason

      Love your name.

  • John Hollingsworth

    If Part III of this is a gif of jingling keys, I’m sure at least half the outrage will die out.

  • Pat_Pending

    I present Exhibit A of rape culture that occurred before I was born, but is easily part of Bill’s upbringing: That old American songbook standard Baby, It’s Cold Outside. If date rape was ever perceived as charming, this is proof.

    • kareemachan

      Okay, confession time here: I don’t perceive this song as rape culture.

      BUT it might be because I saw Sigourney Weaver and Buster Poindexter perform it on SNL.

      • rachelmap

        OTOH, Miss Piggy and Rudolph Nureyev’s take was def. a bit heavy in the sexual harassment area, and that’s the version I always think of.

    • Sakonyachen

      NSFW, but I think these guys agree. Not with the song, but with your take on it.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qc_F0zP9usU

  • Colin

    Thanks for thoughtfully approaching a difficult subject. There are few easy answers, and a lot of challenging questions. Your willingness to continue discussing this issue helps to clarify those questions.

  • ahughes798

    This may be mean, so delete if you must, Doktor.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1RdiTRJVb0

  • Michelle Clark

    I have concerns that you think men were taught that rape is ok in the 80’s. No it wasn’t.

    • Panika MCD

      0 points for reading comprehension. just because she said men were “taught that rape was ok” doesn’t mean she was saying it was “ok”.

    • doktorzoom

      Tell you what. Since you don’t seem able to read what’s actually written here, we’ll free you up from commenting here so you can go back to worrying about trans people in the bathrooms destroying Americans’ rights to say “Merry Christmas.” Bye!

      — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

      • beavertank

        Maybe they’re just concerned about trans people not getting enough fiber and straining too hard in the bathroom.

        …I know it’s not that, but sometimes it’s fun to pretend people aren’t awful.

        • Msgr_Moment

          I really hate all that trans fat shaming.

          • beavertank

            Delicious donuts matter.

  • Sakonyachen

    I was taught that rape wasn’t okay, I was simultaneously taught that some types of rape weren’t rape. We have made some serious strides since the 80’s. Obviously the MRA’s are still kicking and screaming and I’m sure that the frat boys probably have their stories pre written for such cases, but the rest of us get it.

    I can say that I never raped anyone, but I wonder if every woman I had sex with feels the same. Memories tend to become shinier with time, especially when they aren’t connected to repercussions. It’s frightening to think about it objectively and wonder if the era I grew up in excused me for something I wasn’t aware was wrong because I was told it was okay. There’s no way to really know because if I had a dollar for every woman I slept with, I could buy a Chevy Malibu(If I had a dollar for every one I was proud of, I could put 2 or 3 gallons of gas in it.). I wasn’t a member of the no means yes crowd, I actually was the voice of reason with most of the guys I knew. That doesn’t mean that something I remember as a long bout of foreplay wasn’t her just giving in because she lived in the same sexist culture of the time. I think about this sometimes and wonder if the fact that I didn’t use a knife behind a dumpster is the only reason I don’t remember doing anything wrong. It’s sad to think about because most men I know were not as progressive of thinkers as I was where women are concerned.

    • dansezlajavanaise

      thank you for not giving yourself a pass.

      • Sakonyachen

        You’re welcome. A pass only means you got away with something anyway. Which is pretty hard to do when you don’t have a clue if you did anything wrong. I only figure I could have, or that someone may have consented to me because they thought they were required to. Societal proxy rape is creepier than the guy in the alley to me. But the guy in the alley would stay in the alley if I walked by, so easy for me to say.

    • kareemachan

      Wow, talk about shame-bragging here.

      If I had anything to do with you, I’d demand a THOROUGH doctor’s exam first.

      In other words, phhhht.

      • Sakonyachen

        Sure, but actually I’ve had plenty of those. I even got the q-tip treatment once because I had a UTI and assumed the worst. I guess if that counts as bragging, I’m guilty.

  • SadDemInTex

    OT…but also sorta on

  • dansezlajavanaise

    rebecca, i am married to a man who, as a middle manager, did something bad to a female subordinate whose work he didn’t respect on a drunken night. the consequences were bad for our family, but i know what you’re saying is true. and he is a pretty good feminist.

    • Dirk Durka

      What is this apologist shit? The consequences were bad for your family, not for the person he “did something bad to”? Yet he’s a “pretty good feminist”? Do you even listen to yourself?

      • kareemachan

        As much as I think dirk is a dick, these are answer-worthy questions – or more info-worthy questions.

        • dansezlajavanaise

          he got very drunk at a company event, and tried to force a kiss on her. i wasn’t there, never met the woman, so i can’t speak to exact circumstances. he was stupid, he acted like a complete asshole that night. he was disciplined by his company, eventually lost his job *as he should have*, and we are now poorer than we would have been. those were logical and fair consequences. i don’t know where the woman is now, but she stayed on after him. we had long talks about this. we have a son and a daughter already, and he is a pretty decent feminist dad. i am not happy this happened, but i’ve seen what rebecca talks about (and no, he’s not just sorry he was caught or sorry about the cost, quite incredulous that he could act in this way and understanding of the harm he caused).

    • RoniOh

      I bet the consequences were even worse for the innocent women he assaulted. Good God woman – listen to yourself.

      • dansezlajavanaise

        i can’t speak to that, we are not in touch.

        • kathleenwilley

          No, YOU’RE not in touch. You should be ashamed of yourself. Do you have a daughter? No, I didn’t think so…..

          • dansezlajavanaise

            i have a daughter. should i hang her father?

          • gingerwentworth

            Everybody gets kisses forced on them sometimes.

          • gingerwentworth

            Every time I leave a party I get kisses forced on me. You just shove the person if you don’t like it. But out in the world it’s happened to most women ten thousand times. It seems pretty severe he would lose his job, doesn’t it?

          • dansezlajavanaise

            it was clearly inappropriate behavior. he was a supervisor forcing a kiss on a subordinate, not a buddy. he was drunk and probably a bit aggressive. they didn’t outright fire him, but they sent him to sensitivity training, and there was a black mark on his record from then on. i think after that event, he was justifiably seen as a risky bet for the company. he told me about it the next day, and we had a lot of conversations over time.

    • kathleenwilley

      “Something bad?”

      • dansezlajavanaise

        he tried to force a kiss on her. let’s hang him.

  • M.E. Lawrence

    Rebecca, I’m not sure I agree with all you’ve had to say, but I deeply appreciate your saying/writing it (in part because I live in a very left-wing part of the west coast, and if I had posted anything like your columns on my neighborhood network, I would have been accused of fascism by several of my so-called neighbors, those who tend to see the world as victims-versus-oppressors. Rape under any circumstances is wrong and should be punished, but some rapists can and do redeem themselves. Just as self-preservation is good, and some women who consistently do foolish things (e.g., hanging out in frat houses and drinking too much) can and do learn to take care of themselves.

  • Jennaratrix

    I love that this conversation is happening; I don’t love that it still HAS to happen, but that we’re finally starting to be able to unpack some of this stuff and talk about it. It’s COMPLICATED. No one, or at least very few people, are all good or all bad. If it were true that the very second you do something bad you are forever an evil person, irredeemable, then ALL of us would be so. None of that excuses rape or any other offense against your fellow humans; it simply acknowledges reality.

    Thank you for continuing to write about this despite knowing it was going to bring the trolls out to play, and knowing you’d get more yelling. We need to say the things that go through our heads, air them out, get opposing views, think about why we believe the things that we do, give ourselves an opportunity to change and learn. That can’t happen if we don’t talk, even if it means we say stupid and/or wrong things. Or just things that others don’t agree with. Keep it up. Ignore the trolls.

  • LA Julian

    There were plenty of people who knew that forcing yourself on a women in your employ was wrong, and said so, much farther back than the 1980s — a hundred years earlier, even.

    Bestselling author of perpetually-in-print bestselling short stories Arthur Conan Doyle — who also supported women’s right to practice medicine — put it in multiple Sherlock Holmes adventures, and the fact that both asexual Holmes and actively heterosexual Watson were outraged by even the hint of pressure by wealthy businessmen towards their secretaries and nannies, and never ever tried to justify or rationalize it by saying any sort of MRA-speak “asking for it” or “grey area”, was how he pointed out that they were, unquestionably, the Good Guys even when they were breaking the law themselves to protect these victims.

    So no, it’s no more true that “nobody knew any better” in 1980, any more than it’s true that nobody knew slavery was wrong or objected to it, in 1780… The men in power who liked harassing women had a vested interest in things staying that way, and asserting that we really wanted it/asked for it/shouldn’t have been working outside the home, and so did Phyllis Schlafly and her band of bloodsucking harpies, but the rest of us knew it was wrong, even if the majority of those in power didn’t have our backs, and openly mocked the idea of sexual harassment as “political correctness run mad.”

    • doktorzoom

      You know, if Rebecca had actually said “nobody knew any better” in the 70s and 80s, you’d have a really strong rebuttal here. But she didn’t say that. She said that male dominance was a prevailing cultural norm, wrong though it was. Hence the line “Why do you think we’re in the middle of a national discussion on Rape Culture if we weren’t trying to unteach what came before?”

      • Dirk Durka

        “men might not have even known they were raping”

        It’s close enough to support the argument.

  • Mike Steele

    While Rebecca has chosen this fraught and dangerous
    s election cycle to engage in a self-indulgent quest for ” intellectual honesty”, I am about to engage in some cynical political honesty. I’m certain that the far right would happily discuss Juanita Broaddrick “again and again”. ..they don’t need wonkette to forever mine this turf. I respectfully suggest that our esteemed editor reserve her navel-gazing for the denouement after Trump is defeated. STOP feeding the beast, for Chrissakes!

    • JD Mulvey

      So happy the truth-teller has finally arrived. I wasn’t sure how the rest of us would survive.

    • Dirk Durka

      No no, it’s not a quest for intellectual honesty, it’s a quest “to show how intellectually honest” she is. It’s for show.

      • doktorzoom

        Aaaaand then there’s just plain being a dismissive asshole. Consider yourself dismissed, asshole.

        — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

        • beavertank

          Be honest, you’re enjoying yourself now, aren’t you. It’s the wordplay that’s giving it away.

          • doktorzoom

            Maybe just a little

    • doktorzoom

      It’s her blog. She gets to indulge her ideas. That’s one of the benefits of being a publisher/blogger.

      As tor the rightwing noise machine, they have always used Broaddrick as a prop, and will until Bill and Hillary are dead and buried. Then every ten years after unto the next generations. (I understand the impulse, and can’t guarantee that if I were ever near Joseph McCarthy’s gravesite, I wouldn’t micturate upon it happily). Happily for her, Chelsea appears to have no political ambitions whatsoever.

      In the tides of rightwing verbiage over Bill Clinton the Serial Rapist, this pair of blog posts in which one writer puzzles out her own admittedly ambivalent thoughts isn’t going to make much difference. This wasn’t written for them, and it won’t give them any new ammunition — at least not any more than any other blog post with the name “Hillary Clinton” would. But a whole lot of people here have had a hell of a good discussion about ideas that matter to them.

      Montaigne called the prose form he created an “essai” — an exploratory going-forth to make some sense of the territory. In a non-blog context, it’s likely Rebecca would take these two chunks and revise them further into a single essay, if she got around to it. Go ahead and dismiss this as navel-gazing. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. The fact that so many Wonkers have had so much to say about it — and certainly not in full agreement — suggests to me there’s something of value here. But in case you were worried, she’s not, as far as I know, planning a Part III. I don’t think we need to fear these two posts will constitute a liberal shanda fur die goyim — Wonkette’s a nice place, and we like to think we have a little influence here and there, but we’re probably not going to lose the election for Clinton.

      Mind you, if she cites Wonkette in her concession speech, I will of course admit you were right and I was wrong.

      • Mike Steele

        Thanks for your take on this; just what the Dok ordered:). A cogent reply coupled with a turkey sandwich means my tryptophan level has me heading toward nap time. Catch you later, ‘gator…

      • M.E. Lawrence

        A man who reads Montaigne–who could ask for a cooler blogger?

        • doktorzoom

          pfft. Has read about Montaigne, more like. Sorry to shatter any illusions :D

          • Gregory Brown

            But you read about him in the original French, n’est-ce pas?

          • M.E. Lawrence

            Never ever admit to not having read the classics. Smile nostalgically and say, “Oh, it was so long time ago–but I well remember the impression Montaigne/Proust/Colette/Stendhal made on my adolescent sensibilities.” Say it with a straight face.

  • Spurning Beer

    In support of Rebecca’s assertion that the threshold of non-consent was different a few decades ago, consider the example of Pepe le Pew: “Your lips, they say no, but your eyes, they say yes!”

    • SeekingBarbie

      Lyrics by Dean Martin:
      Your lips tell me no no
      But there’s yes yes in your eyes
      I’ve been missing your kissing just because I wasn’t wise
      I’ll stop my scheming and dreaming ‘cuz I realize
      Your lips tell me no no
      But there’s yes yes in your eyes
      [Spoken:] Come over here honey, I’m not going to hurt you
      Let me talk to you
      Your lips tell me no no
      But there’s yes yes in your eyes
      Well I’ve been missing your kissing just because I wasn’t wise
      Well I’ll stop my scheming and dreaming ‘cuz I just realized
      Well your lips tell me no no
      But there’s yes yes in your eyes

      Recording by Eddy Howard:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJakBeeqq2g

    • Anna Keye

      None of this means “I will force myself into your vagina without a word to or from you.”

      It means “I will continue to pester/seduce/pursue you until you say yes”.

      Men were NOT willy-nilly forcing themselves on women of their acquaintance in any era.

      Also of note, it was considered indecent for women to seem enthusiastic about sex and it actually was the man’s job to “convince” them.

      But “convince” and “persuade” are not what happened in the Broaddrick scenario, by any means.

      • ghreen1

        I am a 51 yr. old white man and I knew when i was a preteen/ teen back in the 60s and 70’s that you did not force a girl against her will, just as I knew you did not kill a person against their will. I think most people are born with this inherit knowledge. You are correct, seduce /pursue, maybe a little pester. :) ( Pepe Le Pew fan)

        • jmk

          Bullshit – we were still on the “she didn’t fight back hard enough…and what was she doing alone with him…and with her history, what could she expect” standard by which some men – and many juries – judged women.

          • eka

            and i think it’s clear that bill clinton has an ego problem – i’m sure he never considered the idea that somebody would not want him. obviously, that doesn’t excuse anything he did, but if anyone were to be convinced by the multiple no excuse, it would be an egomaniac.

  • davidrmoran

    What part of sworn signed affidavit at age 35 that he did NOT rape her do people not get?

    • kareemachan

      Well, that’s carrying on a civil conversation, ain’t it?

    • Justin

      So I take it that you feel that she is lying now?

      If so, why do you suppose she decided to lie about it now rather than when she was given the first opportunity to so by Paula Jones’s lawyers, given the fact that she knew she would open herself up to a charge of perjury by later claiming that Clinton raped her?

      If she is lying now, why do you suppose she purposely courted even more trouble by lying to Federal investigators who questioned her well after she signed the original affidavit, and told them that Clinton actually did raper her? After all, lying to the Feds in an active investigation will get you in even more trouble than lying in an affidavit to lawyers in a civil lawsuit.

      Why not lie about it when it could have damaged Clinton politically? Rather than wait until after he won his second term?

      If you insist she is lying now, then why wouldn’t she have lied in order to support Paula Jones’s claims if her motivation is to unfairly harm Bill Clinton by lying about his behavior?

      Why do you suppose that at least four separate witnesses told NBC News that Broaddrick told them that she was raped and saw the marks on her face themselves the very week (in some cases the very day) of the incident? I take it that you feel that they are all lying in order to further a vast right-wing conspiracy against the Clintons?

      Why do you suppose she was even asked to sign such an affidavit in the first place? Have you ever been randomly asked to sign a sworn statement regarding whether or not a politician ever brutally raped you? If not, why do you suppose that is?

      Isn’t it best to simply apply Occam’s Razor here and believe what she now says? That she lied by signing her sworn statement because she was ashamed about what happened to her? That she didn’t want to be unwillingly thrust into the media spotlight as a rape victim by someone else’s lawyers? That she didn’t want to have to be forced to recount the worst day of her life on the witness stand in Paula Jones’s lawsuit? That she didn’t want to be subject to emotional abuse that Clinton’s lawyers and cronies would heap on her as they did with every other woman that came forward (even the consensual ones)?

      Her actions in signing an affidavit insisting that it never happened are entirely consistent with the psychology of rape victims whose sense of shame and embarrassment are far greater than their sense of wanting to see justice done. Much like the fact that many women will sign statements swearing that they have not been the victim of domestic violence, out of fear that they will suffer even more physical and economic harm if they tell the truth.

      Or do you also hold that victims of domestic abuse should never be believed if they first swore to an investigator that their spouse never struck them??

      To hold the view that you do is an insult to both rape and abuse victims everywhere. It proves that people can’t divorce this serious issue from their petty, partisan political beliefs.

      • davidrmoran

        I have no real idea why she is doing what she is doing now, but in this hatefilled political climate, it sure is easy to imagine. She willingly forfeited her credibility and now wonders why. Oops, I did not mean what I swore under oath, and now I am officially make the real charge. Right. Got it. How convenient that the truth is finally coming out decades later in the worst election year ever.
        Please.

        • Justin

          The truth came out in the 1990s. People just didnt want to hear it because they had already been through the impeachment ordeal.

          So I put the question to you again: If she is lying in order to politically harm Bill Clinton, why did she wait until after he won his second term in office? Why didn’t she jump to help Paula Jones’s legal team when they offered her a chance?

          Why did Broaddrick start out SUPPORTING Clinton’s election bid as Governor of Arkansas? You do realize that is how they met, right? Because she was a Democrat who helped support his campaign?

          You need to use common sense here. Simply throwing your hands up and saying “I have no real idea why” when you are challenged won’t cut it. Of course you have an idea why. You are just too gutless to admit it yo yourself.

          Your response is an insult to both rape and domestic violence victims everywhere.

          • davidrmoran

            I was trying to be gentle, which escapes you, clearly; see rest of clause after my lede thought.
            I (and a great many others) dismiss it as contemptibly political (at best) because it looks like what it is, an attempt to pour sand in the HRC campaign.
            I enjoy your offensiveness of ‘gutless’ and the impugning of me as a rape victim insulter! Part of the tone of the times, huh, and way to go. Stay classy, okay?
            Maybe I should go on personal attack against someone I know nothing about in the next round.
            But describe why do *you* think Broaddrick is singing with honesty now, this time? To clear her lying and vacillating conscience yet again? To help assault victims everywhere? To show strength of character in sisterly cause? As a public moral gesture to ensure that WC gets now what he did not back when ?
            It could not possibly have anything to do with this being a venomous and toxic election year, could it.

          • Justin

            I believe Broaddrick because she first went public with the story in 1999, which was NOT an election year. Clinton had already won his second term in office by then and so she could not have derailed his election by coming forward when she did.

            Her story has been entirely consistent since then.

            Her story has been backed up by at least four witnesses who have gone on the record.

            Her story was investigated and scrutinized by NBC news which found her to be credible enough to air her allegations in prime time, along with the witnesses and a bevy of supporting evidence to back up her claims. The story was then later reported by the Washington Post on it’s front page, as well as the New York Times.

            Did you even bother to watch the NBC dateline segment yourself? If not, then how can you even debate this if you aren’t willing to view the evidence yourself?

            She addresses the question as to why she decided to come forward when she did in that interview.

            Once again, 1999 was not an election year.

          • davidrmoran

            The show was right after the impeachment, hence the timing.
            But you know that, no? Of course I watched it. I have no dog in this fight.

            Am beginning to be relieved you find me contemptible, given your sense of history and of facts.

            http://www.vox.com/2016/1/6/10722580/bill-clinton-juanita-broaddrick

            attempts to be thorough and evenhanded.

            But the below plus her reversal are called giving up any standing as a reliable witness:

            … when Paula Jones’s lawyers first approached Broaddrick, she refused to cooperate, and upon being subpoenaed signed an affidavit saying, “I do not have any information to offer regarding a nonconsensual or unwelcome sexual advance by Mr. Clinton.”

            Others can clarify for you witnesses vs supporters vs in-between.

            Of course the FBI is corrupt in this too, right?

            … the FBI investigated the allegation for Starr’s independent counsel office and found the evidence “inconclusive.” There are no direct witnesses and no physical evidence to back up the accusation. “It’s important to note — and Broaddrick concedes — that aside from her, there are no witnesses and as far as we know; no one saw Clinton enter or leave Broaddrick’s room, or even the hotel,” Myers said in the NBC broadcast. “She took no photos, kept no evidence, and the hotel has no records to confirm that she stayed there.”

            etc.

            Whatever. Maybe your faith-based belief is correct, he did what she says, so since this is an election year, be sure not to vote for HRC, okay? You did see this, yes?

            Broaddrick confirmed … that … she was moved to tweet because she was sickened by seeing the Clintons on the campaign trail again. “I guess it was just seeing them on TV so much now, and her with the Benghazi [hearing],” Broaddrick says. “That was impossible, to watch her during that, and now having to see her on the TV, and on the TV campaigning, it’s torture. I have to grab and switch my TV every time I turn around.”

            So even she admits political motive.

          • Justin

            What is also quite clear is that you disbelieve Broderick simply and purely because it is an election year. It has nothing to do with the actual evidence. That is among the many reasons why I find you so contemptible.

    • KarenJ

      Which brings to mind Ivana Trump’s sworn signed affidavit that Donald Trump raped her while they were still married, and now repudiation of that sworn statement.

      Most Trump supporters would take that repudiation at face value, and exonerate their candidate, but I think there’s something else underlying Ivana’s recant.

      Money. She’s been paid off handsomely to back away from the truth of what happened to her, and she dearly wants to continue to enjoy the lifestyle to which she’s become accustomed – with only minimal dabbling in efforts to support herself.

  • Msgr_Moment

    I wholly subscribe to this subversive notion that adults can talk about their party elders, warts and all, rather than simply self-censor so as to poke the other side with the sharpest possible stick. I hope it catches on.

  • Blender_415

    First: Thank you, Rebecca, for the introspection.
    Second: Thank you, Dok, for doing what you can to keep the conversation civil.
    Third: Thank you, Wonketeers, for being able to discuss a complicated issue coherently, and with respect for each other’s views and personal stories.

    That being said… dammit! We’re working on a massive class cert brief that’s due on Tuesday, and one offhand comment by one of the lawyers has mutated into a running conversation about the power dynamics that are prevalent in both rape culture and politics. Last night I had to threaten to disable the monster espresso machine in order to get them back on track.

  • Gregory Brown

    “back then, men were taught that a girl has to say no a couple times before she says yes, so no one will think she is easy. They honest to God were.”
    I am an Old, and I come from the back then our editrix is talking about, and she is not lying to you. That was what men believed.

    • Anna Keye

      And I was 19 when Broadrick was raped and I must disagree. Everyone knew forcing a woman was wrong. Even teenagers knew that. No one did that except rapists. Decent men never did that. Even somewhat sleazy men of my acquaintance did not do that and KNEW it was RAPE if they were to do it.

      NO ONE thought a man forcing himself into a woman’s vagina was okay, much less biting her face and drawing blood, as Bill Clinton is accused of.

      The only difference I would say exists between now and back then when it comes to forcible acquaintance rape is the aftermath. Likely a woman wouldn’t complain in public about acquaintance rape. Now we take “believe women” and “support women” as gospel and getting law enforcement involved is more likely, even against a powerful politician. But back then you may have told only your friends about an acquaintance rape.

      • jmk

        Oh baloney. Acquaintance rape didn’t even exist in 1978 – it didn’t exist in 1981 when it happened to me, and it didn’t exist in the public consciousness until 1990, until THIS http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36434191

        This occurred a year after a woman was fired from her job as a legal secretary because she didn’t make coffee…a year before the debate about marital rape began… a decade before Tailhook… a dozen years before Anita Hill testified.

        I have no difficulty imagining that Bill Clinton never considered that what he did could be defined as rape because at the time, it wasn’t. No one is saying that men were taught that it was ok to force a woman, but the entire society taught men that they were entitled to the bodies of women, that no meant yes if you were persistent enough, and that women liked to be “mastered.”

      • Gregory Brown

        I must disagree with your disagreement. Although I myself did not adhere to that view, I can assure you that it was part of the culture. It was in films, popular songs. It was a holdover from the 50s and it was dying out, but Susan Brownmiller certainly did not think it was gone. I read her book when it came out.

  • John Egan

    I find so many things upsetting and unsettling about this article and its predecessor.
    First, to say you don’t believe in God yet you still think of “your Church,” which sounds like you cannot take a firm stand and are somewhat ambivalent. Unfortunate.
    About Clinton and the time of the rape… being a guy that was highly motivated when young (70s-early 80s) to find female sex partners, I still knew when to stop. I may have been persistent in attempting to get a woman “interested” but never pushed. When I heard “no” it meant NO. To have some sort of pseudo-intellectual explanation of Clinton being forgivable because of the timeframe is BS. He was highly educated and knows (and knew) right from wrong. Period. He thought with his dick and probably still does, just hides it. A predator. His feminism may just be a wrapper for public consumption or his own conflicting views of women as either equals or sex targets.
    Hillary seems to have been in her own time warp trap of a woman must “stand by your man” and being super loyal, instead of throwing the bum out and facing the consequences. I believe she was in denial and she also was seduced by the prestige/power of being First Lady of Arkansas and the US. And dumping that would have been hard to take, along with the facing of the facts about Bill. But, then again, she may also be a manipulative, hard hearted politico, just as most who reach DC power roles seem to be.
    This all aside, I still feel she is the best choice for the next 4 years of the US and hope she blossoms further and can make the tough and hard decisions about the US welfare system, Putin, the Chinese and how the US projects power – not through gun boat diplomacy as we have been through these last many years (Repubs & Dems) but through diplomacy of “speak softly and carry a big stick,” not the “wield the stick and see what happens” mentality we have had.
    Trump will not be a wise choice and his recent repackaging himself as a “kinder/gentler version” is just Marketing, not reality. I hope the majority of my fellow Americans see through this.
    Anyway, please try to be firmer in your believes, I believe you will be more at peace and don’t go apologizing for AHs.

    • eka

      my guess is that the reality is somewhere between your assessment and rebecca’s. that is, bill clinton is probably an asshole who exploited the culture, but it’s true that the culture allowed for what we consider nowadays to be rape. i know plenty of men who still exploit sexist culture for their own gain. but to prevent the average guy from exploiting this, we need to change the culture. it doesn’t mean that they’re evil people, but they certainly aren’t good either. the good ones see every human being as a feeling individual and try to avoid hurting them.

  • tegrat

    I am glad we are having this important conversation. I tend to agree with Rebecca’s assessment of how aware men “back then” were of their peril under the law – but this was simply because the law was completely ignored in most instances (depending on your skin color). Simple game theory, no penalty, no playing by the rules. Bill, being white, male, and privileged, is the least likely of his cohort to play by the rules, IMO. I’m not completely sure that men right now are much better informed but my own son gives me hope, he seems to get it.

    And just a quick note about forgiveness – to me forgiveness is a gift that the affronted party may or may not decide to give to themselves, has nothing to do with the perpetrator, and most assuredly has nothing to do with accepting or condoning the actions of the perpetrator.
    As my wise sister once said, “resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die”.

    • eka

      if your son gets it, it’s because of how you raised him. because there are still plenty of privileged boys who don’t play by the rules. i think that the culture has improved to some extent – at least people recognize that rape is still rape even if it’s white people doing it. but when we talk about how being punished for rape would ruin the poor boy’s life, I wonder how far we’ve come – there’s still a lot to improve upon. Also, it’s frightening how many girls reject the term feminist because they think it means man-hater.

  • KarenJ

    Rebecca, you said, “because Trump doesn’t really have a reputation for teenage girls.”

    Actually, he did:

  • doktorzoom

    Welp, things stayed civil for several days. And now it’s time to shut this thread down for safekeeping.

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