Sexual Assault

Kirsten Gillibrand Offers Justin Fairfax's Accuser 'Support' Rather Than 'Belief'

"I support Dr. Tyson... We have to support survivors first so their claims can be fully investigated."

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Sen. Kirsten Gillbrand (D­–N.Y.), one of several contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, weighed in on the controversy surrounding Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax (D), who stands accused of sexually assaulting a woman named Vanessa Tyson in 2004. Gillibrand tweeted:

Note Gillibrand's caution: She leaves room for the possibility of doubt, or for an investigation to reach a different conclusion. She offers Tyson "support." Not belief.

This is a bit out of character. In other tweets about various sexual misconduct accusations, Gillibrand has offered not just support for the alleged victims but a kind of faith that they are telling the truth—and an insistence that everyone else do likewise. She has repeatedly stated that we must "believe women." Here are just a few examples:

In fact, immediately following her tweet about Fairfax, Gillibrand lamented that we generally do not believe survivors:

Gillibrand is correct about the Fairfax situation: Offering support for purported victims of sexual misconduct is the right thing to do, and should be noncontroversial. Everyone should take their claims seriously, show them respect, and refrain from ignoring or dismissing them out of hand. Many survivors' advocacy groups are not satisfied with mere support, of course. They proceed from the flawed notion that there are virtually no false accusations of sexual assault, and insist that victims should automatically be believed. This is a far less reasonable proposition, and one that has made the adjudication of sexual misconduct—particularly on college campuses—more prone to overreach.

What I'd like to know from Gillibrand: Does she stand by her insistence that we believe every accusation, or is her position now that we support accusers while their claims are investigated? Because those are two very different things.

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  1. Everyone should take their claims seriously, show them respect, and refrain from ignoring or dismissing them out of hand.

    Are those all the same thing? Can one be neutral until there are facts in evidence?

    Also, I wonder what’s different for Gillbrand between this situation and previous ones where she didn’t equivocate.

    1. Can one be neutral until there are facts in evidence?

      What’s the difference between ‘believe all women’ and ‘dismiss nothing out of hand’?

      IMO, ‘support’ is arguably worse as I’m being asked to support women I don’t necessarily believe.

      Of course, #supportactualvictims, despite being more intrinsically more morally pure or correct, doesn’t carry the same SJW gravitas.

    2. The Difference lies in who is accuseD, if you get my Drift.

    3. Are those all the same thing? Can one be neutral until there are facts in evidence?

      Lol.

    1. That being said, I hope you attempted to get her to clarify what she meant. News based on tweets is not good.

      1. News based on tweets is not good.

        But it is a helluva lot easier than the old form of journalism.

    2. I like you Robby.

      Reminder: John Hinkley liked Jodie Foster, too.

      1. And now they’re married. What’s your point?

      2. JFA was awesome.

  2. Gotta give her credit for being a crafty little weasel.

    1. The internet is wonderful as we can store all these great nuggets so they can be used later to show just how hypocritical and self righteous these sacks of shit are.

  3. Gillibrand is correct about the Fairfax situation: Offering support for purported victims of sexual misconduct is the right thing to do, and should be noncontroversial. Everyone should take their claims seriously, show them respect, and refrain from ignoring or dismissing them out of hand.

    Jackie Coakley’s story should be taken seriously and not dismissed out of hand?

    Julie Swetnick’s story should be taken seriously and not dismissed out of hand?

    Crystal Mangum’s story should be taken seriously and not dismissed out of hand?

    Why not? In Tyson’s case, she herself dismissed them for over a decade.

    The problem isn’t that the public dismissed these women’s allegations out of hand the system is set up to handle these allegations whether they’re true or not and these women, by and large, have dismissed it out of hand.

  4. Didn’t she also invite Matress Girl from Columbia, a woman’s whose rape allegation made the UVA Frat one look credible?

    1. A women whose rape allegation had been investigated and determined not to be supported by a preponderance of evidence?

      1. That rape porn video she made was awful.

  5. Republican/Libertarian/et.al. – I don’t care how outlandish or unverifiable the accusations are, GUILTY!!!

    Leftist – You saw what she was wearing. She wanted it.

  6. Ugh, mansplaining to Gillibrand that her word choice was imperfect? Not a good look for us Koch / Reason libertarians.

    The fact is, she’s a staunch advocate for women’s issues. It’s counterproductive to dissect her every sentence looking for some kind of “contradiction” between her position here compared to the Kavanaugh allegations.

    1. You would have spelled her name correctly if she was a man.

      1. What kind of a man would have a name like Kirsten?

    2. D+ on this one.

    3. Not your best, OBL

    4. You know what, OBL? I liked this one.

      I guess you can’t please everyone.

      1. Me too. I approve.

  7. AOC will have upward climb for a Senate seat in NY what with Kristin and Chuck up front already.

  8. Note to self: never even try to hook up with a Stanford professor.

    1. Note to self: never even try to hook up with a Stanford professor.

      You’ll be ok as long as you amass your fortune in relative anonymity and/or plot your legal defense in less than a decade.

  9. Colleges, the military, the NFL “not believing survivors”…what in God’s name is this fool talking about?

    1. In the military your career is ruined by even a whiff of impropriety or allegation (true or not). Disagree.

  10. The fundamental questions we must answer right now:

    Do we value women?
    Do we believe women?
    Do we give them the opportunity to tell their story? To be heard?
    Will we ensure they get the justice they deserve?

    We must fight to be a country that answers, “Yes When it’s politically expedient,” every time.

    1. We must fight to be a country that answers, “Yes When it’s politically expedient,” every time.

      Yeah, my thought was ‘”Yes,” every time*.

      *Once they’ve passed through the vagina.’

  11. Why would President Gillbrand weigh in on a sexual assault case?

    Is she trying to make herself look ridiculous?

    1. She’s got to strive mighty hard with Occasional Cortex around.

    2. Why would President Gillbrand weigh in on a sexual assault case?

      Is there actually a case yet? At this point isn’t she weighing in on a Twitter fight between a college professor and a Lt. Gov.?

    3. I found his denial to be offputting. He lacks the temperment for the job

    4. President Gillibrand! LOL!! They won’t let her anywhere near the White House after what she did to Al Franken. My guess is she won’t even make it that far and will drop out shortly after a 6th place showing in New Hampshire.

      1. She’s running for president AND she’s weighing in on some sexual assault case?

        Yeah, that’s the first question everyone should be asking–if you want to be president, why are you weighing in on a sexual assault case? Does she believe that’s a legitimate role for a grown-up president?

        If she doesn’t want people asking her whether what she’s doing is legitimately presidential, then maybe she shoudln’t run for president.

  12. I have to admit, I have a hard time taking 15 year old allegations of sexual assault seriously – especially when they’re suddenly leveled right when the accused is in the national eye.

    Dudes been a government operative and politician for a long time now. He’s been rising up the state ranks. He made LT Governor. Not a peep out of her.

    Now that the Governor might be forced to step down, making him the Governor – *now* is a step too far? *Now*, he’s crossed a line? *Now*, he needs to be stopped?

    1. It’s precisely these circumstances that make these allegations so credible.

    2. I’m having a harder time with a 35 year old picture generating more heavy breathing from the journo community than a sitting public official being accused of a violent crime. If Northam does step down, it’s hard to say the replacement is a mark of progress.

      1. I’m having a harder time with a 35 year old picture generating more heavy breathing from the journo community than a sitting public official being accused of a violent crime.

        It’s not a violent crime, or rather, it’s only a violent crime because we’ve allowed the lines between certain forms of civil or contract law to be blurred with those of criminal law in a gender-specific manner, not because of any actual violence that may or may not have occurred.

        At least with Northam, there’s supposedly a photo of what happened. If every public official stepped down on simply the accusation of violence *no matter how patently false*, I’m not sure we’d end up in a better situation. The sort of false association where you disqualify Jefferson from contributing to people’s liberty because he owned slaves.

  13. Everyone should take their claims seriously, show them respect, and refrain from ignoring or dismissing them out of hand.

    I have a confession everyone. Robby Soave forced me to allow him to perform oral sex on me. Everyone should now take this claim seriously, show me respect, and refrain from ignoring me or dismissing me out of hand.

    1. Dismissing this story in hand IYKWIM.

  14. Partisan politicians lie. That should be expected. The real hypocrisy here is not Gillibrand, but the corporate press that is treating two unsubstantiated allegations very differently. WaPo said they originally didn’t publicize this allegation because there was no corroboration, which didn’t stop them from publishing gang rape stories about Kavanaugh

  15. It’s hard to believe an accusation without supporting evidence when so many of the accusations turn out to be revenge accusations designed solely to hurt a person or destroy their lives. They do a grave disservice to those that really were assaulted.

  16. Everyone should take their claims seriously, show them respect, and refrain from ignoring or dismissing them out of hand.

    Even if they’re represented by Michael Avenatti?

  17. Shorter Kirsten Gillibrand:

    FUCK T*** BITCH

    1. It’s interesting which word you obscured with an asterisk.

  18. Who are you to demand consistency from Kirsten Gillibrand?

  19. Will we ensure they get the justice they deserve?

    We must fight to be a country that answers, “Yes,” every time.

    Careful what you ask for.

  20. ‘She offers Tyson “support.” Not belief.’

    But she did say ‘very credible claims’. The first magic word of the lynch mob has been spoken.

    You shouldn’t just see the incantation half empty, Robby.

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