Orrin Hatch’s Hometown Newspaper Just Unleashed The Wrath

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Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has made some fairly disgusting comments about women and, particularly, about women reporting sexual assault, over his 41 years in Congress. During the hearings with SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which included allegations of sexual assault from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, he’s put all of that misogyny on display once again.

Hatch even went so far as to publish a letter from a man who made questionable claims about Kavanaugh’s third accuser, Julie Swetnick, in regards to her sexual history and her mental health. That attack was a giant step too far for The Salt Lake Tribune, who published a scathing message from the editorial board.  That attack, they said, “betrays a positively medieval attitude toward all women as sex objects who cannot be believed or taken seriously.”

Describing the letter, the editorial board wrote that:

‘Apparently, a former TV weatherman from Washington, D.C., provided the committee with a sworn statement revealing, allegedly, some details about Swetnick’s personal sexual preferences that are both none of anyone’s damn business and utterly irrelevant to the question of what Kavanaugh might or might not have done all those years ago.’

‘Clearly, the only reason for any individual to say any of this, and the only reason for the committee to make it public, is the belief that any women who would approach a self-described fat man in a bar, any women who would choose to discuss sex, is some kind of libertine who, for that reason, cannot be trusted.’

While the letter on its own was nauseating enough, a senator representing the women of his state while publishing that letter, dividing women into those who can and cannot be raped, is horrifying.

The board also took exception to the letter writer’s statement that Swetnick, during their brief relationship in which even he says sex never actually occurred, never told him that she had been sexually assaulted.

‘To draw from Ketterer’s account, as Hatch and whoever else was behind this horrific attack clearly want us to, that Swetnick must be lying about Kavanaugh because she never mentioned him to one short-term acquaintance is irrational and absurd. If nothing else, what all of us should have learned from not only the Kavanaugh case, but from the whole of the #MeToo movement, is that victims of sexual abuse often do not discuss their experiences with those near and dear to them, much less with casual acquaintances.’

No matter whether or not anyone believes the claims made by Swetnick, Dr. Ford, or Deborah Ramirez, attacking women when they come forward to tell their stories about sexual assault is beneath all of us, much less an elected official in Congress. It’s bad enough that the president does it; Hatch’s support of this is nothing less than a slap in the face of every woman who voted for him.

Featured image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license

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