I’m impressed with Alyssa Milano. This is the kind of convoluted series of rationalizations you would expect from a career Washington Post columnist, not a former sitcom actress who became famous for tweeting a hashtag.
The fallacies are obvious.
In defending her support for Biden, she keeps using women as a collective group. As if she and her decisions represent all women. There are the strawmen and the false choices, accompanied by a distortion of history.
As an activist, it can be very easy to develop a black and white view of the world: things are clearly wrong or clearly right. Harvey Weinstein’s decades of rape were clearly wrong. Donald Trump’s alleged sexual assaults were clearly wrong. Brett Kavanaugh’s actions… were clearly wrong… Except it’s not always so easy, and living in the gray areas is something we’re trying to figure out in the world of social media. But here’s something social media doesn’t afford us–nuance… The world is gray. And as uncomfortable as that makes people, gray is where the real change happens.
Grown ups, you see, understand that you have to have gray areas because you’re trying to make change happen and elect Democrats..
Now we pivot to “I’m a victim because I’m not allowed to live in the gray and shrug at sexual assaults to elect Democrats”
Women are not afforded the gray. We are not allowed anything but the binary extremes. And then, we are pressured to turn on one another for making impossible choices. It’s bullshit.
It’s not up to women to admonish or absolve perpetrators, or be regarded as complicit when we don’t denounce them. Nothing makes this clearer than the women who are still supporting Joe Biden even with these accusations. Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Amy Klobuchar, Nancy Pelosi, and Elizabeth Warren have all endorsed Biden and like me, continue to support him. Because it’s an impossible choice.
It falls upon women to navigate within the system of men’s design to make pragmatic choices that we hope will lead us to a more equal future. I still support Joe Biden because I believe that’s the best choice for that future, and again it is not up to women to absolve perpetrators.
Milano would like the moral authority to condemn men, but rejects that this morality authority comes with any expectation of consistency. She wants to inhabit the gray where she’s not expected to maintain any standards and can selectively weaponize the following she built up to go after Trump or Kavanaugh.
That’s the same old political cynicism dressed up in victimhood.
And so we’re right back to, it’s okay if Bill Clinton raped women, as long as he defends abortion. That’s not advocacy for women.