“We could ask all of the men in Congress to resign, is that what you’re asking me? You know that mostly all men do this kind of thing to women. It’s like saying there’s a good airline or a good bank, saying there’s some entity out there that is not sexist. They all should resign, every man in every industry. Maybe that’s a good thing because then women can take those positions and then we’ll finally get equal pay.”
Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women, explaining why she feels it’s useless to demand Senator Al Franken’s resignation following credible allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault in 2006.
You know, I don’t think I ask for too much. I just expect the champions of equality, fairness, mutual respect and civility to believe in and live by the principles they claim so indignantly and self-righteously to be fighting for. Is that an unreasonable expectation? Is it unreasonable to expect activists and advocates to hold themselves to the same standards they demand of others?
There need to be real and dire consequences for the head of NOW for making such an ugly, vicious, bigoted and hateful statement. That’s gender bias and stereotyping of the most egregious kind, and until and unless her organization retracts it, repudiates it, and sheds this anti-male bigot from its leadership, I will not abide any of its supporters or members, and fully intend to do all I can to ensure that as many decent citizens as possible shun them as well.
Every candidate put forth by the Democratic Party, which courts NOW as part of its core constituency, needs to be read this statement and asked, yes or no, whether they endorse it or condemn it.
Under the definition of “hate group” used by the Southern Poverty Law Center— “any group with beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people”—Toni Van Pelt, speaking on behalf of her organization, has demonstrated that the National Organization for Women belongs on its list. NOW should be placed there, right next to such organized bigots as the KKK, as long Van Pelt is its leader or among its leader.
This woman just labelled “mostly all men” as criminals. “You know ‘mostly all men’ commit sexual assault” is indistinguishable from “You know mostly all them colored folk are lazy and dangerous,” or “You know mostly all you ladies lack what it takes to be in charge.” It is exactly the same: a statement of prejudice and hate.
In addition to being insulting, arrogant and a hypocrite, Van Pelt is wrong, inexcusably wrong, and ignorant as well. Most men, indeed the vast majority, have never sexually assaulted a woman, because they were raised correctly, like me, my father, my son, and the vast, vast preponderance of males I have known well in my life. I am not going to be lectured on misogyny by misandrists. I am not going to listen calmly to bigots who have the astounding arrogance to condemn harmful bias against their similarly chromosomed compatriots while they simultaneously say that there are no good human beings like me. I will not countenance irresponsible rhetoric about a “war on woman” from those who have declared war on men.
Damn Toni Van Pelt, damn NOW, and damn any political party and American, male or female, who refuses to damn them.