by John Hasson
A University of Michigan professor and Harvard University visiting professor recently claimed that the #MeToo movement would not have occurred if Hillary Clinton were president.
Catharine MacKinnon, a UMich law professor and Harvard visiting professor, made the remark at the University of California, Berkeley’s annual #MeToo conference during the spring semester.
In her keynote speech, MacKinnon compared accusations of sexual abuse made against President Bill Clinton with those made against President Donald Trump, calling claims made against Clinton “a morality crusade” and suggesting that many people were only concerned with the “right use of it [the allegations] for political gain.”
But MacKinnon asserted that the election of Trump fundamentally changed the way that reports of sexual assault were viewed. In her speech, she also contrasted Clinton with Trump by referring to the former president as someone Americans “actually elected.”
“Instead of interfering with a respected president…somebody…the American people actually elected, exposing these violations in one’s own life became a means of resisting the forces of darkness,” MacKinnon stated. “Misogyny, racism, fascism, lies, stupidity, you name it.”
The professor also stated that “indifference to reports of sexual abuse, that was part of what got [Trump] elected right? That also fueled #MeToo, in no small part, because of its role in creating Trump as president.”
She neglected to directly mention Clinton’s affair with a 22-year-old intern named Monica Lewinsky or his impeachment process, which resulted in his acquittal.
MacKinnon then took her comments a step further, adding that “if Hillary Clinton had been elected, #MeToo would not have occurred.”
The professor also claimed that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford provided “remembered facts” and that “when questioned on those facts, Judge Kavanaugh repeatedly provided his resume. I matter. Okay?”
“These exact dynamics of inequality are what drive the system of sexual politics, in which the more power a man has the more sexual access he can get away with compelling.”
Mackinnon then turned to sexual assault more broadly, seemingly taking aim at the legal principle of “innocent until proven guilty.”
“If sex happened, non-consent has to be proven,” she said. “Meaning the assumption still is it was consensual unless proven otherwise. ‘Yes,’ can be coerced.”
As a solution, Professor MacKinnon proposed that consent “needs to come out of the rape law” and that coercion, rather than consent, should determine the guilt of an accused sexual abuser.
In order to properly implement the principle of coercion, though, Professor MacKinnon argued that the law needed to “reconfigure the definitions of force to extend beyond physical force, to encompass all the forms of inequality that make rape possible.”
These “forms of inequality” include race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and even colonialism and climate change, according to MacKinnon.
Speaking with Campus Reform, Rudra Reddy, external vice president of the Berkeley College Republicans, fired back at the professor’s claims.
“Given the fact that the #MeToo movement was delayed for two decades so that liberal activists could gloss over the indiscretions of a pro-choice President, Bill Clinton, it’s likely that Hillary Clinton’s election to office would have further postponed or entirely prevented the occurrence of the movement.”
“We would advise Ms. MacKinnon to read the Constitution of the United States to find out how Presidents are ‘actually elected’ in this country,” Ruddy told Campus Reform. “Doing so would remove any aspersions she has regarding the constitutional legitimacy of this President.”
Cal Berkeley Democrats did not return a request for comment in time for publication.
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John Paul Hasson is a sophomore at the University of Dallas, and reports liberal bias and abuse on college campuses for Campus Reform. He is majoring in Politics, is a representative in Student Government, and is a former NCAA Lacrosse player. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.
Photo “Catharine Mackinnon” by Diego Portales.