Asia Argento killed #IBelieveWomen
Or at least the notion that women must always be believed without the examination of the circumstances. “Belief in women is my default position.” “Women are ‘entitled’ to be believed.” Those are just a couple of responses to Twitter comments of mine questioning the timing of the story and the credibility of the accuser against Keith Ellison.
It was always an unsustainable proposition just waiting to be hoist spectacularly on its own petard.
Ruth Graham, writing in Slate, says that the revelation of the accusation against Argento, which seem pretty well documented — that she sexually assaulted an underage actor — were “hard to process.” “The story is sickening and confusing,” Graham continues.
Especially so, I suppose, when it involves one of the standard bearers of the #metoo movement. Cognitive dissonance, when one of your tin gods is implicated, can be such a bitch.
According to the linked CNN story, Argento paid the underage actor — who played her son in a movie the two had shot several years earlier — $380,000 to keep quiet. That is more than Michael Cohen paid Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels combined. Since the actor was under age at the crime — I’m sorry, I mean time — and Argento was twenty years older, it probably was a crime. (Trump’s affairs were mere unfaithful dalliances.)
Perhaps the only point here is to be careful who you idolize. Or believe.
Asia Argento is Exhibit A in why no race, ethnicity, religion, or yes, gender, gets a free pass on credibility.
Some of you will know where this is going.
On the Saturday night before the recently-concluded primary election, a former live-in girlfriend accused congressman and attorney general candidate Keith Ellison of having dragged her — two years earlier — out of bed. This was abuse, she says; I have a video.
Except apparently, she doesn’t. Ellison says it never happened.
[Update: Monahan changed her story from “he pulled me off the bed” to “he pulled off my shoe,” but the Strib persisted with the first version in its non-endorsement in the AG race.]
Well, who are you going to believe?
If you believe that women are “entitled to belief,” you believe the accuser. That’s easy.
If on the other hand, you take a more nuanced view of things — which I always recommend — you might ask why this came out so close to the primary election, and why after claiming to have a video, the accuser cannot produce it? And why did another campaign jump on the accusations microseconds after the son of the accuser floated them on social media? Without a moment’s hesitation or reflection?
I think, in the words of the gospel writer Luke, you should take these things and ponder them in your heart.
One of the instructions you will never hear in court is, “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, every witness is entitled to one lie.” Because obviously, that would be stupid.
One of the other things that ought to give you pause here is all the conservatives, from Laura Loomer (who hates Muslims as a general proposition) down to Jeff Kolb (sorry, Jeff), who are donning pink pussy hats and braying that we should believe women. If you believe that Jeff became a feminist overnight, well then, God protect you.
Because you obviously need it.
N.B. The story was edited to correct the name of Laura Loomer and to reflect that the movie where Argento played the mother was shot a number of years before the events that led to the payment and cover up. The victim was still underage, but he was cast as Argento’s son when he was seven.
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