Feminists Who Now Claim They Never Meant ‘Believe All Women’ Are Gaslighting Us
The emergence of Tara Reade’s accusation of sexual assault against presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden has prompted the swift and sudden collapse of the #MeToo movement’s central tenet—that all women who come forward with such allegations deserve to be believed.
In fact, some who speak for the movement aren’t merely retreating on this point: They are pretending that feminists who wielded the #MeToo hashtag never claimed that all women should be believed. This is a transparent attempt to rewrite history and should be treated as such.
For a perfect example, see the journalist Susan Faludi in The New York Times: “‘Believe All Women’ Is a Right-Wing Trap,” reads the headline on her article. Faludi accuses conservatives of inventing the idea that feminists were demanding that all women be believed. According to her, “the preferred hashtag of the #MeToo movement is #BelieveWomen. It’s different without the ‘all.’ Believing women is simply the rejoinder to the ancient practice of #DoubtWomen.”
“Good luck finding any feminist who thinks we should believe everything all women say—even what they say about sexual assault,” Faludi continues. This directly contradicts her earlier admittal that she had in fact “encountered some feminists who seemed genuinely to subscribe” to the more extreme interpretation of the hashtag.
Faludi is narrowly right that “believe women” was th
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