BROOKE GLADSTONE: From WNYC in New York this is on the media. Bob Garfield is away. I'm Brooke Gladstone. This week and the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal, Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote, I know my tone was sharp and I said a few things I should not have said. Note that he regretted the word,s not the anger. His display of outrage, of anguish weren't for show, no they were the whole ballgame. Until this process ends and as I write this, I don't know yet how. Kavanaugh hasn't won the post he seeks of supreme judicial umpire. He's just a player. And the courtside contingent mad.
[CLIP]What left wing groups and their Democratic allies have done to Judge Kavanaugh is nothing short of monstrous. [END CLIP]
BROOKE GLADSTONE: A successful confirmation for Judge Kavanaugh this weekend would be the kicker to a nearly month long revolt against the consequences for hurting women that the #MeToo movement strives to apply. When we spoke with Slate staff writer Lili Loofbourow last November, she explained several of the logical fallacies used by the culture to excuse or ignore bad behavior. We called on her again to identify the new fallacies she's seen lately like the anti-bandwagon fallacy.
LILI LOOFBOUROW: The anti-bandwagon fallacy is something I kind of made up to explain a tendency that I've noticed where a news items truth content actually diminishes for people as more accusations emerge. We saw for instance with Dr Christine Blasey Ford.
FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: I've never seen so many repressed memory places in my life especially against one guy.
MALE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah.
FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: So the question is if there is something awry going on, was there hypnosis?
BROOKE GLADSTONE: A conspiracy.
LILI LOOFBOUROW: Yeah. When more emerged a lot of people I think on the right interpreted that to be a bandwagon that invalidated the initial accusation. Something else that I heard recently is that DARVO effect or technique, which is a way that a lot of people who are accused respond.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: DARVO stands for Deny Attack and Reverse Victim and Offender.
LILI LOOFBOUROW: Donald Trump has really excelled at finding a way to turn every accusation against him into an occasion for his victimization and by extension the victimization of those who associate themselves with him. We certainly see Brett Kavanaugh doing something similar. We find male anger I think very disorienting because men are told to repress. And so when we see somebody in a very high stakes situation emoting powerfully, that tends to us to scan as an index of authenticity.
MALE CORRESPONDENT: In front of the nation, we saw his righteous indignation. He choked back his tears and aimed just fury not at Dr Ford but rather of this unfair confirmation process, which frankly is an embarrassment [END CLIP]
LILI LOOFBOUROW: And I saw in the aftermath of the hearing a surprising number of pundits describing both his testimony and her as equally credible. Which I found astonishing. But once again, we tend to find anger, especially when it comes from a man, to be somehow corroborating. It's one of the things that we are taught.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Another thing that was on display this week is that men now must live in fear.
MALE CORRESPONDENT: I got boys and I got girls. It's scary for all things. I mean I wouldn't want--.
MALE CORRESPONDENT: Who are scared most for your son or daughter?
MALE CORRESPONDENT: I mean right now I'd say my sons.
[END OF CLIP]
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Fear of injury to their reputation essentially regarded as equally weighty as women living in fear for their safety.
LILI LOOFBOUROW: The most stunning revelation about the recent round of defenses of Brett Kavanaugh is that he should be confirmed even if the allegations against him are true. That is a blatant double standard that is being spoken aloud in ways that I did not expect.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: It's almost a codification of boys will be boys.
LILI LOOFBOUROW: It's popular right now to say well norms have changed and back then people didn't know. They knew. It's not that any 17-year-old boy didn't understand that holding his hand over a screaming woman as she tried to escape was wrong. It that he thought he could get away with it. We all knew sexual harassment was wrong. We tolerated it anyway. That has been, I think the line governing a lot of the #MeToo movement and a lot of the response to it. What's truly surprising to me at this moment is that we're seeing a group that spent years laughing at the very idea of anything like quote rape culture suddenly not just admitting that it exists but arguing that it should. Male malfeasance is an unstoppable cocktail of culture and biology. And the subtext stripped of all of the pretense is that the victims don't actually matter. Just by coincidence says all of this was happening, I kept stumbling across news stories that almost laughably confirmed how overblown this panic about men suddenly being persecuted really is because these are cases where men were found guilty in a court of law of sexual assault and received no jail time anyway. So in Anchorage, Justin Schneider was indicted by a grand jury last month on four felony charges and he was accused of offering a woman a ride, strangling her until she was unconscious and masturbating on her. But he got no jail time.
FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: Schneider did not apologize for his actions but thanked the judge for accepting the deal.
JUSTIN SCHNEIDER: I'd just like to emphasize how grateful I am for this process. It has given me a year to really work on myself and uh, become a better person, and a better husband and better father. And I'm very eager to continue that journey.
LILI LOOFBOUROW: [00:05:56] And the district attorney for the case in fact called him losing his job punishment enough. He called that a life sentence.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Wow.
LILI LOOFBOUROW: Yeah.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: You observed that a majority of the GOP has said that even if Kavanaugh is guilty of doing what he did, it isn't disqualifying. You think that shows real contempt for women's safety and that it gives the lie to the whole notion of courtliness and especially chivalry. What do you mean by that?
LILI LOOFBOUROW: I mean that chivalry is a protection racket and always has been.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: In other words you give us your fealty, you allow us to limit your ambitions and control your speech and behavior and you won't get hurt.
LILI LOOFBOUROW: You won't get hurt and maybe you'll be financially supported. But if you don't you will be punished. That's the flip side of that. And I think that that has been exposed. You see what happens to people who step out of line. You see how Dr. Ford has been treated. You see how the other women who have spoken up are treated by the GOP. Whether it's Dianne Feinstein, whether it's Senator Klobuchar or whether it's Cecilia Vega.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: She's shocked that I picked her. She's like in a state of shock.
CECILIA VEGA: I'm not thinking that.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That's OK. I know you're not thinking. You never do.
CECILIA VEGA: I'm sorry?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No go ahead, go ahead.
CECILIA VEGA: In a tweet this weekend Mr. President [END CLIP].
LILI LOOFBOUROW: We are in a moment where the status quo is trying its hardest to hyper correct by saying out loud the things that used to paper over with a socially acceptable veneer of chivalry. When you have a class of people who had things arranged, such that in any situation that involves a man and a woman alone, the woman absorbs 100 percent of the risk to her physical safety and to her reputation and he shoulders none. Of course there are going to be extremely upset for men to have to shoulder any amount of risk under those circumstances becomes intolerable. Their distress is real. One of the things that really struck me during the hearing was how anger circulated in that room and how the one person not permitted to express any was Christine Blase Ford. The theatrics though the GOP demonstrated in the second half of that hearing involved a lot of grabbing the anger ball, so to speak, and just out screaming.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: You know what it reminded me of, in basketball, there's this thing that players do sometimes called flopping. They're touched by another player and then they fall hard on the floor hoping that the umps call a foul.
MALE CORRESPONDENT: And Bosley just throws Corey to the ground.
MALE CORRESPONDENT: Every time he comes up the center screen, if there's any contact, he's going to call to the ground. Alright, let's take a look.
LILI LOOFBOUROW: Yeah haha that's so good. Yeah. That is a strategic performance that cannot be honored. And I think that the #MeToo movement has unleashed a lot of anger that has never been permitted to be expressed or felt.
FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: Don't you wave your hand at me. I wave my hand at you!
MALE CORRESPONDENT: Can you grow up [talking over].
FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: How dare you talk to women that way! How dare you! [Talking over]
[END OF CLIP]
MARIA GALLAGHER: What you're saying is that my assault doesn't matter. That what happened to me doesn't matter.
[END OF CLIP
LILI LOOFBOUROW: And I think that that is a pretty potent tool. And honestly I think it's actually very healthy for people who have been repressing and bottling up their anger into a socially acceptable performance for as long as they have been feeling it to be able to finally express it.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: So are you talking about Democratic women or Lindsey Graham.
LILI LOOFBOUROW: I'm talking about Democratic women. I think Lindsey Graham has been expressing just fine. They think he's OK. But when I see that a man is very angry, it's a very instinctive reaction. I'm a little bit afraid and I think to myself oh well he must be right in some way I should retreat a little bit and give ground. That I find myself no longer being very impressed by. I think I'm not alone. The intimidating function that male anger used to serve I think is wearing thin.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Thank you very much.
LILI LOOFBOUROW: Thanks for having me.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Lili Loofbourow is a staff writer for Slate.