As I said in my previous post, I have limited sympathy for Sarah Palin.
However, this, from Andrew Sullivan (on top of the never-ending flogging of Trig Palin conspiracy theories), is outrageous. I saw the reference to the “white trash concupiscence” Palin-slam in Douthat’s column and wondered who could have written that. Despite my knowledge of Andrew’s raging PDS, I was shocked . . . . I fully intend for this to be my last visit to The Daily Dish, and I have to say that at this point, if someone started a campaign to get The Atlantic website to drop Andrew, I’d back it. Imagine the reaction if a journalist/blogger writing about a black politician referred to “ghetto concupiscence”, without even using the word “black.” [Emphasis mine]
While I agree that Andrew Sullivan's criticisms of Sarah Palin during the election were often over-the-top (and sometimes downright nasty), I don't quite understand why Young finds this particular comment so uniquely offensive. How else would you describe the Palin Family's never-ending psychodrama? To me, the Levi Johnston affair alone seems like it could easily be described as "white-trash concupiscence" . . . .
Honestly, I wouldn't have expected this kind of politically correct nonsense from Young. In my opinion, she remains one of the most insightful and fair-minded feminist writers out there.
During the Kobe Bryant trial, Young penned a brilliant and well-reasoned op-ed on "rape shield laws." It's probably the most intelligent consideration of the subject that I've ever read.
Like many such cases, the Kobe Bryant case is primarily a "he said, she said" matter, with ambiguous corroborating evidence that county judge Frederick Gannett characterized as weak even as he sent the case to trial. The woman's sexual activities prior to the alleged rape may well be relevant to the physical evidence; if, as the defense has hinted, she engaged in consensual sex shortly after her encounter with Bryant, it may well be relevant to the question of whether she was raped; if she is mentally unstable, it may well be relevant to her credibility.
These are wrenching questions. Obviously, a woman with a history of mental illness or substance abuse could still be a rape victim. Obviously, the prospect of having embarrassing personal details exposed in court (let alone paraded in the media) may discourage victims from coming forward. Just as obviously, suppressing relevant evidence may result in sending an innocent person to jail. And if it's frightening to put oneself in the place of a sexual assault victim who finds herself on trial in the courtroom, it is no less terrifying to imagine that you -- or your husband or brother or son -- could be accused of rape and denied access to evidence that could exonerate him.
For some feminists, the dogma that "women never lie" means that there is, for all intents and purposes, no presumption of innocence for the defendant. After the 1997 trial of sportscaster Marv Albert, defending the judge's decision to admit compromising information about Albert's sexual past but not about his accuser's, attorney Gloria Allred decried "the notion that there's some sort of moral equivalency between the defendant and the victim" -- forgetting that as long as the defendant hasn't been convicted, he and his accuser are indeed moral equals in the eyes of the law. Wendy Murphy has blasted Kobe Bryant's attorneys for feeding uncorroborated rumors about the alleged victim to the media maw. Yet, appearing on Fox News, she made the claim, highly prejudicial to Bryant and so far untested in a court of law, that the woman "suffered pretty terrible injuries" the likes of which she had not seen despite having prosecuted "hundreds of sex crimes cases."