Rep. Kevin Cramer implied that sexual assault survivors are weak.
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) is making himself comfortable in a Republican Party increasingly known for rape apologists. In recent statements, Cramer lamented that people would even believe women (or men) who come forward and share their experiences of sexual assault.
Cramer openly scoffed at the idea that the word of a woman should be believed. In an interview with the New York Times, Cramer laid bare his true beliefs.
"'That you're just supposed to believe somebody because they said it happened,' Mr. Cramer said, alluding to Christine Blasey Ford — who has accused Justice Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers — and, more broadly, women who have come forward to claim that they were sexually abused or assaulted."
But Cramer wasn't done insulting and dismissing the women who have shown tremendous courage and strength in coming forward and sharing their stories, some in response to the #MeToo movement.
To Cramer, women who face sexual assault and sexual violence should blame themselves. In a classic misogynist trope, Cramer blames victims for their lack of toughness.
Invoking his wife, daughters, mother and mother-in-law, Mr. Cramer said: "They cannot understand this movement toward victimization. They are pioneers of the prairie. These are tough people whose grandparents were tough and great-grandparents were tough."
Cramer's callous attitude toward the 1 in 3 women who experience sexual violence in the course of their lifetime aligns perfectly with today's Republican Party, which elected a self-admitted sexual predator to the White House, championed an alleged child molester in an Alabama Senate race, and recently rallied around an alleged attempted rapist to the Supreme Court.
Cramer, who has the full support of the Republican establishment, previously said that pinning a girl on a bed, trying to rip off her clothes, and covering her mouth so no one can hear her scream should not disqualify Brett Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court. In fact, he dismissed the alleged sexual assault altogether, saying, "nothing evidently happened in it all."
Cramer's most recent dismissal and attempt to re-victimize millions of women who faced sexual violence did not sit well with incumbent Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
"Did he really say that?" she asked a reporter, according to the New York Times.
Heitkamp the shared her own mother's experience of sexual assault with the New York Times. Heitkamp's mother, who passed away in April at age 88, was assaulted as a teenage.
"And I want you to put this in there," Heitkamp said as she stared directly at the New York Times reporter, "it did not make my mom less strong that she was a victim. She got stronger and she made us strong. And to suggest that this movement doesn’t make women strong and stronger is really unfortunate."
Heitkamp recently voted against Kavanaugh's confirmation, and faces a tough re-election race in North Dakota.
And as she told a crowd at a recent fundraiser, "Ray and Doreen Heitkamp didn’t raise me to vote a certain way so that I could win, they raised me to vote the right way."
Meanwhile, her opponent hopes to win by leading the Republican Party's move toward embracing alleged rapists and attacking the voices of sexual assault survivors.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.