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HIRSCHAUER: Maybe Senator Hirono Should Take Her Own Advice

With characteristic grace and restraint, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) responded Monday to the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by claiming that “men in this country” are “perpetuating all of these kinds of actions [sexual assault]” and urged all men to “just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change.”

The “right thing” to which the senator so lucidly refers is allowing Senate Democrats to derail the confirmation of an eminently qualified judge to the Supreme Court based upon unsubstantiated, eleventh-hour allegations from an accuser who is uncertain of whether she’ll testify under oath. Her measured advice for good-faith male critics is to “just shut up” and obey — she’s on the right side of History, after all, and you’re just another one of the “men in this country” busy committing “all of” America’s sex crimes.

Since when are we allowed to demand out loud that entire groups of citizens “shut up”? Likewise, when did the Left grant that “men” exist as a category at all? Aren’t the differences between male and female illusory fictions fabricated by the patriarchy, and “men” and “women” are thus so indistinguishable that a man can become a woman just by saying so? I’m confused, and, as a man, perhaps it’s best I “shut up” and defer to the superior moral judgment of a senator from Hawaii.

The logic (a word used generously) of the senator’s statement seems to be as follows: because the preponderance (or in her words, “all”) of the sex crimes in this country are committed by men, all men have a moral obligation to “shut up” and agree with Senator Hirono.

Are we now allowed to impose collective moral responsibilities upon all individuals in groups who make up a disproportionate share of various crime statistics? The obvious answer is and should be no — imagine using this logic for homicide numbers by race or incidence of terrorism by religion, for instance. Senator Hirono is nevertheless a better person than you, and as such is exempted from the typical mores of polite public discourse.

I’ll gladly oblige the senator’s demand to “shut up,” provided she’ll take her own advice. Until then, it’s worth highlighting how people on her side of the aisle can say nearly anything without being held to account by the powers that be in the media.

John Hirschauer is an award-winning essayist with work at National Review Online, The New York Times, and The Federalist. He is on Twitter @JohnHirschauer.

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