The Ugliness of Catholic #MeToo

We are told repeatedly that we must believe “the woman” whenever she makes a claim of sexual assault. Disbelieving her or even asking for evidence other than just her word makes you a rape apologist.

Just how bankrupt is this charge was borne out in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. We were supposed to believe “the woman” who said Kavanaugh had for years organized gang-rape parties even though this particular woman attended these gang-rape parties over and over again and is only now, years later, mentioning them to anyone.

The bankruptcy of this charge is also borne out by the slow-motion train wreck that is Catholic #MeToo.

One of the leaders of Catholic #MeToo is being sued for libel while another has been threatened with a libel suit.

 

Donna Provencher is Vice President of something called “Dinah’s Voice” which is supposed to be an advocacy group for women raped at Christendom College. On a Facebook page for Christendom alums, Provencher made a startling and, it turns out, actionable charge that specific men were rapists.

People who…suggest that [name redacted], [name redacted] (who was expelled for rape and is still in this group), whichever [last name redacted] kid raped several women (before my time and I don’t know him]…

Immediately, someone on the page told her that what she said was subject to libel. Instead of backing off, Provencher doubled down and said, “truth is an absolute defense against libel.”

One of the men she named—a Christendom grad, a Judge Advocate in the Marine Corps, and a father of five—responded with a lawsuit in Virginia courts.

After this man filed the suit, the toxic feminist echo-chamber immediately came to Provencher’s defense. Mary Pezzulo of Patheos said the suit was an attempt to silence “other victims and advocates.” Disgraced mommy blogger Simcha Fisher, who was fired by National Catholic Register for online vulgarity, said his case was “without merit” and that the accuser “is the same guy who said Adele Chapline Smith made up her rape to cover up bad grades,” something that is demonstrably false, too. The increasingly farcical Mark Shea also said, “The case has no merit.”

Perhaps he and the others did not actually read Provencher’s charges against the Marine officer claiming that he was a rapist. Or maybe they hold simply that you must “believe the woman” no matter what.

The nuttiness of this crew is demonstrated by silly things like Smith’s assertion that consent in sex is not enough; there must be “enthusiastic consent”—whatever that may be. Their nuttiness is also dangerous when they say anyone who even questions “the women” is, in the words of Provencher, a “rape apologist” and a “rape enabler.”

It should be noted that Provencher has made dubious claims before. She says she was fired from an Opus Dei school in Northern Virginia because of an “eating disorder.” She says a serial seducer—who founded something called “Sick Pilgrim” at the execrable Patheos, courted her, proposed marriage, and slept with her—actually committed rape-by-fraud. It is unclear how many times she says she has been raped.

The Frick to Provencher’s Frack is Adele Smith who also has a rape claim at Christendom College. Her claim is that she drove with her “rapist” miles off campus because she was not allowed to hold his hand on campus. The only way to get beyond the monitors on campus was to drive past a few dozen restaurants in nearby Front Royal, Virginia, and into the dark Shenandoah Mountains. And then she only remembered the “assault” long afterwards. Smith also made some wild charges about someone at Ave Maria University and was threatened with a libel suit. She wisely backed off.

These two women do not understand that in the real world, you cannot simply pop off in any direction your emotions lead you. There are real-world consequences to such unprofessional and even libelous behavior.

Part of the problem is that these relatively young and inexperienced women have been encouraged and enabled by two older women who should know better: the aforementioned Simcha Fisher, who has accused me of anti-Semitism for the crime of—get this—criticizing her, and Heidi Schlumpf of the dissident publication National Catholic Reporter.

In a report about the case, Schlumpf allowed Provencher to claim, “I never stated that any of these men were guilty of a crime or sexual assault…” Schlumpf completely ignored Provencher’s Facebook post wherein she explicitly named one man as having been expelled “for rape,” and another as having “raped several women.” In fact, Schlumpf said all Provencher did was mention his name on Facebook, with nothing about rape, assault, or any crime.

Schlumpf did not mention that later, in a closed forum with her supporters, Provencher said, “I want every one of these dudes to have a scarlet R.” Or that she later referred to her post as “…the one where I named some rapists,” including the man who is suing her. Heidi Schlumpf mentioned none of this in her defense of Provencher and went instead with the false narrative that the suit was an attempt to “silence victims and their advocates.”

Schlumpf’s piece was nothing more than journalistic hackery and her editors ought to know this.

The very serious problem is that Donna Provencher, Adele Smith, and their echo-chamber of Fisher and Schlumpf are doing victims of sexual assault no favors by this ongoing travesty. You simply cannot go around making wild charges against innocent men and expect to get away with it. And it is shameful for “journalists” to defend such obviously false charges.

The suit against Provencher was filed several months ago. Her lawyer has tried to have it tossed out of court. Another hearing for motions is coming up after the first of the year where he will no doubt try and likely fail again. The trial is set to be heard in the spring.

The plaintiff, whom I have not named but who has been named by Heidi Schlumpf, deserves justice to clear his good name. In this case, believe the man.

(Photo credit: Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

Austin Ruse

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Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute. He is the author of Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data published by Regnery and Little Suffering Souls: Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ published by Tan Books. The views expressed here are solely his own.

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