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SAVE Calls on Sen. Hirono to Withdraw and Apologize for Sexist ‘Shut-Up’ Remarks

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Contact: Rebecca Stewart



SAVE Calls on Sen. Hirono to Withdraw and Apologize for Sexist ‘Shut-Up’ Remarks

WASHINGTON / September 21, 2018 – During a Tuesday press conference, Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii made remarks that have stirred controversy about the diminished importance of free speech and due process in America. Commenting on a possible FBI investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Hirono declared, “Not only do women like Dr. Ford, who bravely comes forward, need to be heard, but they need to be believed… I just want to say to the men in this country — just shut up and step up!.” [emphasis added] (1)

A recent YouGov poll confirms a different picture. The poll found only one-quarter of Americans believe the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh to be credible. When asked: “Do you think that the allegation of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh generally is or is not credible?” 28% of men said it was credible, while 25% of women gave the same response (2).

Patrice Lee Onwuka of the Independent Women’s Forum emphasizes, “We cannot abandon the presumption of innocence because assuming he’s ‘probably guilty’ serves certain political motives…. it’s wrong to jump to conclusions or use unsubstantiated allegations for political purposes. Not only is that unfair to the accused but it sets up a harmful precedent for the future.” (3)

Writing in the Boston Globe, Jennifer Braceras wrote, “The she-said/he-said nature of the allegations; Ford’s failure to mention the event to anyone for decades; and her inability to provide key details such the location or specific time frame of the alleged assault raise reasonable questions about her credibility.” (4)

One of the strongest critics of Hirono’s remarks was Fox News host Tucker Carlson. During his September 19 monologue, Carlson commented on the meaning of Hirono’s statement:

“It’s not just Brett Kavanaugh that’s guilty, but ‘the men of this country,’ every single one of them, Carlson said, because they’re men. Tucker also said liberals recently ignored a woman who accused Keith Ellison of sexual assault, which occurred within the last year, not 36 years ago.

“That’s a command from the United States senator,” Carlson said of Hirono’s call for men to shut up. “It’s not optional, it’s mandatory. So repeat after Mazie Hirono: Men always lie, women never do. One sex is evil, the other is holy. That’s the Catechism of the Church of Late-Stage Feminism.” (5)

Seldom has an elected official instructed a class of Americans to “shut up,” or to accept the veracity of a sexual assault allegation without corroboration. The First Amendment guarantees the right to express opinions and beliefs. The presumption of innocence is a key element of due process, which is guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

SAVE believes justice is best served when Constitutional guarantees of due process are respected, not when lawmakers engage in a politically calculated rush to judgement.



SAVE — Stop Abusive and Violent Environments — is working for effective and fair solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault: