What’s Current: White House says women who accused Trump of sexual harassment are lying

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

Image: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
  • At a briefing earlier today, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the official position of the White House regarding sexual harassment and assault allegations against Trump is that the women are lying.
  • Two Indigenous women in Saskatchewan have launched a class-action suit saying they were coerced into undergoing sterilization at provincial hospitals. “Since filing the statement of claim, the lawyer representing the two women said she had heard from more than 40 other women across Saskatchewan with similar experiences, one as recent as 2010:

“The number increases every day…There are some women that it not only happened to them but it happened to their mothers and daughters.’”

  • Two women have accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping them. His spokesperson has issued an apology… Sort of… The statement says:

“To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”

  • Statistics Canada has released a new study that shows one in five sexual assault cases substantiated by Canadian police make it to court. About one in ten result in a conviction.
  • A UK advocacy group is organizing a protest against pregnancy and maternity-related discrimination. The event, called March of the Mummies, is set to take place in six cities on Haloween. A 2015 study found that about one in nine new mothers in the UK are forced out of their jobs.
Lisa Steacy
Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.

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  • Nan

    Also worth looking into : Oxford professor and high profile Muslim theologian Tariq Ramadan has just been accused of rape by two former followers. See :
    http://www.france24.com/en/20171025-france-investigation-allegations-tariq-ramadan-rape-henda-ayari
    http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/10/20/is-this-the-harvey-weinstein-of-conservative-islam/amp/
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5006991/Oxford-don-rape-victim-says-s-victim-lynching.html

    About the second rape charge, not yet much documented in English speaking media :
    https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/oxford-professor-accused-of-rape-by-second-woman-1.670955

    Beyond the horrific violence of these assaults, what is frightening for the women speaking out is that Ramadan has plenty vocal AND physically violent supporters in France, ready to enforce retaliation on his behalf. They are already attacking Henda Ayari vehemently on social media, framing her as a zionist traitor.

    Since then, a third allegation has been made, for sexual harassment this time (not on a legal level so far).
    According to some French journalists, it is expected that more women will file complaints against him.

    • melissa

      Can’t say I’m surprised.I seen lots of debates with him, and he always comes off gross and intimidatory. Wherever the point of Islamic misogyny is mentioned, he always does the “what about the west??…” or even ” what about the mens??…”.This guys is a hardcore Islamist with- as you said- some very misogynistic, at times violent followers. Damn, worried about what some innocent women in France might be subjected to. These people are bad news.

  • OldPolarBear

    Something has been bugging me since the story broke of George H. W. Bush / Bush 41 / Poppy doing his groping and joking routine. I recall an incident back when he was POTUS (January 1989 to January 1993) where he was at some event where there was an honor guard or troops in line for his ceremonial review, or some such. One of the troops was a young woman. They might have been West Point cadets. Anyway, he suddenly stopped and leaned over and kissed her. It was caught on camera; he had this big grin after and the woman mostly kept her composure, stayed at attention but looked pretty uncomfortable.

    There was some controversy, with critics (mostly women) calling it out and a lot of people saying it was just a joke, etc. I have been searching for the stories about this off and on for several days now, since the first reports came out about the groping from his wheelchair, but I can’t find it, and I think I have pretty decent search skills. I’m pretty sure I found it a couple years ago but didn’t save it or bookmark it. Could I be completely imagining this? Does anyone else remember it? I don’t think I could make it up on my own, but I’m beginning to wonder.

    One reason I wanted to find it is that the “apology” sort of implies, without directly saying so, that it’s some kind of aging dementia thing, but I think he has pretty much been doing this his whole adult life.

  • melissa

    Yea, being gender critical is too far but being an apologist for FGM isn’t. Unbelievable.

  • OldPolarBear

    Thanks, that might be it. I had found the gettyimages one and it didn’t seem like the incident, but the 2nd link, the google one, is more like what I remember. And yet sort of not. I may have just remembered it wrong.

  • Cassandra

    Could the expression on Pumpkinfuck’s face be any stupider? He’s just so utterly repulsive.

  • rosearan

    Meghan, if you are reading this, can you put up a post about Jacinda Ardern, who has become the third, yes third, female New Zealand Prime Minister? And, what’s more, she’s a leftie who publicly states that capitalism has failed. The two previous female leaders, Jennie Shipley and Helen Clark, were the kind of social justice leaders that Hillary Clinton could only dream about – that’s if she even wanted to. While the US is dealing with a right-wing, sexist groper, military macho dude for a president, New Zealand is serially electing left-wing female candidates to head their nation.