Sen. Mazie Hirono criticized Donald Trump Jr. for suggesting he is more concerned for his sons when it comes to sexual assault claims than he is for his daughters because his sons could one day face false allegations of sexual misconduct toward women.
Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat who has gained a reputation during Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process as a no-nonsense champion of sexual assault survivors, told CNN that the president’s son’s comments stem from a “fear and mistrust of women.”
Too many people, Hirono said, believe erroneously that women fabricate claims of sexual harassment or assault.
“Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes, and you can see why,” Hirono said. “When women come forward — and, by the way, thousands of people are coming forward to share their traumatic stories that they never reported — these are the kinds of attitudes that make it really tough for them to come forward.”
Hirono suggested that fathers should focus more on raising their sons to treat women respectfully than on defending their sons against the remote possibility of a future allegation of misconduct.
“The men of this country particularly, they should make sure that their sons… are raised in such a way that they respect women, don’t assault them, don’t harass them,” Hirono said.
When asked whether he thinks that the #MeToo movement will affect his sons or daughters more, Trump Jr. was unequivocal.
“Right now I would say, my sons,” Trump Jr. told the Daily Mail in a video interview that aired this week, flanked by his girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle. “When the other sides weaponizes against men 40 years later we can bring it up and you did something in high school that no one remembers, and it should disqualify you from ever doing anything ever again, it diminishes the real claims.”
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