Victim blaming at its finest
Struggling GOP presidential candidate John Kasich has positioned himself as a sensible moderate when compared to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. He’s tried hard to convince conservatives that he’s the steady voice of reason in a hotly-contested campaign that has been rife with personal attacks, xenophobia, and sexism. But Kasich’s record tells a much different story. As governor of Ohio, he’s enacted 16 anti-abortion measures, stripped Planned Parenthood of funding, and once bragged that women “left their kitchens” to elect him. So the inappropriate comments he made about about sexual assault last week should come as no surprise.
Last Friday, at a town hall meeting at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, a first-year student asked Kasich asked how he would help her “feel safer and more secure regarding sexual violence, harassment and rape” as president. Kasich’s response started off on the right track. He discussed efforts in Ohio to provide support for students facing sexual harassment on college campuses as well as access to confidential reporting. But, he concluded his statement by essentially blaming the victims of sexual assault. “Well I would give you, I’d also give you one bit of advice,” Kasich said to the student. “Don’t go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol. OK? Don’t do that.”
Kasich’s tone-deaf victim-blaming response removes responsibility from the perpetrator while simultaneoulsy forcing victims to accept some culpability for the act of violence. The Democratic National Committee immediately blasted Kasich for “blaming victims of sexual and domestic violence,” saying, “It is no wonder women are turning away from the Republican field in huge numbers.”