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Don’t Compare James Comey To A Rape Victim

This is a bad analogy!

Unless you're living under a rock (in which case, congratulations, I bet it's nice under there), you know that today is basically a national holiday: Comey Day. Unlike other holidays which involve fun and cool things like barbecues, presents, and days off from work, though, today's celebration revolved around watching former FBI director James Comey maybe, possibly confirm the presence of a Donald Trump pee tape.

In case you missed the live testimony, here's a quick recap for you: John McCain is the most inarticulate public figure since the woman he chose as his running mate; Comey thinks Trump is a lying liar who lies; there is now a perfect metaphor for what the media is like when waiting for new White House-related leaks (feeding seagulls at the beach); the former FBI director is at ease quoting Henry II and comparing himself to a saint; and many people now think Comey is super hot.

But so! The meat of today's questioning surrounded Comey's assertions that Trump repeatedly made him uncomfortable during the four months they worked together, with Trump frequently forcing Comey to spend time in seclusion with himself, via doing things like inviting the then-FBI director over for a one-on-one dinner (at the ridiculous hour of 6:30pm because Trump is old), as well as whispering things in Comey's ear whenever the president got the chance. Gross! 

The bizarre nature of Trump's interactions with Comey has caused many people to jokingly say that they recognize the worst dates they've ever had in the Comey-Trump relationship. This line of thinking, that Trump was behaving like a classic predator toward Comey, came up during the hearing today as several of the Republican senators questioning Comey blamed the former FBI head for Trump's actions, clearly insinuating that if Comey had been made uncomfortable by Trump, this was because Comey didn't stand up to the president; so, in effect, Comey "deserved" what he got.

Many people on Twitter pointed out that Comey was enduring a form of victim-blaming; some people took the extra step and said that the questioning of Comey was akin to the type of questions that sexual violence victims face; while others, thankfully, were quick to point out that this was, in fact, an idiotic analogy.

Hopefully, you don't need us to point out to you why comparing Comey—who was once one of the most powerful people in the country and served as the head of the nation's largest police force, and who still, clearly, wields such a massive amount of power that the president's phone needed to be taken away from him before Comey's testimony lest this nation suddenly get an inopportune selfie of the president literally shitting himself as his brutish ways are revealed before the world—to a rape victim, is pandering and reductive and misses the whole point about why victim-blaming is so horrific and insidious. (It's about perpetuating the existing patriarchal imbalance of power. Obviously.) 

But just in case you're not entirely clear why it's more than a little unnerving that so many people are suddenly pretending like Comey is a 6-foot-8-inch Galahad rushing in on his noble steed to save America from the disaster that is a Trump presidency, let us remind you that this particular president probably wouldn't even be in office were it not for Comey and the October surprise he dropped on us all last year. Comey isn't here to save anybody, except himself and his own reputation. And so comparing Comey, and the hero's welcome he is receiving from virtually all members of the press and many in the government, with victims of sexual violence, who have endured brutal lines of questioning and constant character assassination, does a disservice to them and to all disenfranchised victims.

Plus, it's just not a very sophisticated comparison. Even Comey can come up with "feeding seagulls at the beach." Do better, Twitter. We're sure you have it in you.