Kevin Swanson is an anti-LBGTQ evangelical extremist, and on his radio program, he claimed that USA Gymnastic doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of more than 150 girls was, in part, because gymnastics encourages “a fair amount of immodesty.”
Like so many evangelical extremists, Swanson blames the victims and not the abusers. He found reasons to justify the actions of a man who sexually assaulted over 150 young girls by citing a variety of examples including the use of “open showers;” and he urged Christian parents to not allow their children to participate in athletics because “sports tend to focus on the body.”
“There is an infatuation with the body,” Swanson said, “and, of course, the sexual aspects of the body as well. Some sports encourage immodesty, revealing large portions of the body and this happens in some sports. These are the risky sports. Here they are, what are the risky sports? Gymnastics. Gymnastics and swimming. These are the sports in which there is an added risk.”
Swanson went on, “Why are all of the gymnasts [at] more of a risk than other sports? Do you really want your daughters involved in a sport that involves a fair amount of immodesty in which red-blooded American male coaches are interacting with these girls? Or, worse yet, where the infatuation of the body eventually effects the lesbian coaches?”
Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison for his years of abuse.
Five years ago it might have been easier to write off the ramblings of an extremist evangelical, but we’re living in a time when a presidential candidate brags about sexual assault – and wins. Add to that the current scandal of White House aide Rob Porter – who was only forced to resign after pictures of the domestic abuse he inflicted were made public. The administration was made aware of the credible abuse allegation months ago, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly argued to keep Porter saying he is a “man of true integrity.”
In the face of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, the misogynists are fighting hard to save their precious but crumbling patriarchal advantage.
h/t to Right Wing Watch for the audio: