Accusing Women Of Lying About Sexual Assault Isn't Feminism

Photo: CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images.
Paris Hilton, fragrance mogul and DJ, has some thoughts about President Trump. Specifically, in an interview with Marie Claire, the 36-year-old was asked about her personal relationship with the president, whom she's known since she was "a little girl."
"He's always been so nice, so respectful and sweet," she insists, even when asked about about the women who have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.
"I think that they are just trying to get attention and get fame," she tells the outlet.
Pause.
This statement is startling enough on its own, but it's especially jarring when, not three paragraphs earlier, Hilton was espousing the merits of feminism. According to the interview, she totally identifies as one now.
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"I just feel it's about women's empowerment and girl power, and I'm very into that," she says — unless, it seems, those empowered women are speaking up about alleged sexual assault. And lest you think that was just one sentence taken out of context, the author of the piece, Irin Carmon, took to Twitter to post the full transcript of her interview with the reality star, and things just get worse.
"I feel like, a lot of people, when something happens all these opportunists will come out," Hilton continues in the transcript. "They want to get money or get paid to not say anything or get a settlement when nothing really happened. So I don't believe any of that."
Hilton even took things a step further, suggesting that the women who accused Trump of misconduct might have wanted to sleep with him.
"Because a lot of women, I've seen, like him because he's wealthy and he's charming and good-looking so I feel like a lot of these girls just made the story up," she adds. "I didn't really pay attention to it."
As for that "grab them by the pussy" comment, she's also nonplussed.
"I've heard guys say some pretty crazy things," she says in the transcript. "Like, worse than that. So I think that when someone doesn't realize they're being filmed or recorded, they say things. Especially with a guy."
Women want attention, boys will be boys — these tired clichés would make Simone de Beauvoir roll over in her grave. Identifying as a feminist because you're a powerful businesswoman doesn't give you a free pass when it comes to how you live the rest of your life and the comments that you make. It's more than a label — it's an ideology based on the notion that women and men should have equal social, economic, and political rights.
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To immediately dismiss these women and defend a misogynist like Trump shows that Paris still has a long way to go. But there's no litmus test for her progress. Sure, it's her choice to call herself a feminist — it's just also our choice to believe her.
Refinery29 has reached out to Paris Hilton for comment and will update if we hear back.
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