Donald Trump Jr. is one of his father's most outspoken partisans—after all, he just wants daddy's affection—but its always a little unnerving to see how far down the right-wing rabbit hole he's gone. In a recent interview with DailyMail.TV, he expressed how the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and the sexual assault claims made against the Supreme Court nominee has made him afraid for his sons, more so than his daughters.
"I got boys and I got girls," the president's son said in an excerpt of the interview released Monday, referring to his five children, "and when I see what's going right now, it's scary for all things."
"Who are you scared most for? Your sons or your daughters?" the interviewer asked.
"Right now, I'd say my sons," Trump Jr. replied. "The other problem is that for the people who are real victims of these things, when it is so obviously political in case like this, it really diminishes the real claims."
The subtext of Don Jr.'s assertion is pretty clear—he thinks the sexual assault claims made against Kavanaugh are purely political. That's a view shared by Republican senators who have called Christine Blasey Ford's accusation that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her a "smear" while refusing to say whether they think she was lying. But Junior is taking it a step further by implying that he worries more that his sons will be accused of rape than he does that his daughters will be raped.
You can see what he's trying to say—we're at a turning point where the national conversation is about what privileged young boys are allowed to get away with. Powerful men who grew up in a world that condones their violence toward women are afraid of a world where the violence they committed in their youth might affect their future job prospects.
It's good to be afraid. An absence of fear, often, is the same thing as unchecked privilege. Fear can be a teacher—right now, Junior's fear may represent an inkling that the culture is changing, and that if you don't reexamine your values and adapt, you'll get left behind. The Kavanaugh hearings, like so many other public airings of private atrocities, are educational moments for boys all around the country. They show that if you impose your will onto a girl, if you don't care about her personal autonomy, there might be consequences for you, and there will certainly be consequences for the girl. This is an opportunity for men of all ages to learn and grow—and even though Donald Trump Jr.'s children might not have the best role models, even they have the opportunity to gain something from this.
If he teaches his boys about consent and how to properly respect the opposite sex, he should have nothing to fear at all.
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.