1. A woman coming forward to claim sexual abuse at the hands of a man in power does so knowing that the imbalance of power between them will likely make her a target of unrelenting vitriol, shamming, and threats to her physical and emotional well being. Her life can be changed forever.
And while our society’s attitudes toward sexual violence against women have shifted in recent years, the shift is far from complete; not everybody is on board. I found confirmation of that fact yesterday at the Y when I got into a bit of a verbal fracas with two older white men who dismissed out of hand the accusation of Ford against Kavnaugh.
Most of us don’t have a big megaphone to express our opposition to the defamation of Christine Blasey Ford and the latest Kavanaugh accuser Deborah Ramirez as well as to the nomination of Bret Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. But our voice does matter. Every sound makes the cacophony louder.
2. As the allegations of sexual assault against Bret Kavanaugh mount, the response of the White House this morning is that it is “a vast left wing conspiracy.” They got one thing right: the opposition is vast and growing vaster as the public grows familiar with the real Kavanaugh and the sham nature of this whole confirmation process.
Notice that no one from the White House or Republican Party leaders are calling for an FBI investigation of the sexual assault charges. It is hard not to think that they are afraid of what it might reveal about their nominee who, they have assured us, is a “good man” of impeccable credentials. Right!
3. Too many people, including good people, allow arguments about process to take their attention away from what is primary in the deliberations over the Kavanugh nomination — that a woman, Christine Blasey Ford, claims — and it is hard to believe that she isn’t telling the truth — that she was a victim of attempted rape at the hands of someone who hopes to sit on the Supreme Court.
Which proves once again that even in the wake of the MeToo movement, it remains difficult for a woman who is the victim of violent sexual assault to get a fair, let along an empathetic, hearing.
4. The NYT reports that Evangelical leaders are pushing for a vote on the Kavanaugh nomination. Does anything reveal in such stark terns the moral degeneracy and corruption of these “men” of the cloth? Of course, we have known this for a long time. After all, they were in the foxholes supporting Nixon and then Reagan decades ago. But back then their mask of religiosity might have fooled some people, but not now. Their mask is in tatters and their right wing extremist, authoritarian politics or corrupt ministries stand exposed.
5. I hear commentators lamenting that Bret Kavanaugh’s life has been thrown into tatters as Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez have come forward to say that he sexually abused them. But when it comes to the trauma that these two women experienced at his hand and threw their lives into tatters decades ago and ever since, these women are invisible.
Here we have patriarchy at work. One male life, albeit a male who was groomed and lived in elite circles his whole life — counts in the minds of these commentators, while the lives of two women don’t even earn a passing word in their commentary. If anything, implied is that they are reckless in making such “old” accusations against this fine man.
6. The Republican Party through their words and actions have earned the title of the party of male supremacy and misogyny. Over the past two weeks they have outdone themselves.