Friday, September 28

Kavanaugh. Ford. #WhyIDidn'tReport

I'm appalled by the behavior of most of the members of the Senate during the course of the Kavanaugh confirmation. I'm not so impressed by the disingenous and clearly coached dissembling of the man who is likely to be the next Supreme Court Justice, who called out Democrats, some specifically which makes me question his ability to be objective once he has that coveted lifetime appointment.

Kavanaugh is not the victim though he has been victimized, to some extent, by the process. This could have been avoided but, instead, the Senate, once an august body, has allowed itself to fall to the level of playground fighting and name-calling. Pathetic.

Lindsey Graham wants corroboration.
He added: “It’s a factual decision. … Unless something new comes forward, you just have an emotional accusation and an emotional denial without corroboration.”
I was 6 and he was 13 or 14. I was staying at his house because his mom was good friends with my mom and my mom was in the hospital giving birth to my sister. He came into the guest room and climbed into bed with me. He wanted to touch me and wanted me to touch him. That was it. Just touching. I can't corroborate that Mr. Graham, but I remember this powerfully and distinctly though it was nearly 60 years ago.

I was a college sophomore working at a law office part-time to help pay my college expenses. He was older (seemed ancient by my standards) but was probably only in his 40s. He had a habit of drinking lunch and when he came back to the office one day, he called me into his office, closed the door, and pressed me against the wall and tried to kiss me. When I pushed him away, he laughed and told me that he was my boss, that he'd let it go this time. I quit that afternoon. I can't corroborate that Mr. Graham, but I remember this powerfully and distinctly as well.

With emotion and without emotion.

I can't prove it. I never reported it for the hundreds of reasons young women give for not reporting such incidents. I remember being scared that his mother would walk in and that I would get in trouble. I was 6. I was not the aggressor nor the assaulter. I was never around him by myself after that, but it never occurred to me to say anything to anyone. Why? Because. Just because, but also because I felt like I might get in trouble somehow.

And that suggests a deeply embedded way of thinking about the roles and behaviors of girls and boys. Why in the world would I, at 6, think a teenager wanting to touch me was my fault or that I might be in trouble?

The president seems to think that if assaults were "as bad as" we say they are, that we would file charges. Seriously? How cluelessly blockheaded are these men? The ones who grope women and think they can get away with it because they're in positions of power?
Were the assaults on me "bad enough" to report? I have no idea. But I know why I didn't report and it is as much because I believed the men in charge wouldn't listen as I wondered if somehow it was my fault.


And yet, that is how the Senate makes me feel.

All of this mess did not have to happen.

Judge Kavanaugh may have grown up to be a decent, honorable, and hard-working man who loves his family and is good at what he does. He could have said that even though he does not recall the incident, he is deeply sorry for the shock and trauma Dr. Ford experienced and hopes that in his work he can work harder to champion the kind of respect all men should have for the bodies and persons of women.

And now not only do I not trust Kavanaugh to be a respecter of women and their bodies, but I do not trust any of the GOP to care one whit about women. Period.

What's even worse is that women and girls of all ages will realize that is pointless to report because they won't ever be believed unless they have corroborating evidence, which is as ludicrous and stupid as it is insulting and offensive.