The Kavanaugh Confirmation

Disappointingly but unsurprisingly, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Just as I suspected, the FBI investigation was a sham meant to appease sexual assault survivors before the inevitable affirmative votes took place. Two of the three “swing voters” voted to confirm Kavanaugh. In her speech Susan Collins said that Ford gave a compelling and believable testimony but there was no evidence that Kavanaugh was guilty of what she accused him of.

No. You cannot have it both ways. They cannot both be telling the truth. One of them is lying or mistaken. Since you voted to confirm Kavanaugh, clearly you think that person is Ford. Don’t act like you’re sympathetic to Ford or have any respect for her when you just gave her a huge “Fuck you” by voting to confirm the man who sexually assaulted her.

It’s disappointing to see not only men discounting the voices of women, perpetuating misogyny and upholding the patriarchy, but women as well. Susan Collins is just one example.

In a post-hearing analysis a commentator said that for many Republicans it’s not a question of if the sexual assault happened. They think it’s fine that it happened and shouldn’t disqualify Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court. Sadly, I think that commentator is right.

Then there was talk of the partisan divide, the us vs. them mentality, the notion of voting along party lines no matter what flaws the individual candidate may have. A commentator said that what it all really comes down to is pro-life vs. pro-choice and that the real reason democrats hate Kavanaugh is because he’s pro-life.

I’m pro-choice but if a pro-choice Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted women, I would not support him because I know someone who supports a woman’s right to have an abortion but considers himself free to sexually assault her is not really pro-choice, just like someone who stops caring about human life once it exits the womb is not really pro-life.

It’s no secret that I despise the Republican Party and everything it stands for. I would definitely prefer not to vote Republican but I know that Democrats can have unforgivable flaws too and that sometimes you have to put country before party.

I roll my eyes when republicans accuse democrats of being hypocrites for preaching tolerance but being intolerant of intolerance, yet I have to admit they have a point when they accuse democrats of being hypocrites for ignoring the sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton. I’ve also spoken out against those democrats who were outraged about Al Franken being fired over sexual assault and who felt the need to point out that his accuser is a Trump supporter.

The most galling response to this whole thing has been the one that turns men in to the victims. Those poor men are never safe from having their lives ruined by sexual assault allegations. Don’t sexually assault people and it shouldn’t be a problem. Where are all these supposed cases of men being destroyed for accidentally brushing up against a woman or telling a woman she looks nice? Because I’m only seeing men being held accountable for raping women, groping them, forcing themselves on them.

And far from proving that men are not safe, recent events have actually proven that men are free to sexually assault women with impunity. Brett Kavanugh did it and now he’s a Supreme Court justice. But let’s rub salt in the wounds of all the sexual assault victims who have been deeply traumatized.

I’m lucky in that I’ve never been sexually assaulted in the way that Christine Blasé Ford and numerous other women have been but I’ve experienced unwanted sexual advances and harassment. I’d be surprised if there’s any woman who hasn’t. When the me too movement was first trending I wrote a blog about a scary experience I’d had with sexual harassment. There was also the time I went to a frat party and had my crotch grabbed by a drunken frat boy multiple times. I never went to another frat party again.

There are those who will say that someone’s life shouldn’t be ruined by a mistake they made when they were 17. If those people feel that way, they should turn their attention to the inmates in this country who are serving decades or life in prison for non-homicide crimes they committed when they were 17. Not being able to serve as a Supreme Court justice does not qualify as having one’s life ruined.

There are those who will say “innocent until proven guilty.” Since that is a standard that applies to criminal cases in the court of law and not job interviews for legal positions, those people should turn their attention to the inmates who are languishing in prison despite no evidence or exonerating evidence. They should turn their attention to those who have been persecuted due to racism, rather than those who are benefitting as a result of white male privilege. The fact that the Republicans’ talking vagina Rachel Mitchell said that she would not have criminally prosecuted Kavanaugh for a sex crime is irrelevant because no one was suggesting he be criminally prosecuted. We were suggesting he not be appointed Supreme Court Justice.

Last week I watched a 60 Minutes interview with Donald Trump in which the interviewer asked if he thought it was okay for him to have mocked Christine Blasé Ford in the way that he did. He replied that it didn’t matter because they won. I can’t remember if this was before or after he yelled at the interviewer “I’m the president and you’re not!” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that someone like Brett Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court justice when I consider the kind of guy who appointed him and who is unfortunately our president.

Even though this development is disheartening and disappointing, all is not lost. Even though Christine Blasé Ford could not stop Brett Kavanaugh from being appointed, her testimony made a difference. It may not seem like she made a difference in anything that matters because patriarchy insists that men in power are the only ones that matter, but we are seeing just how contagious her bravery is. So many women are coming forward with their stories and are putting an end to their decades of silence. Clearly, the Ford testimony mattered to them. I don’t usually sign petitions or letters on the internet but when asked to sign a letter thanking Ford for her testimony, I added my name to the list.

I prayed for a miracle when it came to the Kavanaugh vote and that ended up not happening but I’ll set my hopes on a blue wave in next month’s election. The time may be ripe for a wave since when it comes to stories of sexual assault, the dam of silence has burst and the floods of anger are pouring forth. I know that thoughts and prayers won’t cut it though so I plan on getting out there and voting. You too.