Republicans leaders do not care whether it’s true that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women in his youth.
This week I saw something on television that I have never seen before. A CNN focus group of middle-aged Republican women discussing Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as if they were unimportant.
“I have no sympathy,” one of them said, dismissing her outright. “We’re talking about a 15-year-old girl, which I respect. I’m a woman, I respect.”
“But we’re talking about a 17-year-old boy, in high school, testosterone running high. Tell me what boy hasn’t done this in high school. Please, I would like to know,” one woman said.
I’ll raise my hand here, I guess. I have never, in my life, even thought to assault someone in the manner that she was defending, never mind act on it. I don’t know what kind of boys she’s raising or has been around, but even in the 1980s when these attacks allegedly occurred they would have been deeply concerning.
Kavanaugh is accused of physically pushing Ford into a room, putting his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming, turning up the music so no one could hear her calling for help, then trying to pull her clothes off as his buddy allegedly urged him to “go for it.”
What teen hasn’t done this? Would you be proud of a son like that? Would you shrug your shoulders and say “boys will be boys?” If you do I hope you will not be raising sons, for the greater good of humanity and any girls or gay boys who will unsuspectingly cross their paths.
“But in the grand scheme of things, my goodness, there was no intercourse,” continued one of the women. “There was maybe a touch. Really? Thirty-six years later she’s still stuck on that, had it happened?”
This is the most depressing panel I have ever watched, I thought as I listened to them, and that’s saying something because I have sat through the polarized TV debates that were held at the height of the Troubles. She’s literally telling a sexual assault survivor to just get over it. Gross.
Just as in the presidential election, when we were given taped proof of the candidate Donald Trump openly admitting to sexual misconduct with multiple women, these Republican-voting women were prepared to look the other way again. It hadn’t happened to them, or to their daughters, after all. Here’s the real price of a tax break, I remember thinking.
“You can’t judge the character of a man by something he did when he was 17,” one of the women continued in a comment that really took me by surprise.
She’s quite wrong about that, I think. In my high school (and yours too, I bet) you would have immediately judged the character of any teen that tried to forcibly sexually assault another. You would never have forgotten it. Especially if you had been the victim of it.
There’s a part of this story that really needs to be reflected on. It’s the part involving class and privilege and elevated social status. If you feel like you enjoy a higher degree of prestige (fancy prep school, easy access to the rich and powerful) then the temptation is always to look down on others, to overlook their common humanity, to excuse your snobbery by seeing them as lesser beings.
If Kavanaugh attacked Ford in the way she describes then he simply had no respect for her personhood. He saw a target he could literally bend to his will and then mistreat without consequence. He could even violate her without injury to himself. He tried.
That’s the world that Trump wants to lead us back to now. The world where women are bullied into silence after their protests fall on deaf ears. So the question for you this November is, is that the world that you want your daughters and nieces to grow up in? We are sleepwalking into a full restoration of it. We are just one Supreme Court justice away from it, in fact.
The ladies on CNN were unanimous, give Kavanaugh a big pass. “As long as that’s an isolated incident, yes. He was 17, he was not even an adult. And we all made mistakes when we were 17. If the person made a mistake and they’ve moved on and they have been a good human being, who are we to judge?”
We have all made mistakes at 17. So who are you to prevent a privileged man from attaining the highest court in the land because he has multiple sexual assault allegations against women in his background? Give him a break already.
“I’d be more than okay with him being a Supreme Court judge,” one of the Republican women concluded. Let him be free to judge others. You’re much too unimportant to judge him yourself.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section, below.