Thursday, October 04, 2018

I Believe Her

Brett Kavanaugh must have the most inept handlers in the history of handling. His story could have been spun as the mistakes made by a young man who had a troubled relationship with alcohol. A young man who realized he was in trouble, and changed his life, leaving him with profound regrets. He would apologize to anyone he had wronged, and added a tearful, personal apology to Dr. Ford. If he’d done all that, he’d be sitting next to Clarence Thomas right now. 

But he didn’t do that. Instead, he showed us the kind of rage that an entitled scion of privilege can summon up when he’s held accountable. Here’s a guy who has had (despite his protestations of working his butt off) everything in his life handed to him. The idea that he might not have this latest prize handed to him was so unacceptable that he had a tantrum on national television.

Imagine going to a job interview, where you shouted, cried, gulped water as if it were straight vodka, and talked obsessively about beer. Think you’d get hired?

Climb into the wayback machine with me and travel to July of 2009, when hearings were held on the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor. Senator Lindsey Graham expressed concerns about her judicial temperament. In a story by ABC news, he said, 
"She's a terror on the bench. She's temperamental, excitable, she seems angry. She's overall aggressive, not very judicial.”
Poor Judge Sotomayor. Who knew that the key to impressing Senator Graham was screaming, crying, and talking about beer? 

When women ask tough questions, they’re angry and aggressive. When men are denied what they feel entitled to, they have tantrums that are justified by other men. Women don’t get to have public hysterics and then get lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court.

At this point in time, our country is so dysfunctional that sides are being chosen. Either you believe Dr. Ford, or you think she’s lying. I asked a guy why the evil Democrats didn’t do this to Neil Gorsuch. His response? “They hadn’t thought of this tactic then.” It’s far more likely that Neil Gorsuch, though he may have traveled in similar elite circles of prep schools and fraternities, managed to avoid engaging in constant drunkenness and attempted rape.

What do we know about elite prep schools? We know that that rape culture was alive and well at St. Paul’s, Phillips Exeter, Horace Mann, and Milton Academy. We know that these future captains of industry, after being groomed at pervy prep go on to Ivy League colleges to finish their development. We know there’s a troubling culture at Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, and pretty much any school where there are fraternities.  

Donald Trump warns that it’s a very scary time for young men in America. Womp womp. It’s been a scary time in America for young women for forever.  In the US, 90% of adult rape victims are female. It is estimated that at least 63% of rapes are never reported. The percentage of false rape accusations are somewhere near 2%, and even that may be inflated. Remember, this warning comes from a man who was caught on camera boasting of his proclivity for sexually assaulting women.

On Tuesday night, at a reassurance rally in Mississippi, Trump mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who testified that a drunken Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her. This is the president of the United States, a position we once believed should involve dignity and statesmanship.

This sends a message to your daughters - that when they are raped or assaulted, they will not be believed. It sends a message to your sons – that it’s okay. Boys will be boys, and that means that white boys get to rape girls without fear of reprisal. The dull witted men who wonder why she didn’t report it are the reason that she didn’t. Girls and women who report are seldom believed and frequently harassed. Only one in every thousand rapes ends in jail time.

Brett Kavanaugh is a lawyer who has never tried a case. He was one of Kenneth Starr’s Clinton sheet sniffers. GW Bush put him on the bench to reward his years of partisan service at the White House. His testimony before the Judiciary Committee was unquestioningly partisan (and self pitying), which calls into question his future ability to be impartial. We’ve already seen his lack of self-control. This is a privileged white guy failing upward. It will mean that 20% of the Supreme Court is comprised of sex offenders. It will also mean the Court no longer has legitimacy.  

If you think you don’t know anyone who has been raped, it means they don’t trust you enough to tell you.

The 24-hour sexual assault hotline: 1-800-277-5570. 

This was published as an op-ed in the October 5, 2018 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper

Check out  I Believe Her  by Emma's Revolution 

                                     I believe her. I am her. 


Matisse said...

Susan, I read your column with chills down my spine. You capture the outrage just about every woman feels. Your concept of "a privileged white guy failing upward" is a worthy one.

May you continue to write forever.

Nance I

Keith said...

As someone who has been a handler a number of times, I assume Cavanaugh's handlers have the same problem Trump's lawyers have: the person you're supposed to help is lying to you. He made no - ZERO - effort to seriously refute the allegations but rather climbed into a tower of rage at the audacity of the questioning. This makes Ted Bundy's pro se defense look sophisticated by comparison. Not that I'm comparing Cavanaugh to Bundy....God forbid.

Paul Sand said...

For the record, Graham voted to confirm Sotomayor.

Unknown said...

Thank you Susan for your editorial in the CDS on October 5, 2018. Well done!