Ford v. Kavanaugh
Two weeks ago, I wore a fictional piece about the #MeToo movement (http://www.anoopjudge.com/blog/me-too-) and last week social media exploded with Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh having to face his own #Metoo moment.
The handling of sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is more than a conservative vs. liberal fight over a high court seat. The chorus of doubt accuser Christine Blasey Ford, has faced shines a light on how sexual assault claims are minimized, and victims’ trauma misunderstood even in the post #MeToo Age.
The Palo Alto University professor claims that Kavanaugh, and a friend took her into a room where he pinned her to a bed, groped her, tried to remove her clothes and put his hands over her mouth to muffle her screams at a house party in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., in the early 1980s, when he was 17 and she 15. Kavanaugh denies the allegations. Yesterday, she agreed on Thursday as the date she is willing to testify. It's going down at a public hearing.
Critics of Ford's story claim the timing of these allegations is suspicious. President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday: "Why didn't somebody call the FBI 36 years ago?" President Trump suggested that if Ford were telling the truth, there would have been proof of the attack in the form of police reports or legal charges.
The pattern of accusing the accuser is so common it has an acronym: DARVO – or "Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender." “When a survivor comes out and makes an accusation, whether it’s a boy coming out and accusing sexual assault by a priest, or a psychology professor accuses a Supreme Court nominee, the societal response in general is to deny this accusation, then to accuse the survivor of coming out for all the wrong reasons or lying or being crazy,” said Joan Cook, a Yale psychiatry professor who specializes in trauma. "Most people, it takes them years to tell anyone."
Christine Blasey Ford has received death threats, harassment and even been forced out of her home and away from her children since coming forward, her lawyers said.
When I was in college, I was on a date with a medical student, somebody I met at a party and flirted with. I knew him, my friends knew him—I thought he was good marriage material. After a nice dinner, we strolled back to his dorm. He kissed me on the neck, then squeezed my breasts, hard. I didn’t want to continue. When I resisted, he grabbed me and pushed me down on the couch in the living room. My next thought was instinctive: Give in or be beaten or raped. I allowed him to grope me because I felt I had no choice. His breath smelled of Kingfisher beer and chicken curry. Suddenly, there were voices in the hallway and the front door opened. His roommate came in with another friend and I was able to escape.
I never reported the sexual assault.
This is hardly uncommon. The National Crime Victimization Survey says that out of every 1000 rapes, 994 perpetrators will walk free! 310 are reported to police, 57 reports lead to arrest, 11 cases get referred to prosecutors, 7 cases will lead to a felony conviction, and 6 rapists will be incarcerated.
Kavanaugh allegations: is what someone did at age 17 still relevant?
According to Christine Blasey Ford, there was one witness to Brett Kavanaugh’s attempted rape of her at a high-school party in the 1980s: Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Preparatory School classmate Mark Judge. She says he was in the bedroom where she was attacked, laughing “maniacally” with the future federal appointee, and that she was able to get free once Judge jumped on top of her and Kavanaugh.
Judge has served as a character witness for Kavanaugh in recent days, denying Ford’s account and saying, “It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way.” Other statements of Judge’s, though, are now also receiving attention. Like the quote he chose for his high-school yearbook page: “Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.” Or the article in which he wrote this: “There’s also that ambiguous middle ground, where the woman seems interested and indicates, whether verbally or not, that the man needs to prove himself to her. And if that man is any kind of man, he’ll allow himself to feel the awesome power, the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion.”
Critics have dismissed Judge’s writings as the “boys will be boys” logic now used by some to imply that even if Ford’s story is true, Kavanaugh should still be on the Supreme Court.
Here is something to consider: A man is trying to sit on the highest court in America, a man who will affect future civilizations, that’s why it is important to investigate these sexual allegations. We need to know the truth because of what is at stake for the country. Every person who refuses to reject Kavanaugh’s nomination is telling every generation of Americans that an alleged abuser’s career is more important than a survivor’s burden.
The story’s got more complicated:
Last night, a second woman came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. Her name is Deborah Ramirez and she went to Yale with Kavanaugh back in the '80s. The New Yorker wrote that she says Kavanaugh "exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away."
Kavanaugh has strongly denied the accusation. The White House has called the allegation part of a "coordinated smear campaign" against Kavanaugh. The blame-game continues, but, in a nutshell: there is too much controversy surrounding Kavanaugh. Find another candidate. It’s that simple.