Respect (or lack thereof)
Last week, I wrote about one of my experiences of sexual assault. This week I was going to write about playfulness. Yesterday, I listened to as much of the Kavanaugh hearings as I was able, maneuvering around my work schedule. Today, I am numb. Although, my blog post was partially written, I can’t think about playfulness at this time. All I can think about is how angry I feel when confronted by white male privilege. I try to encourage men to feel and show their emotions. I don’t shy away from their anger when it’s not directed at me. I have compassion for any man crying, knowing how hard that is for them. I truly believe it’s healthy and important to express ourselves. However, what I witnessed yesterday from Judge Kavanaugh felt like petulance and outrage at not being given what he sees as his due. No one is entitled to be appointed to the Supreme Court. There is a vetting process and a series of votes for a reason. A Supreme Court judge would not act like a spoiled child who's not getting his way!
He may not have committed the crimes of which he is being accused. As a victim myself, I tend to believe women when they make these accusations. And, I understand the reluctance to report it or even acknowledge it at all. But, we have no real evidence yet as to what really happened and may never have that evidence. Regardless of whether he did these things, it should be investigated. If he did not do it, then I am sorry he had to endure the process, but he accepted the nomination knowing that sometimes things get ugly. And, who wouldn't want an investigation done to clear their name? That’s the part that really baffles me. Submit to a polygraph test. If he didn’t do it, what does he have to lose? If he did commit this crime, then why on earth would he put his family through this? I suspect that, if he did this, being a heavy drinker, he probably blacked out and truly doesn’t remember. He would not be the first person to do that, nor will he be the last. I have been sickened by the numbers of people who explained this behavior away by the impetuousness of youth. My father, my brother, my sons, my boyfriend never did this. They were taught to be respectful of women. Some men are even taught to revere women. These men would never consider violating a woman under any circumstances regardless of whether they blacked out or not because that respect is ingrained.
If an FBI investigation is launched, and if I were voting on confirmation, the conclusion of an investigation would no longer matter much to my vote anymore. I would never vote to confirm the man I saw yesterday spewing his vehement anger at the women questioning him. I would never vote for a man who talked around the questions, never giving a straight answer to very simple questions asked by the women in that room and throwing their questions back at them. Okay, he apologized to one, but he still never answered the questions. Did he react the same way to the men? Did you see him disrespect one man in the room? When faced with stressful decisions on the court, will he be ruled by his emotions as we saw yesterday? There is a time and place for emotional expression, and a court is not an appropriate place. I know this was not a court, and I get it … he was upset. But, lashing out at the women who were trying to get to the bottom of this was completely inappropriate. If he behaves inappropriately at this all-important time, how do we know he will not do that again?
I am sickened by politics. I am sickened by the pompous old white men who have been ruling our country, accusing the Democrats of playing the game of partisan politics when they are the masters at it. I am sickened by the disrespect that is still spewed at women by these same men. They say the right words but their actions speak louder. It is inappropriate to describe Dr. Ford as "an attractive witness." Would that have been said about a man in the same position? No! Don't try to tell me that you respect women when you make remarks like that. Yes, I know you are from a different background, even a different generation, but it's never too late to start changing attitudes. As difficult as it is to admit the wrongs that were perpetrated on us, every woman needs to start sharing her stories with other women. And, women need to believe these stories and support each other. As we saw yesterday, the retelling of the story is still painful, and when it is met with silence instead of support, it compounds the hurt. This is one reason why women don't share these difficult things. The last thing I can write about this week is playfulness. Maybe next week, I can find my lightness again.
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