There is a certain type of bravery you need to possess in order to go public with a personal story of sexual abuse or assault the way Christine Blasey Ford has. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with keeping these experiences private either. But for the woman who claims Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school to have found the courage to stand up not only to her former assailant but also to an entire political system and bully administration is pretty remarkable. That’s why the attempts to disparage her and her claims is so upsetting.
One of the most common things people have been asking is whether or not any person can accurately recall something that happened over 30 years ago. To that I say, Of COURSE. Something as traumatic as sexual assault burns itself into your brain in a way that years of therapy can’t even erase. On top of it all, Ford has such specific memories of the event and the house that it took place in. Just because she may not remember every detail to the last second doesn’t mean she doesn’t remember the important ones.
I find it super discouraging that even in the midst of the #MeToo movement, people are still trying to blame the victim here, or even worse, politicize her pain by claiming she’s a stunt that the democrats are pulling. I don’t think people fully realize how hard it probably was for her to come forward, to write a letter calling into question the character of a very powerful, well-connected man, and to decide to go public with her identity after feeling like details of her account were being twisted by the media. In recounting the assault to The Washington Post, Ford says, “I thought he might inadvertently kill me.” Almost dying, or feeling like you might murdered, is not something that ever fades from memory.
It is of paramount importance that there are sexual assault claims being brought against a man being considered for arguably the highest appointed office in our country. It speaks to his character then, as a teenager, that he felt so privileged and entitled that he forced himself upon a young girl to begin with. And it speaks to his character now that he is categorically denying it and trying to paint her as some crazy woman who can not possibly be telling the truth.
“I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation,” Ford told The Post. And even though it seems like she has come forward for all the right reasons and made herself and her family targets for the right-wing media and Trump’s idiotic children, the truth is, it might not make any difference. Because at least one other sitting supreme court judge, Clarence Thomas, has been accused of sexual harassment and it didn’t do anything to stop his confirmation, even after Anita Hill, a strong, unflappable and competent former co-worker gave over 8 hours of uninterrupted testimony describing in disgustingly minute detail what a total pig he was in the workplace. Then, as now, I don’t think that it matters how much time has passed but rather how this men have reacted to the accusations.
At the time, Thomas chose to grossly paint himself as the victim, claiming that the press “invading his privacy” was “Kafkaesque” and completely disregarding Hill’s claims. Kavanaugh on the other hand, is saying that Ford is a liar. “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” the Supreme Court nominee said in a statement to the Washington Post. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”
There are a few options here. Kavanaugh is lying, in which case he should have no place on the Supreme Court. Ford is lying, though she would have no real reason to and it’s clearly had a horrible impact on her life thus far. Or Kavanaugh was so drunk that he doesn’t remember the incident. If his memory is fuzzy, then the fact that he is refusing to entertain the possibility that he may have made a very bad mistake and refuses to take responsibility also speaks greatly to his character, and it’s not a good look. In fact, rather than admit that he may not remember what happened, he has decided to publicly discredited a woman he possibly assaulted. That makes him a monster most certainly unfit to be a Supreme Court judge.