Kavanaugh Confirmation is a Setback to #MeToo

By: Anne Kirby, Contributor    

Over the past year, more women than ever are gaining strength and coming together to say, “Me Too.” Under the leadership of a president who has openly and explicitly objectified women and bragged about his mistreatment of women, it is more important than ever to fight for equality both in this country and all over the world.  But Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the highest court is a huge setback for the “Me Too” movement.

The investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations that Supreme Court nominee (and now Justice) Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school showed country-wide misogyny and dismissal of women. Kavanaugh claimed, “I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out,” the Washington Post reported. However, a number of quotes from Kavanaugh’s classmates and friends from Yale indicate that he was a very heavy drinker, so much so that he was the “treasurer of the Keg City Club.” This is fair evidence to imply that it is quite likely that he might not recall the night with Ford in high school or with Deborah Ramirez, another woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at Yale.

In addition to indications that Kavanaugh was a heavy drinker, Ford claims to be 100 percent certain about the assault, despite the fact that many suggest she misremembers her traumatic experience. According to NPR, Ford discussed the assault in a therapy session in 2012, which addresses criticism that her timing is coincidental to Kavanaugh’s nomination to the  Supreme Court. If that’s not enough, the accusation is not isolated. Two other women, the aforementioned Deborah Ramirez, as well as Julie Swetnick, supported Ford’s story with their own memories of Kavanaugh sexually assaulting them in the past. A triple allegation does not appear to be coincidental. Despite the evidence in Ford’s favor, a number of people doubt her allegation, so much so that Kavanaugh was confirmed to one of the highest positions of power in this country. Considering all the horrors these women suffered, we should honor their strength and bravery in coming forward by believing what they have to say.

Our country has become far too accepting of circumstances that reinforce toxic patriarchy. Electing leaders who have abused women, or any person, sets a horrible standard for the youth of our country. Each time we say, “it’s okay,” or, “it’s really not that bad,” we are telling our youth that mistreating women is permissible, and we are telling women that they are not worth being treated properly. Mistreatment is not what our nation represents. We can be better. We must stop turning a blind eye to chauvinistic behavior and start standing up for egalitarian values. We must listen to the testimonies of survivors with concern, empathy and a sense of justice. This issue goes far beyond partisan matters; it’s about regaining our humanity and respecting all people, particularly those who have suffered because of our society.

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