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Kavanaugh Hearing Exposes the Sexism of Society

Misogyny Has Become So Pervasive, Many Women Have Come to Accept It

Despite+sexual+assault+claims%2C+Kavanaugh+now+sits+on+Supreme+Court.
Despite sexual assault claims, Kavanaugh now sits on Supreme Court.

Despite sexual assault claims, Kavanaugh now sits on Supreme Court.

Lara Garay

Lara Garay

Despite sexual assault claims, Kavanaugh now sits on Supreme Court.

Nora Gallant Green, Contributing Writer

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This fall, many women reeled after Brett Kavanaugh—a man repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct—was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Many women grieved that a known sexual predator could still be appointed to the highest judicial court in the country and have the power to regulate reproductive health and women’s rights. But what about women like Senator Collins who voted in favor of Kavanaugh? Are women as divided over gender equality as we are over all politics?

2018 is a new era of #MeToo, where women are no longer silenced into subordination by powerful men. When Brett Kavanaugh was nominated for the Supreme Court, Dr. Ford came forward to tell her story of sexual assault by a teenage Kavanaugh because she believed it was her “civic duty.”

Immediately, Dr. Ford faced backlash and was blamed by Republicans for falsely accusing Kavanaugh for political gain. Dr. Ford had nothing to gain and everything to lose by testifying. She was forced to relive traumatic memories on national television and answer intrusive questions about her experience, and the idea that it was all a partisan sham is ludicrous. The men—and women—who voted in favor of Kavanaugh insulted both Dr. Ford’s credibility but also her intelligence by saying that she confused her assailant with Brett Kavanaugh. One in three women are survivors of sexual abuse. Since there are so many victims, why are we shocked to hear of a perpetrator?

In the 2016 presidential election, 52% of white women voted for Trump. They voted for him despite his stances on reproductive health, women’s rights, and allegations of sexual assault because they viewed those issues as less important than his policy on the economy and immigration. The so-called “sisterhood,” or belief that women will bond together because of shared experiences, was shattered. In October, CNN reporter Randi Kaye interviewed five Republican women on their stance on Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford’s allegations. One woman responded, “Tell me what boy hasn’t done this in high school?”

Before we, educated Democratic women, turn on Republican women who still support these men, think about this question. Sexual assault has become so pervasive that this woman could not think of a man who hasn’t assaulted someone. That’s how important this is.

This isn’t just a women’s issue, and this isn’t just a partisan issue. It is an issue of changing how society views sexual assault and how we support survivors. When Senator Collins told correspondent Scott Pelley that she voted “yes” because she did not think it was “fair to ruin the life of a distinguished judge over allegations that cannot be proven,” she proved something: people do not want to believe that someone they trust can do terrible things.

Many Republican women see Brett Kavanaugh as a conservative man raising a family, and chose to believe him even after his display during his testimony.

On November 6th, we have a chance to share our voices and our opinions. It is time to have our government represent the values and demographics of this country. If you are angry that a sexual predator has access to the highest judicial power in the country, show up to the polls.

 

This piece also appears in our October 2018 print edition.

About the Photographer
Lara Garay, Arts Editor

What elementary school did you go to?

Baldwin

What other activities are you involved in at CRLS and/or in the community?

Orchestra, chamber music,...

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Kavanaugh Hearing Exposes the Sexism of Society