It seems like it was only one week ago that I was writing about how Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was a nightmare for LGBTQ people. That’s because it was last week.
And now we find that he’s a nightmare for women, too. Who would have thought? Besides anyone who pays even a fleeting bit of attention to the contemptuous way that Republicans treat women, of course.
Christine Blasey Ford bravely came forward recently accusing Kavanaugh of attempted rape while they were in high school.
Yep, that’s right. High school. Which was a long time ago for them. But so what?
Conservatives have been tying themselves in knots arguing, essentially, that what happens in high school stays in high school, especially if what happened in high school was their pet SCOTUS nominee getting drunk, pushing a girl onto a bed, trying to take her clothes off and covering her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream.
This behavior, many would like you to believe, is simply “boys being boys.” Which is bullshit.
And then, of course, there are people saying that Ford is a liar, including Kavanaugh himself. Which shows you how little so many men understand about sexual assault and how our society treats accusers.
As Candance Owens of Turning Point USA put it on Twitter, “Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed IMMEDIATELY. It is time for Americans to send a STRONG message to the anarchist Democrats that we will no longer tolerate their disgusting, corrupt, low-bar antics. The #MeTooWitchhunt needs to come to an END once and for all.”
And I agree! The #MeToo thing should totally come to an end. But, spoiler alert, it can only end when MEN CHOOSE TO STOP SEXUALLY HARASSING AND ASSAULTING WOMEN. Until then, women must continue coming forward to try to stop it. They will, of course, be accused of being liars, like Ford, even though it’s a huge risk to come forward.
As @OhNoSheTwitnt, the Best Tweeter on the Tweeternet, put it: “Hello, I am an opportunistic woman. I make up decades-old sexual assault accusations against rich and powerful men because my lifelong dream is to get death threats from strangers calling me a lying whore.”
And as she points out: yeah, that’s as ridiculous as it sounds.
So Ford is lying and/or Kavanaugh was simply putting “locker-room talk” into practice.
Republicans are hot to confirm Kavanaugh as fast as possible for the repeal Roe v. Wade and Republicans can prove once and for all how much they hate women.
But Ford’s accusation is credible. And we need to take a step back and ask ourselves how in the hell we got to this place. And we don’t have to look far.
We’ve seen this story played out over and over. One popular fable is of the Supreme Court nominee who is accused of sexual harassment and yet the Senate essentially puts his accuser on trial and he’s confirmed anyway. And is still, on the bench today making decisions that impact every American woman’s life.
Then there’s the made-for-TV movie about the powerful man who is accused of sexual assault by over a dozen women, who he calls them liars after bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy”, and becomes President of the U.S.
Trump is, of course, concerned about Ford’s allegations and is taking the matter seriously.
Just kidding. He merely sees it as a little bump in the road.
“If it takes a little delay, it’ll take a little delay,” Trump said. “It will, I’m sure, work out very well.”
And who knows? Maybe it will. There are a lot of people fighting like hell against this nomination. Which is heartening.
But I keep thinking of the one person who could have stopped this whole mess before it started. If more American men respected women we would have a President Hillary Clinton nominating Michelle Obama to the Supreme Court right now.
I don’t know, it’s almost like steeping American boys in a mixture of rape culture and toxic masculinity has been bad for, well, everybody.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer, and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.