I am really struggling to accept that I live in a nation where a woman must prove she was assaulted to be taken seriously, where it’s possible a man can handle the accusation of assault as they did in yesterday’s hearing. Simultaneously, while all of this is going on, I still have to advocate that my wife is a valid person, entitled to equal rights like everyone else. Regardless of what did or didn’t happen between Kavanaugh and Ford, it is undeniable based on her testimony that she went through a trauma. To say otherwise is to sit blindfolded on your ledge of privilege. Even if innocent, a fact that is unlikely to be proven with tangible evidence, I want more from a Supreme Court Justice, from the person who is supposed to humbly consider facts that will will impact decisions about my body, my identity, and my life in this country. I want someone who can acknowledge with empathy her experience and stand up for themselves if he’s actually innocent. To throw questions back at the senator questioning you, to get defensive and angry, is not behavior of the person I want as my justice. Are his reactions valid human ones spurred by valid human emotions? Yes. To play the Devil’s Advocate, I can even imagine why that reaction would happen given the circumstances. This doesn’t justify or illustrate being deserving of the role. I want someone who can passionately understand what too many women experience in their lifetimes. I want more.
We have so much further to go in the realization of equal rights for all and today it feels more overwhelming than I want it to. I keep thinking, “if I, as a cisgendered white woman, with all of this privilege afforded to me by my predecessors, have to live in fear of not being believed when assaulted, what chance does Katie have?” I saw a statement on Facebook today describing all the things women do to prevent assault. The first thing that popped into my mind is that I wear headphones at night when I’m alone. I do this to give the allusion I don’t want to be talked to by men, who more often than women feel entitled to start a conversation with me. Am I listening to music? Nope. That’s not safe. Not having my hearing at 100% prevents me from hearing an assailant come up from behind me. The fact that I have to do this is crap!
I know there are many ways to find a glass half-full and I’m typically very good at it. I just can’t make excuses for being furious. Not today. We as humans beings deserve better. All women deserve more.