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Opinion: Kavanaugh hearing: bipartisan nightmare v. respecting women and being a decent person

Graphic created by Nicole Clamp, Managing Editor
kavanaugh graphic

For just the last few days of the week of Sept. 24, the United States’ attention was captured by the story of a woman telling her story about a traumatizing assault and the man she accused denying everything. At least, that’s what the country should have been seeing. Instead, a back and forth between the Democratic and Republican parties took place, attempting to twist the testimonies for their personal gain and sometimes not even having to.

The hearing was stated to be equivalent to a job interview, not a trial. And yet, a supposed test of character quickly devolved into a he-said she-said argument in which Republican senators wanted nothing more than to discredit Christine Blasey Ford, whether it be by using her fear of flying, her understandable silence until now or the single beer she consumed at the party against her. Democrats simply stood behind her every word, commenting on how strong she is, and they probably got several good sound bites for their next election from their questions and comments.

Most women who watch the hearing see the courage of a woman coming forward and the all-too-familiar result of absolutely nothing. Most women see history repeating itself, in the way that Anita Hill and Ford were both asked to move their microphones and position themselves just so to properly be heard, in the way they stayed constant and poised under pressure but were still asked ridiculous and insulting questions that were used purely as a ploy for power. Obviously, women who have been harassed and assaulted need to have even more power exploited over them by a panel of wealthy white men. Obviously, the nation has come so far for equal rights in the past 20 years.

It has come to a point where the people who plan to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, a shocking, nauseating number, are not doing so because they truly believe him when he said he was an honorable man who liked beer, but clearly never blacked out. They are doing so to make a point.

The levels of pettiness surrounding a hearing that should stand for women being heard and people guilty of sexual violence being held accountable is appalling. Ford came forward because she felt the information she held needed to be known. She did not come forward with the intention of prosecuting Kavanaugh nor utterly destroying his life and reputation, as he claims has been done. She simply did not want to see the man she sees in Kavanaugh to assume one of the most powerful and the most honorable positions in the nation.

It is clear that Kavanaugh drank in high school and college. It is clear he made a fun activity out of getting drunk with his friends. It is clear he is part of the privileged, white male population who think they are owed the world. The culture that is encouraged by this population is dangerous and toxic, and it results in rape culture and a “boys will be boys” mentality that spits on and abuses women.

Kavanaugh is not entitled to anything. He is not entitled to our belief when there are multiple people speaking out against him, and he is certainly not entitled to a place on the Supreme Court.

Being a judge for the Supreme Court is an honor, prestigious and honorable, and simply because one person, albeit an extremely powerful person, picked Kavanaugh to fill that position does not mean he deserves that honor. This position is a job with the highest stakes, and it is baffling that checking the requirements for such a job has turned into an all-out war between parties.

If Kavanaugh were to be applying to Starbucks and a woman came forward and accused him of assault, and then several more accused him of gross misconduct in college, he would not be hired. Perhaps the difference between the Supreme Court and a coffee shop is that it takes a long time to finalize and confirm a judge, but being a Supreme Court Justice is a lifelong appointment.

Life-long and life-encompassing, but the Committee is unable to find the time to fully investigate the matter or even subpoena Mark Judge, a key witness to the crime of which Kavanaugh is being accused. They are unable to find the time to stop bickering amongst themselves and take more than a day to decide whether or not a man who is repeatedly said to have spent a portion of his life being a general disgrace should spend the remainder of it judging people for their crimes.

Stop making it a matter of Democrats aiming to destroy Donald Trump and the Republican Party or vice versa, and start making it a matter of listening to women, acknowledging that sexual assault is emphatically wrong (what a novel idea) and realizing that there are decent, intelligent and qualified people in the world who do not have multiple allegations and accusations against them.

Kavanaugh’s scales are clearly dirty, so maybe it’s time the nation starts looking for another fish, and preferably not in the polluted, toxic pond of Yale University. After all, there are plenty fish in the sea that is the educated, qualified population of the United States.

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