BHAVNA MAMNANI ’22
Recently, Christine Blasey Ford, a clinical psychology professor at a Palo Alto University, has courageously stepped forward and described her sexual assault encounter with Brett Kavanaugh, a Supreme Court nominee when they were both teenagers. Ford explains that Kavanaugh attempted to force himself on her, tried to remove her clothes, and put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream for help. Kavanaugh vehemently denied these accusations despite Ford’s persistence on its validity. There is currently a controlled FBI investigation into these allegations against Kavanaugh. The problem here lies not only in the fact that Trump has made his support for Kavanaugh clear, but more so in the question of how much longer are we going to hold white men unaccountable for their actions? Misogynists and far-rights alike argue that Ford has waited too long to speak up about the incident, which may be understandable from a privileged point of view; but trauma is a difficult experience to recognize or expose to the entire world.
Another favorite argument of male chauvinists is the possibility that Ford is lying and completely made up her assault story because there is no proof of attack from the time itself, but statistics tell a different story. In a 2009 study, researchers discovered that statistics of false sexual misconduct allegations were consistently low compared to other crimes; only 2% of sexual violence allegations were deemed false. Relatedly, a 2017 study published findings that confirmed only 310 out of every 1000 rapes are actually reported to the police due to various reasons, the most common being fear of retaliation. After considering the likelihood of Ford lying versus Ford expecting vengeance for speaking up, can we continue to even consider the idea of her deceiving the public for no valid reason?
A first person account of being violated, raped, or even touched in an uncomfortable place should never be questioned as “fake.” To undermine anyone’s trauma is suspicious and only pushes the public to ask more questions regarding the situation. Kavanaugh’s clear refusal to confirm Ford’s accusations should worry the public on his future actions if he were to serve on the Supreme Court.
If Kavanaugh were to be confirmed into the Supreme Court after these allegations, our nation is proudly denying the reality of conservative judges refusing to acknowledge sexual misconduct and women’s rights violations as a national problem that deserves federal involvement. Kavanaugh’s nomination approval would allow him to perpetuate his pathological view on women’s rights on a national scale and in our current social stance, we truly cannot provide another sexist such a big platform to further his views. America’s rights-for-all patina is deteriorating with every civil rights case that graces the public eye; from numerous cases regarding the unlawful death of Black teens to men escaping repercussions of their actions, can we really declare ourselves as justice warriors when justice is only served to those who can afford it?
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