I have to admit, I have empathy for Brett Kavanaugh and how the allegations of sexual assault when he was a teen are playing out in his career. Is this just “inappropriate behavior” of a teen? Should it come back to haunt him 36 years later at the peak of his career? Was there some investigation done deliberately to find cracks in Kavanaugh’s character? Was that investigation fair?
In a CNN report, adult women (republicans) argue for Kavanaugh: “What teen hasn’t done thi?.” Now, 36 years later, is it okay for a woman to speak out about something that occurred in high school? “This guy’s an altar boy, a scout…because one woman made an allegation, I don’t buy it,” says one woman. Another says “There was no intercourse. There was maybe a touch…seriously, 36 years later, she’s still stuck on that – had it happened?”
Hold on, ladies and gents.
What’s at stake here is more than one man’s career.
What’s at stake here is our country’s culture, ethics, and – most importantly – the future for our daughters and their daughters.
Nowhere is this more eloquently expressed than in the ABC News story on how teens are reacting to these sexual assault allegations. Both boys and girls in high school are experiencing their own awakening about what constitutes appropriate behavior. The backlash against Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations, says one high school senior, “shows girls my age that their voices don’t matter.” If that statement alone doesn’t make the republican women in the CNN news report above feel just the least bit embarrassed, then we are lost as a nation.
Three-quarter of girls say they feel judged as a sexual object and unsafe as a girl.
One of the teen boys interviewed says that once you’re in high school there’s a certain level of self-control and understanding of right and wrong that everyone sort of has. True. For some. But we also live in a society that still says “boys will be boys.”
Deborah Roberts notes that even younger girls report having had inappropriate experiences — 40% of middle schoolers say they experienced some form of harassment. Worse – these girls understand that there’s a divide: if they speak up they get criticized.
As a woman, I can tell you this is all too close to home.
Today, it is still is not okay to speak up about anything if you’re a woman. Today, boys will be boys but girls will wear a scarlet letter.
It’s time for a change. Thank you Christine Blasey Ford for your bravery in paving the way for us to stand up and say, “enough.”