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Brett Kavanaugh: His Hearing & Its Implications

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Brett Kavanaugh: His Hearing & Its Implications

Khushi Singh

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The issue of sexual assault has always been present, but over the last few years it has again come into the spotlight, especially with the advent of the #MeToo movement. There have been many accusations made against powerful men in different parts of American society; President Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and now, Brett Kavanaugh are a few of the men who have been accused of sexual assault. Yet, few of these men have been forced to face the consequences of their actions even after their victims have come forward and shared in detail the attacks they experienced. And this trend is most evident in politics. It began with Trump, whom 22 women have accused of sexual assault. There was even a tape released of the president saying exactly how he could sexually assault women since he was in a place of power. People were outraged. However, on November 8, 2016, he became president anyway.

Now, the man in question is Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was a nominee for Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States when the accusations against him came out. He has since been confirmed to the Supreme Court. When his nomination was announced during the summer, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of clinical psychology at Palo Alto University, wrote an anonymous letter accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Since it was anonymous, there was no news of it. That is where the problem begins. The fact that a claim does not catch the attention of the general public unless there is a name attached to it is already a problem, as many victims don’t feel comfortable coming forward if they know that their attacker will know it was them. So then, Blasey Ford attached her name to the story as well, and publicly accused Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh then vehemently denied the accusations, claiming the events had never taken place. In order to prove she was correct, Blasey Ford insisted on an FBI investigation, which Kavanaugh refused to undergo. After a hearing, in which the Republican senators employed a female prosecutor to question Blasey Ford– a deplorable action in itself– on October 6, Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court for a lifetime appointment in a 50-48 vote.

The confirmation of Kavanaugh, while devastating, follows a recent trend in which those accused on sexual assault remain relatively unscathed. If the people of United States elected Trump to be President after hearing of his misdeeds, then it is really not that unexpected that the Senate, with a Republican majority, voted to confirm Kavanaugh despite evidence that the events that occurred with Blasey Ford were true. This confirmation is a message to all women throughout the country that even if they do gather the courage somehow to come forward about their stories of sexual assault and harassment, that they will probably be ignored anyways. It tells them that even if you have strong evidence, it doesn’t matter, as long as the life of the boy isn’t ruined. It tells them that “boys will be boys,” so girls should learn to cover up, wear less revealing clothes, and correct their behavior. It tells girls that it is necessary to live in fear of every man they meet, as long as the men are comfortable, as long as they don’t have to fear that the next woman they assault will come out against them and attempt to hold them accountable for their actions. It tells girls that it is alright for them to live with a lifetime of anxiety, depression, and PTSD as long as it doesn’t ruin the man’s life. That the fact that their lives are now ruined forever doesn’t matter. That they don’t matter.

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Brett Kavanaugh: His Hearing & Its Implications