I hope you have your champagne glass, cup of tea, coffee or bottle of water because this is a lot and we need to unpack.
On September 27th, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about a sexual assault she had encountered in the summer of 1982 at the hands of Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. I usually have CNN on during the work day to hear what is going on in the world and this day was no different. During her opening statement Dr. Ford said something that caused me to look away from my computer screen and glare at the television. With a quivering voice Dr. Ford said, “I am here today not because I want to be, I AM TERRIFIED“. In that moment her opening statement became more than a testimony to me.
I could not begin to imagine what Dr. Ford was going through as she sat in front of men with stoic faces who she probably knew didn’t believe her. They didn’t care about her testimony or what she had to say. To them this was a formality. Dr. Ford recanted, in as much detail as possible, about the day she was assaulted and the impact it had on her life. I grew angrier by the moment. Who in the world were these men to judge her? To decide whether or not she was telling the truth? As the days went by Senators began to comment that while she MAY have been assaulted they did not believe Kavanaugh was her attacker. (insert stuck face)
Through my anger and disdain I did not fail to see Dr. Ford for who she was, a victor and a champion. She knew what she was facing but she still spoke her truth. Death threats, media frenzy, judgment from people that didn’t know her from a can of paint, none of that mattered, Dr. Ford had found her voice.
People wonder why there is a a Me Too movement. They wonder why assault victims take years to come forward and even say “if this really happened you should have said something years ago”. Dr. Ford said it best, “I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone these details”. We as a population of humans have failed our sisters and brothers. (Yes, men are assaulted too). It is our job as a community to support victims and survivors. It is not our duty to make them feel as though they did something wrong. It wasn’t what you wore or what you said. I don’t care if you drank a fifth of henney straight and was as drunk as a skunk. You have the right to not be assaulted and we have a duty to stand with you if you are.
Dr. Ford’s testimony should be our war cry. It’s time for us to stand up! It’s time for us to speak truth to power, to speak out against injustices, and to stand up for those who can’t or won’t stand up for themselves. We have a duty to help remove the shame that victims feel and to remind them that this is not their fault. We have to find our voice too and when we do, we must use it.
After enough pressure, the Senate Judiciary Committee/White House called for a fugazi FBI investigation because they wanted the truth and to get to the bottom of this once and for all. (insert eye roll emoji)
My response to them:
There was the truth staring them right in the face. Bad Boy Brett showed his bad temper and his disrespect toward people that didn’t side with him. His privilege was on display for all the world to see. On the other side of the table was Dr. Ford, speaking truth to power, even though her voice was shaking. The Committee couldn’t believe her because in doing so they would have to admit that they were wrong, that their nominee was a criminal that didn’t deserve such a great honor. Oh no, politics would not allow for that. It wasn’t enough truth for them, probably it was too much truth. Whatever the case it was enough truth for me. #Ibelieveher #Istandwithsurvivors
I knew Beer loving Brett would be confirmed. I knew he would ascend to the highest court in the land regardless of the outcome of the limited FBI investigation because after all…