When it comes to the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, it’s hard to know whom to believe. On the one hand, Kavanaugh stands on the precipice of cementing a conservative court for a generation and might even see his current judgeship at risk.
On the other hand, Christine Blasey Ford is a woman.
In this cynical day and age, it’s difficult not to see each individual as approaching the hearing with an agenda: Kavanaugh with the entire Republican agenda, and Ford with the agenda of an assault victim about to see her attacker become one of the most powerful people in the country.
Kavanaugh has a penis. Ford doesn’t. Who are we to trust?
The national conversation around this confirmation has become a total He Said/She Said, And So Did She, And So Did A Third Woman, And So His Friend Refuses To Testify And His Classmates Are Withdrawing Their Support. It’s a total circus.
I look at the man who lied to Congress to get his appellate court seat and the woman who wrote her master’s thesis on the relationship between trauma and depression and struggle to understand what happened that night. To paraphrase the president, there are very fine people on both sides.
It’s hard to believe that Ford would put her life and family at risk if she didn’t want to see the man who put his hand over her mouth to muffle her screams as he tried to take off her bathing suit prevented from ruling on women’s bodily autonomy. But it’s also hard to believe that Kavanaugh did such a thing, when he’s so certain of his own innocence that he doesn’t want the FBI to even bother finding the facts. Republicans respect law enforcement so much, they help them with their time management and do everything possible to make sure they don’t get involved.
Kavanaugh is also so certain of his own innocence that when he went on the offensive, he chose to speak with Fox News, where he was unlikely to win anyone over. Viewers of Fox News are already likely to believe that rape is a coup made up by the Deep State to sell vitamins, and rather than explain his side to people who might doubt him, he decided to keep things among friends.
Once Ford went on the record, other women came forward with their stories about Kavanaugh, as if sexual misconduct tends to be habitual—especially among the elite set of people who never face consequences for anything ever. Knowing that they’d be attacked by the president and his legion of trolls as soon as he shined the Pepe Signal, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick told their stories.
Swetnick—in a sworn affidavit under threat of perjury—alleged that Kavanaugh was present at parties where women were drugged and gang-raped, which would be damning if Bill Cosby wasn’t such a popular comedian at the time. Americans love to emulate celebrities, whether it’s Kylie Jenner’s lips or Bill Cosby’s ‘ludes.
With the midterm elections so soon and the Ford family having already fled their home, Kavanaugh probably knows that it would be best for everyone if he were to just withdraw. But would an attempted rapist refuse to back off even as thousands of people are telling him no?
Ford may have passed a polygraph test, told the people closest to her about the assault long before Kavanaugh was even nominated, and dedicated her life to researching such trauma, but is that enough?
It’s not fair to expect Kavanaugh to remember what he did when he was blackout drunk, a state he reportedly spent a lot of time in. By having a traumatic, life-changing experience that was seared into her brain for decades, Ford is in a better position to recount the incident in question, which doesn’t seem like an even playing field.
At the end of the day, Ford may give a powerful testimony, but that doesn’t change the fact that she has two X chromosomes.
In the absence of an FBI investigation, it’s up to Americans to continue to choose our own facts as we see fit. But between the man who might lose everything and the woman who has already lost everything to bring this to our attention, I can’t decide which side to be on.