And so to the latest reason for perma-outrage in this hellish, goatee-filled darkest-timeline in which that sorry bastard is occupying the White House and people like him are swagging around with their racism and misogyny proudly on show: the Kavanaugh hearings.
Christine Blasey Ford, who alleged Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her when she was 15 and he was 17, who in 2012 confidentially named him as her attacker to her therapist, and who’d tried to alert her member of Congress to his dangers long before his confirmation hearings, was asked to take part in what must be every survivor’s worst-case nightmare, recounting her experience to a panel of men so toxic they couldn’t trust themselves to speak to her directly, to a prosecutor hired to make her out a liar, and to an audience of millions bulked out by monsters on the far-right with their fingers in their ears, laughing as she cried and sneering at every wobble in her voice. It was a two-act response to the tedious fucking question of why women don’t come forward sooner.
She was so clearly traumatised it’s hard to believe anyone’s heart is dark enough to doubt her. She was so thoughtful and articulate it’s hard to believe anyone could call her a muckraker. She was so horrified by her loss of privacy it’s hard to believe anyone could believe she was in it for fame or money. She was so credible and so reasonable my heart broke for her as she tried to placate the people out to make her a liar. It was one of the bravest things I’ve ever seen. I believed her, because that’s how basic humanity works. And it felt, for a moment, like her courage could be a triumph for justice.
And then Kavanaugh came on, roaring with the caps-locked male rage usually reserved for comments sections, at a volume usually reserved for Fox News interviews, a portrait of white male how-dare-she entitlement. He lied, of course, as he’d lied during his earlier hearings, and of course male Republicans lined up to kiss his ring, and of course that sorry bastard in the White House tweeted his approval as the scales of justice were weighed down with seven tons of horseshit.
It seems likely he’ll be confirmed. For the clearest evidence of rape culture, look no further than his confirmation vote being scheduled before anyone heard Dr Ford’s voice, a false deadline to prevent a fuller investigation. It seems likely this will be another loss for decency, one that will lead to a million other losses including women’s reproductive rights and Trump’s would-be impeachment.
As ever, we need to do more than just rage into our pillows. I need to do more than lie awake rage-tweeting and pummelling fuck out of my keyboard as I rant into a blog. In America, where I’m not – I’m a foreigner attempting to influence their politics – there is still time to call Republican senators and appeal to the tiny shred of humanity that might still linger somewhere around their unbeating hearts. There is definitely time to campaign for the midterms and grab every vote you can to throw these monsters out of power. In the UK, we can donate to Rape Crisis so they can continue supporting survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and to Women’s Aid so they can continue housing them.
Most importantly, we can be allies every chance we get. We can call out the Kavanaughs, we can decide not to be the Mark Judges who have been complicit in the past and fucked off out of it in the present. Because there were girls and women watching this, or reading about it today, or doing everything they can to avoid it because their pain is so hard to bear, who have been through what Dr Ford has been through or worse, and yesterday they were told to pipe the fuck down. We need to make the world safe for them to speak up, and make the world right enough to want to punish the men who hurt them.
What Dr Ford remembers most is her attacker and his friend laughing through the attack: “The uproarious laughter between the two… Two friends having a really good time with one another.”
The good ol' boys are about to wrap it up. Laughing it up during a hearing on serious sexual assault allegations. pic.twitter.com/OQbgkApLFE
— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) September 27, 2018
Let’s remember that too. Let’s remember the sight of powerful men laughing.
Photo credit: Getty Images