For anyone unaware of the current political situation here in America, President Trump has backed to the hilt his nominee for the supreme court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, despite all of the news circulating about Kavanaugh’s sordid past not just with women, but with alcohol abuse among other concerns. Now, the one thing I will agree with Trump is that it should be innocent until proven guilty instead of guilty until proven innocent; however, I figure this is how men have treated women for how many hundreds of years so it’s about time they get a taste of how the other half lives.
In this piece, I will be reflecting upon my experiences and thoughts during the hearings and news coverage (for context, my news coverage rader is from BBC World News, NPR politics podcasts, CNN, MSNBC, and a bit of FOX just to round out all of the potential biases so I can see a story from as many perspectives as possible). The specific source I will be sighting below is the Time Magazine article entitled: “'A Scary Time for Young Men.' President Trump Decries Sexual Assault Allegations” posted on October 2, 2018 written by Ryan Teague Beckwith.
Trump/Kavanaugh vs. Women
During Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing with the senate confirmation committee, the most shocking moment was when it was revealed that someone - now multiple women - accused him of sexual assault. Here is an extract from the time article mentioned earlier detailing the specifics of the accusations:
“California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford testified to Congress last week that as a teenager Kavanaugh held her down, put his hand over her mouth and tried to remove her clothes. A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, said that as a college student he exposed himself to her during a party. A third woman, Julie Swetnick, alleges that she was gang raped at a party that Kavanaugh attended.”
It is important to know that not just Kavanaugh deny the accusations - President Trump does as well. Though I agree that this accusation stream should not turn into a witch hunt for Kavanaugh or other men in his position, what I disagree with is the blatant attempts of silencing and discrediting the women before they were even allowed to speak. But this is something else that I must unfortunately caveat: I am not surprised that men are reacting this way, because they have no understanding of why it is so difficult for women to speak out because never in their lives have they felt as violated or as traumatized or as unsafe as many women - if not all women - feel today.
Why they should (not) be scared…
I am not sure if it was of pity, anger, or shock when I burst into ridiculous laughter while watching Trump during the press conference defending Kavanaugh earlier this week. Not that I am really surprised as Trump himself is still facing a defamation lawsuit from one of the women who accused him during his 2016 presidential campaign, former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos. During his campaign, Trump faced and denied allegations of sexual misconduct from at least 18 women; these allegations ranging from walking through women’s dressing rooms to unwanted kissing and touching their genitals without consent.
While Trump and his sons, and their heralds will speak how scared they are for young boys and men who are being taken advantage of and are unfairly and wrongly accused of assault and other crimes towards women because “it is a great time for women right now”; women sit in the corner shaking our heads. Though women are becoming less afraid of speaking out when they are being harassed by men, we are still degraded and forced into silence because no matter what we do, the assault will always be our fault - if it even happened at all, since all women are lying and accusing men for no reason.
Now if this seems as if I am hating on men, that is certainly not my intention. What is happening in the world today is detrimental for men and women, and frankly I can’t see a future where it gets any better any time soon. Women are becoming less scared, but are put on blast the minute they admit to the world what happened - and I use that word admit on purpose. Because having the courage and the support to speak out about something that is so horrible and so traumatizing requires that you first admit it to yourself and admit that what happened is not your fault.
But it is also a hard time for men. Because not all men are assailants, but because of how women have been mistreated on a large scale, men are now being mistreated on a large scale. So what do we do? The answer is easier than you may think, but is something that is completely missing in today’s society: we listen; we try to understand; and we come to an understanding about what is and is not okay for people in our society today.
And though this dream seems so far fetched to me, I also pray that one day men understand the horrors of feeling completely unsafe in society, and I hope that one day women can feel safe to speak with men knowing that they won’t be judged for expressing the horrors they have endured.