Like everyone else with a disdain for the level of hypocrisy Republicans have elevated to an art form, I have been infuriated as I watched the farce that is the Kavanaugh hearing. The hiding of hundreds of thousands of documents from review; the obvious rush to get this man into a robe because he will tilt the bench and protect Trump; and the GOPers who have zero compunction whatsoever about facing a camera and calling Democrats obstructionist - Merrick Garland ring a bell, Mitch?
We have an Oval occupier who is under investigation on MANY fronts, and is an unindicted co-conspirator. McConnell and his coven refused to even allow a hearing on Garland because it was during President Obama's last year in office. They grandstanded that bullshit as if it were precedent or law. It was not, it is not. Yet here they are, masturbating over Kavanaugh being nominated to a lifetime spot on the highest court in the land by someone who has been in full criminal-grift mode his entire life and is currently under investigation.
Despite grilling, protestations, and concerns by sitting Democrats, this appointment has all but been guaranteed. Sure, the likes of Collins and Murkowski and Flake may grandstand on Twitter, but in the end they always fall into lockstep with their party - the good of the country, the promises of her equality be damned.
But then last week, a letter came to light. A letter written by someone who laid out her attack when a high school student by Kavanaugh. It had been funneled to Dianne Feinstein (D) by the accuser's congresswoman. This was July 30th. The letter was handed off to the FBI only last week when it began being spoke of in DC and the media.
Feinstein's office is said to have told other Dems that "the incident was too old to merit public discussion." But as it leaked out, her office released this statement Friday, “The Senator took these allegations seriously and believed they should be public. However, the woman in question made it clear she did not want this information to be public. It is critical in matters of sexual misconduct to protect the identity of the victim when they wish to remain anonymous, and the senator did so in this case.”
The criticism poured forth from both sides. Predictably, Republicans cried "11th hour!" and "Conspiracy!" Dems called out the decision to simply sit on the letter and give it no credence.
Then, in some David Copperfieldian magic trick, less than 24 hours after the letter came to light, GOPers produced a letter from 65 women claiming to have known Kavanaugh back in the day and attesting to his character.
I call hard and heavy, assripping bullshit on that one. He attended an all-boys prep school for starters. And while that doesn't preclude knowing girls, it does limit the pool. As for finding SIXTY FIVE of them within 24 hours and getting them to not only remember him, but vouch for him? Give me a break. I couldn't remember the names of, much less track down, 65 people I attended high school with. (For the record, back in July, after he was nominated, a raft of former fellow Yale students signed onto a public letter calling him "morally bankrupt" and citing example after example of his danger anywhere near the SCOTUS.)
Of course, the weekend heated up, as did the online trolling of this woman and her story. So many writing it off as never happening, or if it did, it was just teens fooling around. And predictably, the tired line of "why did she wait so long to say something?"
And so was born a new round of triggering.
After watching coverage Friday night, and feeling my blood pressure and indignation rise in equal amounts, I went to bed. And I knew. I knew it would happen. And it did. Around 430am, I bolted upright in bed, panting, frightened, fresh off reliving my high school rape in another nightmare.
Because it never goes away.
All Saturday, I went through my day in a haze. The feeling of a hangover, where no alcohol had been involved. A hangover of memories, of fear, of pain, of confusion. And my anger grew all weekend.
I have not been alone. There is an odd kind of comfort in knowing you are not an island in something. Reading accounts from so many women who are experiencing the same things, being triggered in the same way, and feeling the need to defend how they had handled, internalized, hid their experiences offers, at the very minimum, a sense of community, of knowing someone else understands the murky waters in which I swim.
And then, yesterday afternoon, there it was - BREAKING NEWS. Not only had Professor Christine Blasey Ford stepped forward to The Washington Post as the writer of the letter, she had the receipts, as it were. Therapist's notes from back in 2012, long before Kavanaugh's name was known nationally. A lie detector test administered by a former FBI agent, which she passed. And details.
Reading them, I went cold. Her assault happened roughly the same year and time as mine. She was caught, cornered, held down. She feared for her life. He laughed, as did his equally drunk ass friend, Mark Judge - someone who has gone on to be an even bigger piece of shit in adulthood. Thankfully she was able to get free, lock herself in a bathroom, and escaped the party. She did not tell her parents. She was afraid she would get in trouble.
To anyone who wants to quibble with that part? FUCK OFF. ALL THE WAY OFF. I did not tell my parents either. When I finally told my mother, only because I thought I was pregnant, I could not even speak the words. I handed her my diary. And as I wrote here back in 2016:
Her response was, in retrospect, largely generational. And I stress I do not hold her responsible in any way here. We are all formed by the times we are born in and live through. The response was to be quiet, we could not even let my dad know. So we went on acting like it never happened because WE DID NOT WANT TO MAKE IT WORSE.
Thankfully I started my period and simply moved through the days and years. What followed were shame spirals, questionable behavior, eating disorders, cold rages, dark thoughts. But never again speaking of it.
That part about Christine being scared? That's real. My mom didn't mean, "Don't let your dad know" in a He'll-kill-him kind of way. She meant it in a He'll-kill-you kind of way. So I ate my feelings, I avoided my rapist in the halls, and moved through one day to the next, never again speaking about it.
Until I did, here, October 14, 2016. So triggered by the Trump "grab them by the pussy" and his victims being written off, disbelieved, called whores, I finally took a breath, came forward, and told my story. Yes, my family - my husband, my sister, my children, found out by reading about it. Somehow vomiting it into text made it easier to get it out.
Since then I have done therapy, railed against the fates, had explosions of emotion that Rudy absorbs and then holds me until the storm passes. I am 52. This happened to me when I was 16. Do the math - that's 36 years since it happened. But it still lives on. The memory was inflicted, and it will never go away. As I have explained to Rudy, could my body accommodate what happened to me then? Yes. But my heart, my soul, my psyche, my spirit could not. Something was taken against my will. A piece of me. No, not some notion of virginity, something bigger. My autonomy, my decision making, my CHOICE.
Professor Blasey did not want to go public initially. Having seen what happens to women who speak up, she decided, “Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter?”
But watching her story being bandied about in the media, social media, and reading Kavanaugh's complete denial of it happening, she decided to put her face and name on the record. I am heartened that the outpouring of support exceeds the shitful MAGAts and rape apologists. Take a two minute walk through Twitter and we are there, sharing our stories, standing with her, backing her fully.
(For the record, I am not surprised if he doesn't remember. I doubt I ever cross my attacker's mind. Ever. He did it. There were no consequences. He moved on. As opposed to me, who has a part still stuck in the past, reliving it, feeling it soil so much.)
But the trolls take their toll. It is sickening how casually men (and yes, women) write off sexual assault. How excuses are made based on Kavanaugh's age at the time (17). How rife is the "get over it" mantra directed at people like Christine, like me, perhaps like you.
Yes, it is the hallmark of puberty, high school parties, the teen years to make out. It is discovery, it is exciting - when both teens are in it together. It is not "boys being boys" when two trap a 15 year old in a room, cover her mouth, crank up the music to drown out her screams, and attempt to rape her. That is not making out. That is a crime.
And as for this "boys being boys" garbage? What in the ever lovin' are you teaching your boys? As an adult male, how do you view women?
I have news for you - we owe you nothing. Whether you are 16 and horny, a pathetic 4Chan incel virgin, or a fifty year old man. WE. OWE. YOU. NOTHING.
Not our time, our smiles, our attention, our voices. And absolutely not our bodies. Your penis is not some monument to be worshipped. And if it gets hard, it is not some cancer you must deposit in a female or die. Your balls won't turn blue, they won't back up. You know what happens to an unrequited erection?
IT GOES AWAY.
Or you can pleasure yourself - your choice. But at no point does your libido overrule our libiDON'T. Who the fuck do you think you are to deign to touch, to grope, to take by force?
Did Kavanaugh do this? Well, it happened over 30 years ago, but I am going with YES. She has receipts. She has therapy dating back far before his name was bandied about by Trump and his minions. And she has absolutely nothing to gain by speaking out. NOTHING.
While ranting more yesterday (sorry, Rudy), I ruminated out loud about what I gained by telling my story. There was no $$ payoff. It certainly didn't make it unhappen. The best I can point to is that as much as it still lives inside me, it no longer chokes my voice. My husband knows. And so when I explode or get angry, I no longer blame it on something else. I don't have to hide it. And when I bolt upright in bed, torn from another reenactment, he knows why. He holds me close, and waits for the storm to pass.
Christine Blasey Ford gets nothing from this. This is a kind of exposure that grants infamy, endangers her, her family. Agreeing to sit in front of the committee and speak doesn't pad her checkbook. Ask Anita Hill. She lives everyday with the knowledge of Clarence Thomas being on the Supreme Court for life despite baring her soul, her name, her face, and her story.
All she walked away with is knowing she gave voice to the truth. That is all Christine will take away.
And because our leaders are blinded by power and money, they will pretend to listen to her, tweet some "thoughts and prayers" bullshit, make murmurs about concerns and their vote - and then go on to confirm Kavanaugh.
Pulling a trigger that will further echo for decades.