I am lucky enough to say that I have never been sexually assaulted. That being said, I stand with the women and men who are coming forward to speak out against the sexual violence they’ve experienced. I stand with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. I stand with survivors.
While President Trump’s administration never fails to surprise me with their controversies, the GOP’s unwavering support of Brett Kavanaugh, the newly confirmed Supreme Court justice who is accused of multiple instances of sexual assault, takes the cake.
Despite these accusations and a Senate hearing in which Kavanaugh was far from calm under pressure, he is still strongly backed by the GOP; the only senator who did not vote for Kavanaugh is Lisa Murkowski from Alaska. Even if he wasn’t under the microscope for sexual assault, his demeanor when questioned were telltale signs that he is not a stable candidate for the Supreme Court. These are signs the GOP chooses to ignore.
Not only does Kavanaugh’s confirmation display the GOP’s inability to look past party lines in attempts to find a suitable candidate — it also shows how little regard the party has for sexual assault survivors.
Survivors already have enough to deal with without being forced to look at the man that may personify the worst moment of their lives. People, no matter their political alignment, often quickly dismiss survivors when they come forward with stories of sexual assault. Survivors are immediately called liars and are discounted even more when they take longer than a day to report the assault. After this, they are blamed for their assault in an attempt to save the assailant’s reputation. In the eyes of an alarmingly large number of powerful individuals, an accused person’s reputation is more important to some than a victim’s health and well-being. With a 50-48 vote, Kavanaugh’s confirmation was very split.
However, it is very clear that party alignment is more important to politicians than believing sexual assault survivors.
Confirming a man accused by multiple women of sexual assault is a slap in the face to survivors, as well as to women all around the nation. Kavanaugh has made it clear he is interested in overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. In an email written in 2003, he stated that the Roe v. Wade ruling is not “settled law of the land.” Now that he has been confirmed to the court, he will work to ensure that women have little say in what they do with their bodies. His desire to control women’s bodies (both in the legal sense and allegedly in the physical sense) drags us back in time by decades. His nomination is one more nail in the coffin for women’s rights in 2018: We have a president who has been accused of sexual assault himself and who notoriously lacks decency, a vice president who believes in gay conversion therapy and an entire political party that has immense difficulty seeing the everyday struggles of minorities around the nation.
Living in Trump’s America is terrifying enough as a woman. Kavanaugh’s confirmation only amplifies the fear that marginalized groups have and will only strengthen the grip that sexual violence has on our society.