So, everyone has perfect memories now?
I’m really struggling with the reason why some people aren’t Team Blasey Ford: the lapses in memory. They claim that since she doesn’t know how she got to or from the party or where the house was, her story doesn’t add up. But I can’t understand why this is the sticking point for people. Not the fact that she remembers the laughter from two boys who were having a good time at her expense, not the fact that she remembers she was wearing a one-piece bathing suit because Kavanaugh struggled with it, not the fact that she remembers making eye contact with the other boy, pleading with him to help her out. It’s the missing details that people are caught up on.
Just a few weekends ago, I got together with a friend and we talked about a trip we took in high school (I don’t know when exactly, but I think we were juniors). She and I had very different memories of the trip. I felt confident that we were at one hotel and she thought it was another. I hadn’t remembered that she spent the night throwing up over some bad KFC chicken! I didn’t remember taking an old-timey photograph. I don’t remember the vehicle that we took to get there. The only thing I know for sure is that we took a LOT of shoes! I know this because we have a picture of all the shoes lined up.
Now, we can keep track of our lives easily with social media and camera rolls on our phones, but in the ‘80s? Or even in 2002 or 2003 when this trip happened? That wasn’t a thing. Today, if I don’t write something down on a post-it note or journal, I’ll forget it in 30 seconds.
Shame on people for discounting Ford’s words because of the things THEY think she should remember.
And how dare President Trump mock a sexual assault victim. Did you see the video of that rally in Mississippi? Did you see the people – men and women – laughing along with him? That is not the professionalism that I expect from the President of the United States. Say what you will about Obama, the Bushes, or Clinton, but I never worried about their intentions. I felt they were basing their decisions on whether it was best for the greater good (in addition to also listening to sound counsel). Trump, on the other hand, cares only for himself.
While I haven’t personally experienced sexual harassment or assault, I have:
- Paid attention to my surroundings and had my keys out and ready while walking through dark parking lots
- Only clicked “unlock” once on my key fob and quickly gotten into my car so that no one else could enter my car
- Texted my husband to let him know I’m leaving a place so that he knows when I should be home
- Asked friends to text me so that I know they got home safely
- Walked home from evening college classes with other girls so I wasn’t alone on a dark campus
- Worried about friends when they disappeared at a college party
- Left notes of what I was wearing and where I planned to go before going on a walk when I lived in an apartment by myself
- Changed clothes so that I didn’t leave the wrong impression – as if my clothing has anything to do with what another person chooses to do
- Both laughed at Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality and took her defense advice seriously in case I would ever need to get away from an attacker (SING: solar plexus, instep, nose, groin)
It’s these little things that I don’t think men ever think about.
It’s time to start talking about why that is.
It worries me that this situation may somehow cause other survivors to not report because they’re afraid they haven’t remembered the right details. Personally, I don’t think there was anything Dr. Ford could have said on the stand that would change the Republicans’/Lindsey Graham’s minds.
Let’s just imagine:
Ford: Here’s the one-piece bathing suit I wore that night.
FBI/Forensics: Yes, that is Kavanaugh’s DNA on the swim suit.
Republicans: The Democrat’s planted it there.
2 more accusers: He raped me too.
5 more accusers: He raped me too.
10 more accusers: He raped me too.
Republicans: You have him confused with someone else. This is all a set up by the Democrats to block the confirmation process.
Time Travelers: We went back in time and observed the party in question. What Dr. Ford says is true. We couldn’t tamper with the situation, or risk changing all of history, but it’s true.
Republicans: Science isn’t real. This is all a set up.
God: My children-
Republicans: Is that God?
God: Yes, my children, it is I. Yes, this horrific thing really happened to Christine. Wrap her in your loving care.
Republicans: Why does it matter what happened 30 years ago? He was just a kid. This is a job interview NOW.
I know it’s unfair to group all Republicans this way, but it is certainly what it feels like at the moment. We’ve all chosen sides and there’s no wiggle room. But how anyone could want to move forward with a confirmation on Judge Kavanaugh is beyond my understanding. Is it more important to feel like the winners than to address very serious concerns? I’d really like an answer to that.
Ok, this rant is finally coming to a close. I want to leave on a positive note, so let’s bring it back to books, shall we?
This is a book blog, after all, so it feels fitting to share some books I highly recommend for anyone looking for a way to learn more about sexual assault victims and gain some empathy and maybe even a new perspective. These are all Young Adult books, but that doesn’t mean adults should shy away from them.
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – both the original text from 1999 and the newly released graphic novel. There’s also a 2004 movie version starring Kristen Stewart. High school freshman, Melinda, is raped at an end-of-summer party but doesn’t report it. In fact, she goes through much of the school year without speaking. She loses her friends and her grades suffer, meanwhile, the person who raped her walks the halls and eventually dates her former best friend. I just read the graphic novel last week and was blown away by how the pictures and text interacted. This book should be on everyone’s reading list.
- Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston – Hermione Winters, captain of her cheerleading team, is raped while at a summer camp. But what is really interesting about this book is the way that the main character’s situation is taken very seriously. A cop handles her case with care, her parents support her and her decisions (what if she’s pregnant?), her pastor says the right things, a therapist takes the time to get to know her, and her friends stand fiercely by her side. I wish everyone was given the kind of respect and support that this character receives. Don’t let the odd title of this book fool you – this is another book we should all be reading.