Brett Kavanaugh and the Revealing Logic of ‘Boys Will Be Boys’
One defense of the Supreme Court nominee against sexual-assault allegations, Megan Garber wrote last week, has been the notion that the cruelties Christine Blasey Ford described are “simply part of the natural order of things.”
The subtext of the vigorous dismissal of this woman’s charges isn’t just that we all committed regrettable acts in our youth; it is highly insulting to men of any age. Here’s an interesting exercise: How would you or I react to learning this about our male partners? The pinning-down. The hand over the mouth. I don’t know one woman my age (64) who doesn’t have at least one story to tell about having our heads forced onto a man’s lap, being groped by a stranger, or being humiliated in the wake of a one-night stand. But if a boy/man forced himself on me while covering my mouth to muffle my screams? Sorry, that says a bit more about a person than the destiny of his chromosomes. What would we do knowing such a thing were true of our fathers, our brothers, and, perhaps worst of all, our sons? No doubt our first thought would be: Do I really know this person? Would you want any postpubescent person capable of this to teach or tend your child? Can we all agree, at the very least, that a Supreme Court justice should be above reproach in every way? He didn’t steal an apple, he didn’t get into a schoolyard fight. He violated someone who is still feeling the consequences. Those powerful men who say he was just being a teenage boy—would they say that about someone who assaulted their daughters?
Ms. Garber captured my thoughts precisely, and I believe that she and Christine Blasey Ford have brought new light into the conversation about male entitlement and responsibility. What is the message we are sending our daughters?
I am so discouraged knowing that something so sensitive could be taken so lightly. This is something that should be taken seriously considering the fact that a lot of women have encountered sexual abuse. It is the government we put our trust in, and if they fail us all hope is truly lost. Being a woman who suffered from molestation and also the mother of a young woman, it frightens me to know how our government could be so apathetic to this situation.