Today, as many of you know, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed for the Supreme Court.
There are people in my life, people I live with, who are happy with this situation.
One of them said today, before the vote, that “Soon we can put all this ugliness behind us.”
No, no we can’t. Because while some of the “ugliness” of the process was political maneuvering, 99% of the so-called “ugliness” was just the truth of a man, credibly accused of sexual assault in at least three cases, getting a job he may be technically qualified for, but is absolutely all wrong for.
That same person said to me, “He should be judged solely on his record with the law, and his legal record is impeccable.” First of all, no it’s not, but even if it was, politics does not exist in a vacuum. The content of your character and your political leanings and motivations are what create your interpretation of the law. The process of Judicial Review, where the supreme court can “legislate from the bench,” so to speak, declaring legislative and executive acts unconstitutional, has been utilized since since Marbury v. Madison in 1801. (I researched this extensively in high school, though I have not done any work with it since, so while I can recall the basics, I can’t cite textual examples).
People claimed that he was decried guilty before “proven” innocent, but he was not on trial. He was in a job interview. And in my opinion, and the opinion of many others, he failed that interview.
The problem, or one of the problems, at least, is that it was not enough. The proof of his character – that he was angry, over-emotional, and uncaring – was not enough to dissuade the senate from confirming him. That the trauma he inflicted, and forced many to relive didn’t matter. And some would say that it shouldn’t. Like I said, they believe it’s only his record with the law that matters. But even if you were interviewing with some company or organization, it’s not just about your qualifications, it’s about your fit with the company, the corporate policy, and the office culture as well. What Kavanaugh’s confirmation is saying is that the company he fits with is not a company I want to be a part of. It’s a company that says even if I believe you, it doesn’t matter.
And the fact of the matter is, this tells me that there are people in my life who I can’t trust when it happens to me. And I say “when,” not “if”, because the likelihood is that I will be assaulted at some point, and I have certainly already been harassed and pressured into things that I didn’t want to do, that I felt I couldn’t say no to. I don’t think that last part is assault, because I technically did say “okay,” even if I didn’t want to, and even if I wasn’t forced, I was still scared to say “no.” What kind of culture is that to live in?
What does this tell little girls? It tells them that the rich, powerful white man always gets his way, and it doesn’t matter what he does to her. It tells her not to speak up, because she will get death threats, because she will be harassed for ruining his life, even though he has already ruined hers. It tells them that more people would stick to the status quo, and brush everything under the rug, rather than do the work for change.
I am so, so angry. And I have nowhere to be angry, except here, in this blog post. I’m afraid to post on Facebook, seeking support, because I use my privilege to remain apolitical there. I can’t talk to my family, because they’re the ones I live with right now, and I’ve already had to walk away so many times. My personal life is completely falling apart at the seams and there is absolutely no stability in existing.
I wonder why I should bother. I wonder if this is even a world worth living in. And I don’t know what to do right now.