Gender Gap, Illustrated
September 28, 2018
The offending tweet deleted yesterday by the New York Times was an instant opinion poll gauging sentiment on Christine Blasey Ford’s credibility. Gender gap. Illustrated.
You don’t have to be a committed feminist to see what unfolded in the hearing room yesterday as confirmation that #MeToo or not, the people in power in this country have a long way to go on misogyny. For a hearing that was all about optics, it’s easy to see the moment as a crystallization of our country’s bitter partisan divide. Indeed, Brett Kavanaugh made it his job to underscore it. But what Kavanaugh and his Republican Senate supporters missed is that all but the most ideological women – Democratic, Republican, Independent and Uninvolved – watched from a very different perspective.
The lens is that one in three women have experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. One in five has been raped. And for a variety of reasons, many of these stories remain locked inside. So, women held their breath as Dr. Ford struggled through her story. They put themselves in her place and many experienced their own trauma right along with her. So ask yourself this, Twitter poll poster, do you think they found her credible? Do you think they understand her reluctance to come forward?
By proceeding without believing – or worse yet, not caring – the Republicans are sealing their fate in the midterms and for a long time to come.
Not convinced? Watch the video of two survivors of sexual abuse who confronted Senator Jeff Flake about his vote to send Brent Kavanaugh’s fate to the full U.S. Senate. An awkward moment for the senator, fueled by the pain and rage of two women. They may be stand-ins for 42 million others. How many of them need to vote to change the trajectory of a nation?
Republicans can now consider that as they weigh Senator Flake’s last-minute request to delay the full Senate vote while the FBI investigates that fateful summer high school party. My guess is that most of the women in this country don’t think that’s too much to ask, political affiliations aside.
September 28, 2018