Kavanaugh… Just Kavanaugh.
These past few weeks have been extraordinarily painful. I’ve been thinking about what on earth I could possibly write to reflect this political fiasco, but every time I sit down to brainstorm, I’m overcome with grief.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation was a big fuck you to women everywhere. I have a passionate hatred for Susan Collins, who claims to be a champion of women, yet invalidated Dr. Christine Baisley Ford’s testimony, and voted against her own party despite the fact her constituents where chanting in the chamber, “Show up for Maine women, vote no.” I’m so angry at this administration, I want to scream at the people who voted in our current senators, and I want to curl into a ball and sob because it all feels so hopeless.
Maybe I’m having an extreme response to Kavanaugh’s confirmation because I’m a survivor of sexual violence. Maybe it’s because my best friend reported her rapist, and nothing happened to him - whereas she had to drop out of college and go through the traumatizing process of the justice system ignoring her evidence and calling her a liar. Or perhaps it is because 1 in 6 women are victims of sexual abuse.
I’m not the only one who is so emotionally impacted. RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) reported that they had a 338% increase in their hotline traffic between the last day of the hearing and that Sunday. Huge events that circulate the news, like Dr. Ford’s powerful testimony, can spur people to talk about their own abuse, whether that means they need help to work through their feelings, or taking to the streets to protest. So, even though the desired outcome didn’t come to fruition, at least survivors felt inspired to share their own stories.
At least we have that going for us, right?
But I’m so angry. I should not have to look for a silver lining in this mess. I’m sick and tired of spinning absolute bullshit into something positive, into some sort of learning experience. Trauma should NOT be used as fodder for sunnier days. Am I saying that victims should be angry and hurt all their lives? No. But I am saying that we shouldn’t be expected to, and that we don’t have to. If we don’t want to see a rainbow after this rainstorm, that’s our choice - and let us have our fucking choices, since so many of us had that taken away.
Survivors should not have to hang their heads as, once again, justice is not served to a rapist, an abuser, a criminal. The fact that Kavanaugh is still considered “qualified” to sit on the Supreme Court after being ACCUSED of sexual misconduct and after his unprofessional display during the hearing proves to other rapists/molesters/scum-of-the-earth that their lives can remain unaffected. That they can hold one of the most powerful positions in the world.
Because, after all, we’re just women.