At last, women are saying this is enough. Sexual violence will not be ignored or treated as business as usual. We will not stand by and blindly watch a new Supreme Court Justice be confirmed who assaulted a woman, no matter how young he was. That says a lot about who he is and who he cares about.
Not that there have not been enough other red flags during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings to send us all screaming the other way. If he is to be confirmed, he would support untold foreign intervention in US elections and campaigns. It’s quite scary.
Let’s talk about the courage it took Christine Blasey Ford to come forward with her story.
She knew that she could not say nothing about this deeply problematic event–which was not likely the only one–when this man is poised to take one of the most influential public service positions in this country.
She is paying the price and will continue to. We know what happens.
She has put everything on the line to bring her story forward. Her health, her family’s wellbeing, her own sanity.
She will be shamed, belittled, silenced, threatened for it.
The courage it takes to come out in such a high-profile case is ineffable.
I remember Anita Hill and I believed her.
In her New York Times OpEd piece this week, she says,
“As that same committee, on which sit some of the same members as nearly three decades ago, now moves forward with the Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings, the integrity of the court, the country’s commitment to addressing sexual violence as a matter of public interest, and the lives of the two principal witnesses who will be testifying hang in the balance. Today, the public expects better from our government than we got in 1991, when our representatives performed in ways that gave employers permission to mishandle workplace harassment complaints throughout the following decades. That the Senate Judiciary Committee still lacks a protocol for vetting sexual harassment and assault claims that surface during a confirmation hearing suggests that the committee has learned little from the Thomas hearing, much less the more recent #MeToo movement.”
I believe Christine Blasey Ford, and even if people question her, she has everything to lose and nothing to gain by telling her story.
Women have not been believed for centuries so that men could continue to hold power and not have to answer for their harmful actions. Being a Supreme Court Justice requires a serious moral compass.
Because something happened long ago that was never addressed–that effectively, someone got away with–does not mean it should not or cannot be addressed.
A person’s trauma does not disappear with the statute of limitations. They continue to live with that. The saddest part about this is how this woman will now be retraumatized over and over because she will be shamed, smeared and threatened.
It’s appalling the way we treat women who voice sexual violation. The violators get away with it over and over because it often occurs with no witnesses and the shame drives the victim into silence.
That’s how shame works and a big part of why sexual assault continues to happen in high numbers.
I hope this is taken very seriously. Even if it’s not true, even if…there have been enough problems with Kavanaugh’s testimony that speak to his inability to lead impartially as a judge on the highest court.
I also want to acknowledge that as this case (and others) plays out, many people who have had similar experiences are experiencing their own trauma again.
I was speaking with my friend and colleague Marcia Baczynski this week about how this is three autumns in a row where we are dealing with a serious high-profile sexual assault case that sends a lot of people into PTSD symptoms and reliving experiences we’d like to forget.
We seem to have a pattern of having the fun of summer and then when fall hits, and it’s back to business, things surface that cannot be ignored, from Trump the pussy grabber in 2016, to Weinstein and everything that followed last year, and now this.
It’s good that things are surfacing. And that means a lot of feelings and deep reactions rising amongst those of us watching it who have done a lot of healing and are still impacted by the way women are harmed and treated when they speak out about that harm.
This is what misogyny looks like.
This is how patriarchy stays intact.
We are challenging it and we will continue to, and it takes a toll.
I will be holding Christine Blasey Ford in light and love and may she be protected in her courage.
I am holding you there too.
Please take care of yourself and check in with your loved ones
At Fire Woman, we will gather to do our healing work, ritual and create a powerful sisterhood. We need this space right now. I need it for sure.
Marcia will be there along with some of my other amazing educator friends, bringing their brilliance. Airial Clark, Triambika Ma Vive, Kaweah, Mira Joleigh, Hemalayaa and many more.
Together, so much more is possible. We can change the paradigm.
I invite you to join me and some phenomenal women at Fire Woman Retreat.
I invite you to step into this journey.
I want to be met by other women who want to be met.
I want to be in the joy of full sexual agency with you.
These things are challenging to look at alone. We need community right now where we are held and never judged or at risk of harm. We will hold you. We will meet you. We will listen and we will create a new paradigm together.
We will love you. All of you.
I will do all I can to help it happen for you.
If you have questions, just hit reply and ask.
If you feel nervous, that’s okay, hit reply and tell us what is going on for you.
If you don’t know how to make it happen financially, hit reply and let’s figure it out.