Won’t you indulge me this opinion-piece on current events?
The recent Kavanaugh-Ford hearings is making everybody mad. It seems to be bringing up anger, even rage in many people.
Putting aside politics, and the current judicial system for a moment, I think both people were credible. But not in the way you might think. Let me explain.
Women are angry because they are tired of the patriarchy rearing its ugly head, and continuing to silence the female voice. Dr. Ford’s experience of sexual assault has heartened the female gender to feel into their own personal experiences as women who were violated, over and over, by a system that tried to make her the villain and inconsequential.
Men are angry, not because they truly believe Kavanaugh is innocent of the allegations, of violating a woman’s autonomy, but because they, like the judge, are horrified that they are not allowed to get away with it. The system that protected them from their own crimes and bad behaviors is beginning to fail them.
They are energized in support of Kavanaugh. The judge represents the men who are enraged that their status and power are continuing to be threatened. They feel emboldened to perpetuate the system, and that system needs judges like Kavanaugh.
And, President Trump needs the judge so that very system can be sustained so that (Trump) can be protected from his crimes, sexual abuses, and bad behaviors.
If you look closely at Kavanaugh’s testimony……now, remember this is a job interview for the most prestigious and consequential position in the land, a lifetime position of power which will profoundly influence peoples’ lives for generations to come…… his statements and responses to questions were like that of a five-year old who was just told he had to give back the crayons to the little girl he stole them from.
I believe his responses of anger, righteous indignation, and even tears were authentic. Just like those of the five-year old boy who thinks he can have what he wants just because he wants it, so taking it away pains him to his core.
But the allegations are far more serious than a box of stolen crayons. And the consequences for the young woman far deeper.
All the judge is asking for is that his ascent to power is unobstructed by what he considers to be a box of crayons.
So his outrage and displays of disgust were not coming from a man who is trying to defend his innocence. They were coming from a child who was never taught about consent. Who really didn’t see anything wrong with taking his anger and frustrations out on the female gender.
And, just like a child, he deflected questions, made up facts, pointed fingers at others who really had nothing to do with the issue at hand. And, besides, it was so long ago. How could it possibly matter now? He’s forgotten about it. Why haven’t the others?
And, interestingly, his supporters, including Trump, interpret his petulant tantrums as strong, and commanding.
Dr. Blasey Ford’s demeanor was poised, overly polite and accommodating, even at times apologetic, with a sense of wanting to hide herself in ‘plain sight’, not wanting to come off as angry, because anger in women is unacceptable. Anger in women is called hysterical, and is often met with dismissing her entirely. So, not overly confident, check. Not angry, check. Polite to a fault, check. It was a balancing act that many women could relate to. She put herself in an extremely vulnerable arena, so what choice did she have but to keep herself in a safe space within that arena?
Even though Dr Blasey is the one who has every right to be enraged, It is safer to be seen as non-threatening, girl-like, with just the right amount of smarts, especially as she faces a conservative, all white male judicial senate committee. The faces of a patriarchal system that have been around a very long time, that have judged women harshly. I suspect women everywhere watching her felt both her terror and her courage.
She said several times she wished she could “be more helpful”, as she conscientiously answered every question asked.
KAVA-NOT, NIEN, NON, NÃO
Kavanaugh seemed to be performing for just a handful of people. Those he believed could protect him and elevate him to the status he thinks he deserves. And those who could care less if he was losing credibility by the hour as a witness, and a judge.
I don’t doubt that he has worked hard at the things he believed were important to him. And I don’t doubt that he is angry and terrified that it will all be taken away from him.
But I have to wonder, on a soul level, does he see the irony of his situation?
WILL POWER TRUMP TRUTH?
Trump promised that as president he would stack the Supreme Court with conservative judges, and would overturn Roe v. Wade. It would be what he considered his crowning achievement, his legacy as president because of its long-term ramifications.
He could have picked any of a number of conservative, anti-abortion judges, so why make the choice he did? Kavanaugh had it all. He is not only anti-choice, but also known for his lenient views on presidential power, so he would protect Trump not only from his own misogyny, but other virulent, unethical, and potentially criminal behavior.
The irony, or maybe it’s karma, is that Trump picked the one judge who he believed would best protect him, and that same judge is being scrutinized and judged for his abuses toward women.
So, maybe justice could best be served by a polite, unassuming, and intelligent woman, Dr. Ford, who just wanted to do her best “to be helpful.”
It will be interesting to see if he is elevated in spite of his un-hinged, un-judge-like behaviors on display the last couple of days. Either way, we can’t unring the Bell. The display of misogyny was exposed for all to see.
No matter the outcome, we all got a glimpse into the system that we may have been taking for granted was impartial, fair and just.
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