On Brett Kavanaugh

Given the recent allegations, I will be writing about assault this morning. Not in too much detail, but I thought it’d be best to say something at the start. People lacking in empathy might mumble to themselves, “lol, is this a trigger warning? What an SJW cuck!” Well the fact is pal, you and I are lucky enough to have never experienced physical sexual assault and the PTSD symptoms that come with it. So yes, it’s a f***ing trigger warning.

Professor Christine Ford is reportedly receiving death threats because she came forward with her account of Brett Kavanuagh, which was his attempted rape while they were both in high school.

I don’t care if you believe Professor Ford or not (I do really, but I’ll get to that), but why is it always the right who send death threats when someone comes forward with something that conflicts with their narrative? I’m not saying all people on the right are sending death threats, obviously, just enough to have Professor Ford fearing for her life, and having to move herself and her family to a different location.

Kavanuagh holds a lot of opinions that I disagree with. He believes that birth control is synonymous to abortion, that automatic weapons are an American right, and he appears to be a climate-change denier — he’s not convinced at the very least. He holds opinions which don’t fit my personal worldview, and he’s potentially about to become a judge on the highest court in the land, where he’ll help to shape American law and society for decades to come.

But I don’t want to kill the guy.

I think he probably needs a hug, a mug of tea and a blanket, especially considering the opinions he holds, I don’t think he’s been shown much love in his life. He then needs to spend time conversing with average American citizens, veterans and people below the poverty line — to gain a perspective on the country he’ll be presiding over. But I also think he should face the allegations against him in a court of law, and cooperate with any investigators as criminal proceedings are carried out.

But kill him? The guy has the ability to dangerously impact the lives of millions of Americans and he allegedly attempted rape — but even he doesn’t deserve death threats.

Enter Professor Christine Ford, a woman who has simply come forward about a harrowing experience from her past, who now has her life threatened by people who can’t comprehend the idea that sometimes people do bad things.

To those who think the timing is convenient, at the 11th hour of Kavanaugh’s hearing, this isn’t a recent story. Professor Ford came forward in private back in July, when news of Kavanaugh’s potential appointment to the supreme court revived the memories of her experiences with Kavanaugh.

Given that the incident happened thirty-six years ago, in a time where it was far more difficult for people to come forward about any instance of sexual assault, it makes perfect sense why Professor Ford didn’t mention anything until she saw Kavanaugh across news outlets in July of this year.

To those who wouldn’t send death threats, but who also don’t believe her story, let me give you some statistics about sexual assault accusations. If you take the top and bottom ends of studies conducted on allegations of rape over the last twenty years, then in 2-10% of cases the accuser is found to have lied.

Now, even if we take the higher number for the sake of argument, the overwhelming majority of those 10% of accusers were teenagers who would otherwise be in trouble for their actions. For example, people raised in ultra-conservative households who would be punished if they were found to have had consensual sex.

I only have statistics from the UK here, but in the 2000s, of 216 cases that were found (at the time or later) to be false allegations, only 6 resulted in an arrest being made, and only 2 of them were then charged. So less than 1% of 10% of accounts from victims result in the wrongful punishment of the accused.

That means that the people sending Professor Ford death threats, believe that Kavannagh is in the 0.001% of accused sexual assaulters who’re about to be punished for not actually doing anything wrong. Or at the very least they don’t believe that Professor Ford is in the 90-98% of victims who’re found to be telling the truth.

Professor Ford doesn’t fit the archetype of someone who would lie about sexual assault. She’s no longer a teenage girl who’s afraid of what her parents might say if they found out she’s had sex. She’s also in a comfortable position in society, who stands to lose more than she does to gain if her accusations are proven false in a court of law, or after an FBI investigation, or hearing, or all three.

I completely empathise with people who like to say “innocent until proven guilty”, I think that’s a perfectly reasonable platform to have in the society we have constructed for ourselves. What I would say is that we shouldn’t have to apply that statement to supreme-court nominees, political candidates or presidents.

There are plenty of people who don’t have these allegations swirling around them, who’re qualified for these high official positions in society, in fact the majority of people haven’t committed sexual assault! Crazy notion, but it’s important to remember.

I’d also challenge anyone who holds true to the “innocent until proven guilty” motto, to look-up statistics on sexual assault, talk to people who’ve been through that horrific experience (only if they’ve come forward about that experience and are okay talking about it, of course), and be careful when actively defending someone who has been accused.

As spectators in this messy show of sides, facts, opinions and statistics, we should probably remain neutral until official investigations are carried out. But that neutrality should include encouragement for victims of sexual assault to come forward, as we dig up our ugly past in an attempt to build a world with fewer instances like this in our future.

What we shouldn’t be doing is sending death threats, especially to the party who has nothing to personally gain, everything to lose and a slew of statistics in support of their side.


Today is Wednesday, September 19th and is International Talk Like a Pirate Day still a thing? Because that’s today, arghhhhhh.

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4 thoughts on “On Brett Kavanaugh

  1. Great post. Death threats seem to be the knee-jerk reaction nowadays, and that’s troubling. The internet is both wonderful and horrible at times. Sexual assault claims are complicated, and I’m surprised many people would rather dismiss them than look into them. I guess one way is easier than the other.

    A note on trigger warnings: I don’t believe anyone who acts like sexual abuse of any kind is no big deal. Just bring up a prostate exam and people squirm and get all uncomfortable– and that’s in a safe hospital setting, with zero to do with sex!

    Take care,
    Yari

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It’s so bizarre how that’s the knee-jerk response for some people. I’d love to sit down and have a conversation with those people, to find out why they do what they do.

      Yeah, I tend not to believe them either, but I’ve had conversations with people who certainly act as though it’s not a big deal, or that doing certain things without permission don’t count as assault (these people are not my friends, just people I have spoken to).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not to be dismissive, but the people that say it’s no big deal usually don’t know what they’re talking about. For instance (and I saw this online a lot)…

        They’ll say the issue with Ariana Grande and Pastor Charles H. Ellis III is no big deal, but promptly flip out if you ask them if they’d let a strange man caress their side pecks.

        It seems that some don’t take time to develop their initial thoughts or ask “What if it were me? Would I be cool with that?”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s spot on, and a great example. So many problems arise from people simply not putting themselves in the position of others, even if it’s just imagining it for a brief second and deciding if you’d like that done to you.

        Liked by 1 person

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