Dear Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanagh,
I am a college-age girl. I am a college age girl that is warned every time I drink, go to a party, or walk down the street, to be careful of men, not to leave my friends alone after she has been drinking, to not turn my back on drinks, to not trust men when my clothes, integrity or safety is concerned. I am not writing to you because I want to express anger about what took place decades ago, I am writing to you to ask you, to beg you to help change this status quo. The status quo of girls being wrongly assaulted, being scared when at college parties, when at bars, and stop men of being in a situation that calls into questions their actions and the events that happen in dark rooms.
You are now sitting on the highest jurisdiction of what is right and what is wrong. You now have the power to break the cycle of sexual assault, to break the cycle of women being afraid of men when alcohol is involved, when they wear a skirt when they walk out of the house. Throughout high school and college, women are taught that it is their responsibility to not be assaulted, it's not directly said but it is heavily applied with conversations that involve, "don't leave your drink alone at a bar or party, someone could drug it." It falls under the lines of "Don't wear provoking clothes." Or "Don't lead guys on, it's hard for them to stop." My question is how many times did your father tell you, "Don't drug a girl at a party?" or "A girl's clothes have nothing to do with wanting to have sex with you." or "A girl (or anyone) can stop a sexual encounter at any time."
Why weren't you ever taught that by putting yourself in a state of uncertainty when alcohol is involved could lead to you be accused of sexual assault?
I was taught that putting myself in a position of uncertainty when alcohol was involved could lead to me being sexually assaulted. Why is it okay for women to be scared, why is okay for women to live in fear that being at her job, being at a bar or being invited to a party by a guy could lead to her being stripped of her dignity and safety? Why has no one ever taught men that their actions are just as influential as women's? I would think that this is a conversation that flows both ways. It not just injustice of men being accused of sexual assault is the fact that men can't freely come forward when they have been assaulted without being ridiculed.
This is the injustice that faces our society.
Sexual assault is a conversation that is pushed under, it is a something that no one ever cares to address until it happens. It wasn't until my sophomore year of college that I learned there is a limit to consent. If a man or women is too drunk to drive, they are too drunk to consent. Don't you think that if you were taught that drinking too much and being around women could lead to you being in a position that called your safety into action, you wouldn't have been excused of sexual assault? Because I, like many colleges girls know that when you are drunk, your safety is no longer something you can control. I bet you were never told that if you get drunk your actions could be miss led, could put yourself in jeopardy of losing your ability to identify your actions.
So this is what I am asking, I am asking you to provide a change, to provide a way to fix this. Whether you are guilty or not, you have the ability to change this, you have the ability to provide a solution to an unjust status quo. You have the ability for men to be taught about how by them doing questionable actions when under the influence can lead to being out of control. You have the ability for men to understand the comments about women that sexuality exploits them is sexual harassment. That by leading a woman into a dark room when she is drunk can lead to them being accused of sexual assault. By allowing for the conversation of safety and accountability to flow to both men and women, by having a conversation that addresses to both men and women what sexual assault is, it leads to the opportunity for the status quo to change.
You have this power, you the power to decided that our teaching of sexual assault, and of consent is no longer just.
You have the power to allow for women to come forward without being liars, you have the power for men to learn the same rules as women when it comes to being under the influence when it comes to leaving their house, you have the ability to change to the conversation about sexual assault. Many people express the concern that a man can be wrongly accused of sexual assault, but those people seem unconcerned that their daughters have a high chance of being sexually assaulted. You have the ability to change that it's a woman's responsibility to not to be sexually assaulted and into that it's a man's responsibility to not sexually assault.
If this teaching changes I guarantee that the percentage of men being wrongly excused would go down, I guarantee that the percentage of women being assaulted would also go down. And maybe, this conversation would have changed the accusations that you were excused of because you simply didn't know that consuming alcohol doesn't mean you aren't still liable for how people perceive you, and for your actions.
A college girl