I'll admit, I'm not the best at staying up to date about current events; it took me a few weeks to really understand what was happening regarding Christine Blasey Ford's attempted rape accusations against Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. I had heard her name and seen an increasing number of news stories about him, questioning his confirmation for the Supreme Court. However, it was not until Kavanaugh grew closer to final confirmation that I really noticed what was happening.
To be honest, I still do not know the entire process of confirming a nominee for the Supreme Court or the process of the hearings against Kavanaugh. But I do know the history of women and sexual assault survivors speaking up and being silenced. Until I heard that Kavanaugh kept advancing toward a seat on the Supreme Court, I was proud of Congress for listening to Ford's accusations and taking them into consideration. However, it did not take me long to realize that her voice was not being heard or taken seriously. Ford risked judgment and further harassment when she courageously spoke up about her experience, only to have her alleged attacker still be confirmed for a seat on the highest court in the land.
At first, I tried to justify the Senate's decision to confirm Kavanaugh by remembering the 14th Amendment's principle that everyone should be innocent until proven guilty; however, these hearings were not a court-of-law procedure, but rather similar to a pre-screening prior to being hired for a job. I realized that it would have been completely acceptable and not unlawful for the Senate to deny Kavanaugh confirmation due to the suspicion that he MAY be guilty. But instead, he was confirmed, which not only shows disrespect for Ford's bravery, but it sends the absolute wrong message to others.
I'm sick of people, especially men accused of sexual assault, not being held accountable for their actions. Allowing Kavanaugh to sit in a position of power despite his accusations tells perpetrators that they can get away with the pain they cause victims. It tells survivors that their experiences do not matter and that they didn't suffer. It tells women and other people at risk of assault that it's okay that this keeps happening, and that people will continue to get away with it. Most important, it emphasizes that our voices are not heard. And now, as Justice Brett Kavanaugh sits on the Supreme Court, he holds a position in which he was the power to silence us further.
The entire situation is controversial, and there are many different perspectives to consider regarding what should have happened to Kavanaugh, or how Ford's accusations should have been dealt with. I agree that the accusations are full of tentative information that is difficult to use to decide the fate of either person involved. But that does not mean that someone's personal account of their own trauma should be ignored or swept aside. This situation calls attention to the lack of regard for women and sexual assault survivors, telling them that their experiences are not important.
The lack of accountability taken forces us to ask the questions: When is enough enough? What will it take for survivors to be heard and acknowledged? How much pain and trauma do survivors have to go through before perpetrators are held accountable for their actions? The government is supposed to set a good example for all to follow, and personally, I believe that is the opposite of what has happened with Christine Blasey Ford's accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.