Christine Blasey Ford Was Only 15 When She Says Brett Kavanaugh Attacked Her

She Was 15 Years Old

She couldn't drive. She couldn't vote. She was a child.

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The minute you type US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's name into Google, an overflow of articles reaches you. Articles supporting him, and articles denouncing him. However, all of these articles center around one particular issue — sexual assault.

Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault by a woman when he was 17 years old. More women are coming forward about Mr. Kavanaugh and his indiscretions. Christine Blasey Ford is the woman who first came forward about Mr. Kavanaugh. She is a college professor, and she is alleging that this took place when she was only 15 years old.

Let me just repeat that. She was 15 years old. She couldn't drive. She couldn't vote. She was a child. She was just starting high school. I don't know about you, but when I was 15, all I wanted to do was listen to "15" by Taylor Swift and watch "Pretty Little Liars."

Now, with all the articles out there, we have learned a lot about these two individuals' lives, but I hear people crying out for why it took so long for her to come forward about it.

She was 15.

Since when do 15-year-olds have the mental capacity to discern what they should do after a trauma happens to them? Grown adults, who have fully matured and whose brains have reached full maturity, cannot come to terms with this sometimes. It is a coping mechanism to try and act like it didn't happen because of all the personal negative feelings about what happened. Even without developing posttraumatic stress disorder or anxiety, coping is extremely hard.

She was 15.

The stigmas surrounding reporting a sexual assault are real, and they are incredibly difficult to overcome in order to receive justice for yourself. Being labeled a "whore" or even a "lying whore" is terrible to have to go through. Things such as, "Well, she deserved it," or, "Did you see how she was acting beforehand? I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner," all contribute to a young girl not wanting to come forward with such a heinous act.

She was 15.

The boys in high school when I was 15 were non-stop cracking sex jokes left and right. Most of them in good fun, but the occasional rape joke would jump in there. And no one cared! We were young, and we didn't really know what that word meant. We didn't know it could do harm. But these jokes also trivialized what the rape survivor had to go through. If what happened to that 15-year-old girl would only become a line in a joke, why should she come forward about it?

Even now as she has come out about it, I have seen numerous rape/sexual assault jokes happening on social media and people laughing at the posts. The posts going viral on Twitter and Facebook are gaining popularity as people joke about how Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a respected and beloved female Justice on the United States Supreme Court, said, "Abraham Lincoln grabbed my ass in 1862."

It made me sick.

How could sexual assault be funny? Because sexual assault happening is so incredibly outrageous that making jokes about it is the only way to handle it? What was the mindset behind posting that? That it would make Brett Kavanaugh's accusation seem incredulous because it happened 35 years ago? That it would make it seem incredulous because of the timing of the accusation?

SHE WAS 15.

It takes years to come to terms with sexual assault and be able to move past it. Once you've come to terms with it, you never want to have to deal with that again. You never want to have to be triggered again. You never want to have even the slightest memories of what happened. You never want to see their face, anywhere, again. However, there the face is before you, in a position that will not only prolong your pain but can bring so much more pain to others in that position of power.

The school Kavanaugh attended was an elite school for individuals who would become powerful men in Washington. I didn't come forward about a rape by someone who I believed to be respected by many individuals. Kavanaugh was, and is, someone who has a lot of power, politically or otherwise. The fear of backlash, of retaliation, of being ruined, must have been running through Christine Blasey's veins so much that it just integrated into her DNA.

After a while, it seems silly to bring up what happened years ago. The damage has already been done, and the process of going through hearings and trials and interviews and god-knows-what-else only makes living harder. It only makes continuing on harder. It only makes wanting to find justice for yourself harder. Which it shouldn't, but nevertheless does. Why bring it up and cause yourself more and more pain?

Fear.

Fear so strong it paralyzes you to go on. Fear that others will have to deal with the same things that you have had, and they will not be heard either. Ford is overcoming that fear and calling attention to the fact that a man who is set to receive one of the highest honors of our nation has taken away one person's being, what makes that person them.

No one wants to talk about this after it happens. Only a select few will know the specifics, as the more people that know the more you have to talk about it and bring up the night that frightens every waking and sleeping moment.

She was 15. Don't forget that.

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.
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Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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Let's Talk About Israel

As a reform Jew, I have had a lot of problems with the country of Israel and where I stand on supporting its existence versus supporting its government.

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As a reform Jew, I have had a lot of problems with the country of Israel and where I stand on supporting its existence versus supporting its government. I know there is a need for a country for Jewish people to reside without fear of anti-semitism. Especially following the rise of it after the election of the Trump administration and following the shooting in Pittsburg. There have been many actions taken around the world that continue to prove my point that anti-semitism is on the rise and that there is a need for Israel as a home for the Jewish people. However, the actions taken by the Israeli government have made it truly difficult for me to support Israel with all of my being.

Some of my issues with the state of Israel lie within its treatment of Jews who are not Orthodox as well as people who are not Jewish at all. Since it follows international law that all people are allowed to follow there own religious beliefs and practices, it should follow that religious states allow for leniency underneath laws made surrounding religious beliefs. When it comes to Orthodox versus Reform and Conservative Jews, Israel has some laws that directly limit the rights and abilities of this population. For example, Orthodox Rabbis have exclusive rights to perform marriages in Israel.

Also, dual citizenship for Jews is limited to Orthodox Jews. This would mean that every single Jew who is not Orthodox or who did not convert under Orthodox law do not have rights to dual citizenship. Gay marriage is not legal in Israel yet also despite Tel Aviv has one of the biggest Pride Parades that occur each year. With all of these pieces coming together, I have had to come to terms with what it means to support a country whose leader does support me as a reform Jew and as a bisexual woman. My right to practice my chosen profession in Israel would not even be recognized due to the fact that not only am I reform but I am female. I would not be allowed to practice Rabbinic's in Israel.

Also, Israel has been committing atrocities during their recent conflict with Hamas and in their push to claim territory on the West Bank. The Settlements have been created through incentive programs that make it more fiscally reasonable to live there. Israeli citizens often move out there more for financial reasons. The conflicts with Hamas have caused countless civilian casualties on both sides. Both Hamas and the Israeli government have been committing acts of war and putting innocent lives in the way of their continued issue with each other.

Most of what I explained is barely scraping the tip of the iceberg that is Israel and its many conflicts, issues, and history. My issue with Israel rests within its government and the people in charge. The way Netanyahu has taken to leading the country is an embarrassment and a travesty. Watching these actions unfold over the last few years under Netanyahu have made me question my support of such a beautiful country.

Each government has its own issues. However, I have found a fine line between supporting Israel and her right to exist and not supporting her leaders. The people who run the country do not reflect the beliefs of the people and of the religion that the country represents. This must be emphasized as the line between disagreeing with Israel and disagreeing with Judaism altogether has been blurred.

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