Yes, The Actions of A 17 Year Old Boy Matter
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Politics and Activism

Yes, The Actions Of A 17-Year-Old Boy Matter And That Boy Needs To Know That Actions Have Consequences

But why aren't we convinced that we must teach men that their actions have consequences?

Yes, The Actions Of A 17-Year-Old Boy Matter And That Boy Needs To Know That Actions Have Consequences

Brett Kavanaugh may be a very well-qualified justice. In fact, he is. He has every credential, and would very likely be entirely capable of serving as a Supreme Court justice. His stances have the potential to satisfy the most conservative conservatives and even moderate liberals. He has a great educational background. He has a cute family. All around, he seems like a decent guy. Fine.

But then.

He was 17, he was at a party, and he assaulted a girl.

Both sides of the aisle immediately began screaming for the papers, because we are a nation so divided that we are unable to transcend politics even in issues of safety for minors.

The question that is plaguing the nation as I write this article is, Does that even matter? He's 53.

I believe fervently that people are capable of change, and I believe that he regrets his actions, whether for purely selfish reasons or because he has daughters.

But I'm here to say that it absolutely matters. Maybe not for Brett Kavanaugh. As I said, I believe that he, for whatever reason, regrets his actions and truly has changed.

But it matters.

If you assault anyone at any age you deserve to have that action come back to haunt you thirty years from now.

Let me say that louder for the people who didn't hear it the first time:

If you assault anyone at any age you deserve to have that action come back to haunt you thirty years from now.

I hear you, mom upset because her son might not go down as a great swimmer and had to do prison time. I hear you, TV host who had to leave his program. I hear you, Hollywood director who has lost all prestige. I hear you, priests in countless dioceses forced to retire in disgrace. I hear you, president upset because women are marching due to your comments. And I hear even you, well-qualified Supreme Court nominee afraid that you won't get the job.

I hear all of you, yelling at the women accusing you, paying them hush money, wishing they had bitten their tongues and saved your careers. I do not, however, agree with you. I do not sympathize with you.

The thing is, whether the decision to assault someone was made yesterday or thirty years ago. And it matters.

We are of a culture convinced that we must teach women to be more cautious, to carry personal alarms and pepper spray, to dress in a way that men don't think is "asking for it," to be quiet and classy, to always walk with a buddy, to not give men a reason to assault them. But why aren't we convinced that we must teach men that their actions have consequences?

So maybe Brett Kavanaugh isn't a bad guy. Maybe it really was a dumb mistake he made when he was 17. That does not in any way make it right, and it does not in any way validate his actions or give him a pass at this moment.

Most concerning of all, if we give Brett Kavanaugh a pass, we are giving a green light to all the young men and boys who just aren't quite sure what the right choice is, or even know what the right choice is but aren't sure that there will be consequences if they do choose to assault young women.

So, Brett Kavanaugh, it matters. We cannot reasonably have a man sitting on our highest court who is unable to recognize and deal with the consequences of his actions. There is no time limit on doing the right thing or on justice for a crime such as this.

This is not a partisan issue or a women's issue, but a societal issue. To right it, we must begin by teaching young men that their actions have consequences. Because if you can't discern the supreme wrong that is sexual assault at any age, and you can't recognize the consequences of your actions even when nominated to serve on the highest court in the nation, then, whatever your qualifications and education, you are simply not qualified to do so.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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