On Sept. 16, The Washington Post published an article about Christine Ford's alleged high school encounter with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
When the two were high school students in the early 1980s in Maryland, they attended a party. During the party, Ford said she was "pushed into a bedroom and an inebriated Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed while his friend Mark Judge was watching and laughing." Ford alleged Kavanaugh groped her, tried to take off her clothes and placed his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream, according to CNN.
Ford told CNN she was only able to escape when Kavanaugh's friend jumped on top of them. Kavanaugh and Judge have denied these allegations. Ford took a polygraph (lie detector) test in early August and passed.
This is not the first public official to be accused of sexual harassment or assault in the past few years. So, why are we not treating these accusations like they are a big deal? Why are people so quick to assume the accuser is making up the story, or to blame them for not coming out about their stories sooner?
These men and women are supposed to be people that the public can trust. After all, isn't that why they're elected for their positions?
It's kind of ironic because in 17 years, the country has gone from impeaching Bill Clinton for lying under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky to electing President Donald Trump, who has had many women come forward with sexual harassment claims — and considers telling men to grab women by the p***y "locker room talk."
So, why are these political officials not held to a higher standard when it comes to sexual harassment?
If this country's commander-in-chief can get away with these accusations and lewd comments, then is it safe to assume that all men can? Are these the kinds of people we want our children to look up to and claim they want to be like?
What are we supposed to tell small children? Wouldn't it be hypocritical to tell our children to treat women with respect when the one we call president can't even do that himself?
We as Americans need to start holding political officials to a higher standard when it comes to sexual harassment. This is not something to be proud of. It cannot be quietly dismissed.
If you voted for a government official with a history of sexual harassment or assault, no matter how many women, ask yourself if you're part of the reason women don't come forward sooner.
If you can elect a political official with this kind of history without blinking an eye, then you are part of the problem.
We cannot expect women or men to feel comfortable and safe coming forward when there are men like Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump in the White House — men who are not being reprimanded for their actions.
We must stand with victims. We must tell them that their stories and their voices matter. We must stand with victims and tell them we care about them and support them.
We must stand with victims and not elect political officials who have a history of harassing or assaulting.