Watching the daily news in America has become something akin to watching a reality show. Everything that happens is outrageous and unpredictable and, admittedly, a little comical in the darkest of ways. It is painful when it really sinks in that this is all happening for real. A Supreme Court nominee has been accused of repeated sexual assault, resulting in one of the women he attacked testifying before the entire country, and our president laughed about it. Publicly, and encouraging a whole room of individuals to laugh at a woman whose pain and bravery are both clearly profound.
It seems, from this and the fact that it looks like Brett Kavanaugh is still going to get confirmed despite proving himself to be hysterical under pressure (and yes, I chose that word carefully), I thought it would be best to clearly explain the reasons why no one should laugh at sexual assault survivors, especially if you're the President of the United States.
Donald Trump has been accused of assaulting 13 different women, at least
Oh, do you think because he was elected we all just forgot about this? Clearly, that's the objective because allegations like this can be just so inconvenient!
The most disturbing thing I've seen in the past two years (at this very moment, obviously) is the number of women speaking out against other women speaking out about Trump (i.e. women defending Trump and now Kavanaugh despite their clear misogynistic tendencies and outlooks). My problem with this demographic expands to two more points on this list but is simply this: I don't think it's fair to expect women to like and support all other women purely on the basis of a shared sex. I don't think women all need to agree with one another and be all kumbaya sisterhood every day with everyone.
But I also don't think issues such as sexual assault should be politicized like everything else seems to be in America today. There needs to be some support, especially support across party lines, between women in the face of sexual assault. We all lose when we defend predators over one another due to political affiliation. We all lose when we ignore that the fact that there is a sexual predator in the White House and defend him due to political affiliation.
The midterms are coming, though, and the women who feel comfortable with these men running our country are not the ones eager to get to the polls to change the tide.
The "boys will be boys" thing has got to go
Lindsey Graham has been quoted theorizing as to why women would keep going to parties if they had seen what Julie Swetnick has alleged to have seen, and why instead they didn't just go to the cops. "Normal people would feel an obligation to do something about it" is a fancy way of saying "let's put the blame back onto survivors and female witnesses instead of acknowledging that something traumatizing- and worse yet, a traumatizing pattern- regarding this particular Supreme Court Nominee is becoming more and more clear with each passing day."
Graham's comments and so many others are just another form of slut-shaming and survivor blaming, as it promotes this idea that the survivors or bystanders are responsible for Kavanaugh's actions, not he himself. The notion that assault isn't an attacker's fault or forgiving it with "boys will be boys" just doesn't make sense and it's excused illogical and illegal for too long.
The idea that sexual predators are not responsible for attacking is the moral equivalent of the statement "sharks aren't responsible for eating fish" (and the converse: fish are responsible for being eaten). If you can't see based on that statement how the former is also wrong, maybe you're not mentally fit to be president of the United States.
Midterms are coming
The immediate backlash to Senator Susan Collins's decision to vote yes to confirm Kavanaugh has set a lot of wheels in motion. The midterms are coming up in less than a month and the backlash to literally everything that happens in the country has created a call for change, overhauling and lasting change.
Rather than picking at the raw nerve that is the general relationship between the two political parties in America, Trump and his supporters should not actively try to anger their opposition literally right before their jobs are placed on the line.
(Sidebar in regards to Collins, what I mentioned earlier comes in to play: I read an article that she was under particular pressure to vote a certain way just because of her gender, and while usually headlines like that evoke an eye roll due to their naivety in regards to gender roles and relationships, this time it made me think. While I'm not saying politicians have an obligation to vote a certain way because of their gender if it goes against what they fundamentally believe, I'm also not saying that politicians have an obligation to vote solely according to their party.)
Being a good person shouldn't be a political issue
Everything in America seems to be divided by political affiliation these days, including basic human decency apparently. Having basic respect for other human beings, for human suffering, shouldn't be up for debate or discussion, nor should believing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford be a strictly Democratic thing.
I really don't know how much more I can say about this.