"A man's life is in tatters," President Donald Trump exclaims. "A man's life is shattered."
The man he is referring to is none other than U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. And, why is his life being damaged (according to the President)?
In a confidential letter addressed to Rep. Anna Eshoo and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, an unidentified woman alleged that Judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 30 years ago. This woman is a California professor named Christine Blasey Ford, who has since then come public to tell her story in her own words.
It was the summer of 1982, and 15-year-old Ford and 17-year-old Kavanaugh were at a party in Maryland. Along with his friend, a drunken Kavanaugh locked Ford in a bedroom and attempted to rape her. Ford holds herself together as she recalls and tells her story in a hearing room. She remembers being pinned to the bed and having her mouth covered by Kavanaugh, who tried to remove her clothes. Thinking she might die at that moment, she could not scream or let alone breathe. She cannot forget the laughter the two companions shared, while she struggled before being able to escape from them.
Senator Kamala Harris praises and thanks to Dr. Ford for "[having] the courage to come forward," acknowledging and performing her civic duty. In a tweet, Harris compares Ford's determination to prove her case to Kavanaugh's lack of effort. She points out that Ford provided the results of passing her polygraph test as well as "[calling] for outside witnesses to testify and for an FBI investigation."
The senator tells Ford, "I believe you."
Though the professor has made it clear that she is "100 percent" definite that the Supreme Court nominee was her assailant, she faces doubt from others. President Trump has now joined these individuals challenging her certainty. He insists that the real victim is Kavanaugh as his life has been subject to "false claim" of sexual assault.
During a campaign rally, he imitates Ford's testimony: "How did you get home? 'I don't remember.' How did you get there? 'I don't remember.' Where is the place? 'I don't remember.' How many years ago was it? 'I don't remember.' . . . 'I don't know, but I had one beer, that's the only thing I remember.'"
The appalling episode is met with a crowd delightfully cheering. They do not find sympathy for the victim. Rather, they find the situation to be lighthearted.
From personal encounters and knowledge of sexual assault victims, no joke should ever be made about a serious issue. Their experiences are not a laughing matter nor are they to be taken very lightly. Victims do not always have the bravery to come forward.
Think about the pain and sorrow from which they suffer. The guilt that consumes them as they blame themselves instead. The shame they anticipate if they have come forward. The amount of courage it takes for them when they do decide to stand up and fight for themselves.
When you are a white man in power, your life is shattered; when you are a woman, no matter who you are, you will be questioned and criticized.