It’s anticipated that tens of millions of people will be watching Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday when she appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee. This will be a potentially historic hearing. That said, Ford hasn’t had any contact with the people who could help her the most through this process – Senate Democrats. Her lawyers, however, have been in touch with aides from both parties, but interviews with more than half a dozen Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee indicate there’s been no coordination with Ford’s people. This lack of communication could spell out some bad news for Ford. Ford does have one thing going for her – a team of well-connected attorneys with Democratic ties, as well as a veteran Democratic strategist. Democratic Senators are standing behind her without knowing how she will fare in this hearing.
Can anyone prepare her for this kind of hearing? The short answer is no. Over the last year, many women have had to share their private stories in a very public space. This is no different, but it might be worse as it’s unknown what will be asked of her. She will have to defend herself as a victim. Something all women fear we will have to do one day. The big question that we all face is why did we “let” it happen. As if we could do anything to stop it. I’m sure no one is proud to say it, but sometimes “letting” it happen is better than the alternative.
What’s interesting is that we’re focused on how well Ford will fare in front of the Committee. Which is a good indicator that we don’t believe women victims when they come forward. As I’ve said in other posts, there are times when someone is lying, but those cases aren’t as prevalent as those coming forward where the claim is legitimate. Let’s also think about this from the perspective of a woman. This is a regular occurrence that we all have to deal with. Over the last year, I’ve had to shut down things being said at work that I don’t necessarily find appropriate. It’s given me the reputation of not being very fun. But what my male co-workers don’t understand is that by allowing it to go beyond that point, I’m opening myself up to a world where it’s ok to demean women or to sexualize our roles in the workplace.
What does this have to do with Brett Kavanaugh and the Democrats? Well, if Kavanaugh becomes appointed to the Supreme Court for life, we are sending the message to the world that it’s ok to act inappropriately, especially if you’re a man. Further, the message is that women don’t matter. Saying or acting in a way that’s inappropriate to anyone shouldn’t be tolerated. I think the Democrats are worried for the same reason that I am. Everything that they have to stop Kavanaugh from getting onto the Supreme Court rests with Ford, and while we should be thinking about other things, their concern right now is how she is going to hold up in front of the Judiciary Committee, and that’s just the reality.