Christine Blasey Ford Is A Goddamned American Hero
Yesterday, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a research psychologist in Northern California, came forward to say that she was the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. She came forward, although she never intended to, because she wanted to make sure everyone got the story straight.
The story is this -- that when she was 15 years old, she went to a gathering with some other teenagers at someone's house. That a drunk 17-year-old Kavanaugh and a friend pushed her into a bedroom. That Kavanaugh climbed on top of her, pinned her down, and put his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams. That he used his other hand to try to remove her one-piece bathing suit. That Mark Judge, his friend, the conservative dudebro writer, turned the music up in the room so no one could hear her. That she writhed free and got away and hid in the bathroom before escaping out the door. That she feared someone seeing her and knowing she was attacked, because that would have been embarrassing.
Fifteen-year-olds often have a very skewed idea of what is embarrassing.
It wasn't the first time she had told someone about this. She told her husband. She told her therapist. In July of this year, she sent an anonymous tip to the Washington Post tip line, she sent a confidential letter to her congresswoman, Democrat Anna G. Eshoo, and then she sent another confidential letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein through Rep. Eshoo. At the advice of a friend, a lawyer, who told her that she would be called a liar if she came forward, she took a polygraph test administered by a former FBI agent. She passed.
This has not stopped anyone from calling her a liar. It has not stopped anyone from suggesting that her motives are impure.
It has not stopped geniuses like Dilbert Guy Scott Adams from suggesting that she only passed the lie detector test because her memory of the incident could actually be a false memory. Because the other guy in the room was named Mark Judge.
That ... is not how a "false memory" would work in this case. A quick scan of Elizabeth Loftus's Wikipedia page could tell you that much.
It did not stop Mark Judge, himself, from calling her a liar.
"I never saw anything like what was described," he said in an interview after being informed that he was named in the letter.
Further, he said, it did not match Mr. Kavanaugh's character: "It is not who he is." He said that the two were around each other constantly in high school, and recalled him as a "brilliant student," who was very into sports, and was not "into anything crazy or illegal."
Judge, for the record, also wrote a book about being a blackout drunk in his teens, which included the following reference to a Bart O'Kavanaugh, an obvious pseudonym for Brett Kavanaugh.
Oh Bret Easton-Ellis, what hath thou wrought?
Judge is also, for the record, the author of a delightful and very famous essay for The Daily Caller about how he stopped feeling "white guilt" after his bike got stolen by someone he suspected was probably a black person.
But I digress.
It did not stop anyone from screaming "BUT BOYS WILL BE BOYS! What? Are we all in trouble now?"
When Blasey Ford decided to come forward, she knew this was going to happen. She knew, ahead of time, from her friend, from having watched it happen to every other woman who has ever come forward about something like this, that this is what was going to happen. She did it anyway. That is brave as hell. She is sacrificing her own well-being for this country, and everyone ought to thank her for it. You think any of these people would do that? Please.
Right now, as I type, there are hundreds of thousands of people across the country who have had something like this happen to them and have not already "come forward." There are some who haven't even told anyone, ever. And that's their choice. It was also my choice for a long time, until I found out the man who assaulted me had also assaulted other women, and was working with teenage girls. That was when I said to myself, "This is not just about you anymore, this is about something a lot bigger than you."
As great a show as Law and Order: SVU is, it's not reality. Most victims don't have Mariska Hargitay in their corner, cheering them on and pushing them to press charges. I know several people who have reported their rapes to the police and have been told "Oh, there's really nothing we can do, he says it was consensual." I know people who have been ostracized by their families for coming forward. Hell, I even know one woman who was booted out of her entire religion. Even now, it's not easy. Nothing about it is easy. But sometimes, something happens -- like, say, the guy who tried to rape you is about to be on the Supreme Court -- and "easy" doesn't matter anymore.
The idea that accusing someone of sexual assault or harassment or whatever is some kind of springboard to stardom is patently ridiculous at this point. Can anyone name any of the women who accused Bill Cosby who weren't already famous? Louis CK? No. You can not. Blasey Ford has literally nothing to gain here. Her entire life, her family's life, everything she's ever said or eaten or liked, everyone who ever didn't care for her is going to be dragged out of the woodwork so that people can say "Oh, yeah, I don't believe her at all now" based on things that have absolutely nothing to do with her actual story.
There is nothing awesome that comes of this. It is hard and it is selfless. Blasey Ford is making a sacrifice for her country, in the hopes that we won't have yet another sexual predator, yet another man who disrespects women, on the Supreme Court. And good for her.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse