Allow me to get a few things clear before beginning: I’ve never been to the United States, never really had any aspirations of traveling there, and certainly have no in-depth knowledge about American politics. It’s hard enough keeping up with the ludicrous charade of our own government, and meddling with another country’s state of affairs wasn’t the kind of method I had in mind when I first thought about sporting white hair. That being said, I’ve never even heard of Brett Kavanaugh before, but because of the overflowing outrage against him, especially from social media, I now know how to spell his name.
Because I’ve disengaged myself from television for the last six years, my primary source of entertainment (I said entertainment, not news) has inevitably become—you guessed it—YouTube. Like any technologically adept twenty-something whose smartphone is an extension of her hand, I first came across the Kavanaugh case through YouTube. I paid no mind to it at first, thinking, well, what’s new? Government and politics have always been messy, and we’ve got enough shit-shoveling to do in our own backyard. Plus, YouTube, like Facebook or Twitter, could often be a cacophony of voices and opinions that all just seem like white noise at the end of the day when you’re out of battery—just like your phone. But as with any other inescapable viral trending topic, this whole Kavanaugh thing didn’t look like it was going to vanish for a while, so I decided to crack open the door a little, take a peek, and see what this particular fuss was all about.
It wasn’t long before I immediately became interested in following the course of the Kavanaugh case. It certainly sounded serious: Brett Kavanaugh, a judge nominated to become part of the U.S. Supreme Court, was accused of sexual misconduct by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Dr. Ford alleges that she was in a party with Kavanaugh in the summer of 1982, where he and another person, Mark Judge, pushed her into a room and tried to rape her.
In what people might look at as the post-#MeToo era, this is where, I suppose, I am expected to say, “As a woman, I empathize with Dr. Ford and I believe her.” After all, we’re of the same gender, right? I should be able to understand and commiserate with her, right? What other evidence do I need?
Except that doesn’t matter for the truth, and what matters to me is the truth—which has no gender.
I’m not about to tell anyone that I stand with either Kavanaugh or Ford. They have their own two feet, and they probably have better shoes than I do while they’re standing on the soil of the most powerful country on earth while I’m stuck in a place that was mired in poverty even before an iota of my existence was formed. What deeply bothers me, even while I’m thousands of miles away from ground zero, is how people at large were so ridiculously quick to condemn Kavanaugh in what appeared to be nothing more than a large-scale witch hunt that has no intention of discovering the truth as much as it intended to provide onlookers with a public execution.
Delving into this issue gave me, more than anything, the horrifying impression that any man—and here I emphasize on the usage of man pertaining to gender—could be accused of just looking at a woman wrong and the court of public opinion couldn’t care less if it was true or not. You can bet that the righteously indignant are going to vigorously spring into action, pitchforks and torches at the ready, because somebody said man and sexual misconduct or rape in the same sentence. Whatever investigation, trial or verdict that would happen in court would hardly matter. The accused will forever be a pariah in society, marked and shunned like some infectious, disease-carrying scum that has no place in the civilized world despite the result a court case may yield. In this day and age, the presumption of innocence seems to be going the way of the Dodo, as all men are guilty of something—and if not, they’re guilty of simply being men.
I had ardently hoped that people like Dr. Ford would give me more ammo—more tangible, provable, viable ammo. Perhaps, for others, her simple claim would suffice. But I cannot bring myself to simply believe her on a claim that cannot even seem to be corroborated by those she named.
Make no mistake: I believe rapists, pedophiles, corrupt government officials, murderers, lying, thieving excuses for human beings should be incinerated. But I’m not about to actively participate in the kind of barbarism where due process would count for nothing in the face of overwhelming outrage based on things like gender, political affiliation, race, opinion, and whichever hot-button label is in vogue. As a woman, and more importantly, as a human being, I refuse to be blinded by such divisive classifications that aren’t even the end all and be all of the totality of our complex and ever-evolving nature—if at all we could still believe that we are truly evolving. What man has done to woman before, we are doing to him again when we, as a collective, thinking society, could rise above those who simply pointed fingers and ogled at the flames that have claimed many of the innocent.
You know what should be blind?
But for the rest of us, we should never even think of refusing the opportunity to look at the other side of midnight. G