Over the weekend, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. My feelings regarding his nomination were conflicting and juxtaposing.
As a conservative, I feel reassured knowing that the inherent values I and my peers deem important regarding this country’s social, political, and economic issues will be viewed under a careful and rational lens.
As a woman, I’m livid that once again a woman coming forward with sexual allegations has been rendered a “political conspiracy”.
Whenever any man in power or status is accused of sexual harassment or assault — regardless of which side of the political aisle they reside or how popular/lovable he is — it seems to be much easier for us to believe that a woman has an ulterior motive.
Is Kavanaugh guilty of the accusations he has been implicated of? I don’t know. And you don’t either. And we’ll probably never know, which should bother you because you should WANT to know. Every American should WANT to know the truth as to whether a sitting judge of our highest court is guilty of hurting, degrading, and vilifying women.
I understand it’s harder for us to believe people that we like are capable of such things, but I assure you, liking someone hasn’t stopped men from pushing sexual boundaries. In fact, the majority of women are molested, raped, and sexually abused by men they know and trust.
If you have to question if THAT is true, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention. Let me repeat that. THE MAJORITY OF CASES OF SEXUAL ABUSE HAS OCCURRED WITH MEN THAT GIRLS AND WOMEN LIKED, TRUSTED, AND WERE CLOSE TO. That means that the rest of the community probably trusted and liked and respected these men. Otherwise, they would never have been in the position to do what they did in the first place.
So, regardless of your political position, my hope is that anybody reading this understands how awful sexual harassment and abuse are and as such would do everything they could to prevent it from occurring. So, here is my message to parents. We need to raise little boys who become respectful, kind, considerate men that make society a better place for everyone.
Teach your child (boy or girl) how to handle rejection elegantly. Perhaps, we do a real disservice to our kids by telling them “Anybody that wouldn’t date you or that would turn you down is not good enough for you and it’s clearly her loss because any girl would be really lucky to have you.”
How the heck do you know that? Maybe your little Johnny got turned down because he was being an ass or being creepy. Maybe little Susie just isn’t into him or already has a boyfriend or is into some other guy. Maybe instead of telling our little boys that there must be something wrong with some OTHER person, we change the dialogue to:
“Sometimes, we don’t always get what we want and sometimes a girl may not like you in that way. And that’s ok. Just keep bettering yourself, respect the fact that not everyone is going to want to be your girlfriend – or even your friend – and move along.”
Will this stop sexual assault from occurring? I don’t know. But it may prevent kids from turning into adults that make women afraid, uncomfortable, or feel guilty for turning them down. It may teach men that their ego is never more important than another person’s boundaries. It may teach men that being turned down or rejected is just something that happens in life, it’s not an invitation to be persistent.