North Texas Daily

Kavanaugh trial epitomizes vast discrepancy in how men and women live

Kavanaugh trial epitomizes vast discrepancy in how men and women live

Kavanaugh trial epitomizes vast discrepancy in how men and women live
October 04
00:01 2018

“What will it take for people to put the well being of the country above partisanship?”

“How can I ever hope for justice in my case or others’ when the whole country is ran by sexual predators?”

“We’ve normalized abusive behavior because men minimize and belittle our experiences — and it is not getting better, even with the #MeToo movement. The treatment of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford demonstrates that.”

These are the realities young women across the nation have been forced to confront in light of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. For most of us, these realities are well-understood: From the moment we are born, we are constantly reminded that the hegemony is for those who were lucky enough to be born male.

The Kavanaugh trial is yet another bleak reminder that we are not treated the same as men.

There is a fundamental difference in the way men and women experience day-to-day life. These everyday fears for women are unheard of for men — upon learning of them, the surprise and confusion on a man’s face is telling: Our worlds are completely different.

“Did that same car drive by us twice?”

“It’s so dark now, is it too late to walk the dog?”

“Will the catcaller react violently if I tell him off?”

These are questions most men have never had to ask themselves. Our basic life experiences are so essentially different, it is absurd to think our inequities play no part in how we receive justice.

Even reliving our own traumas and watching the prolonged retraumatization of Ford play out on a national stage, women are still bombarded with the notion that an abuser’s pain and future are more important than a survivor’s.

In the case of Kavanaugh, his supporters draw attention to his “ruined reputation,” his inability to continue his work as a judge and the destruction the allegations have caused his family. One can’t help but notice this same empathy was not extended to Ford — or to the thousands of other women who have since come forward with their own stories.

Ford had to display utmost poise, articulation and impassivity while recounting the events of the night that left her with long-term psychological trauma. This is the way women are conditioned to behave in order to be taken seriously: never letting on to the irreparable damage that has scarred us or the emotional anguish a man has inflicted upon us.

In direct contrast was Kavanaugh’s temperament: anger, disgust and frustration at even the idea of being held accountable for his actions. That is where the difference lies — what little emotion the woman demonstrated came from years of dealing with the torment of her assault. The unbridled fury paraded by the men in the room was rooted in the reality that men never have to answer for their behavior, so why start now?

For women, this case bears on our reality whatever the outcome of the FBI investigation. Those committed to not seeing our pain will continue to turn a blind eye, bolstered by the widespread detraction and interrogation of a credible sexual assault survivor. Survivors will feel even less inclined to disclose sexual assault, which is already the least likely crime to be reported. Worst of all, the message is sent to abusers that a sexually violent past is no obstacle for a man’s sheer entitlement to a position on the Supreme Court.

The cold reality is the conclusion of this case will result in more sexual assaults, less reported rapes and more isolated survivors. The disparities in men and women’s lived experiences can not be appropriately addressed with a sexual abuser sitting on the most prestigious court in the country.

“This is a witchhunt,” men say, “Are we supposed to walk on eggshells around women?” — disregarding that one in five women will be raped at some point in their lives. Out of 1000 rapes, 994 perpetrators will walk free, according to RAINN.

“No man is safe,” men say, but they fail to see just how safe they are.

Featured Image: Courtesy Facebook

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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1 Comment

  1. A Survivor
    A Survivor October 07, 07:32

    The thousands of women that have stories have ZERO to do with the accusations against Kavanaugh. Because it happened to you or to me does NOT mean the accusation of another woman against any man is true or valid. SHAME on you for acting like it is.

    Reply to this comment

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