Between Brock Turner and Brett Kavanaugh, when do girls matter?

Did Brett Kavanaugh try to rape a 15-year-old girl when he was seventeen? Did he drag her into a bedroom, hold her down on a bed, grind on her, try to tear off her clothes, and hold his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream? I don’t know. I sure hope we find out.  We should delay the vote on his appointment while we investigate, because the stakes are pretty high, and we all agree we don’t want an attempted rapist on the Supreme Court. Right?

Ah, we don’t agree.  Well, dammit.

A large contingent of Americans on social media are openly saying they don’t care if he’s guilty. They are saying things like:

At seventeen, his brain was still developing, so his culpability is reduced.

Hey, he was drunk when he did it. We all do stupid things when we’re drunk. 

This is normal hetero hijinx. Boys will be boys. It’s not admirable, but it sure is common — shows the guy is normal, in fact. Heck, high five, Brett. Studly guys like us all have some notches on our belts, wink wink. 

And most of all:

But it happened so long ago. There’s no indication he’s still like that. We’re really going to hold him responsible for something that happened so long ago?

There is no sober, cautious examination of the facts, here, from his supporters. All of these arguments rush to the conclusion that he did do exactly what Christine Blasey Ford accuses him of doing. And they are okay with that. They’re willing to wave away the violent attempted rape of a 15-year-old girls as inconsequential. Why?

Because  . . . she was just a girl, and that’s what girls are for.

That’s the only answer I keep coming back to. Part of me wants to say that the GOP is so bristling with misogyny and the desperate need to appear macho that they’re always willing to throw women under the bus when power is at stake. Look how readily they nominated and elected a confessed abuser, and (to pick one example at random) look how quickly they toggled from “Stormy Daniels is a dirty liar” to “Hey, now, bribing a hooker isn’t an impeachable offense.”

But if that answered it, then the dems would be different, and they’re not. Handsy Uncle Joe Biden, anyone? You know he’s going to run next election. Bill Clinton, anyone? You know that man is a rapist. And yet he’s never once stopped being the progressives’ darling, because he’s also their sugar daddy and he gets them what they want. And if you have to wink at a few rapes, well, they’re just women. That’s what women are for.

Right now, it happens to be the GOP who wants to give a lifetime supreme court appointment to someone credibly accused of a serious sexual crime. Next time, or the time after that, it will be a progressive again, because some people — Al Franken springs to mind — are just too useful to be shucked away for a little thing like sexually abusing a little thing like a woman.

They’re just girls, and girls are here for men to use. Just like it was just a girl that Brock Turner violently raped behind a dumpster while she was unconscious. It was just a girl when those guys from Steubenville gang raped her and posted the video online. And they got a slap on the wrist and were allowed to get on with their lives, while their young victim is still used as shorthand, in Steubenville circles, for “lying whore.” Because she’s just a girl.

When a young man gets drunk and tries to rape a girl, there will always be someone to say he shouldn’t be punished too severely — shouldn’t lose his place on the team, shouldn’t be kicked out of school, certainly shouldn’t serve any jail time — because don’t you see, he has so much promise? This might damage his future!

And what about her future? What about her? Who is thinking about the actual human girl in Blasey’s account, who wept and screamed and fought back, while those normal, healthy, hetero boys turned up the music and pushed her back onto the bed?

It was so long ago. Well, If Blasey had gone to someone with her story that very night, what do you suppose they would have told her?

Now, Christine. Brett is a very bright young man with a promising future. Why, I bet he could be on the Supreme Court someday. 

Brock Turner got six months (a longer sentence would have had “a severe impact” on him) and served three, because he had so much promise.  Austin Wilkerson raped an unconscious girl (after pretending to help her, to throw off the scent of onlookers) and was punished by having to sleep in jail, but went to school and work as normal during the day. David Becker got two years probation after raping two unconscious girls. Because those boys had such a bright future ahead of them. They’re just being boys! This is what happens! This is what boys do! But the girls? Well . . . this is what girls get. This is what they are for.

This is what you are saying, when you want to give men a pass for something they did long ago. This is what you are conveying to millions of women who have been raped and abused, when you allow yourself to say “yes, yes, sure, sure, of course rape is bad, but this is the supreme court we’re talking about, here! This isn’t just the rape of a girl we’re talking about, this is serious!”

I know how hard it is to see this clearly, to keep this firmly in mind when there’s a political storm swirling around. I know you want to talk about how awful Dianne Feinstein is, and how biased the media is, and how suspicious the timing of it all is. Hell, I fell for that with Anita Hill. I let them convince me that Clarence Thomas was the savior we needed to put this country to rights, and that this trashy, unhinged woman was just sniffing around him looking for glory, probably paid off by some secret politics operatives to make up a story that didn’t even sound true.

But believe it or not, politics isn’t the most important thing. A supreme court nomination isn’t the most important thing. The most important thing, when stories like this are in the news, is the victim, and how we treat them, how we speak about them. The most important thing is that we don’t lose ourselves in the ideological storm, and allow ourselves to say anything that even sounds like “but it was just attempted rape” or “but he was just a teenager when he did it.” When you say that, you are telling victims that it doesn’t matter what happened to them, because they are just girls. Boys need their bright futures, but rape is what girls are for.

If we want to argue that the poor boy’s brain is still developing and we need to take that into account, then what about her developing brain? What about her sense of self worth that’s being so violently malformed, first by her assailant, and then by the crowds of people saying he’s normal and she’s a lying, scheming, whore?

Or the argument that boys are hormonal volcanoes just boiling over with sex, and this is how they learn, you see. They learn from their mistakes, and they get to move on, don’t you see. So I wonder how many girls they get to learn on. Do they get one rape freebie, and then after that, they’re responsible for knowing that rape is bad? Or do they get one attempted rape per year, as long as they learn a little bit more each time? I have eight daughters. How many of my daughters is it okay for a seventeen-year-old boy to try to rape, as long as it’s part of their learning process, and they have a bright future?

Girls . . . are human. Girls are not there for the benefit of helping boys to turn into men. They are not there to be soiled and then tossed on the heap while boys go out and buy themselves a whole new look, a whole new life.

If you don’t want men to be dragged down by decades-old accusations of rape, then you need to crack down on minutes-old accusations of rape as they happen. But that’s not how it goes. Still, even now, that’s not how it goes.

When a woman says, “This man raped me a long time ago,” we say, “But that was in the past. He can’t change the past.” When a girl says, “This boy raped me last night,” we say, “But his future! We can’t wreck his future.” And there she stands, suspended between his past and his future, with no value of her own except for how much she’s worth to whichever political party is feeling desperate today.

There are some acts which are so abhorrent, they cannot simply be forgotten. I have sons, as well as daughters. They’re not yet seventeen, and yet they know you’re not supposed to get drunk, and if you do get drunk, you’re still not supposed to rape anybody, not even a little bit. They know this. Seventeen is not a child. If, at that age, you have a son who’s still unclear on the whole “Don’t get drunk and sexually savage girls,” thing, then he should be involuntarily committed. There’s no grey area where he gets to sacrifice a few girls while he figgers it out. Because that’s not what girls are for. Girls are human.

But when grown men tell teenage boys that a smattering of attempted rape is normal, expected, excusable behavior; that all boys do something like this because they’re still developing; and that it’s not worth worrying about because it was so long ago, then this is what they’re doing: they’re educating a whole new generation in the uses and abuses of the bodies and psyches of girls and women, for the sake of men, who alone are real.

Think. Think about what you’re implying when you are willing to wave away accusations of attempted rape. Think about what you’re telling girls about what they’re for. Think about what you’re telling boys about what they’re for. Think about what you’re telling victims about what they’re worth. Think about how you’re talking about these things. Think about who is listening.

He says he didn’t do it. I hope his party has the integrity to at least try to find out, because if they say “it’s important” but then appoint him without an investigation, they don’t really think it’s important.

But that’s out of my hands. What I’m talking about here is how we talk about boys, and how we talk about girls, and how we talk about rape. What’s in our control is to guard ourselves, to change how we respond to stories of rape. To be consistent and humane whether it’s our guy on the witness stand or not. Because if it’s not our guy this time, it will be next time, depend on it.

Hell yes, an attempted rape accusation matters. Even a very old one. Even though it was just a girl.

I’ll say it again: I don’t know if Kavanaugh is guilty or not. I don’t know if Blasey is telling the truth or not. I’m saying it’s a big fucking deal when 17-year-old boys try to rape 15-year-old girls, whether their names are Brett and Christine or not.


Related: If she was sexually assaulted, why didn’t she say something sooner?

Image by bOred via Pixabay (Creative Commons)

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217 thoughts on “Between Brock Turner and Brett Kavanaugh, when do girls matter?”

  1. Thank you for sharing this.

    My whole life has been a struggle, and I’m getting tired of fighting.

    2018 was one of the worst years of my life. My ex-husband told me he didn’t love me anymore and left me. Had been living with him since I was 19 (I’m now 25). He was my best friend, and I really miss talking to him every day.

    I have had a chronic illness for over 12 years. But because you can’t see that I’m sick, people don’t realize how bad it is. I don’t even remember how it is to not feel constant pain every day.

    So what du you do when your biggest obstacle in life is your own body? You just have to struggle to get through each day. And I’m being pressured to start working again, even though I’ve tried for years, and I just can’t do it because I’m too sick.

    The fact that I’ve got generalized anxiety disorder doesn’t make anything better. And now I’ve gotten depression too. I’ve always tried to stay positive, but I’m just getting so sick of everything.

  2. I’m excited to see you are putting this out to make a difference. Much love and much respect to U for taking the time to get this out to the world!

  3. i have seen that in our society there is often no space for girls and women to realize their rights,why men are in the highest positions as leaders.sexual Harassment needs to end! #metoo #sexualharassment #womenrights #harrasmentcase #supportmeeshashafi #justiceformeeshashafi #metoopk #alizafar #ayeshafazli #meeshashafi

  4. All the examples are of white boys and men. Not only that, but educated, financially comfortable to wealthy white boys and men. If the perps are black or brown and the victims are the same it might be a tossup. But if the perps are black or brown and the girls are educated upper-class whites, the girls will matter a lot. This is a social class war with many layers.

  5. You say you don’t know whether Brett Kavanaugh is guilty or not, but you’ve dedicated a whole post to damning all men. Rape is a ‘big fucking deal’. So is allowing due process to take place.

    1. I agree. I have fought 6 men to save 1 women. My dad would have don the same thing. Why we love our mom and all women and children. That being said. 30 years, with no evidence says. All men and boys are guilty. No harm, no crime, no evidence no crime.

      Funny how people resisted arrest and some say Police Abuse. Same people seem to say you are guilty of here say. Even if you were a Gold Digger and got an empty shaft for your effort.

      To stop this nonsense we need right behavior. Not punishing the innocent to say rape is bad. With no harm or prove.

  6. “Because . . . she was just a girl, and that’s what girls are for.” well this completely bothered me. I’ll be honest but this is the society we have entered into where there is always a way to explain everything away like it didn’t happen or its “not important”. This is our culture now and also what were allowing our children to grow up in. Its disgusting to see that we allow the type of talk i so nicely quoted. It really pisses me off that they couldnt just charge him and to stop taking up prime tv to post this bullshit. I wasnt going to get invloved in the i saw your blog post and now im on a rant. I like your article it was very well written. Just hoping whole heartedly that it is not serious about the whole bashing women thing. If so not cool, also I’ll be honest I skimmed alittle

    1. The remarks, like the ones u say that u are “ranting” about, were said sarcastically, not seriously!! Like u said u hoped!! How can u say u are ranting about something that u then say u “skimmed” over?! U obviously missed yhe point that was being made by the parent of 8 daughters -&- some sons!! Especially when this article WAS a rant of it’s own!?!

  7. Bill Clinton is not a “darling of progressives.” Progressive hate the Clintons. That’s a pretty bizarre thing to say. Maybe a “darling among liberals” but I’m sure even some neo-libs can’t stand the guy for his actions alone (if not for his politics).

    1. Really? Then how come he gets defended to the hilt every time someone mentions his multiple rapes? How come Hillary calls those women he raped Trash? How come no one mentions Pedo Island and his vile pals? How come he’s still running around with his dick in his hand?

      1. …Oh and how come we don’t hear squat about the DEMOCRAT Officials (Virginia ring any bells?) accused of sexual predation? The left is worse than the right on any measurable metric… (And the GOP is a DISGRACE)…

  8. Your comments reflect one important angle to take into consideration. Excuses should not be made for boys or men who push themselves onto girls/women without consent, either figuratively or literally. But no one in Kavanaugh’s case — folks in the media and politics, that is (minus perhaps a few fringe, social media hacks you cited) — has made any excuses for this kind of behavior for anyone. So is this something of a strawman argument?

    Nor should this kind of attitude or behavior be assumed as part of Chrissy Ford’s claim which remains unsubstantiated — actually, disavowed — by all four of the alleged witnesses she has called upon. So far, it appears to be a spurious story.

    The other side, in contrast to your observation, is that girls often initiate sexual promiscuity. They tempt, entice and ensnare boys too.

    A multibillion dollar industry of hairstyles, clothing, make-up and seductive media role models (mostly fictitious characters) trains young girls in how to be ‘sexy’ so they can entice and lure boys/men to become romantically/sexually involved with them.

    Most all of my experiences (whether refused or accepted) have been of girls and women coming on to me.

    The book of Proverbs gives instruction about being aware of and avoiding the temptations of seductive women. The oldest profession in the world is still the oldest profession in the world for a reason.

    The Bible story of Potiphar’s wife might be kept in mind too. She tried to seduce Joseph. He refused. She was scorned. And she cried rape out of vengeance.

    So far, Chrissy Ford’s story sounds like a personal or political vendetta. Only claims. No evidence whatsoever.

    As much as people might want to lend a sympathetic ear to any alleged victim — and most people do — they also need to consider that the plaintiff might be a false accuser trying to make a victim of someone else.

    This is why we have to go with credible evidence more than emotions or personal biases — whether we are in a court room, or in front of an equally authoritative Senatorial committee, or just trying to use commonsense as we observe and listen to things. So far, Chrissy Ford has not presented any credible evidence.

    Would you want your husband or son to be convicted on mere emotions or public opinion or political bias if they were falsely accused? Of course not. You would insist on clear, verifiable, credible evidence. No less than this should be insisted upon in Judge Kavanaugh‘s situation.

    1. Indeed. In short: some important points in the article, but it seriously undervalues due process. If allegations are deemed to have little credibility by an appropriate body, justice for all (including the victim) means they need NOT be further investigated. The FBI knocked this back to the executive (White Ho), which is allowing the legislature (Senate) to make this initial judgement. The Senate is currently following constitutional process, contra the conclusion of the David Frum article Simba Fischer links to. If they find it having a degree of credibility then they should indeed knock it back to the FBI. (And a secondary aspect of the evidence to be considered at this stage is that it is likely that the powerful, very successful, anti-life coalition understandably deem stopping another Trump Supreme Court appointee of absolutely highest priority.)

    2. Yours is the most reasonable voice I’ve heard to date on this issue. One reason for the hysteria is the luck if critical thinking that is absent in social discourse. Just this morning ing, on Gordan Deal’s radio program (usually fairly balanced), he reported about a man at a pro baseball game who told an 8 year old to stop screaming and cheering. The girl has a disability where she cannot control her emotions and the man was made out to be a heel. It occurred to me that it would have made for a great discussion with my young grandsons to give the story a more critical perspective…did the man have a hearing issue that the constant screaming aggravated, did he pay $100 for a seat and not want constant screaming from a child who couldn’t control herself, could the mother have found a seat in an area of the stadium where they could both enjoy the game and the child not be a distraction and yet still have fun cheering her favorite team?? We make instant assumptions and never stop to consider other alternatives. People vomit their reaction without another thought to the other side of the argument.

    3. Sir, you need to do some real thorough reading on what rape is and why men rape. Because your remarks smack very strongly of attempting to place the blame of rape on women.

      It is a FACT that a tiny percentage of rape accusations are false. It is a FACT that millions of lives have been ruined by rape. It is a FACT that rape has nothing to do with “sexiness”. It is a FACT that that multibillion dollar industry TARGETS girls from a young age and tells then they must be a certain way or they have no value. That same industry also sends a message that women are a commodity for men.

      Again, you clearly need to gain a better understanding of rape, what it does to people, and why it happens.

    4. Political agenda and Solution. No evidence, 30 years and the timing for the election is impeccable. Like the Election in Alabama. No crime no conviction. Just playing politics and disrupting our criminal system. A Dr. of Psychology? Sounds like a Pet Peve and an agenda for here own WORK at the Cost of our society and Innocent until proven Guilty.

  9. I can assure you that if you’re raped, molested or assaulted you will remember every detail. I know that for a fact. You never forget as hard as you may try to. It will come back to you for the rest of your life. You DON’T forget.
    I also know how people have made excuses or not charged men/boys because of who there are, their position, etc.
    Why didn’t they go after Clinton when he was President and did what he did in the White House, no less?
    You can’t brag about being with 54 men BEFORE you even started college, talk about being drunk, or have a male dancer at your 16th birthday party then try to accuse someone year’s later and NOT be able to remember anything.
    I’m not saying it was okay IF it happened. But if you don’t dress and act like a lady then it’s sad but you won’t be treated like one. You put it out there some one will try to take it.
    It doesn’t help that the lawyer is funded by soros. That tells a story right there!
    Of course, when things started coming out about her, things she has posted, written or said it was all cleared so that people couldn’t see it. Many people that went to school with her are still out there and know what she was like.

    1. I don’t know where you got the stuff about “54 men BEFORE you even started college” etc. but I have to say it sounds seriously unlikely and I’m guessing Fox News.

      Look, the Republican leaders have a long track record of treating women like they aren’t human. Prfessor Ford is in their way, so of course they’ll try to squash her like a bug. It’s what they do. They’ll thow all the mud they can and hope some will stick. They could care less whether it’s true or not.
      You have professonal liars, with an obvious, massive motive to lie. I don’t think you should assue that everything they say is true.

      1. Fox News hasn’t said anything of the sort about Prof. Ford. Really and truly. The ’54 men’ thing sounds like a dark web kind of comment. In fact, I haven’t read or heard anything at all about Prof. Ford’s reputation, negative or positive. I have seen some painful anecdotes about Amber Wyatt, but these appeared in the Washington Post and seem to have come from the young woman herself.

      2. Hold on! Did you watch the same process I did? “Treating women like they aren’t human?” Ford wanted Thursday, they gave her Thursday, she couldn’t fly (although flying all over the country was her regular habit), so they offered to come to her, (but she “didn’t understand that”), she wanted one camera, they gave her one camera, a small room, she got it, limited journalists and only certain news organizations, she got it. The “prosecutor” treated her like a fragile flower. In what way did they not bend over backwards to make Ford comfortable? The massive motive to lie was on the Dems part to keep a conservative constitutionalist judge off the SCOTUS at all costs.

        1. Sure, what did HE say? She looks pleasant?
          They accommodated her for public approval only. Yet pulled the Lawyer that questioned her and put Mitch in!
          Old, rich, white men that I’m guessing Dem and GOP, 50% at least are guilty of at least this. What did President say about money, power and grabbing pussy?
          Boys, most I went to HS and college major goal was to get into my pants, grab my boobs, and more of I didn’t fight them off. They were great students, some Lawyers and Doctors.
          His behave crying and screaming, this is a level headed Judge?
          Constantly saying he was a good boy, studied, went to church had been discredited by his classmates and roommates. There is other evidence against him. Not allowed here.
          FBI would certainly uncover the truth.
          He will not be appointed.

          1. 4 witnesses that all deny being there and seeing Judge Kavanaugh there , 4 of them. She says she is afraid to fly ,but turns out she was at the airport while she did the polygraph and she flies all over the world for vacations. She cant remember how she got home the night of the night in question not sure where it was or how she got there. All she is certain about is Kavanaugh!!
            He will go through. If he doesn’t this country will be changed forever and the new normal
            will be guilty until proven innocent. God help us if he doesn’t get through. Dr Ford is obviously a troubled soul. Someone leaked her letter to the media and betrayed her as she wished to remain anonymous.
            The Dems sat on this letter for 6 weeks until they needed it to take down Kavanaugh. I pray that they do not succeed.
            Dems glorify Clinton though and crucified his very credible accusers. This is a political personal attack and has ruined Judge Kavanaugh and his family forever.
            His testimony brought me to tears as he was obviously justifiably angry for being unjustly accused and slandered.
            I say this a a victim of multiple sexual assaults and a woman, and mother of 6 (3 daughters)
            This is all about the left and its fear of losing the Supreme Court and their power to legislate from the judiciary to transform this country into its utopian hell hole. This is about the left and its god of sexual freedom and its sacred sacrament of abortion.I am on my knees praying that Almighty God will protect the good people of this country and I pray the spiritually blind sheep will be awoken.

        2. I agree. But it appears a repetition to say you are guilty if accuse? Not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

          Excuse me? Why are these the same people that say “kill the pigs” and they are killed. Many serve time proven to be guilty and they say NO, it’s the color of their skin. Same people who resist the cobs and want the cop prosecuted. Does this make the Ghetto High Crime disappear?

          Seem like Sore Loser and Brats have become Adult and in Congress and we just have to live with the same “Gimmy, Gimmy; Wanna Wanna” and “NO WAY” all over gain

          Helter Skelter lives. Like Charlie was no angel but it appears he was guilty of something? Not sure he was? But Manson murders have not been used for Political Agenda’s like this.

    2. Jesus, lady, what century do you live in? “If you don’t dress and act like a lady…” I’ve got news for you: you can literally be an alcoholic career prostitute and still be raped. A person doesn’t waive their right to choose just because you don’t approve of their choices. (I was sexually assaulted when I was 5. But I did run around barefoot a lot, so you’re probably right… I wasn’t acting like a lady.)
      And if someone is running for Mayor, do they run on the platform of hiring a PR team to warn people about the bad neighborhoods? No. They promise to crack down on crime. If someone is in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets held up at gunpoint, they may have exercised less than perfect judgment, but that does not make it their fault. The crime was not that they were there: the crime was that they were held up. The CRIME is perpetrated by the CRIMINAL, not the victim.
      People like you have spent so much time trying to teach our daughters not to be victims that you neglected to teach your sons not to be criminals. We are supposed to be a civilized country. We don’t murder our female children because only boys are valuable. Yet it’s okay to allow our daughters to die a slow, psychological death by stressing to them every day, in a million small ways, that boys’ lives take precedence.
      We’ve come to recognize the term “white privilege” and what it entails. It’s well past time that we started addressing “male privilege”: the assumption that responsibility for your behavior will always be borne by someone else.

    3. Oh hey, victim blaming. Nice to see you.

      “If you don’t act like a lady you won’t be treated like one” is horseshit for “hold women responsible for men’s assault” and you should probably think about your logic because that’s why reporting our rapes doesn’t matter, and why we don’t. Fuck off. I’m not here to politely ask not to be blamed for my own suffering at a man’s hands. (Not that it matters, but I was wearing a baggy sweater and jeans. Was that not modest enough?) Don’t blame women for men’s violence.

  10. I agree wholeheartedly with everything in this article except the attempt to put Al Franken in the same category as the others on the list.

    In fact, I feel sympathy for the “Lisa” who has attempted in this comments thread to draw gradations between different types of behavior, only to be beaten up with the cudgel of fundamentalism that represents all-too-well the new binary quality with which this topic is so often approached recently.

  11. This was a good read.
    People are caught up in one poster’s comments about the legal definition of rape and the Brock Turner case. Whether it meets the legal definition Or not, if anyone put anything inside of me without my consent – I would consider that rape. As would most women. I dont believe the writer “lied”, it’s an opinion piece that lists a few high profile cases.

    1. Hi Vicki,

      Yes lied probably wasn’t the best word to use there. But at the time it was how I felt and I couldn’t think of a better word. Thank you for being civil as well. I don’t expect to be agreed with by everyone which is fine. But I won’t stand for others personally attacking me because they don’t like what I said.

  12. Leaders, especially high positions like Supreme Court Justices, need to be above reproach. There should be no doubt as to their character. There shouldn’t even be serious allegations. A judge and a rapist are two distinct names that shouldn’t even descibe one person.

    An investigation would really be for the best. Along with a lawsuit if possible.

  13. Sorry but I have a problem with this article. *Trigger Warning later in my comment* There’s a lot of inaccuracies making things worse than what actually happened. Steubenville guys got convicted, the school even got in trouble for obstruction. Brett Turner sexually assaulted that poor girl. It’s not rape because both their clothes were still on and no penitration was involved. In no way does that make what happened okay but you cannot get me to agree with an article that lies to show the horror. The truth is horrible enough.

      1. That’s still only sexual assault. His penis did not go inside her (that we know of). His conviction was sexual assault so that’s the only thing he can be confirmed as doing. I will admit something more could have happened because she was passed out and has no memory of it. But stating it as rape and a fact makes that a lie

        1. “only” sexual assault. I want you to think about how this view perpetuates the problem that was discussed in the article, because I think you missed it. Trauma isn’t navigated by the severity of an incident according to your own spectrum of whats bad and whats worse. Also can’t be rape because both of them were wearing clothes? What are you talking about??????

          1. Hi Sarah,

            What am I talking about? Well I’m glad you asked! Now I’m basing my knowledge about the definition of rape vs the definition of sexual assault based on UK law (I’ve pasted below the definition as per the Met Police in England). While I am an American citizen, finding a clear definition of rape has not been easy! So maybe that’s why there’s some confusion. It can differ from state to state and it is also stated that rape is the most serious offence of sexual assault! So I’ve not been incorrect in saying its sexual assault but maybe since I am not familiar with the state law for rape where Brett Turner is from as I’m from a completely different state, it could be different. Brett Turner was tried and convicted for sexual assault. This is a fact. He was not charged and convicted for rape. This is also a fact. So I think its safe to assume this state has a difference in definition for rape and sexual assault.

            Now I think you’re missing my point. Because you seem to be assuming that I am downplaying the trauma of what happened. In fact I am not downplaying that at all. I have a huge issue with this article due to the fact there are a lot of inaccuracies with the perpetrators acts and how some were punished.
            Brett did get a ridiculous sentence even for sexual assault charges. I never once mentioned that the victim shouldn’t be traumatised. But saying it was something it wasn’t, makes it that much harder for me to even read or agree with the rest of the article. She made untrue statements so how can I listen to the rest of it?
            Also I noticed you haven’t mentioned the Steubenville High School rape case. She says they got away with it. I remember this trial very clearly as the media tried to depict the guys as victims when they were charged and tried SUCCESSFULLY for rape and “their lives would be forever ruined”. The school even got in trouble for trying to hide what happened. Society, myself included got very angry that they would focus so much on these boys who did not even hide what they did to this girl! Her life is also affected by this.

            Now let me tell you a little about myself. When I was 6 years old, an older boy had me massage his penis with my foot on a school bus. Not once but twice, after that I refused to do what he wanted as it made me very uncomfortable but I didn’t understand why. Years later now I do, it left me with trauma.

            At 25 years old I went to a Halloween themed art show that I happen to have some artwork in. I was there much later after returned from a school trip to New York but I really wanted to have fun and enjoy myself in my new costume which was a “sexy” red riding hood. I saw a man wearing a police uniform that looked very real. So I walked up to him to ask him if he was a real cop or not as his uniformed looked real. At this point not only did he make me feel stupid by pointing out the smaller details I missed such as a vibrator where a gun should be and a badge that said “Officer Bendover” but he handcuffed me with real handcuffs WITHOUT my consent and proceeded to feel me up and try to pull down my top. I screamed and asked him to take the cuffs off which he refused at first. I looked around the room frighten and made eye contact with people who heard me scream but did not come to help me. This made ruined my night because I just wanted to know if his costume was real. It was, it was an old police uniform. That’s all he had to say. But instead he sexually assaulted me.

            I did not know this was sexual assault until two years ago. I am very much traumatised by this. My own husband cannot playfully corner me into a room without me flipping out because it reminds me of being trapped with nowhere to go and no one to help.

            So please tell me how my view is the problem. Cause I just don’t get your point.

            Please see below for UK definition of rape and sexual assault.
            Rape and sexual assault
            All rape and sexual assault is serious. The terms rape and ‘sexual assault’ are used simply to differentiate between two types of offence. So what’s the difference?

            Rape is when a person intentionally penetrates another’s vagina, anus or mouth with a penis, without the other person’s consent. Assault by penetration is when a person penetrates another person’s vagina or anus with any part of the body other than a penis, or by using an object, without the person’s consent.

            The overall definition of sexual or indecent assault is an act of physical, psychological and emotional violation in the form of a sexual act, inflicted on someone without their consent. It can involve forcing or manipulating someone to witness or participate in any sexual acts.

            Not all cases of sexual assault involve violence, cause physical injury or leave visible marks. Sexual assault can cause severe distress, emotional harm and injuries which can’t be seen – all of which can take a long time to recover from. This is why we use the term ‘assault’, and treat reports just as seriously as those of violent, physical attacks.

          1. Who calls it that? Who decides it’s rape. I keep pointing out the official conviction and term and you all want to argue with me. If calling it sexual assault bothers you. Get the definition changed instead of arguing with me over it.

          2. Lisa: Foreign Object – PC 289
            Forcible penetration with a foreign object is essentially a type of rape crime in California (PC 289)2 It is defined as an act of sexual penetration when the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the accuser or another person.


            1. Hi Marti,

              I appreciate you giving me a a source here. I asked a question and you answered. I remember Brock (I’ve only just realised I’ve said Brett, not who I meant) being given a stupidly light conviction. I don’t get what the difference is in the court of law between rape and sexual penetration. He was indicted on two charges of rape and were later dropped due to DNA evidence. The three he was convinced of were attempted rape and two counts of sexual penetration. I get that people feel there is no difference but what is the difference in the court of law? What changes it from sexual penetration/sexual assault to rape? I’m not disagreeing with what you’ve just posted. I’m just trying to connect the dots for myself.

          3. Marti and Lisa
            My last comment was unclear — sorry. New to this.
            MARTI: The language you quoted is from a law firm website. It is not a recitation of the law. It is an attempt to explain the law in laymen’s terms. In fact, California Penal Code Section 289 is titled “Forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object.” In short, Lisa is correct.

        2. Only sexual assault? If she was penetrated by anytime it’s rape in my book. You would you like to be penetrated by ” objects”? Pretty sure you wouldn’t like it and it is rape whether he used his penis or another object. Seriously, how can you possibly think otherwise?

          1. I love how every one of you replying to me is fixated on the textbook definition of sexual assault. As if that isn’t enough. Sexual assault is traumatising. Sexual assault is horrible. My experiences with sexual assault will stay with me forever. It doesn’t have to be rape to be horrible. My entire issue with the article is how the term rape is used so loosely for cases that were not actually convicted of rape because legally, you cannot call sexual assault rape based on feelings and speculations on a traumatic event you heard about. Sexual assault can be just as horrible as rape. Sexual assault can be just as traumatic as rape. So please do me a fucking favour. Stop fucking insulting me, actually read the entirety of what I’m saying. And if you disagree then have a normal discussion with me and show me genuine sources of how I’m incorrect. Not ask if me if I want to sexually assaulted with a bottle. Poppy, I would be well within my rights to report you for such a comment. Think about that.

          1. Lol sweetheart I’m more informed and less reliant on my emotional response to this. Also I don’t hate men. As you lot all seem to.

        3. Brock Turner is now a registered sex offender. Whether or not he penetrated her with his penis is not as big an issue to me as much as the FACTS that he was taking advantage of an unconscious girl, and knew he was doing something wrong when he tried to run when observed in the act.

        4. So if someone forces their fingers inside of you it isn’t rape? If they literally ram their fingers inside of you so hard they cause internal injuries and leave debris inside your body it isn’t rape? Four separate witnesses testified and that still isn’t enough. You are part of the problem. You are the reason rapists know they can get away with it. You are rape culture.

          1. Smichelle — You’re pissed off, we get it. But your comments are totally out of line. Lisa, a survivor of sexual assault, simply pointed out factual inaccuracies in the article. The law defines rape and sexual assault and other sex-based crimes very explicitly. If you read what Lisa wrote, you would know without a single doubt that her sympathies lie with (1) the Truth and (2) the victims. To say she is “part of the problem” or “the reason rapists know they can get away with it” is outrageous. For you to have said this to Lisa in particular, in light of her own personal history, is just gross. Do better.

          2. Can’t you be civil and enter into the discussion without insulting and making assumptions and statements that are unjustified.

        5. Lisa you are giving a definition that isn’t from this country! I understand what you are trying to convey BUT it is not accurate because here in the US every state interprets rape and in many states that includes raped by object, penetrated by anything other than penis, etc. So yes what is charged one way in one state is not the same in another. In my state the words sexual assault are used as the type of crime but the use of rape, molestation, fondling, rape with foreign object , etc to say the type of assault and then there is the degree of sentencing and any one of those types can be given the highest form of judgement or the lowest depending on the trial and facts of the case!
          I am a survivor of rape and I understand what the writer was conveying about how victims are treated and that’s what i took away. To completely dismiss an article because one or two words aren’t what you consider legal wording isn’t right. The FACT is more often than not males life and jobs possibilities sport possibilities are put ahead of a females and I had that done to me by the police and prosecuting attorney because they were making it out that he had such a great life ahead and I was just a waitress (at the time) going through a divorce so nobody would believe me! Using a definition from another country that has different laws doesn’t help that either. It is hard that there is no absolute definition followed throughout this country but it is defined by state.

        6. Intercouese may not have iccurred, but rape certainly did. Anytime a woman is violated by having a foreign object forcefully put into her vagina, that constitutes rape. Ask any person who has been raped if it makes any difference what was put into their body. Rape is an act of violence and power over another individual.

    1. Lisa: I stand with you. You are right to pint out that Brock Turner was convicted of sexual assault, not rape. I know a lot of people don’t care about that distinction, but like you, I do. I believe we all should because in my opinion, failing to do so risks diminishing the trauma of sexual assault and thus the pain that survivors endure.
      Rape is a word that has power; and when emotions are running high and people want to STATE THEIR CASE, there is a huge temptation to reach for the biggest stick. But this is a terrible reason to use any word it if it isn’t accurate. And in this case, it isn’t. (In fact, as you noted, two rape charges were thrown out at a preliminary hearing.) It also leaves us open to critics who do, in fact, want to undermine our position. We make it too easy when every counterargument can begin by pointing out we have misstated the facts of the case! We are arming the opposition, and that is unacceptable. Far more important however is the fact that we do not need the word rape to justify our outrage and pain. What happened is bad enough! Felony sexual assault is a horrific crime. Full stop. We have nothing to fear and everything to gain from adhering strictly to the facts and employing factually accurate language. The minute we forget this, we risk perpetuating the catastrophically misinformed notion that there is some sort of sliding scale of trauma for sexual felonies, whether it be felony sexual assault, forcible penetration by a foreign object, rape or otherwise.

        1. The problem is a larger one than your comments, Lisa. Technically, you’re correct. However, the law that dictates what a rape is or isn’t is based in heterosexual sex.

          I’m not straight. Sex for women who love women IS the insertion of fingers or foreign objects. So when a man held me down and put his fingers in me without consent? That’s rape to me because that’s what my version of sex and sexual penetration looks like.

          I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m saying the law is wrong and prioritizes heterosexual sex as the only way to rape (and anal rape, I think, which still excludes queer women), and it isn’t. So I’m going to keep calling what happened to me “rape” because that’s how I had sex with my girlfriend. That was my intimacy and he decided it was his. That was my sex. I’m going to call it “rape” because the law doesn’t represent me so I have to represent myself.

          1. Hi Elizabeth,

            I’ve never considered that with the way law is defined. You make a very good point. I’m sorry that happened to you as well.

    2. In fact, setting aside the diminished risk of pregnancy and disease, being pentrated with objects seems more horrible because more grotesquely inhuman than ordinary rape. I do not say that I would like to choose between the two; I am merely pointing out a kind of base, instinctive reaction I have.

      1. I agree both acts are just as horrible as one another. I’ve re-read what I put and I think I should clarify that I don’t think penetration by objects is less horrible, in fact I can see why there was a lot of outrage at what I said a few days ago. But I felt like it was implying he did all the stuff he was convicted of plus rape. Doesn’t make it any less horrible though.

  14. And when a boy says, “He or she raped me”, be it last night or a long time ago, we say, “OMG, that’s terrible, you didn’t deserve it! We are so sorry and will do everything we can to lock up the accused and throw away the key while publicly humiliating him or her, get you all the counselling you need, and fight with you to ensure you get the settlement you deserve.”

    1. Probably more so now than before. My husband had this happen when he was 8 or 9 years old by a 14 year old girl. He told a teacher and the teacher said he was making it up “girls can’t rape boys”. But we clearly know now it can. Nothing was ever done about it. He told me this after we were married a few months. He just chooses not to think about it as he’s moved on with his life (his words). I just know if I ever found the girl I’d kick her in her cootch!

  15. A truly moving post. We all need to apprehend situations like these and indoctrinate these lessons in our youth. We need to raise our voices against sexual abuse and rape because it matters even if the rapist is 15 years old or 50 years old, rape is rape and it is inhumane.

  16. Thank you for your comments on what happened to you and your family, Kathy. So very very sorry you and your son and daughter had to endure this for so many years…. but it WAS something you DID NOT talk about back then…. NO ONE would’ve believed you or your son or your daughter…. To say something about a priest back then?!? Good Grief!!! My grandmother KNEW “her” priest walked on water and would never had believed anything….even from her own son or daughter. Guess what list that priest is on now?? Yup…. He died many years ago but it came out about him…. I remember him and how often he came. Grandmother had 2 sons and 5 daughters…. No wonder he visited often… hoping upon hope!!! Dirty old men were what they were first and foremost…. Nothing priestly about them!!! They covered up their “human” side with the priest collar… Makes me sick!!!! I’m so glad those now men had the courage to tell their story….even if they were 60 years old. They were abused and couldn’t say anything to anyone. I was touched by an uncle many times but was never able to tell anyone until many many years later. Found out he had touched my cousins, too…… !!! He had a daughter and a son…. I often wonder if he touched his own daughter….. So sad what girls and women have had to go through. When I worked, conversation was always always about women’s bodies…. jokes and more jokes…. comment after comment. There was NO way we gals could go to our supervisor and say anything… He was usually the worste one!!! He would’ve sided with the guys anyway and I would have been fired!!!! I didn’t even know what sexual harassment was when the company I then worked for had a meeting about it. I didn’t go to it. It was common everyday talk with the guys you worked with. They could say anything about your body they wanted to. We were just expected to take it day in and day out. The younger people now days say, “Well, why didn’t they say something back then instead of now”…. BECAUSE we couldn’t. They would’ve laughed at us and made even more rude and insulting comments….. You DO NOT know how it was unless you worked in that environment…. There was no supervisor or boss we gals could go to to complain about a “statement” that had been made…. NO WAY…… We would’ve been fired on the spot. We needed to work!! Being fired was looked down on also…. especially if you were a women….. The repercussions from neighbors, family and friends would’ve stayed with you forever also….. So you just tried to look the other way and keep working….. To say you hate women and you are one is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard of….

  17. Yeah, I get where you’re going with this but no I don’t know that Bill Clinton is a rapist so eat a sock. Casual bothsiderism is hot trash.

    1. The evidence against Clinton is stronger than that against Kavanaugh. I don’t know if either accusation can be considered proved.

    2. Weren’t you listening when more than one woman complained about Bill Clinton’s previous behavior? I was. He is a dirtball and I don’t know why Hilary is still married to him. Maybe she felt sorry for him. But I would’ve kicked him out the first time.

      1. Many women I know did not vote for Hillary precisely because they had lost respect for a woman who would stay in a marriage like that. How can she present herself as “the champion of women’s rights” if she stays married to a rapist and can’t even get her own husband to respect her?

        1. In a little defense of why even ‘smart’ women stay, the reasons are many. There was a time & still is that women did NOT leave even to the point of physical hazard. It seems much easier to cut & run now & still women stay. Shame, financial, threats, fear, public embarrassment, religious, family pressure, stupid belief that ‘things can change’ or ‘he promised’ are just a beginning. I have no idea why Hillary stayed/stays, she doesn’t owe me that. I use to wonder the same about my Mother & I was in the middle of it. It was not her that committed his crimes. A woman is not/should not be merely an appendage of her husband or anyone. Hillary should have been/should be viewed on her own credentials. My concept of her is that she is very smart, well educated, compassionate, politically savvy, & very human. I’m thankful you have never had to make these decisions.

  18. I have a daughter, three grand-daughters and 6 nieces who most also have daughters. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have one of them assaulted.

    The emotions regarding rape would be very intense, and not just for my family but anyone that I know including the young lady that posted this article to me who is not related. I never like to hear of it because of the implications that it has for the victim, made to think it was their fault, often causing intimacy issues, and feelings of inferiority just for starters. And the more familiar or personal because of relationship the more intense the emotions will be.

    However, while I agree with most if not all of your commentary, it sounds like you have already tried and convicted him. Even though you say multiple times, we don’t know if Blasey is telling the truth, or if Kavanaugh is actually guilty.

    I think may have had a greater impact and been more poignant if it had not been cast in this context.

    I believe we will hear the truth in the testimony beginning Monday. I hope it is not found that someone has manipulated this report for political purposes, since Ms. Blasey in press interviews has already cast a shadow on her accusations, saying she cannot clearly recall the night in question and several other things of impact. Also, I think it is despicable of Senator Feinstein to sit on the report since July, implying that she was holding it for a “Hail Mary”, effort to impede or stop the appointment of Kavanaugh.

    My concern is that this may have been a valid complaint and because of Feinstein’s self interest instead of doing what was right and getting Blasey proper care and treatment which would have probably conflicted with timing for the appointment, she choose to sensationalize and bring all of the press and media down on this woman who has had addiction/psychiatric problems and other circumstances in her life, that could be a result of such an experience.

    I am by no means saying it should not have been brought to light if it is in fact true, but the way it is being done at the risk of further traumatizing this woman, not so much.

    It is not beneath Feinstein as her character has been on display especially the last few years with her “Marie Antoinette, let them eat cake attitude”, attitude. Example, she opposes gun rights while her body guards carry to protect her and her response is that she deserves it but most Americans do not, so we are expendable in her eyes if it meets her purpose.

    Further to this point, one of her recent quotes regarding gun rights is “One day Americans will know their place, and they will stop thinking that they deserve the same privileges as us”, (politicians). And please do not think for a minute that this point of view is limited to gun rights, she has made many such comments to indicate that she believes the Senators and Congressmen are above the law and this kind of grand-diose thought and conduct will not isolate itself to one topic.

    Nonetheless, I find it offensive, the apparent sexual offences that have been done by our politicians, as per news reports that just went away a few months ago after discovering millions of tax payer dollars were used for hush money without requiring reimbursement or disclosure of offenses. What do you think would have happened if a corporate CEO was discovered using corporate funds to pay hush money to silence sexual offenses.

    And most we will never know about because of gag orders, and according to the reports that I read a few months ago as you stated it was on both sides of the isle, both politically and gender relevant.

    It is this kind of conduct that convinces me that even if I like the incumbent better than the new candidate, I will vote for the new candidate because the dinosaurs, funded by special interests have to go.

    1. Diane Feinstein said that she kept quiet about the letter because Dr. Ford wanted to remain anonymous and she respected her request. Based on the number of death threats to and public trashing of Dr. Ford, her reasons for remaining anonymous appear quite valid. Both Senator Feinstein and Anna Eschoo, Dr. Ford’s representatives, are my representatives to Congress as well and I have high respect for both of them. The complaints that you have about Diane Feinstein don’t resemble the mayor and Senator that I’ve followed closely since the 1980’s. Diane Feinstein has been very supportive of the poor and the middle class and helped heal San Francisco after the shooting of Mayor Moscone that made her mayor. I’m sorry that you have the opinion of her that you do.

  19. I learned at a very young age that my body did not belong to me. That someone who is larger than me had the right to hit me or abused me in other ways. So as I became older and the attacks became more sexual by people outside of my home I learned to accept that kind of abuse as well. I don’t want to water down the subject here but when we hit our children we teach them that abuse of any kind from a person who is larger than them is normal and acceptable at least it was prior to #metoo. I am so happy that I have lived long enough to see this process in action. I have been waiting for over 40 years. I don’t know how this will work itself out but I am loving watching it.

  20. I agree with all of this. But I gotta say–I have always felt this way. It is one reason I could not endorse Trump. It is also the reason I could not endorse Hilary. Everyone that supported Hilary take stock! She went after Bill’s victims like they were NOTHING. We need to get to a point where we don’t care what political party the perpetrator represents.

    1. I respect your opinion and acknowledge that you have a right to feel that way. But you’re neglecting one big fact: while Hillary’s behavior was undeniably despicable, the reality of her not being elected has led to a wave of backwards misogynist and racist POLICY being advanced as the regressive social conservatives seize their slim advantage, knowing that their kind is dwindling and that they have to put these measures in place now or face total irrelevance. And part of that policy is directly trying to ensure that they KEEP their slim advantage by DISadvantaging people who aren’t likely to vote for them, creating laws that disproportionately affect minorities at the ballot box.

      Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh are not Trump’s fault. They’re not the GOP’s fault. For all of their obvious flaws, those two…entities…are doing pretty much exactly what they promised their constituents – the Republican voters who are aggrieved about Kavanaugh are almost exclusively of the opinion that he’s not conservative ENOUGH (but the vast majority of the people whose values and viewpoints align with the GOP are perfectly satisfied with Trump’s judicial nominations thus far). No…the reality that the top court in the land, with the power to interpret the constitution’s position on any law, is going to be swinging to the far right for a generation (just as society starts to swing to the left) is entirely the fault of people on the left/liberals who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Clinton (and particularly those who refrained from voting in several key swing states). God forbid another justice retires or dies (Ginsburg and Breyer are both in their 80s) – another nomination would ensure the swift death of Roe v. Wade, among other critical rulings that are favored by the Left (heck, if Kavanaugh gets confirmed, such a future is almost a given at this point…unless Roberts, by some miracle, decides to vote to save the right to choose an abortion…but even if he did so, the TRAP laws would be back with a vengeance, and Roberts has shown no hesitation in supporting those). We are looking at a very high chance (I’d say 70-80%) of women in the South and Midwest being barred from seeking an abortion at any stage of pregnancy, in just a couple of years (if that). That scares the crap out of me.

      Idealism has a place in American society. People should be free to dream of a future where women ARE believed when they allege assault, where they AREN’T shamed or blamed. Indeed, people should be free to dream of a future where women AREN’T assaulted in the first place! But the only way to make such a future a reality is incrementally, pushing the country in the desired direction, little by little, changing the culture, creating education systems that teach young people about consent and giving them a sense of ownership of their own bodies and minds, replacing the racism and misogyny of our grandparents with the tolerance and openness to different ideas and values of the youth today. To create systems that push the country in that direction, you need to win elections. From members of the local school board, to the Office of the President, all elections are important. And sometimes, the only way to create the necessary conditions for a better future to develop is to vote for the lesser of two evils.

      I will note that I also blame the Democratic party for being a bunch of corporatist neoliberal flunkies, and for treating the presidential nomination as a kind of royalty, complete with a detailed line of succession to access that hallowed position. They care more about their own power than the state of their country, and could have absolutely made the 2016 election non-competitive by nominating someone that didn’t have the kind of baggage Clinton came with. But I don’t think they saw Trump as a legitimate threat – if they had, they might have thought twice about nominating one of the most hated women in America (rightly or wrongly, and it’s a bit of both to be fair).

      Still, when faced with such a close race, between the world’s biggest internet troll (a man with no values or opinions, other than “everything and everyone exists to make ME look good) and a politician with the kind of skeletons politicians tend to accumulate in their closet, there is a better choice (and don’t tell me about third parties – if a third party ever gets enough power to contend with the two main parties, go nuts voting for them, but that kind of power is built at the local and state level, not in federal politics and certainly not through the Office of the President). I guarantee that if Clinton were president now, the Supreme Court would have at least one new moderate (of the Merrick Garland variety) serving on it. There would be a legitimate shot at reversing some of the most questionable Court decisions of late, especially Citizens United and the Hobby Lobby cases. And millions of people wouldn’t be at risk of losing their health insurance (or paying insane prices to get it because of their pre-existing conditions). Need I remind people that the circumstances are literally life and death? If the ACA gets challenged with Kavanaugh on the court, you can bet that the law will become a shadow of itself in 5 years or less. Thousands will die from treatable illnesses, because they can’t afford medicine in one of the world’s richest countries, and it’s all because some people just couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the lesser of two evils.

  21. Thank you for this thoughtful and calm commentary on what should enrage everyone. The soul of our country (what little is left) relies on what we do with this case.

  22. We should not only wait to proceed, we should ask ourselves, when and how these events happen, and what kind of dysfunction would give the perp. enough cover to believe he would get away with it.

    I was a teen at the same time. My husband and I heard about teens doing everything from A-Z. Everything. We were all sneaking around doing things our parents wouldn’t have condoned, but the potential perps knew that we wouldn’t keep silent if push came to shove.

    It seems to me that there is MUCH more pressure to save face in the pent up east coast.

    Hollywood, and #me too have brought a huge spotlight to this problem, (but Hollywood is a very particular kind of petri dish.) I’d be willing to bet that a more liberal environment, where parents and kids talk more would have the biggest cooling effect upon the little entitled sh*theads that can be found everywhere. Conservatism, and all the super-nice “best face forward” b.s. is like a greenhouse for perverts. The devil is smart. If he can make the parents care more about appearances in front of neighbors than the health of a daughter, he has won.

  23. I was sexually assaulted when I was 6 – I’m now 42 and I’ve never reported it. Who would care and the repercussions would outweigh the benefits for me. This is wrong but this is reality. I’ve made my peace with it internally, it no longer affects my life, but it did stop me from having children of my own. I would not have been able to tell my story at 6, I didn’t have the vocabulary. Nor at 16! By the time I understood what had happened to me it was too late. It shouldn’t ever be too late.

    1. Erica, Your words touched me deeply. My heart hurts for you and what you endured. Knowing that you are not alone surely brings small comfort.
      And you are right, it should never be too late.

  24. As a women in her mid-twenties who has been raped five times… I didn’t know how much I needed to read this. Coworkers talk like this (“It was so long ago!” and worse), and I try to maintain composure, but it breaks me down over time. I didn’t really realize how much it wears me down until reading this. I hope this article reaches as many people as possible.

    The most serious consequence that a man faced for raping me is being thrown out of a party.

    I didn’t deserve any of it, I know, but it’s hard to truly feel that way with the things people say about victims, the way I am constantly reminded that it was probably my fault.

    We need to remind the world, especially those who have never been victims, just how much rape destroys lives.

    I was in gifted schooling growing up, started college at age 12, and for the past handful of years I’ve done very little with my life or career because just surviving and recovering from the constant reminders takes up most of my energy. I have turned to drugs and alcohol and struggled with serious depression. *I* was the one with so much potential. That was *ME*.

    No great man’s future or career justifies this suffering, let alone the future of an actual rapist! But for many, even just the POTENTIAL worth of a fucking RAPIST is enough to completely ignore any worth that I have, any retribution I deserve.

    If an alien were observing the laws of earth from a distance, it might come to the conclusion that raping women is legal worldwide.

    1. This is so terribly sad to read. I am sorry for all your pain, especially so because others have known and apparently STILL were unwilling to act.
      Lord have mercy on them all. They will certainly need it.

    2. I am so sorry. The worst thing about your story is that it is so damned common. Millions of women who could have done great things had their lives ruined because of the millions of men who “shouldn’t have their lives ruined for a mistake.” It’s a daily event and we don’t give one single damn about it.

  25. thank you for this. very well said, and reading this was heartbreaking in places. we women need to help our girls– the ones out there in this world and the ones inside of us who need help.

  26. Generally, this:

    If Dems are generally able to dismiss acts of sexual aggression/assault/micro-agressions/all kinds of things on their own side (just bring up ol’ slick Willy, and the best they can do is pretend that the most powerful man in the world exerting his position over a 20-something intern is just “consenting adults”, while completely ignoring Juanita Broderick/Paula Jones/etc.; or Pelosi’s quick/immediate defense of Conyers), then how is it any surprise that a political party isn’t willing to give up a Supreme Court seat for 30 year old allegations of a 17 year old?

    1. You didn’t actually read this then, did you. That’s a rhetorical question, because I already know that you didn’t read it. Not all the way to the end. Go back and read it very carefully.

  27. There’s a key supposition: “Right now, it happens to be the GOP who wants to give a lifetime supreme court appointment to someone credibly accused of a serious sexual crime.”

    I beg to differ.

    Dr. Ford can’t remember when the alleged attack happened, where it happened, how many people were involved (first she said four young men, then two), or even what year it was – BUT she wants the FBI to ‘investigate’ and wishes to be treated as credible.

    That’s like telling the cops you lost your wallet but all you can remember is, “I was on Earth at the time…”

    1. Have you ever been in a very traumatic event? Can you remember every single detail or are there some things you get wrong?

      The fact that she wants the FBI investigation and he doesn’t says a lot about it.

      1. Exactly right. And this piece explains it and why her story isn’t told with the precision some insist upon that frankly, trauma or no trauma, few of us could accomplish. For the TLDR crowd – if she were fabricating, she’d never have included another man in the room watching. For those thinking this is merely teen groping, the hand over her mouth makes a great deal of difference.

      2. He’s had 6 FBI investigations so far; she has had none. There is not one single bit of evidence this assault ever occurred with Brett Kavanaugh. (Ms Ford may well have suffered an assault of some kind, but she can not place the day, month, year, place or credilbly name any witness.) What can the FBI investigate? What of her background? She’s had several contradictions and inconsistencies in her story. It seems as if many commentators here see her as a model for all the unresolved, unreported assaults women have suffered or the assaults that were not taken seriously. But this is an allegation, not a charge, and Ms Ford has been regrettably so vague that there is no way it can be investigated.

    2. Her story was always about two men. There were four total at the party. The therapist made a simple error in transcribing it.

      Why would she invent another witness?

      The FBI has plenty of ways to piece the details here. It’s not just about interviewing her; other research and interviews can piece together whatever really happened.

    3. Jonathan, have you ever been sexually assaulted? I have and guess what you don’t recall all specific details as you are addressing. I was between the ages of 8-10 years old. I can’t give you a date or dates I was assaulted, I can tell you where we were and who did the assaulting. I can’t tell you where my siblings were when the assaults took place except to say they were in the house with me. I can’t tell you what my abuser wore. I certainly can tell you how he made me feel and the years of therapy I had to endure to start feeling like a worthy person who wasn’t to be blamed for what happened to me. I was assaulted as an adult too. Guess what I can’t give you specific date it happened, but I can tell you where and what occurred. This time I can’t tell you the name of the assaulter because I didn’t know him very well. He scared the crap out of me as he grabbed me and held me extremely tightly and forced himself on me. I managed to get away and I ran! I didn’t report this assault because I felt humiliated and I blamed myself for getting into the situation. This was before my therapy where I learned that the assault was not my fault. Society teaches women that it is their fault that they were assaulted. Why do men think they can get away with behaving so atrocioulsy and invading women’s personal space. Why do they feel that they have an open invitation to do as they will to women and get a pass for such behavior? I have no doubt that what had happened to Mrs Blasey Ford occurred. It doesn’t matter how many people were in the room. What matters is that she is specific enough that it was Brett Kavanaugh and what he did to her at the time. Now just for argument sake, what if it didn’t occur and that she made the whole thing up. Why the hell would someone put themselves in the spot light and be willing to be questioned in front of many many people? Coming forward she has put her reputation at stake. She is subjecting herself and her family to harrassment. She has more to lose coming forward. I am not surprised that Brett Kavanaugh is denying that it occurs. There are explainations as to why he is denying: first, he is up for a Supreme Court appointment and that in and of itself is enough to deny such behavior. Secondly, he was drunk and he could have no recall as to what occurred. Thirdly, it could be that it was no big deal to him and never thought twice about his behavior. Your response seems so typical to the current male dominated culture. What if your daughter (if you don’t have a daughter pretend you do or think of your sister or your mother) came forward and told you that she was assaulted and she said what Christine Blasey Ford said, are you going to deny that she was assaulted because of lack of details that you want her to give you?

      1. Actually yes. I was sexually assaulted as a teenager.

        To this day I get the details right, even though I was intoxicated.

        This sounds less like she knows that happened and more like *someone* assaulted her, someone who is not Kavanaugh, and she’s trying to build a narrative around it.

        As for the FBI, there is literally nothing to investigate. What are they going to do 30 years on?

        1. You do not have the language of someone who was traumatized by an assault. You are posturing for a political point. It’s shameful.

          As for Dr. Ford, there’s plenty to investigate. The other boy in the room (was that you?) knows what happened, even if he was drunk. Let’s see if he’ll lie under oath.

          1. Exactly who died and made you the arbiter of what someone sounds like or doesn’t. I have been assaulted as well. I also did 20 years in the army and have 3 combat tours. I have PTSD from that but not the other. I suffer from some depression as well due to an early life of BS. One thing I will not do is cry and whine and accuse someone 36 years later. HER STORY IS NOT CREDIBLE… there is no evidence for any agency especially the FBI to go off of. All they can do is interview the woman and two witnesses. If nothing is forthcoming? What will you do then? Even if Kavanaugh admitted to attempted rape nothing can be done except he misses and appointment to SCOTUS due to statute of limitations. This whole things stinks of political cronyism designed to keep this man off the bench and that is ALL it seems to be. Newsflash… women lie too. Women also use lies like this to further their own and political agendas. Should it be investigated, sure it should… AFTER the nomination. He can be impeached if it holds true.

      2. I have been sexually assaulted. The memories & details come back in chilling waves, never all at once, because then you would choke & drown.

  28. I agree with you wholeheartedly. The people who are acting as though this behavior is acceptable, excusable, or even laughable are minimizing the value of all women and girls, most especially the victim if she is telling the truth. If she is not telling the truth, those same people are doing a disservice to Brett Kavanaugh by assuming he has committed this vile act and making light of behavior that, if he is in fact innocent, he very likely finds repugnant. We need to treat both the accuser and the accused fairly, with dignity and respect until, hopefully, the truth is discovered. Unfortunately, in a society where unborn babies, the most innocent of humans, are not treated with dignity and respect, the tone is set for everyone’s human dignity to be trampled upon.

  29. Keith Ellison’s accusers seem to have been vaporized. I guess domestic violence doesn’t count, since the women shagged him voluntarily.
    And if the Kavanaugh incident is so horrible, why was the accusation sat on for two months? Justice delayed is justice denied. Did Senator Feinstein not think it important or credible?

    1. Because talking about how somebody tried to rape you is a miserable thing to have to do, and if it could be avoided, I don’t blame Ms. Ford for trying to do so.

      But when even evidence that a man lied under oath multiple times doesn’t stop his nomination to the Supreme Court, the way it should, it because necessary to do so, even though people like you will do their best to minimize her.

    2. There is still a statute of limitations on rape and attempted rape in every single state. It is long past that limitation, so there can never be justice for her; even if she had DNA evidence and a video of it happening exactly as she said it did, it’s too late.

      1. There is no statute of limitations on attempted felony sexual assault in Maryland. How do I know? I looked up “statute of limitations rape Maryland” and got a state by state list, something you obviously did not do.

        Shame on you for lying and discouraging crime victims from seeking justice.

  30. Boys sexually assaulting girls, girls making false accusations, educated, grown women politicizing and weaponizing 36 year old memories in order to destroy someone — all bad, all evil, all wrong.

    Your sons could be falsely accused, destroyed. Their mothers need to stand up for them, not just for their daughters.

    1. Also, we should remember the boys who were falsely accused, tried and punished by women who felt we should just believe other women, the boys of Duke University.

      I’m sick of this — if girls or women want to accuse, do it when the assault happens. Stop whinging and whining about how hard it is and do it.

      Those of us who did deal with it at the time are tired of the whiners who hide anonymously, come forward decades later, want to be treated with kid gloves, want to be believed without any hard questioning.

      I literally hate women some days. Hate them. What dishonorable, whining, whinging slobs they are. Ugh.

      1. As far as women being able to say something after the assault I had attended an all girl’s Catholic academy for high school, then an Ivy League college. I was 17 yrs. old when I began my freshman year. I was date raped by an older student, and it was watched by the guys in his fraternity who turned up at his car . Obviously he premeditated this and told his fellows what was going to happen. I still remember seeing all their faces looking down on me as I was raped. I never told anyone until a few years ago. I will be 66 years old in a couple of weeks. I was embarrassed by what happened and my parents went to their graves without knowing. I suffer still from that event.
        My daughter was sexually abused by a priest in the confessional when she was 13 yrs. old, she is 32 yrs. old and just told me last year. My oldest son , who is almost 40 yrs. old, recently told me of being abused as a first grader at a Catholic school by a priest.
        Abuse is often not spoken of for many many years. Please never discount someone’s story of abuse just because it happened many years ago.

        1. It is not that people want to discount such accusations, it’s that the accusations can be almost impossible to prove if they are left for too long. Is it right to deprive somebody, male or female, of a particular job on the basis of unverified and unverifiable allegations? That is really the question you have to ask here, and it might be wise to consider how you would feel if a woman rather than a man were on the receiving end, something that is becoming ever more likely as changes in social mores catch up with the law, or vice versa.

          I’ve researched a number of allegations of sexual and physical abuse in my work over the last 20 years and all I have learned is never to prejudge the veracity of either victims or abusers.

          1. “Deprive” is a bit of a stretch here. The default assumption is that any given person *doesn’t* get to be on the Supreme Court. If someone wants a job like that, it’s on them to prove to us that they are, in fact, awesome enough to deserve it.

        2. Kathy, I support you. I have been sexually assaulted in my youth. It took me years to tell my parents and guess what they didn’t believe me. Talk about further trauma of not being believed. My mother, who I told first, came around and apologized that she was not able to protect me. My dad chaulked it up as the boy was just sexually curious. Thank goodness that by the time I told my dad that I had been in therapy. I told him just to not keep my abusers dirty little secret. It wasn’t my secret as I had thought for years.

      2. Oh, grow up. I have sons and because I raised them to think of women as actual humans and niether helpless doormats nor conniving witches, they treat women decently, and therefore I don’t worry about false accusations. If you taught your sons to hate women like you apparently do, then you should be worried about REAL accusations instead of false ones.

        1. Oh, I see. Women are incapable of making up false accusations against decent men. When you return to our universe, let me know.

          1. Sure, it happens, just not very often. Also, failing to get a seat on the Supreme Court is very, very far from actual punishment.

      3. False rape accusations are reasonably rare, much rarer that rape and attempted rape is. Complaining about how men abuse women is not whining.

        Reporting when it happens isn’t always possible, and it’s never easy. Sexual assault sends your body and mind into shock, and the way people minimize such assaults, or try to blame women for them when they are reported, greatly discourage women from doing so. If you don’t believe me, sit in on a rape case sometime. See how the victim gets put on trial.

        It’s also pretty easy to figure out the really false ones. Here’s an article that explains it better than I can:

        Lastly, I don’t hate anybody, but I do really dislike women like you who have no idea how hard the process is, and would rather whine about the few women who falsely report rather than work up any empathy for the victims. It’s exactly your attitude which helps to discourage women from reporting in the first place.

        I suggest you do some research about the dynamics of sexual assault, and learn about why women don’t report right away, rather than minimizing the victims.

      4. False accusations are very rare. Do they happen? some times. That’s NO reason to assume women are being whiny little bitches bc they don’t come forward right away. “I hate women some days” how can someone say that? What the fuck is wrong with you? Why can’t an investigation be had to see who is telling the truth? Why is it the woman’s fault? You have your priorities backwards.

      5. You are a VERY SICK, TOXIC human being…..and if you name is Nina, then I’ll add a despicable & ‘whining’ woman as well. You reflect a very sick society….and you can’t even understand things when your own self-interest and safety are involved. You are ignorant about psychology and reality….and willfully ignorant at that.

      6. You might look up the statistics on false accusations. They are rare. Especially rare to the actual numbers of rape and child sexual abuse. I’ve been a specialist working with sex abuse victims and sex offenders for 35 years. I have worked with at least a few thousand cases. None were false. I am curious, do you really think a woman or teen would go through having to move because of death threats just to politize an attempted rape? And this woman is not trying to “destroy” anyone. She is trying to protect the country. You might be astonished at how many people, mostly women, harass a teen victim — that they do not know. Call her slut, whore, bitch, cunt, die, kill you, hope you do get raped…. and lie about being with the offender at the time so it “couldn’t have happened” (even when they don’t know the offender. It’s pretty frightening how quick we are to defend men is sexual assault cases. It’s not just men that are screwed up here, it’s the women to buy into this crap hook, line and sinker, and threaten their neighbors, local students, and even their own daughters because they had the courage to report. 1 in 3 girls is sexually abused by the time they are 18. that is THIRTY PERCENT of the female population. Are they lying? These are widely accepted statistics but do you think they are lying? Next time you’re standing next to 2 other women think, which one is a victim of sexual abuse. Also, 1 in 4 or 5 boys will be sexually abused by the time they are 18. With these numbers, I’d say we have a problem with sexual assault in this country, not women telling lies.

      7. They don’t report right away for as many reasons as there are victims. In my own case, I was threatened with death if I told. When an adult student of mine was assaulted a man who had to deal with the aftermath actually said, “Why did she wait three days to tell anyone?”. It was amazing she told at all.

      8. Do me a favor… stop hiding behind your anonymity here and go post that on Facebook or Twitter to some of the Larry Nassar accusers.

        Also, we’re not talking about taking any accusation at it’s word, but it needs to at least be followed up on. There should be serious consequences for sexual assault. There should likewise be serious consequences for falsely accusing someone of sexual assault.

        1. I agree, but it’s probably even more difficult to prove a false accusation than it is prove a sexual assault. Finding insufficient evidence to support the sexual assault allegation isn’t enough to prove the accusation was false. Even an accuser recanting the accusation isn’t proof that they filed a false accusation. Many times, real victims recant their accusation so the harassment and additional emotional stress they are put through will go away.

      9. “I’m sick of this — if girls or women want to accuse, do it when the assault happens.”

        If women do try to report when it happens, the questions are “Were you drinking? What were you wearing? Why didn’t you try to stop it? Why didn’t you say no? Why didn’t you try to get away? Why? Why? Why? Why?”

        You really do need to speak to someone if you hate yourself and other women so much. You’ve got so much internalized misogyny that’s making you miserable.

      10. But the charges were dropped for the men from Duke University (boys, with rare exception, are not in the *mens* lacrosse team at University). They received large monetary settlements and are all successful in their careers, now. Justice did what it was there to do. — investigate accusations and resolve the case.

        False accusations are rare, false accusations that are successfully tried are even rarer.

        On the flip side, actual rape is very common. Actual rape that leads to a successful conviction that is not a slap on the wrist is rare.

        It is like people are complaining about their kettle having a small leak when their basement is flooding.

        Not being confirmed a supreme court justice is not your life being destroyed. Only 9 out of 300 million get that honor. It shouldn’t be just a person without blemish, but a person that has a character where the possibility of rape is beyond reasonable doubt. Have higher standards.

        1. I at any rate did not argue that Mr Kavanaugh ought to have that honour whatever the truth of these allegations against him, and I don’t think anyone else is arguing that. I said that if it were withheld on the basis of an accusation that turned out to be unprovable, it would be unjust, or something along those lines.

          Many women (and some men) writing here have had the experience of being sexually assaulted and not being believed. That would be a horrifying experience, and I understand that it must have an impact on one’s outlook on the justice system and popular attitudes to rape in general. However, false allegations of sexual assault do happen, particularly in highly-charged circumstances. Think of one of the most famous American books of the 20th century, To Kill a Mockingbird.

        2. To be fair, his reputation is being destroyed. USA Today urges he never be allowed to coach youth sports. He’s already sitting on the 2nd highest court in the land, and he was perfectly happy to be there.
          I don’t find Ms Ford’s allegation credible. Every detail that might be confirmed (such as witnesses) has been proven inaccurate. Was she assaulted? Likely, but probably not by Brett Kavanaugh. There’s just no evidence.

      11. Nina. After reading all your posts, I have the distinct impression that you are actually a male posing as female. If I’m wrong, then it’s way past time for you to find a good therapist.

    2. If my son were falsely accused he would be vindicated.

      This argument is equivalent to:

      we can’t prosecute anyone for murder because your son might one day be falsely accused of murder.

      Perhaps you’ve missed the fact that more than one man on death row has been exonerated by DNA or other evidence *decades* later. And yet no one advocates not bothering to prosecute possible murderers.

  31. This is what I have been saying for years! Thank you for articulating it on such a public platform. People just don’t get it.

    “Because . . . she was just a girl, and that’s what girls are for.”

  32. I think the responses of some of the commentators on this accusation are appalling, in that yes, they do not show enough concern for the victim or potential victim. That does not mean that those who are angered and frustrated by this but express themselves more moderately and charitably do not have a point. It is unlikely that it is going to be possible to prove anything at all about this allegation, so it is difficult for me to think of it as ‘credible’. It is simply ‘possible’. It should still of course be investigated. However, it’s difficult to investigate any allegation when the accuser has asked to remain anonymous, which she did in this case, although she has since been exposed or come forward (not sure which). Then there’s the fact that Ms Feinstein sat on the matter until the last possible moment, making its investigation in a timely manner difficult.

    1. Men who are falsely accused are victims, too.

      We need to stop allowing rape accusers to remain anonymous.

      It’s 2018, not 1900. We allow no other accusers to remain anonymous. The accused have a right to face their accusers publicly, and accusers should not be able to hide behind anonymity. Even an UNcredible charge can ruin a man’s life. And we let women do this anonymously? Disgusting.

      1. Bill Clinton is a wealthy and globally influential man. Clarence Thomas is ON the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh stands a good chance of making it there still. Louis CK is returning to the stage. Brock Turner had a teeny little sentence. What exactly is “ruined” about any of these men’s lives?

        1. You now claim Kavanagh is guilty. What is your evidence? Facts?

          You have just called a man guilty based on…nothing.

          You hurt more rape victims AND more innocent men than you help anyone.

          You give women a bad name. You spit in the face of the rule of law, of our right to due process.

          1. I think you are conflating legal guilt with actual guilt, and the court of public opinion with actual court. Innocent until proven guilty and due process apply only to criminal proceedings. We are allowed to privately think, and even publicly say, that someone is guilty. Our criminal justice system is flawed, and has limited reach; it’s a vital part of our society, but it is not the only thing that matters.

            Take Kavanaugh, for example — you appear to think he might be innocent. What level of proof would it take for you to decide he is guilty? A guilty verdict? But juries are sometimes wrong, or the statute of limitations bars prosecution, or the state declines to move forward because of lack of sufficient evidence. None of that means that means that he couldn’t be actually guilty.

            What about a confession? Well, very, very few people have the fortitude to publicly confess to a crime, especially if there is an open question of liability of some sort or another.

            What if you knew the accuser personally, enough to vouch for her character and that she would never lie about something like this; would you then declare Kavanaugh guilty, even though it hadn’t been proven in a court of law?

            Like I said, proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is ONLY necessary to send him to jail (or fine him, I suppose). Outside of the courtroom, people are free to shun him, not give him a job (no less the most prestigious legal position out there), yell at him, or make fun of him simply because they believe he is guilty. No legal proof necessary.

            To demand otherwise — no one can be criticized or called out for bad behavior unless it has been proven true in a court of law — is not only completely impractical, it would result in grave injustices.

          2. Oh, grow up. I have sons and because I raised them to think of women as actual humans and niether helpless doormats nor conniving witches, they treat women decently, and therefore I don’t worry about false accusations. If you taught your sons to hate women like you apparently do, then you should be worried about REAL accusations instead of false ones.

        2. Clarence Thomas told dirty jokes and did weird things with body hair, as far as I can remember. He never suggested any quid pro quo in his dealings with Anita Hill. The worst he deserved for it was being fired (from his job as Ms Hill’s supervisor). It is wrong to name him in the same breath as Brock Turner.

          1. There were several other women who complained about Thomas’ behavior whom Joe Biden refused to allow to testify. It wasn’t just Anita Hill.

            Also, Thomas won. He has nothing to complain about.

          1. Karen, Thomas behaved with lewd impropriety, agreed. He didn’t rape or attempt to rape anyone, unlike Brock Turner, whose viciousness has been established. The fact that the justice system allowed *him* to escape so lightly is a legitimate cause of complaint.

      2. I think you may have confused the voluntary policy adopted by newspapers and TV stations with the law. The identity of the accuser is not withheld from the defendant.

        1. No, because I have nothing to do with men who think women are either domestic slaves or idiots who need to be controlled, which are the hallmarks of rapists. Also, I raised my sons to be feminists and treat women like humans. They could still turn into monsters, but I did everything in my power to prevent that.

      3. I consider myself a liberal. I am all for women rights. However, I will have to agree with Nina on some of this. Especially the part about men being falsely accused. I am a teacher and students accuse teachers falsely all the time. I am a mother of girls. If I was a mother of boys, I would teach them how to properly treat a woman; however, I would also teach them how to not be put in a situation where you can be accused of something that you didn’t do. I honestly feel it’s the trendy thing to do….wait 30 years and call out your accuser. I teach with lots of male teachers, some of which are very careful about always keeping their door open with students, etc. because it takes one person, without evidence, to ruin a career.

        1. I think it’s only fair that men worry now. Women have borne the burden of male violence for centuries. Call me after men have suffered for a few millenia and we can talk about fairness then.

        2. I’ve been a teacher for over 20 years and I have never heard of a student falsely accusing a teacher. It does not happen “all the time”.
          Nina is completely wrong. False accusations are rare; and how sexual assault victims deal with things is up to them and no one else.
          Instead of being fed up with victims you and Nina should be fed up with how heinously victims are treated when they do come forward.

      4. That’s not true. There are sealed court proceedings for all sorts of reasons. But you are right, the system is badly broken, and urgently needs to be fixed. But no one is advocating much less doing anything about it. In my view both accuser and accused should be anonymous, and only after the determination of guilt or innocence should the transgressor be named.

        But in the mean time the current system is so totally discriminatory to women, “believe all women” is only reasonable in the face of a legal system that re-victimizes the women and girls who have been raped 95%+ of the time then releases rapists back into free society to rape again. (The false accusation stat I heard was between 2 and 3%. )

        People have been talking about this for decades and yet absolutely nothing is ever done to address the systemic problem. This needs nonpartisan political will (sadly unlikely in a 2 party winner-take-all political system. Until that happens the only reasonable response is believe all women.

      5. “We need to stop allowing rape accusers to remain anonymous.”

        Because they’re not credible if they’re anonymous right?

        If women do come forward without being anonymous, they’re accused of wanting attention or fame.

      6. Were the victims in these cases forced to reveal their identities, it can put their lives at risk. Would this be considered reasonable to you?

      7. Nina you have no idea what you are saying! I was raped AND I reported it! The questions I was asked were ridiculous and favored the ass that raped me! Being asked if i knew the person, yes because he came into the restaurant I worked at often. Was I drunk? No i had one glass of wine with supper because i was to be a DD that night with friends! Had he been drinking? Yrs but i don’t know how much because i could only smell the whiskey on him! Are you married? Separated and going through a divorce. So you have issues with men? NO I am getting a divorce from my husband not every man in the universe! I do have issues with your off topic questions! Well we have run a check on the accused and he is in the Army and has a very good record plus several meritorious commendations and is an instructor for jump school! His superiors say he is going places and has always followed orders and then we look at you who is going through a divorce and working as a waitress and it will be tough to prove! This could cause you issues in your divorce settlement and you could end up with nothing! I wouldn’t get anything anyway because there is no money and I don’t care this man raped me and you are acting like it’s my fault! Well what were you wearing going out with friends that night? A western dress and boots! Why does that matter? Oh well wearing a dress was it low cut or really short? Not that that matters but no to both!
        This went on for 4 HOURS! Then I had to go through the whole questioning by the attorney assigned to my case that I THOUGHT would prosecute but nope! After literally going through that questioning multiple times and finding out he was spoken to once for 30 MINUTES they decided NOT TO PROSECUTE ! You ask why women don’t report? BECAUSE MOST GO THROUGH THIS BS!!!!! Even after i found out I was pregnant they wouldn’t prosecute! YES you can end up pregnant from a rape even though certain politicians (males) don’t think its possible! No I did not abort but that was my PERSONAL decision and I later decided this baby did NOTHING wrong and neither did I and decided to keep him! When I again was treated horribly by the rape counseling group I was in because they thought i should adopt the baby to a nice CATHOLIC family ( that was when i found out the group was funded by the Catholic church)! I was berated and told I was wrong and that maybe I wasn’t raped because NOBODY who is raped would keep the baby! Lies over and over! The military hid him overseas anytime I got clise enough to force his medical records for my son!
        Many women do NOT come forward because this is what happens! People like you making them feel worse AND NOTHING is done to the rapist! His life had MORE importance than mine! This article is right about how differently our culture treats women and men and they always seem to come out smelling like a rose and get by with it! I am sick and tired of ignorant people making statements like yours because that is exactly what they Are, IGNORANT!
        The number of false accusations are VERY RARE and are maybe 2 or 3% of all assaults! The number of nonreported assaults are MUCH MUCH HIGHER becausr of what victims are put through in these cases! I know because i was put through hell and they did NOTHING! You ARE part of the problem!

  33. I hate when rape becomes the only subject on my Facebook feed. It’s not because I don’t think it’s important to have an open dialogue about it and it’s not because I think the victims somehow deserve what happen to them. It’s because I watch my friends post statuses about how serious rape is, but they are still good friends with the man who raped me. Dealing with the after math of being a victim of rape at a Catholic University was almost worse then the actual assault. “He went to confession, so since Jesus forgave him I have to forgive him”. “Oh, he says you were confused. You wanted it, but changed your mind”. Well, waking up a drunk 18 year old with threats isn’t what I would call foreplay. I feel like I heard everything. But, again, these friends are thoroughly disgusted by rape and believe victims need to be heard. I guess I don’t count.

    1. It’s hard when you know the person accused of it, because you want to believe that they’re innocent because of the good you know about them. A mentor of mine was accused of sexual improprity, and I didn’t believe it…until I read an article describing the behavior and realized I recognized it and he’d behavied the same way towards me (amazing how far the benefit of the doubt can cover).

      I’m not saying they’re right to not believe you. They aren’t. Looking at relationships honestly can be hard when you’re still in them, but it still needs to be done.

    2. I’m so sorry that happened to you – the assault, and then the friend betrayals. It’s a terrible experience, I’ve had it too.

  34. Thank you for including the light sentences some men have received for rape. Those cases sicken and anger me, and they should not be forgotten. They speak volumes about how women are valued.

  35. I went to a lecture last week about Stanford White’s architecture. I wanted to scream when people in the audience chuckled when the author stated that Stanford White moved on from his affair with Evelyn Nesbit when she turned 17.

    When do the weak matter in our society? Never o’clock?

  36. But abortion is so horrible, abortion is worse than rape, abortion is THE issue! So if Donald or Brett can stop abortion, we’re willing to cut them some slack…aren’t we?

    One raped girl VS millions of aborted babies, you have to pick your battles, right?

    1. I read this article this morning. Something to consider when talking about abortion. From now on I’m using the term “irresponsible ejaculation”. Brett and Donald don’t seem to understand that women don’t get pregnant without male orgasm, period. In fact, women can only actually get pregnant about 24 days of the year (assuming they have nice regular cycles), and yet we have this problem. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we put men’s pleasure above women’s lives ALL. THE. TIME.

      And I’ll note that I was one of the people who heard about this, and thought “It was 40 years ago, this is a he-said/she-said situation, and while there are a lot of other reasons that I’d be opposed to Kavanaugh as a justice, this seems like political posturing.” But that’s the problem-even as a woman who regularly works with sexual assault victims, I’m supposed to discount the victim of a crime in this situation in favor of the “other” things going on. Which is seriously messed up.

      1. Welcome to the fight. If enough conservative and religious women decide that we’re damned tired of being worthless, maybe the next generation of girls won’t suffer so much.

        Men’s pleasure counts far more in our world than women’s lives. Ask traditionalists if a married women is allowed to tell her husband she doesn’t want sex? Ask the same person if he is obligated to actually, y’know, ensure that his wife enjoys it? Catholic doctrine insists that the only licit sexual activity ends with him ejaculating inside her. If she hates every single minute of it, but he has a blast, it’s still great!! If she is going to die from pregnancy, well, St. Gianna Molla died and she’s a saint!! The only good woman is a dead woman.

        If it were just Catholicism, that would be bad enough, but all religious traditions treat women like dirt. All. Of. Them. Men matter and women are at best trivial and at worst actual snares of the devil. I, for one, am sick of apologizing for surviving birth as a female. I am going to do something about it, starting by never voting for another male Republican, and never voting for a man if there is a woman who is not Phyllis Schlafly-esque in the race.

        1. I was raised Catholic, but it didn’t take. I started questioning when I was about 8, and was done with it all by the time I graduated high school.

          The biggest problem for me was, try as I might (and I DID try), I did not believe that I was somehow “lesser than” by virtue of having been created female.

          That message is all-pervasive in the Catholic church and its institutions. Unfortunately, it’s equally pervasive in most other religions, and in our society generally.

          1. Yep. There are days, and today is one, that I am grateful for the fact that the food in prison is so terrible, because that at least keeps me from expressing my rage in highly destructive ways.

        2. This is a problem, and to make it worse (if that’s possible) – I don’t even believe this is ‘true’ Catholic teaching. In Love and Responsibility, Karol Wojtyła (JPII) was writing about the importance of men making sure their wives experience pleasure/orgasm in the 60s, and things like Letter to Women (I think in the 80s) are about how important, for example, working women are and what they bring to all fields (totally outside of being wives and mothers). St. Edith Stein (who herself was not married as she was a nun) wrote a ton about the vocation of women and how for some women the domestic sphere was not enough to contain them in the 30s or 40s. And there are plenty of other women saints who aren’t just martyrs or virgins (as admirable as St. Gianna Molla may be). Heck, even the Hebrew used in Genesis to describe Eve means waaaaaaay more than just ‘helpmate’ as it is commonly translated.

          When I was in high school I was involved in some non-denominational/fundamentaist-ish groups and some of that rubbed off on me. It wasn’t until I was in college and started reading more about some of this stuff that I got a lot of my ‘feminist’ leanings, including really thinking about how we treat sexuality when it comes to men and women and women as objects.

          I think it’s also fair to point out that the author of this piece is a pro-life Catholic who is not willing to settle for these kinds of beliefs simply in the name of a Supreme Court position or political victory. So like you I am glad that more religious and ‘conservative’ (although I haven’t ever identified as politically conservative) women are speaking out that they won’t tolerate this – but it also doesn’t mean they are rejecting their beliefs.

      2. ((whispers))

        Humanea Vitae was riiiighhhhtttt….

        Seriously, that’s the takaway I got from that bored panda article.

      1. I believe she is suggesting that conservative women have been told that unborn babies matter more than women and girls forever. Some of them are begining to doubt that.

        1. When one is indoctrinated to believe that a woman’s only purpose is to have babies and raise children, then it follows that those women would believe that fetuses are more important than they are. It’s disgusting, and it’s the first thing about the church that started me on the road to leaving the Christian faith forever.

      2. My comment was sarcastic. Plenty of conservative Catholics voted for Donald Trump because of their pro-life views and conveniently chose to ignore Trump’s behavior and his disgusting comments on women.

      3. Jordan, don’t you think each human being–woman, man, child, unborn child–each one has untold value? It’s not a question of who has more value…ever.

  37. Good opinion piece. My only criticism is that I’m not sure I would use “credibly” at this time until both of them have been questioned under oath. Everything else you’ve said is spot on.

      1. I think it was a general statement/recommendation for fighting against evil in the world. Not aimed at ladies specifically.

  38. Even as a “girl” . Even as someone sexually assaulted at the age of nineteen (while I was perfectly sober and going for a walk in my sleepy small hometown). Even as a onetime student of feminism, my thinking was a little fuzzy on this. How was I equivocating on this matter, thinking about the time issue and the effects of drinking as mitigating factors. Thanks for clearing things up for me!

  39. Thank you… You have put my own thoughts into coherent, logical statement on this issue. Anyone who reads this & still doesnt ‘get what the big deal is’ needs to reread what you’ve said here until they do get it… or they will never get it, & that is a horrible thought.

  40. This is the most spot-on piece of cultural criticism I have read in a long time. “That’s what girls are for” is precisely what our culture is telling us in every way it can. I am sickened.

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