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How Are You Feeling Today?

Women's March 2017

Today, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor who has accused him of sexual and physical assault, are testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegations. We had two other posts scheduled, but they don’t feel right for today. Instead, let’s just talk, and we’d love to open up the comments. Here are a few things we’re thinking about…

Christine Blasey Ford

The view Dr. Ford was facing as she testified.

You can watch the hearings, or read live updates. As she recounted the incident, Dr. Ford said she felt “terrified,” and she has wondered if coming forward would just be “jumping in front of train that was headed to where it was headed anyway.” I hope she felt the groundswell of women supporting her, tearing up with her and thanking her for speaking out and being so unbelievably brave.

The brilliant strategist/writer/podcast host Aminatou Sow has a Twitter thread that is worth reading. Here’s part of it:


I hope it is not the case but I fear [the] hearing will confirm what a lot of us have known in our bones forever: women’s pain is inconsequential. This fear is a big reason so few of us disclose our assaults. What’s the point of getting hurt and devastated all over again?

I was sexually assaulted as a child and as a teen repeatedly by different people and it still affects my life on a daily basis. I have done my very best to move past it to lead a productive and fulfilled life. It is hard. It feels impossible some days. Especially this week.

I resent having to disclose this or hear survivors tell their stories over and over for assholes to pretend systematic violence against women is new information. Most men do not care. Our bodies are just weigh stations on the way to the rest of their lives…

Daily I struggle with feeling like I am weak. If I hadn’t been weak, I would have never been prey. I now know this is a lie. The people who assault women are the weak ones.

The truth is our strength. We are each other’s strengths. To the womxn who are struggling: I see you. I am sorry we have to through this. Thank you for trusting us with your stories. I am heartened by them and honored to know about you. xx


The news can feel overwhelming. More than ever, voting matters. The midterm elections are right around the corner, and you can make sure you’re registered here. It takes only 30 seconds. Learn about the candidates running for office in your community and where they stand on the issues here.

How are you doing these days? What’s on your mind? Sending a big hug to anyone who needs one. xoxo

P.S. On sexual harassment, and five ways to teach kids about consent.

(First photo by Kisha Bari. Second photo by Tom Williams via New York Magazine.)

  1. Victoria says...

    I listened to the hearing off and on through my editing headphones at work. It was exhausting but I couldn’t stop clicking over to it. I feel drained and feel it was all for naught. It was healing to find small moments of solidarity with women in my neighborhood, in my office, online. I restarted an e-mail thread with two different groups of women (that came together out of the pain of the election) in my life and it feels good.
    I told my husband in the lead-up to the hearing, “be gentle with the women in your life this week, they might be feeling fragile right now.”

  2. Sarah says...

    I have never been the victim of sexual assault but I connected so deeply with Dr. Ford’s need to please, to be accommodating, and to apologize that I found myself crying throughout her testimony. Here she is on probably one of the hardest days of her life and she is trying to be helpful and to make things easier for others. So many of these traits are internalized in myself and the women I know. I want more for my 6 month old daughter.

    I wish the senators were deciding if she should be on the Supreme Court because her ability to remain calm, clear and composed was a striking contrast to the infantile tantrum Kavanaugh threw.

    • Heather says...

      Yes! Exactly this! You articulated it perfectly. Thank you.

    • Shannon Bell says...

      Seconded! I totally agree. #thehonorabledrford

  3. diana k. says...

    My rapist was blackout drunk and didn’t remember what he did eight years ago but I have thought about it every single day since.

    • Julie says...

      Sending you love and light. There’s a community of women who support and believe you!

    • Darcy Rogers says...

      Ditto on the comment to your post! There are women who stand behind you and support you! Sending you a virtual hug!

  4. amanda says...

    I feel embarrasssed for our country. This is a circus.

    I’m not a victim of sexual assault, and I feel hurt as a woman by this side show. I can not even fathom the trauma this is causing survivors.

    I know that one day, this testimony will have brought some good to our nation and will cause a change for our country, but for now it is painful.

  5. ANDREA says...

    Regardless of what happens with the vote, I did take heart in the comment of a woman on Pod Save America. She said the hearing would be like a heroine’s origin story for many women. Like the Anita Hill hearing and the 2016 election, many women who are not happy with the status quo will vote and run for office to change the status quo.

    • Eva says...

      This was helpful to read in the midst of today’s disheartening updates, thank you Andrea.

    • Justin says...

      I hear this, but nothing has changed … it feels futile. What more can we do? It’s been decades and NOTHING HAS CHANGED! I feel hopeless for this country. It’s a sad, hurtful place for women (or anyone that is not a white male, TBH). I was so active (and still am), but I would rather be spending my time with my two daughters (who I know need fighting for), than wasting my time. Because this is what it feels like. A waste of time.

  6. Jules says...

    I (shamefully) had the initial response, ‘it was so long ago’ before realizing how much internalized misogyny undermines my worldview.

    Watching Dr. Fords testimony, it was abundantly clear that the pain is still raw and real for her. Time is irrelevant.

    So, I’m trying a thought experiment to retrain my brain – I replace ‘attempted sexual assault’ with ‘attempted murder’. If I can remove all the problematic ways I’ve been taught to devalue women’s humanity and see it strictly as the serious crime that it is, the interpretation is so much clearer.

    You would reasonably expect a 17 year old not murder someone, let alone continue to attempt it a few more times through their young adult years. And if they did so, intoxicated or not, you would consider them a dangerous, intentional perpetrator of violence.

    With this lens, Kavanaugh is a criminal who has been protected by privilege.

    • Brook says...

      This! I also had the shameful first response was also “It was so long ago.” And everything you said about replacing “attempted sexual assault” with “attempted murder” resonates with me. It’s a useful tool for reframing. Thank you for sharing.

    • Ciel says...

      This! “I replace ‘attempted sexual assault’ with ‘attempted murder.’ If I can remove the problematic ways I’ve been taught to devalue women’s humanity and see it strictly as the serious crime that it is, the interpretation is so much clear.” Thank you!

  7. greta says...

    I see a lot of misinformation pertaining to Ford being truthful because she wants an FBI investigation. Per their Department of Justice,

    “The FBI does not make any judgment about the credibility or significance of any allegation. The purpose of a background investigation is to determine whether the nominee could pose a risk to the national security of the United States.”

    POTUS, Kavanaugh, Grassley – they aren’t asking for an FBI investigation because it wouldn’t reveal anything. the end result would not be – she is guilt, he is innocent OR vice versa. The folks demanding the FBI come in are using it as a political tactic.

    • Liz says...

      Not a background investigation – just an investigation. Where trained law enforcement sit down with identified witnesses to ask questions and get their stories. Then those stories are used to help credit or dispute the allegations, and allow the people making the conclusion assess credibility. That is how it works.

    • Anne says...

      Hi Greta,
      While it’s true that an FBI report would not provide a definitive answer, it would provide a non-political forum for the many possible witnesses to speak under oath about their recollections, allow timelines to be clarified and other evidence to come to light. The current time table of forcing a vote before even Mark Judge has been interviewed under oath just seems absurd, especially for those who want to let the truth- or as much as we can know- come to light. This is a serious accusation that deserves to be taken seriously on all sides.

    • JTA says...

      Greta, that is not true. What was said about the FBI is that they run background checks, conduct interviews, and collect evidence. They are not the ultimate arbiters of judging whether a crime was committed or not. What is wrong with that? Who cares whether the FBI makes the ultimate judgment of right or wrong. What we need is an investigation — something the FBI is not only equipped to do, but has done in almost every other judicial nomination.

      As the day stands, Republicans argue that there are no other corroborators (ignoring the evidence) while they are completely unwilling to conduct a neutral fact-finding by the FBI that would allow them and everyone else to be the ultimate arbiters?

      What is wrong with taking one week to clear Judge Kavanaugh’s name when we are talking about a lifetime appointment?

    • Sarah Schilling says...

      You are dismissing a crucial aspect about our Justice System. The search for facts that corroborate or negate allegations help us (for example those on a jury or in this instance THE SENATE) make crucial decisions over peoples lives and is essential to finding out the truth.

      How could there not have been a impartial investigation on an allegation that a SUPREME COURT NOMINEE committed sexual assault? The FBI does and reopens background investigations on judicial nominations all the time! Who wants an abuser or criminal on the Supreme Court for goodness sakes!

      The vital information and corroboration (either for Dr. Ford or Kavanaugh stories) would have made these hearings more substantial. Now Kavanaugh will always be that accused sexual assaulter/liar and Dr. Ford will be believed on emotion by those that related to her and called a pawn and liar by those that didn’t want to believe her to begin with.

      The Republicans knew and wanted this outcome and that’s why no witnesses were called (WHY? There was an alleged 3rd person! Ask Mark Judge under oath like any other hearing!) and no FBI investigation that could support Kav or Ford cases. Facts matter. That’s what investigations strive to do. GET TO THE FACTS!

    • Heather says...

      It is not a political tactic. They are demanding an FBI investigation because the FBI could interview other people who were around and might know something, and it would reveal whether Kavanaugh is lying.

      Also, as many people have mentioned on here — This isn’t a question of criminality. He’s not on trial to go to jail. This is a job interview, for one of the most important jobs in the entire country. After the way he acted in yesterday’s hearing — calling the allegations a Democratic conspiracy, throwing a tantrum about everything he stands to lose, acting evasive and belligerent instead of cooperative when senators asked him very relevant questions — I don’t understand how anyone can think he deserves the honor and responsibility that comes with being a SCOTUS justice.

    • Roxana says...

      Thank you, Greta!

    • MaryMargaret says...

      Greta, your comment on the FBI investigation request is not true. An investigation helps uncover the underlying facts via a more in-depth review (witnesses, additional testimony, dates) and, as such, is not a mere “political tactic.” Much of Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony could be corroborated via just such an investigation. Plus, this is a rare situation where there was a witness to the assault. I, for one, would like to hear what Mark Judge would have to say to the FBI.

    • Cathy says...

      No one was asking the FBI to find any conclusions, it was made abundantly clear that that’s not what the FBI does. They’re asking for a FBI investigation to gather evidence. Because right now, there’s a lot of missing info. And yes, of course this is all political. It was political that Republicans held Merrick Garland’s confirmation for 10 months (without any allegations against him of any kind as even an excuse) and it was political that the Democrats held Ford’s allegation for a couple of weeks in August. I think a couple of weeks of political maneuvering by the Ds pales in comparison to 10 months of political maneuvering by the Rs but regardless, just because there’s politics around this doesn’t mean Kavanaugh’s not unfit. Furthermore, what’s really disingenuous is pretending like we’re talking about throwing the guy in jail. No one is trying to convict him and no one is trying to take anything away from him. The debate is just whether to give him a new privilege. The issue here is whether this guy, out of the probably 50 other people who are qualified (and at least 10 who are extremely qualified), deserves this promotion. Why are people acting like he already has this so we need to meet a criminal-level burden of proof in order to justify taking it away from him? It’s not his yet. If you had three top candidates for a job who were all equally good and you picked one guy and then hear allegations against him, why wouldn’t you just go to the other two? If we start talking about putting him in jail over these allegations, I will be the first to shout that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. But that’s not the standard right now. He’s asking for the privilege of the highest promotion in the legal field, and we’re telling women who have been assaulted that their claims are less valuable than his privilege. As if it were anyone’s god given right to have this job. (And honestly, if I were one of the conservative judges who are on the short list for this job who has not assaulted anyone or abused my power, I would be so upset by this because the message being sent here is that because this guy was part of the right clubs, he gets to be promoted for this job despite having potentially abused his power in a really terrible way over other conservative judges who have played by the rules and also worked hard and never engaged in questionable behavior).

    • Justine says...

      Cathy (I’ve noticed I can’t respond to your individual comment) – what you said was what I was trying to say so many times, but far less eloquently.

  8. Molly says...

    As an assault survivor, yesterday was awful. While not surprising, watching the events unfold yesterday LIVE (!) was still brutal. I’m still trying to process it, but like millions of women I’m sad, I’m mad and I can’t wait to vote.

    • Darcy Rogers says...

      Yesterday’s hearing and the subsequent news have been so excruciating. Sending you lots of love and a virtual hug!

  9. Jenny says...

    I’m not in the US but we are watching this around the world because it feels like a seminal moment for MeToo, for women’s rights in general and for the continuous slide into toxic partisan, populist politics which is suffocating the truth and warping our perspectives. What happens in the US affects us all, eventually. I started to read a news article yesterday on the hearing and burst into tears. The comments of the President and some Senators is too much to comprehend. Listen to women, believe women, support women and elect women. Or at the very least don’t confirm Supreme Court candidates who react like this. The rot is coming from the top, and the message we are sending to the next generation is horrific. Watching Trump get elected after we all heard his “grab them by the pussy” comments was a huge alarm bell that politics is heading somewhere dark. I feel overwhelmed, but less so since reading the comments here. Thank you for asking.

  10. Sheila says...

    I went to bed heartbroken and woke up angry! I will work my butt off to make sure young people get out and VOTE!

  11. Patti says...

    Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear

    • Julie says...

      Hi Patti,

      I wanted to bring it to your attention that one of the reasons that people believe Dr. Ford is because false reporting is so low, there’s evidence that supports false reporting is 2-10% of all rape cases (link is in another comment below). Additionally, stats show that 994 of 1000 rapists walk free. You can read more here: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system

    • C. says...

      I believe the half that is Dr. Ford’s testimony.

    • Lauren E. says...

      May you never, ever go through anything like what Dr Ford had to endure. And if you do, may everyone you tell believe you.

    • tnm333 says...

      Why would that quote not apply equally to Kavanaugh?

    • Megan says...

      “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”

      What a silly, useless, old-fashioned quote.

    • Patti says...

      MEGAN SAYS…
      Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.
      What a silly, useless, old-fashioned quote.

      PATTI SAYS…TO MEGAN – what’s your basis for writing that? It may be old-fashioned but not silly or useless. Were you there? I wasn’t. I’m not defending anyone on this. Just saying.

      Julie, thank you for the link. I also, as thousands of other women, have been raped.

    • Jeanne says...

      This is the type of broad non-specific quote that people say when they are unable to defend their position but do not want to admit to the truth.

  12. ag says...

    “the ax forgets, the tree always remembers”

    • diana k. says...

      ugh, my heart.

    • SP says...

      thank you for sharing this beautiful quote.

  13. B says...

    This hearing has been making me sick. I believe Dr. Ford. I believe that Kavanaugh was drunk enough to not remember what he did, which allows him to deny any wrongdoing.

    This hearing has reminded me of my own close call. I may not remember the exact day (2003?) from my early twenties, but I remember him. I remember the room at my friend’s group house in Georgetown where I had gone to bed after a night out with our post-college crew. I remember the door opening, and him drunkenly climbing into bed and sloppily kissing, groping, and pawing at me, despite my protests and asking him to leave. I remember running out of the room and trying to make myself small on a couch downstairs. Another male friend was sleeping on another couch nearby, and I remember hoping he might protect me if something further happened. I remember wishing I could find a cab in Georgetown at 4 a.m. so I could go home, but knowing there wouldn’t be any on that side street at that hour. I remember staying awake all night, startling at every noise, afraid he would come lumbering down the stairs looking for me. I remember telling my girlfriends to watch out for him, but we didn’t think this was assault. Because just like him, we all grew up in a privileged white existence. And after all, he didn’t rape me. This was a “good guy” who was best friends with one of our guy friends, they guys who always looked out for us. They had all gone to DC area prep schools. This was just a guy who had had a few too many, right? Right? I steered clear of him afterward, even though he was always still around socially. He never said anything to me about that night. I never spent the night at that house again, no matter how expensive the cab rides were or how broke I was.

    I believe Dr. Ford, because I relate to her experience. While he probably never remembered what he did, I will never forget.

    • CJ says...

      Thank you for sharing your story. I really appreciate that you said while he probably didn’t remember, you will never forget. You are very brave and I believe you.

    • Kate says...

      Yes, this. I was explaining to my partner last night that although I’ve been lucky to have never been raped, I’ve had so many experiences (or heard my friends’ describe these experiences) that are nearly identical to yours. The drunken groping or humping or sloppy advances that they’ll likely never remember, but left us all feeling more like our bodies were only a vessel for their pleasure than attached to a being.

  14. Kathy T says...

    Dr. Ford’s testimony was courageous, compelling, and truthful. Unfortunately, it was evident through the rest of the day’s proceedings that her experience and pain did not matter. Minds were made up; priorities had been established…and so it goes, still the same shit and excuses…
    Tell me men, our “leaders,” Until when? You say you don’t know?
    Know this, I am furious.

  15. anne says...

    My workplace is also going through a big process of trying to write codes of conduct for behavior right now, and I feel like I have no place to get away from this. I really believe that this is all a really good thing to bring to the surface, we need to talk about it, and not talking about it doesn’t make it go away. But all of the coping strategies I have revolve around not talking about this stuff. I don’t have any coping strategies for talking about my #metoo experiences. Apart from therapy (I’ve been before and know I need to go back..), does anyone have any good coping strategies for when you want to contribute to the movement and support people who are braver than myself and are willing to talk about their experiences, but also take care of myself so that eventually I can be of use to the movement in the future?

    • CJ says...

      I’m so glad you brought this up! Like you said, it is about self-care and where you are in the journey. It has to be a balance, give and take. Being apart of the movement is also coming to terms with your own experiences and history. You want to help and sometimes helping can be doing the work on yourself/for yourself so that you can be there for others down the road. Please don’t rush this process. It is sacred and takes time, deep soul searching, falling apart and putting things back together but never quite in the same way as before.

      I feel for Dr. Ford because from my perspective, as a therapist who has working in trauma for years, it seems that she was thrust into the spotlight and hardly had time to process it all herself. I would imagine it would be hard for her to have the emotional energy for much else until she is given time and space to heal, not only from the original trauma but from this recent trauma of telling her story.

    • Ann says...

      This is THE BEST video. My boys saw it at school in their “Life Skills” (sex ed) class last year. It really sunk in for them and illustrated that consent around intimacy is no different that consent around any other interaction in their lives, and why should it be? No means no, whether its do you want tea, do you want to play Fortnite, do you want watch Infinity War, do you want to hook up.

    • shade says...

      This is really interesting – thanks!

    • Sarah says...

      Thank you for sharing this!! This was great and gave me some new ideas for discussing consent with my kids.

  16. Ceridwen says...

    Love to you and all the women struggling. Strength together.

  17. Caitlin says...

    Please use Dr. Ford’s title, as you used Judge Kavanaugh’s. She deserves respect for her accomplishments in addition to respect for her courage in coming forward.

  18. Laura says...

    Coming in here with a fresh take on a new day. I am in awe of what Dr. Blasey Ford did yesterday. To stand up and talk about something that has made you feel small your whole life, in front of the world, and be willing to take the consequences – she’s a hero.

    On a small level, it has influenced my behaviour this week.

    I blocked some guys I was friends with from college on my Facebook feed because they started trying to take over my own narratives with their own. They have always done this but now I see it, and I don’t want that in my life any more.

    I stood up and called out someone who was trying to make my feelings seem less important than theirs. I’m a quiet person and I normally just let things happen. But not any more.

    I am a person and I deserve respect. I’m not a model, I’m not an influencer, I’m not a politician and I’m not a person in power. I’m just me. But I still deserve respect.

    • Maria says...

      Thank you for sharing. Some times small steps take the most courage. This is a lesson for us all.

    • Jeanne says...

      You do Laura. And I’m glad you found both your voice and your strength.

  19. Grace says...

    I can relate to the fear of speaking up, it is very real and justified by the ugly, biased patriarchal system we live in. I was sexually harrassed by a coworker who was older than me, reported him on the spot and nothing good came out of it. There were witnesses but ut was still a case of my word against his, despite everything. It really shook my confidence in women’s solidarity as my female superior chose to believe the agressor and tried to convince me it was “a misunderstanding” on my part. It’s was like living out a nightmare and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.
    When a similar thing happened to a friend years later at her work and she hesitated, I supported her with all my might to call it out and report to HR. I explained to her what had happened to me, and that even though it hadn’t worked as well as I had hoped, at least I had the comfort of knowing I did what I could, that I stood up to a bully. It would have been much harder to survive it while keeping it a secret. I told her it’s her choice, and she chose to speak up and fortunately was heard! Her HR took immediate action. I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit vindicated by having supported a friend. That’s the most worthwhile and precious thing survivors of abuse have – the opportunity to help each other out by showing no-one is alone. Thank you for providing a safe place to make it possible!! I love this blog!

  20. Karina says...

    Following my earlier comment about Kavanaugh’s opening statement I found this opinion piece in TheGuardian, a British Newspaper: Brett Kavanaugh’s credibility has not survived this devastating hearing By Richard Wolffe.

    Excellent analysis of Ford and Kavanaugh and more proof to me why he should not even be considered to take a position that will have so much influence.

  21. Barb says...

    I am afraid that Dr. Ford’s testimony for all for naught. That for all the progress we have made, women are still marginalized and their pain ignored. Meanwhile, Mr. Kavanaugh’s response was finely crafted. He was certainly coached in his response. He is not worthy of being on the bench yet he will probably be the next Supreme Court judge. Now we will have two sexual predators on the highest court. Because men feel they are entitled and that young men have the right to drink and assault with no consequences. I truly hope every repug male on that committee is voted out of office and replaced by a woman.

  22. Karina says...

    So many thought provoking comments and discussions here. I can’t stop reading.

    What I miss though are any comments about Kavanaugh‘s statement.
    While I was in awe by Dr Ford‘s professional behaviour and incredible strength facing the panel and the world, I can not say the same about Brett Kavanaugh.
    I felt uncomfortable watching his opening statement. His constant sniffling and crying, telling the panel what a good Christian he is and insinuating that a man like him would never do anything like this…frankly I don’t believe a word of it. Bullies usually cry and sniffle when they are found out. They feel sorry for themselves and not for the real victim.
    Regardless of whether he did or didn’t do this, the ‚performance‘ he gave today is not fit for the position he is nominated for.

    • mb says...

      I felt incredibly uncomfortable that he called it out as a democratic conspiracy. It felt as if he is giving in and participating in the very worst of the current political climate. It did not come off as “impartial judge” but as a political figure. We know judges have political positions, but they must keep them to themselves to demonstrate that in their jobs they will act above that.

    • Jeanne says...

      His reasons were so laughable I was downright embarrassed. Oh Brett, I didn’t know you were a football player and you mowed lawns! And you say you have female friends that text you!! Why didn’t you just say so?? Yeah yeah, go right ahead.

  23. Greta says...

    I’m concerned about so many things here, but as usual for me, humor is my coping strategy. Who does Rachel Mitchell’s hair? (Can’t we get her a hairstylist?) Why does Kavanaugh save calendars for over thirty years? (Can’t we get him Mari Kondo?) Why would Mark Judge use such a poor pseudonym for his friend’s name? (Can’t we get him to testify?) Why is Alyssa Milano there? (Can’t we get her a better neckline?) What is Senator Grassley even doing? (Can’t we get someone a little less bumbling to run things on the Judiciary Committee?)

  24. Peg says...

    Thanks for having this space for us today. It helps to see everyone’s comments. I am sick that Dr. Ford had to go through this today. And that so so many women felt this pain together today. WE felt it. And we all are going through this together. One big open wound. Be safe my sisters, and take care of yourselves.

  25. Sara says...

    Today has been exhausting and disappointing. Dr. Ford was so amazing and brave and credible. Brett Kavanaugh was unhinged, yelling at everyone with his entitled temper tantrum. Even if you believed he didn’t sexually assault anyone (and I don’t), his horrific behavior today showed how unfit he is to be on the Court. I was also disgusted by the GOP Senators yelling at everyone.

  26. Megan says...

    Thank you so much for this space, Joanna. I had a feeling your blog would be a place of warmth today.

    I feel anger in every bone in my body.

    However, I am determined to take this anger and do something with it. I have been considering a career change for a while and am now fortunate enough to be in a position where I can afford to return to education and study. However, I feel a bit lost.

    To put it simply and naively, I want to help women. I want to make our world better for all women; to bring those who abuse and hurt women to justice and to help harness our extraordinary power to make the world better. But I am unsure what path I should take. Law? Some sort of NGO position? I believe I am capable and know I am willing to learn. I have a good Bachelor’s degree behind me. If anyone has any advice for how to pursue my wishy-washy ambitions I would love to hear from you.

    Sending warm hugs to all that need it today, and every day of this nightmare administration.

    • Julie says...

      Hi Megan,

      After the 2016 election, I wanted to return to school for political science, but some personal life changes have postponed that. HOWEVER, I totally get where you are coming from. My thoughts would be:
      1. You could start small and look for some organizations to get involved in. It sounds like reaching out to an organization in your community that assists women leaving abusive situations. Personally, when I felt I wanted to make a difference and be more plugged in in my community, I joined Minds Matter as a mentor. I mentor 2 high school girls who will be first generation college attendees. Minds Matter is in over 10 cities and believe that all students regardless of zip code deserve a college education. It’s pretty neat with a high success rate. Getting involved may help you narrow down where you want to go with your career.
      2. Sometimes just doing personality tests online help, what do they recommend you do next?
      3. Find a career coach! There are a lot of people out there who are skilled in helping people navigate career changes.
      4. Practically, I’d consider what sort of pay standards you need and what returning to school, starting over again in a different field mean. I know that sounds boring and harsh, but those are some things that will help you set realistic goals.
      5. I’d also just google to see what kinds of jobs there are out there, sometimes looking at job descriptions can help you figure out what sounds good to you.
      6. Network! Do you know people doing what you want to be doing? Talk to them! Can you volunteer at their organizations to get a feel for them?

      I hope that helps!

  27. Marybeth says...

    I have been feeling incredibly anxious over the last few weeks. Today at work I cried twice while reading or watching the hearings. As a sexual abuse victim, there’s this tightness in my chest constantly watching people respond to her. I reported my abuse 15 years later (this year!), and filed a police report, but going public with it was so much more traumatic than the actual abuse. She is the fiercest warrior woman I know for going through this. When I read the title of this article I felt like I could finally take a breath. Thank you for acknowledging how hard this is and giving us a safe space. <3

    • Julie says...

      Sending you love and light. We are here for you!

    • Christina C says...

      Much love and support to you. We hear you.

  28. Marie Lamensch says...

    I remember the day I had to go through several intense post-traumatic stress disorder therapy sessions, having the explain every single detail of the sexual abuse I had experienced one night. How horrible I felt. But this was a therapy session with someone I trust. I was not facing an audience of judges, senators, journalists and partisan audiences. My decision to talk would only have a positive effect on myself. The woman has to give a testimony in front of America and her words will have consequences. I can only feel absolutely terrible and terrified for her.

  29. Amy says...

    I just want to say “thank you” for this forum. Time and again over the past couple of years, when I bring up Cup of Jo on my browser, you’ve captured my mood. You were spot on to skip the normal posts and acknowledge what so many women are feeling today. Thank you.

  30. Cait says...

    Thank you Cup of Jo so much for creating this space.
    Today was rough and the space you created here was very comforting.
    Thank you to all the commentators for sharing their stories and thoughts.

  31. As a mother to sons (and daughters) it was a horrifying spectacle to witness. This poor woman who was surely victimized is being cruelly used for political purposes. I truly feel for her. And yet, there is no compelling evidence to prove her accusations against Judge Kavanaugh, that because he was 17 at the time and liked beer and played basketball that he was also a RAPIST – a serial rapist if you believe the other accusations being trotted out. That he could have somehow hid his heinous dark side while raising daughters? Training law clerks? Teaching college students? Coaching women’s basketball? What planet are we on that these claims have a shred of credibility, and that the manner in which they have been presented can be taken seriously? How is this constitutional or even legal? Watching the hearing today was like watching someone be beaten, for both testimonies. It was horrific to behold the spectacle that has become our national political process. God help us all.

    • CJ says...

      There might be evidence if any other witnesses were permitted to testify. A lot of people do dumb things when they’re teenagers; he’s been in full denial mode but I think if he were to own up to having made some irresponsible decisions that he regrets (even if not the actual event in question), it would have helped his case. And beyond that, his temperament in his “rebuttal” was scary! This is a job interview, NOT a trial, and I wouldn’t hire anyone for ANY job who was going to face criticism in that manner (both with respect to anger and clear partisanship). Plus – if he doesn’t get this job, he’ll go right back to the lifetime court appointment he already has.

    • Liz says...

      Her testimony is compelling evidence. Go down to your local courthouse one day, which is open to the public, and watch a trial. The evidence in almost every case is comprised of victim testimony, along with the officers who investigate. Child victims are up there on the stand testifying about being touched or assaulted, and they don’t have dates or physical evidence or “proof” other than the story. They aren’t not credible only because it is just words. The words are their truth. Why couldn’t a man capable of assaulting women who were outside of his friend group go on to raise daughters, or work with women? The two things are not mutually exclusive.

    • CJ says...

      I’ve read your comments now several times and while I agree it is horrific to watch this play out in this nature, I strongly disagree with what you said about the fact that he couldn’t have done it and wouldn’t be able to hide some heinous dark side for that long. It’s wrong to assume that an abuser/rapist can’t be among us and even revered, respected and highly involved in young women’s lives. In fact, that is exactly why many of them get away with their behavior (note the doctor for US women’s gymnastics). They are often in positions of authority, powerful, charming, charismatic and this is how they get away with it. I have worked with fathers (of girls) who have molested them for YEARS before someone said anything and even then when it came out, the community was shocked and many people denied that “he could be capable of something like that”. So yes, it’s all possible with human behavior and we can’t assume that by how someone looks, what their profession is or what their background has been that they aren’t capable. That further perpetuates the idea that certain men don’t do bad things.

    • Julie says...

      Jenny,

      The majority of reported sexual assault cases are true reports with the a false reporting rate of 2-10%, which has been mentioned in other comments.

      The argument that you can raise daughters makes you unable to assault women is naught. Is that an argument one would make about priests who molested children? They were priests so they couldn’t have done that? They did. Lots of people were victims. There are plenty of fathers to daughters who are abusers of some type.

      I would pause and think that no argument is true that “if you are one thing you can’t be another.”

    • meredith says...

      ummm…..Bill Cosby?

    • Anonymous says...

      My rapist raised daughters, taught high school, sat on the church council and coached girls softball. This didn’t stop him from raping me.

    • Angela vanGogh says...

      And therin lies the issue. A woman’s word is not enough for truth to be known; but a mans word is.

      There was a 3rd person in the room, but he is not being called to testify. Several of the statements about drinking Mr. Kavanaugh made have been called out as lies by his Yale classmates. Other comments he has made have been called out as untruths. Yet rebuttal witnesses are not called.

      This committee is not supposed to represent republican interests and protect their nominee. They are supposed to do their job and protect the citizens of the United States and ensure that the judges on our highest court are worthy of the role.

      Whether or not you believe this man sexually assaulted someone as a teen, does not negate the huge amount of doubt, of bad testimony that should be clarified before they take the vote. More information is needed should be gathered before a lifetime.
      appointment is made

    • Jenny, I am the mother of daughters and a son. One of the scariest things about parenting to me is trying to protect my kids and help them know how to protect themselves from the charming, normal-looking, nice people who have a dark side as a molester/rapist/abuser. If you don’t know this, then you haven’t been paying attention to statistics. God help our children and keep them safe.

    • I agree with you, Jenny. I felt for her. I was sexually harassed in my work placee so I am a me too person. However, there is presumption of innocence in this country. She has the burden of proof and this is a he said she said situation. Even her best friend said it didn’t happen. I felt sorry for her, but I believe him. Testimony is not evidence. I think he’s been falsely accused. She doesn’t even know what house it took place at.

    • Anathea says...

      Amy, her friend didn’t say “it didn’t happen”. In fact she has said she believes Dr Blasey Ford. What she has said about that particular party is that she doesn’t recall it. Which makes perfect sense as for her it was just a regular evening / event. Dr Blasey Ford has said when she could get out of the room she ran downstairs and out of the house. She didn’t stop and tell her friend what happened.

  32. Margaret says...

    I was sexually abused as a child and didn’t tell anybody for over a decade. I was ashamed by what happened and was sure I was somehow at fault. When I did finally start telling people, I wasn’t sure about many of the details because it had been so long and I’d tried so hard to forget. Because of this, I have no trouble believing that Dr. Ford is telling the truth.

    I understand the value of “innocent until proven guilty” with most crimes, but I really struggle to apply it in cases of sexual violence. So few cases are reported at all (I never pressed charges), and so often evidence is not available. The very nature of the crime makes it difficult to prosecute. It just makes me sick. So many people get away with forcing themselves sexually on others. I don’t think our justice system can do anything meaningful about that. I feel resigned to this continuing.

    It’s also awful when friends who are unaware of my history talk disparagingly about how Dr. Ford would have come forward earlier if this really happened, and would remember all the details very clearly. They might as well tell me they wouldn’t believe me. They just don’t have a clue what it’s like to be in this position.

  33. jan says...

    Enough with the no corroborating evidence b.s. She told seveal people years before. Thats the evidence. There was a witness in the room If you are pretending this is he said, she said, you are on the wrong side, sorry. And yes! now is the time to take sides rather than heckle from the side.

  34. Emily says...

    I’m feeling really angry and really sad. I’ve actually never been sexually assaulted, which I realize is a rarity. I don’t think I’ve ever even been sexually harassed (even that is embarrassing to admit, like – what’s wrong with me?? And that makes me angry because why should harassment be the thing that validates my womanhood and femininity?). But I watched some of the hearing and found myself crying because even without assault I could empathize with her. Speaking and not being heard, being brave but being doubted and dismissed. I recently interacted with a conservative, male headship authority figure within my religious group (I’m not conservative like that but there are crossover interactions) and 1) he shook my husband’s hand but not mine, and 2) I had to tell my husband what I wanted this man to know because he was more likely to hear it if it came out of a man’s mouth, even though they were my thoughts. There are a thousand ways women are still dehumanized and ignored and told that their womanhood is being honored despite that. It’s revealing how triggering a woman being heard and believed has been to so many. Far more triggering than any man whose lies have been believed at her expense (I don’t know what the end result is for Kavanaugh – I hold out a shred of hope that he legit doesn’t remember doing this because I don’t like assuming someone can lie so blatantly on oath, but certainly many men have lied and somehow that isn’t as alarming as a woman being believed).

  35. Jeanne says...

    I want to emphatically point out that if ANY female had behaved in the way that Kavanaugh did today….Yelling, interrupting, accusing, crying…She would have been deemed overemotional, hysterical and unfit for public office.

    • CJ says...

      Amen. She would be vilified just for that behavior.

    • Megan says...

      YES. Thank you for bringing this up. I was sickened by his behavior which read as entitled and yet appealed to the all-male senate judiciary committee who rallied around him since his name has been “dragged through the mud,” and perhaps because they could relate to his elitist frat boy youth. So much more to say and write, but I’m too enraged to unleash in a public forum.

  36. Zaida Rios says...

    Another brave soul, thank you for your candor. You’re amazing. I could go on and on about today. But mostly, I’m so proud and in awe of the bravery Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford displayed. And to all the women who courageously share their stories. Go out and flood Senator Suzanne Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Flake’s emails. We have to stop this predator nominated by a predator.

  37. Jen says...

    Let’s take all politics and he said, she said, out of it. A judge threw a tantrum today. If that had been a female judge, she would be labeled hysterical. A man is said to be pugnacious. It is mind boggling to me the way we continue to treat women as only acceptable sitting primly and drinking tea. And men can bluster and yell, followed by cheers and applause.

  38. Simone says...

    My Facebook feed has been filled today with people dismissing (and even downright mocking) Dr. Ford because she waited so long to come forward. Each of those Facebook comments feels like a knife in my heart. Most people in my social circles don’t know that I myself was sexually abused and waited 20 years to come forward and testify against my abuser. Thankfully I had a judge who listened and was very compassionate. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and my testimony was only meant to support another family member in an unrelated civil case, not stop a monster from being nominated to the highest court in the land. I can’t imagine facing a panel like Dr. Ford did today on a national platform. She has my utmost respect.

    • Sam says...

      You are brave and you have so many people behind and with you!

  39. Cyd says...

    Thank you Joanna for telling us. These weeks I have been struggling with panic attacks and nightmares and overwhelming anxiety over what happened to me. When I try to tell my husband, I just get this blank stare. I feel like these weeks are making me relive it all. I wish I were stronger, but I float somewhere between rage and despair these days. I feel like although we support each other, it isn’t enough. I don’t just want a community, I want equality. I want our suffering to be taken seriously. But these past few days feel like being raped all over again.

    • Eva says...

      I am so sorry for what happened to you. Please take good care of yourself. Thinking of you and the millions of other women who feel violated all over again today.

    • Maria says...

      Your husband’s reaction is a sign that we all, men and women, are affected by patriarchy – many good and loving men have no emotional tools to acknowledge the violence against women, let alone actively support the victims. Be strong! <B

    • Rosanna Howlett says...

      I am so sorry you’re not getting the understanding you need from your partner but please know there is a huge community of women who get it and will support you. I am not a survivor of sexual assault but I am a survivor of domestic abuse. I have also struggled to explain to others and especially to men the level of fear and panic it can still cause, just the mention of the name or a reminder of that period in my life. Your experience is real and I believe you. Holding you in my thoughts and standing with you today.

  40. Rebecca Pattiz says...

    I recently graduated from law school and am about to start my first job as a lawyer. I watched the hearings today and it was really hard to witness a man who has risen to the highest echelon of the profession behaving the way Kavanaugh did. No one has a right to be appointed to the Supreme Court and the nine justices who sit there should be not only exemplary jurists but empathetic people. I think the hearings demonstrated, at least for me, that Judge Kavanaugh lacks the ability to see beyond his own experience and to imagine that his youthful misbehavior might have harmed another person for the rest of her life.

    • Tracy says...

      Yes!

    • Marlena says...

      Thank you! As a paralegal, my jaw hit the floor the moment he started losing it. I could not believe I was watching a judge act in such an infantile manner, especially a judge who desires to serve on our Supreme Court. I had assumed that the bar was much higher than what we witnessed yesterday.

  41. Wendy says...

    Oh, but not to worry: Regardless of if it’s Kavanaugh or the next Heritage Foundation approved candidate that is confirmed, we can be sure that future 15-year-old rape victims will in many states be required to carry any resulting pregnancies to term once Roe is overturned. America: where a rich white frat boy who abuses gets to decide what happens to women’s bodies.

    • E says...

      Although this is not new information that this could happen, reading this on a day like today made me so angry I was moved to tears. Not because you wrote this comment, but because this could actually happen. I cannot wrap my head this ever being okay.

  42. E says...

    It pains me, as a woman, to see so many people believe the sentiment that because Dr. Blasey Ford is a woman, SHE IS CORRECT, no questions asked. We have a situation of two people saying opposite things under oath. Dr. Blasey Ford says that she was 100% certainly assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh, and Judge Kavanaugh swears he did not sexually assault Dr. Blasey Ford. How awful to believe either of them based merely on gender! How terrible to put aside justice and the pursuit of evidence and fact to jump to conclusions based on bias! It infuriates me to see posts such as this that claim “women’s pain is inconsequential.” Dr. Blasey Ford’s pain is clearly not inconsequential, as evidenced by how seriously this whole situation is being taken. She is being given a chance to share her story. SHE IS NOT CORRECT SIMPLY BECAUSE SHE IS TELLING IT. The only way we can be truly fair is by putting aside our bias and tendencies to believe something BECAUSE of who the person is. Look at the facts, with a blind eye to background, and let’s get back on track as a country so we can actually get things done.

    • Rachel says...

      One of them has invited an FBI investigation and submitted to a polygraph. Unless he does the same I don’t see how they can possibly be on equal footing.

    • A says...

      Yes. Totally agree. They both seemed sincere to me but what do I know? I wasn’t there.

    • She is not correct simply because she is telling it. But here’s the thing.

      1. Statistics show that at best 2-10% of rape accusations are false. Overall. https://qz.com/980766/the-truth-about-false-rape-accusations/

      2. Our gut feelings know, who has more incentive to lie here? The woman who could have just gone on living her good life in Palo Alto? Or the man who would be Justice?

    • China Hoffman says...

      People do not believe her because of her gender. They believe her because she is credible. Kavanaugh may truly not remember doing what I believe he did, since it is quite likely he was black-out drunk. But his rage that anyone would dare to stand in the way of his nomination, as if he simply had a right to this kind of power, betrays a tremendous lack of humility, empathy, and character. He is not on trial, no one is going to jail. He is being considered for one of the most powerful positions in the world, and it is very clear that he is not worthy of the appointment.

    • Emmie says...

      Hi E,
      I do not believe that most people believe Dr. Ford is telling the truth simply because she is a woman. She is now one of THREE accusers claiming sexual assault by Judge Kavanaugh. Dr. Ford also has several people who testified that she shared corroborating details about her assault years before Judge Kavanaugh was ever nominated to the Supreme Court.
      While you and I may not believe that “women’s pain is inconsequential,” this country has a clear pattern of not taking sexual assault seriously. The infamous Brock Turner trial is a prime example. In this case alone, we have seen many people call Dr. Ford a liar before she had even gone to the stand.

    • Laurel says...

      Hi E,
      My name is Laurel, I’m a 14 year old. I was assaulted as I walked back home from my middle school. I remember every word that came out of my attackers mouth. I remember as he ran his hands down my chest. So please, don’t tell me it “pains me as a woman” it pains me to have to listen to this. I appreciate that you have a right to an opinion, but exactly as a woman you should attempt understand what Mrs.Ford went through. If we don’t protect our own who will?

    • Wendy says...

      I agree completely. We can’t believe someone just because they are a man anymore than we can believe someone just because they are a woman. Both sides deserve to be heard fairly. Wanting someone to be guilty for our own agendas doesn’t make it so. It has been obvious that many people made up their minds before they even heard the whole story.

    • jet says...

      How sad that you identify so completely with her attacker. Sad.

    • S says...

      It pains me, as a woman, to see you (E) respond this way. People are not merely believing Dr. Ford’s words because she is a woman. And they are definitely not believing her with no questions asked! This isn’t about gender, so please stop saying that!! Where in the world are you getting that this is about man vs woman? This is about sexual abuser vs victim. This is about whether someone has the maturity, wisdom, and trustworthy nature to guide our nation and its people. NO ONE IS SAYING SHE IS CORRECT JUST BECAUSE SHE IS TELLING IT. Look at the facts and recognize that a very minimal amount of sexual abuse allegations are false. This entire situation is about the fact that anyone who could have potentially sexually assaulted someone is not fit to lead our country. Frankly, you disgust and disappoint me. Let’s please get back on track as a country and MOVE FORWARD socially, instead of regress because of twisted pathetic people like you.

      Joanna, I appreciate you opening the floor to allow everyone the opportunity to speak, but the types of things that people like E are saying don’t make this a safe space. I am very disheartened by this.

    • Maureen says...

      I totally agree with you!

    • Sydni Jackson says...

      Very true!!

    • Liz says...

      But this is how it happens. Most of the time, with every type of crime, there are no other witnesses than victim and perpetrator. There is no DNA. There is no physical evidence. There is no video. But people are convicted of crimes every single day based on stories. The story is the evidence. And we use other clues to weigh credibility, to help us decide which story is the truth. The reason why an FBI investigation would help is because then more stories would be available, and those other stories give opportunities to test the primary stories.

    • M says...

      So true. I didn’t want to make my own judgement until I heard both people testify. A am AMAZED at the way people are using the hashtag #IbelieveDoctorFord# based solely on her gender and before she testified. We cannot, as a country or as human beings, throw fairness and due process out the window. It hurts everyone and most especially, women who have been assaulted and victimized.

    • Ines says...

      This was not a trial, the only thing that matters is if he is fit to serve or not. His aggressive, loud, entitled reaction–fit for a bully, not a judge–says he is not fit to serve. As someone wisely put “I don’t think most of us could survive the yelling and crying about how much you love beer part of the job interview and still get our jobs.”

    • Emily says...

      E I respectfully must say that “actually getting things done” is entirely beside the point. “Getting things done,” sometimes, comes to mean steamrolling.

      Truth – what the court seeks – may only be evidenced by a lawful investigation, and as Rachel suggests, perhaps a polygraph.

      And instinct is no lesser of a human tool than logic. Though it is not a medium of the court, instinct is a powerful force, something many are responding to with equivalent force.

      Thank you Joanna for opening this up.

    • mb says...

      How do you not consider the fact that she also talked about this in therapy? That she submitted a letter before his name was selected from the list of possible nominees? That she has gone above and beyond and sacrificed her and her family’s private life to get her story out there. I am a skeptical person, and when there are anonymous accusations I take it with a grain of salt. But someone who is willing to put their name, professional reputation, and private life on the line is clearly sacrificing a lot with nothing to win. She isn’t up for a fantastic job–he is. This isn’t about her gender, it’s about the difficulty of providing proof in cases of sexual assault and a need for us to reconsider how these are talked about in the public eye and how they are prosecuted.

    • edie says...

      What’s this odd notion that “this isn’t a trial”? Technically, it’s not, but it’s not some routine job interview. He’s been accused of rape with no evidence to support the claims. It’s not a trial, but he’s being accused of a crime, so it’s not a simple Q&A session.

      I find it absolutely hysterical that now the #believeallwomen folks are saying Kavanaugh’s anger yesterday shows he’s unfit for the office. Lol – if anyone that I knew was accused of rape — they would be just as angry.

    • Nina says...

      How very dismissive of everyone to assume they are making a decision merely based on gender. Have you asked each person that?

      HE IS NOT INNOCENT JUST BECAUSE HE SAYS HE IS

      Unfortunately, as is with many cases of sexual and other types of abuse a person must take in the totality of circumstances. Let’s see what we know about him.

      White, privileged, educated male. Belonged to social groups (in high school and college) with a history of denigrating women and excessive drinking. Has calendars that don’t prove anything either way. Has been written about by others as a heavy drinker and inappropriate behavior toward women. Sent emails to friends after weekends of debauchery saying “let’s be sure not to tell our wives.” Has a history of treating women like objects – concerned with their looks and clothing – as a supervisor. Was a teenager in the 80s where sexual assault was much less talked about but did happen. Long time supporter of 45 who has been accused of sexually assaulting 19+ women, admitted adulterer & liar. Has said he will railroad women’s rights because of his religious beliefs (which borders on unconstitutional). During the hearing was belligerent, sarcastic, attacking, obstructionist in answering and filled most of his answers with hyperbole and outright refused to answer many questions HE HAS BEEN A JUDGE – if he had a witness in his courtroom that answered the way he did, he would have ordered him to ANSWER yes or no and stop with all the BS. His refusal to answer yes or no was most telling to me.

      Now let’s look at her: white, privileged, educated female. Has relayed this experience with very little change to the circumstances for over 7 years to several different people. Answered to the best of her ability. Only shared story when she felt it necessary as a citizen of the US because he could be deciding cases affecting the rights of women for DECADES.

      I know who I believe having taken in all the information I could from both sides. You can certainly form your own opinion based on that but don’t dismiss and judge MY opinion because you think it’s merely a male/female decision.

    • Julie says...

      Edie,

      I find it disrespectful to “lol” at people angry about the people who are upset about his behavior. Yesterday was not a trial, it was a job interview. Is that how you behave at job interviews? For a court that is a LIFETIME appointment? Have you considered that someone who shouted back “have you been black out?” when asked a question is the same person we want to make thoughtful, ethical, justice based decisions for our country? What about his anger towards the democrats, after claiming to be nonpartisan? What if a democrat has a trial up for the Supreme Court, will they get a fair trial? If he is sure of his innocence, why would you not agree to an investigation or calling witnesses?

      Your comment, and E’s comment both seem to anchored in that people believe Dr. Ford because she’s a woman. False. One of the reasons you believe survivors is because the statistics regarding false reporting are so so low, only about 2-10% (another comment links this source. Additionally, RAINN has some great statistics, if you’re curious. For example, 994 of 1000 rapists walk free, no repercusions. You believe survivors because the odds are stacked against them and in THE MAJORITY of cases, they are telling the truth.

      You can read more here: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system

    • Kay says...

      I hear ya, E. Props for having a voice on a platform that’s overwhelmingly one-sided.
      Another unpopular opinion here…
      I see a lot of women siding with her because they were also victims of sexual assault. Just because you can relate doesn’t make her story 100% accurate.
      I have been a victim, however I’ve also been a character reference for a man who was falsely accused of rape. Her word and elaborate story against his as he simply stated “that never happened”- until just before trial she admitted it was all made up. I can say with 100% certainty that this ruined his life- even after the case was dropped. The news articles with false allegations and horrible lies didn’t go away. You would not believe the horrible trail of repercussions this man has suffered, but that’s another story. As much as women are victims, myself included, just because she said it happened a certain way with him does not make it true.

    • Carrie says...

      Yes!!! So many raging feelings and emotions completely clouding over any due process. I WANT to support my fellow woman, but I will not take part in crucifying a man who’s guilt has not been proven with facts and evidence.

    • E says...

      Hi all,
      Thank you for your comments. I definitely expected a lot of backlash but thought it important to voice my dissent on a sometimes one-sided platform. I want to be clear: I believe sexual assault is horrific, ugly, life-altering, and intolerable. I especially feel for people like Laurel in the comments above who have been victims. I am truly sorry you had such a horrible experience.
      However, I also recognize how terrible it would be to be accused of something you did not do. My comment sought to point out that we don’t know the truth, and that vehemently and often blindly fighting for one side, based on gender, without knowing the whole truth (as not all, but many, people are doing), is dangerous.
      Without minimizing Dr. Blasey Ford’s experience, I hoped to point out that it is unfair to both parties to believe the other side simply because of our previous biases or based on our own opinions/past experiences.
      I feel my point is somewhat proven by the fact that one commenter called me “twisted” and “pathetic” and felt that I was making this space unsafe, simply by voicing my opinion. Without even knowing me, she has made accusations against my character because I take a side that is unpopular to her. Unfortunately, I think this happens so often at times such as this when “snap judgements” are the norm.
      I agree that Dr. Blasey Ford was credible. I also think Judge Kavanaugh was credible. Your opinion of their credibility is just that: an opinion. It does not make one side right or wrong. Unfortunately, this case is not black and white, and I don’t know that there will be a way to ever decisively determine who is telling the truth.
      In my original comment, I did not state who I believe, because I am still trying to piece together facts and look at each side. I was merely pointing out that we should be cautious when analyzing a situation so as not to jump on a popular bandwagon or ride on a movement, or even rely solely on the way we usually think. As Wendy said, wanting someone to be guilty doesn’t mean they are.

  43. celine says...

    Gosh, you can hear the damage in her vocal tone – such a childish voice that it startled me as it does not match her mature stature. This is what fear and repression does to us, it can steal our voice as mature adults, literally.

    Lake Bell was in a movie (comedy) called “In a World” and it actually awakened my awareness of the baby voices so many grown women use today in the US. For me, it seems obvious that women are not comfortable speaking out in as an adult. That may be our own lack of courage but we really need to step out of our comfort zones and take responsibility for speaking out. Never has there been more social support from men, women, organizations, workplace compliance and legislature (insufficient as it is) to do so.

    • Julie Kucinski says...

      It’s not just about what he did or didn’t do – it’s about how he (and just as bad, Lindsay Graham) conduct himself . Go back and listen to the Clarence Thomas hearings. Thomas also played the outraged and aggrieved card to full effect. The way Kavanaugh conducts himself is not befitting the highest court in the a nation of 380M people. I would not want to work with a man who acts like this, nor would I hire him. I would not want to date him or live next door to him. If he can’t handle a little pressure without letting his emotions run away with him <<< an accusation leveled at woman ALL THE TIME <<<< then he can just keep his other highly privileged lifetime position. It pains me, as a woman, to see women defending people like this. He is anything but getting the country on track.

    • Maria says...

      You’re right. Coming to the States as a European woman I was struck by the baby voice epidemy :(

  44. Anonymous says...

    Time to reexamine our nation’s response to Clarence Thomas. How does race effect a woman’s believability?

  45. CL says...

    I was sexually molested as a child over a period of time by my own father (who later committed suicide when I reached young adulthood). While I believe the #metoo movement is incredibly important, there are many times it triggers tremendous my own feelings of sadness, upset and anger. The Ford/Kavanaugh hearings are no different, and in fact after hearing Dr. Ford’s testimony earlier today I went into a bit of a tailspin, uncontrollably bursting into tears and becoming unable to continue my day normally. I feel my experience was so shameful that I can’t easily talk to anyone about it. But that leaves me so terribly alone in moments of great sadness. Trying to pull myself together earlier today, I thought to myself, “You know, I think Joanna Goddard would be the type of person to give people like me a safe place to have a voice.” I pulled up your blog to suggest such a post, and lo, here it is! Thank you Joanna, for your incredible sensitivity and foresight. Reading through all the comments, it makes me know I am not alone.

    Personal trauma aside, I do try to view the Kavanaugh/Ford situation with an open mind. I fully understand that any one person has the power to “smear” another person without basis. I also believe two or more people can participate in one singular experience, but come out of it with very differing views of what actually happened. But listening to Ford, to the story she’s told, I’m inclined to believe there’s a very good chance she’s telling what she believes to be the truth. I relate to her claims of being reluctant to come forward in the first place – there are so many issues around vulnerability, public scrutiny and judgement. The way in which Ford remembers certain details vividly, but not others … they’re very consistent with how I remember my own abuse. Like Ford, I can’t explicitly remember the exact dates/years/time during which I was abused. But among my many very clear memories, there was an instance of abuse in the dark of a theater when my father took me out to watch one particular movie, and looking up the movie’s release date helped me somewhat date it. I do remember exactly who took me to the movie, and exactly what he did with his hands on my body during the movie. Those memories of the moment are indelibly etched into my brain.

    I can understand how it can be difficult for someone who’s never been through such assault to believe the complexity of all this, with all its nuances. I feel these undamaged people are among the ones who are very demanding of hard borders like corroboration. I hate to say it, but sometimes when I’m in my darker and less patient moments, I wish the terrible thought that perhaps they too could be assaulted in a similar way and be left with no way to corroborate their story … so that they could finally understand. Or worse yet, that their young child be assaulted as such.

    I don’t think the purpose of today’s hearing is to unequivocally determine who is lying, who is telling the truth, and/or exactly what happened. I think the purpose is to determine if Ford and her claims seems credible enough to warrant a halting of an incredibly important appointment. And after hearing her testimony this morning, I’m inclined to believe this should be the case.

    • Claire says...

      Well said. And I am so sorry for your pain. Wishing you comfort and peace.

    • Tina, NYC says...

      CL,thank you for your courage and your incredibly thoughtful and thought provoking comment.

      I’m so incredibly sorry you have gone through such horrors. I hope you have been able to find some quiet in all of today’s noise. Please take care of your self and your heart.

      But the way you were able to put into words how you can see both sides of the story here really spoke to me. I posted earlier today a Stinking rebuke of the judge but after hearing his testimony and reading comments like yours I realize this is a far, far more nuisanced.

    • jules says...

      I’m sorry you went through that CL, and your level headed and human response in the face of that is truly inspiring. Blessings to you.

    • Sarah says...

      Thank you for your bravery, your insights, your vulnerability and your openmindedness.

    • sarah d. says...

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m sorry that you had to experience trauma so unfair and unjust for anyone, let alone a child. If I could give you a hug, I would.

    • Elaine says...

      CL, I had to reply as felt such a swell of love for you when reading your post; for what you have experienced, your life now, your calm and open ethos, and your incredibly beautiful writing. Having people like you in this world gives all of us strength, hope and joy. Thank you xxx

    • Christy says...

      This is an excellent, insightful comment. All the best to you, CL.

  46. Bea says...

    This day and the treatment of Dr. Ford has been so painful. I have great empathy for her and admire her courage. It keeps the pain of my own memories of a former significant other churning in the forefront of my mind. Despite the distance of time his emotional abuse and one time sexual assault keep bubbling up. I have never told anyone about what he did or totally acknowldedged that it was a rape because he was a “good guy” and immediately cried and appologized for what happened saying he was asleep and did not know what he was doing. I do not really know how to deal with my feelings, but this makes me realize I need to.

    • Jess says...

      I’m so sorry for what you went through. Today has been a very hard day for me as well. A little over a year ago, I went on a Tinder date. I went to that date’s house. I consented to sex. But, I did not consent to how rough and terrible it was and froze and could do nothing. I feel so guilty in it – how can I call myself a victim when I consented to this, I should have known, etc. Today brought that my experience back to me so vividly and it’s so, so hard.

  47. N says...

    Today I feel angry, triggered, resigned… but also inspired by her strength and courage. Women like Christine Blasey Ford pay a high price to report assault. Most women in my life have experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault. And most didn’t (or couldn’t) report for many reasons. The system is rigged against us, and it’s hard to believe anything good will come of it. In many cases it won’t. But recently, I experienced sexual harassment at work, and I was lucky enough to get a small sliver of justice, so I wanted to share my story with you.

    Last month, when I was on a work trip, my male department head drunkenly made sexual advances and touched me against my will. He’s a well-liked, well-established leader, so I was shocked. He said he “just wanted to talk”, and I felt stupid for believing him and letting myself be alone with him, after midnight, in a hotel lounge. I got lucky and managed to escape the situation before he tried to do more. Afterwards, I felt traumatized and debated whether to report.

    Ultimately, I decided to report for two main reasons. One — after doing research, I believed my company (a very liberal tech company with a few vocal feminist execs) would take my allegations seriously. I realize most women don’t work in this environment, so I know I’m privileged. And two — he’s man in in a leadership position, with many female direct reports. I worried he’d do it again, and hoped my reporting it would disincentive him.

    Reporting was scary. I cried the whole time. I was terrified they wouldn’t believe me (no witnesses), or it would negatively impact my career. Ultimately, my boss and HR were supportive and I felt believed. He got a severe warning, a reprimand from his boss, and a promise that if it happened again he would probably be fired. Throughout the reporting process, HR staff talked about #MeToo. So, despite signs of minimal progress, maybe #MeToo has positively impacted some workplaces.

    While it’s an imperfect outcome — he’s still at my company, I still have to work with him, I feel triggered and weirdly guilty sometimes — I’m also vindicated and believed, which is rare. I know most workplaces don’t support women, so I’m also privileged and lucky. I hope my story shows one small positive outcome from women like Christine Blasey Ford who bravely report and spark big public discussions. I’m also hoping it might inspire other women to report it too, if they can.

    (Also, thank you Jo for creating this safe space. While I’ve wanted to, I haven’t shared my story publicly. This is the only place I feel comfortable doing it.)

    • Sasha L says...

      Thank you N. What an incredibly brave thing to do. I’m sorry for how much pain this incident has caused you, I’m so glad you shared here. Your story is a ray of hope.

    • Karen says...

      A virtual hug and all my best wishes!

    • Sarah says...

      Thank you for sharing here. I am so sorry you had to go through that but I am encouraged by your story as well. You were incredibly brave to report.

  48. Lena says...

    I’m F***ing angry. Rage and anger is flowing through my veins.

  49. Karine says...

    I live in London. Finished work at 7.30pm and I could see the hearing on so many TVs in people’s living room while on the bus. Keep hope. Going to press pause this weekend though… Find it rough to keep up with the news. Oh, RAINN posted a few tips for self care today ;)

  50. Meredith says...

    I so appreciate this space today, and am grateful to read others’ comments — hoping we can all take care and keep being resilient and courageous, whatever our political leanings.
    I missed Dr. Ford’s testimony but have been watching Kavanaugh’s, and found myself with a really strong reaction to his emotion, indignation, outrage. It made me feel nauseated, and then furious. I do think it’s important to hear his side of the story. But to play a victim card (one that the republican congressmen seem to be supporting 1000%)…It’s so frustrating and infuriating to me.
    Also wanted to suggest that people read Kimberle Crenshaw’s article in the NYTimes, reflecting on anti-racism & white feminism in the Anita Hill debacle. Sobering and compelling.

  51. Maddy says...

    Anyone in Dallas?? I am trying to surround myself with impassioned, empowered women. I need more fellow feminists in my life. Drip coffee is my current study spot, great coffee and great spot for a resistance movement meeting. :)

  52. Susan says...

    We should change it to #believeallsurvivors to include the male survivors in this world. Right?

    • Sadie says...

      I would like that.

  53. Melkorka says...

    I feel the way I do when I have a fight with someone I care about. Sweaty, anxious, turning my perspective over and over in my head. Although it isn’t a person I have conflict with – it is my nation. We as the women of this nation are fighting for the right to have our dignity, and it hurts.

    I haven’t been assaulted in the way that Ford describes – but that dynamic of being powerless as a woman, of being disregarded, being laughed at and humiliated – we all have been there. She is brave, bravery is contagious & she is my hero. I love how she made the phrase ‘i wanted to be helpful’ an amazing display of fearsome protest.

    But I am exhausted, angry and upset. Thanks for asking.

    • Emily says...

      Love the thought of “I wanted to be helpful” as a brave protest, an act of courage and resistance.

    • H says...

      I felt this same way. ??

    • Elaine says...

      What a cool support slogan tee! “I wanted to be helpful” It gives me strength.

  54. Steph Gilman says...

    Her view while testifying makes my heart sink. All. White. Men. Have we not come further than this? She’s facing a panel of biases and common shared backgrounds and perspectives. It’s heartbreaking for her case but also for ANY case.

    • Anonymous says...

      Anita Hill

    • cnm says...

      I watched the entire hearing. she was interviewed by a white woman. She was also interviewed by men and women of color. The truth matters.

    • Sarah says...

      The panel was not all white men, that is incorrect. Senator Kamala Harris is a woman of color and Senator Corey Booker is a man of color. Senator Dianne Feinstein is a woman. Yes, the panel is certainly skewed toward white man, but please be truthful.

    • Betty says...

      CNM – Please note it is an all-white, all-male Republican majority on the Judiciary Committee. You can check this website, https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members, to find out about the members, majority and minority.

  55. Laura says...

    I have a genuine question about this issue that I’m struggling with and not seeing addressed in public discourse but I REALLY would love some feedback on. (I didn’t read every single comment here, so I’m sorry if someone has already asked it!)

    First of all, I believe Dr. Ford. The reasons why this happened to her aren’t clear and she may never have answers or clarity about it… and I truly feel for her because of that. Her assault was not okay.

    My question is, let’s assume (and I do) that every single detail she recounts is true. Okay…. Do the facts of a (not criminal) event that happened 35 years ago disqualify someone for public office today? While I believe that people absolutely should be held accountable for their actions, at what point do we acknowledge that people change over the course of 35 years, and the person who assaulted her all that time ago might not be the same person today? By the way, I’m not *super* aware of all his career history etc so in all honesty I have no agenda here. I’m just genuinely wondering. Even if someone did something wrong, disrespectful, tasteless, awful etc. when they were 17, are they allowed to grow and change without people assuming they are fundamentally the same person? I’m only 29 but I know that I would DIE if people thought the stuff I did when I was 17 is who I am today…because it’s just not. Has anyone else had this thought? Help me think through it!

    • Taylor says...

      Hi Laura,

      The problem is that he has not said, “I was an idiot teen boy who acted disgustingly” or “I drank a lot then and don’t remember if I did anything similar the the acts being described” or “I am a different person now.” He’s denying it outright, insinuating that Dr. Ford is a liar. The Supreme Court is the HIGHEST position of moral and legal authority in our country and it is a lifetime appointment. He is not owed the job. No one is owed a position on the Supreme Court. I don’t want someone who cannot empathize with someone he’s caused pain on the court, it demonstrates to me he has not grown, and he would not be a good arbiter of justice.

    • Bora says...

      You are not applying for a job that you will hold for the rest of your life- that’s part of the difference! Also, I am not hearing him apologize! I’m actually hearing him blame the victim indirectly. I would let him be my server, my neighbor etc but not my Supreme Court justice.

    • Amber says...

      I have a few thoughts.
      1. There’s a difference between “doing something wrong, disrespectful, tasteless, awful ” and sexual assault / attempted rape. Sure, I wasn’t the best at 17 either, but if I sexually assaulted someone, yes, I would expect that to impact my future.
      2. Assuming that her account is true, he hasn’t proven that he’s changed in these 35 years. He never called her and apologized after it happened. He didn’t call her years later when he “grew and changed and became a different person.”
      3. Yes, I do think a history or pattern of behavior should be taken into account when running for political office, especially the highest court in our country (or, for example, the president).
      4. In general, I think this is bigger than just Brett Kavanaugh. It’s that white men (especially upper class) in particular aren’t held accountable for their actions at any point in their lives. Look at how kids like Michael Brown’s pasts were used to paint a picture of them (essentially used to excuse their murders), and yet when white teens males assault women/girls, it’s “boys being boys.”

    • Christine says...

      I don’t think there is a binary answer to your question. This isn’t about him being either (1) qualified or (2) disqualified, it is about determining if this is an appropriate person to hold, as Rebecca says below, a life long position, that will decide the future of the American justice system. Ideally you want someone with extremely high morals and integrity. With these exact facts, the calculus would be different if Judge Kavanaugh wanted a different position. For example, maybe my job.

      And there are plenty of equally qualified and distinguished jurists who could be appointed to the position of Supreme Court Justice, who would not have these sorts of allegations against them. The most important thing here is that the American people get the Justice they deserve, not that Judge Kavanaugh gets this job. That should be our focus.

      And, I also think that, taking your assumption that every single detail Dr. Blasey Ford recounts is true, then we should not just be looking at the events of 35 years ago but the events of 20 years ago, 10 years ago, last week, and today. Because Judge Kavanaugh is denying this. This is also about his actions in doing so. He had plenty of time to accept responsibility, to apologize, to grow as a person in the ensuing decades, and he did not. I’d recommend reading Caitlin Flanagan’s recent Atlantic article on this topic.

    • E says...

      To put simply just a few of the many reasons this should still disqualify Kavanaugh, 35 years later:
      1) Violent and morally repugnant behavior doesn’t magically stop one day. Most offenders are serial offenders. He is now accused by at least 3 women, at least one attack after he was 18.
      2) The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
      3) He would be put in a position to evaluate laws that would call on his moral character and impact women in similar situations. What authority does he have on this if he has been an offender?
      4) His actions impact the victim for the rest of her life, without her choice in the matter. Thus his responsibility shouldn’t have a time limit.
      5) Hopefully you knew rape was wrong, even at age 17.

      AND perhaps most importantly:
      He continues to lie, belittle, and cover up these events to this day, 35 years later. That is not the indiscretion of a high school student, it is the calculated, unethical, and morally repugnant efforts of a grown man in an attempt to get ahead in his career despite past wrongdoings and the pain and trauma he caused.

    • mb says...

      I agree with Taylor. The problem for me is that he is categorically denying this or anything like this ever took place–along with any black-outs, passing out, even vomiting from too much drinking. It’s not only a question of whether he inflicted trauma but also a question of honesty and growth.

    • Janna says...

      If that was the case – if he had admitted it was true, apologized, showed remorse for his behavior – that may be different. Sure we all do stupid things at 17, but he is an adult applying for the most prestigious legal position in the country, in a lifetime appointment. If what she says is true- he is lying repeatedly to get that job, a job which requires good judgment, integrity, and making decisions about millions of American’s lives. His lying NOW disqualifies him, beyond the character it takes to be someone who is sexually violent against women.

    • Julie says...

      Hi Laura,

      Taylor’s comment, “The Supreme Court is the HIGHEST position of moral and legal authority in our country and it is a lifetime appointment. He is not owed the job. No one is owed a position on the Supreme Court.” I think that’s a key point here. If we take this position seriously, then shouldn’t we consider his lifetime of actions, and if there are others in the running who do not have sexual assault alligations, then wouldn’t that be a better person for the job? Personally, I think yes, 994 of 1000 rapists go free, do I want someone on the court who potentially doesn’t support victims of sexual assault? I think of a quote I saw today, “the Brock Turners of the world turn into the Brett Kavanaugh’s of the world, who make the rules about the Brock Turners of the world…” This job is a BIG DEAL, and I think this matters. Do we say what he did 35 years ago doesn’t play into today? Or maybe, another way to think about is, shouldn’t men (and women) be afraid of knowing that sexually assaulting someone at 17 will impact the rest of their life. Why shouldn’t it, when, for sexual assault survivors, it impacts them EVERYDAY for the rest of their lives? (other thoughts: there’s literature out there that says toxic masculinity impacts perpetrators of sexual assault more than alcohol, if this man is more likely to have toxic masculine views, is that someone we want on the SC?)

      BUT another interesting way to look at it is if, if you were watching today, and this is a job interview, would you want this person to take the job? Did he seem bipartisan? Did he seem rational and able to make critical non-bias decisions? Do you yell during a job interview? How do you think it would have been interpreted if Dr Blasey Ford had yelled? Or a female judge nominee? He mentioned his faith a lot, do we think that impacts his decision making? Good way? Bad way? What about seperation of church and state? Do we want a Supreme Justice who seems comfortable lying? Based on other people’s accounts that he was a heavy drinker, and he claims he’s NEVER been fuzzy or black out does that seem true? Did he seem to be lying?

      Does this help? This is the stuff I’m thinking about when I think about your question.

    • youngdirectionless says...

      His performance is embarrassing. He should not be a sitting judge, let alone a Supreme Court member. Today is incredibly painful for women across the county. I’m inspired by Dr. Ford’s testimony and courage, but I am appalled by his lack of civility and unwillingness to take personal responsibility for anything (the drinking, the year book, the accusations, etc.).

    • Lauren Wittenberger says...

      Someone tweeted this today, making a good point:

      “People really treat sexual misconduct, abuse, and violence against women like a mere phase that some young men go through. Women are just collateral damage on the path to becoming a mature man.”

      Conflating “stupid teenager behavior” with sexual assault is a mistake. It doesn’t do justice to victims. These aren’t just incidents of sneaking out, cheating on tests, or even petty theft. I don’t think a history of assault is something you just “outgrow.”

    • Lauren says...

      I think this comment should be removed. It’s vulgar.

    • Fara says...

      Attempted rape IS a crime. What Dr. Ford is describing is a criminal act. But, even if it weren’t, I would consider attempted rape to be disqualifying for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. The position of Supreme Court Justice should be reserved for those with the highest moral standing, and Judge Kavanaugh does not meet that standard (not to mention the utter lack of judicial temperament and partisanship that he displayed at the hearing today).

    • Meg says...

      Laura, thanks for raising an interesting point! To me, what is just as telling is how he reacted to the allegations and to the whole process. If you did something wrong (or if you were really drunk and don’t remember but might have done it), the proper response is to be humble, to listen, to make amends. Instead, Kavanaugh acted smug like the whole thing was a ridiculous joke and like he deserves the job no matter who he may have hurt many years ago. It’s also pretty likely that he lied under oath. So yeah I agree that people change, (I’ve changed a lot since college), but (1) there are plenty of worthy Supreme Court candidates who did not sexually assault someone, that we should be choosing from and even so, (2) his demeanor today way disrespectful and disgusting and not worthy of this role.

    • Jo says...

      I’ve been having the same conversations this week- here are a few conclusions I’ve come to:

      1. We’re talking about a Supreme Court justice position. This is literally as high as you can get in impacting American lives for generations. I think it should be held to a different standard than other positions. Is Kavanaugh the best that America has to offer for this position? I very sincerely hope not.

      2. The response of Kavanaugh throughout this whole process I think is very telling to his character. When you talk about your experience you show remorse, embarrassment, learning…. (not that you are in the position at all). I think most people understand that 17 year olds are not mature or adult yet. That being said, assault is a whole different matter.

      3. Not getting this position is not going to ruin Kavanaugh’s life. He is still very successful, has a family, etc. I applaud professor Ford for standing up to all this attention and ridicule, for truly it would have been so much easier for her to stay anonymous and keep this to herself. While some argue that judgement shouldn’t be made without a trial, I keep going back to the points that this won’t ruin Kavanaugh’s life and Supreme Court justices need to be impeccable. I may change my opinion if we were discussing Kavanaugh’s suitability for a night janitor role….

    • Sasha L says...

      Laura, but what he is accused of doing IS criminal.

    • Kelsey says...

      Did you do anything on the level of physical and sexual assault when you were seventeen, though?! This isn’t just a story of someone who has grown and changed into a better person, like all (or most) of us have. I also wasn’t an angel at seventeen… but I never raped someone. There’s a difference between being a silly kid who grows and changes into a better man, and being a rapist at any age. I just don’t see how we can draw a similarity between the foolish antics that the majority of us got up to as teenagers and actually raping and physically assaulting someone.

    • Leslie says...

      I believe he didn’t deny that an assault occurred against her, but that it just wasn’t him.

    • Jeanne says...

      Everything that Taylor has said. I cringe when people consider his actions on par with teenage stupidity. Sure we have all made silly decisions when young. But this is not a case of taking a baseball bat to some neighborhood mailboxes or writing graffiti on a rival high school wall. Those would be forgivable. Isolating a 15yr old girl, locking the door while telling your friend to turn up the music really loud. And then covering her mouth as she screamed? That’s not a youthful mistake. That is a severe character flaw. That he has entered this hearing screaming that he is the victim here, shows to me that he has not redeemed himself and his misogyny still shows through. Let’s not get into the issue that he has said that birth control is a pre-abortion pill.

      I’d like to add that a Supreme Court Justice’s job is to interpret the meaning of the law as unbiased and apolitical as possible for the benefit of ALL the citizens of the US. In his hearing he decried that this entire situation is a Democratic conspiracy led by Hilary Clinton. That extreme accusation (in addition from making him sound insane) demonstrates that, he will be incapable of being an impartial and even tempered judge.

    • Amanda says...

      “Do the facts of a (not criminal) event that happened 35 years ago disqualify someone for public office today?”

      Absolutely. When someone commits or attempts a horrible crime, that sticks with them. When they show disrespect for other people’s bodily autonomy and basic humanity, that should disqualify them from serving in one of our most nation’s powerful positions. When they lie about it – and if you believe her then it inherently means that you believe he is lying – then that’s even more so the case.

      And sexual assault IS criminal, even when someone is not held accountable. The fact that it is nearly impossible to get justice for these crimes through our broken judicial system does not make them less criminal.

    • gfy says...

      Thank you for BOTH of these comments, Laura and Taylor. Both are so well said.

    • Meg says...

      I don’t know. I think it’s partly his attitude. He denies ever being at the kind of event Dr. Ford describes and that just doesn’t ring true. From reading his yearbook entry and hearing him say he drank beer in high school, it just doesn’t sound like a kid who never went to a party without parents home. If he had said, “I did some really dumb things when I was a teen but I have changed and grown,” I would be more willing to listen. As it is now, an FBI investigation is the only way this can go forward. And even then, he is not believable and doesn’t seem to be any more trustworthy than he was as a kid.

    • Good question. I think there are a few factors to weigh in this particular situation:
      1) In the state of Maryland, where Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford both resided as high schoolers, attempted rape is a crime with no statute of limitations. This means that Kavanaugh could actually face a legal trial for these allegations. Right now, he’s essentially undergoing a challenging job interview – when Blasey Ford could press legal charges.
      2) Kavanaugh is being interviewed for a job in which he would, in the highest court in our land, make decisions about women’s issues. These allegations and how he responds to them are directly relevant to his role.

      I hope this helps you think through your questions!

    • Heather says...

      Also.. yes, we all do stupid things in our youth, yes. But we don’t all torture animals. We don’t all beat up homeless people. And we DONT ALL SEXUALLY ASSAULT WOMEN. This is an act of depravity. 16 year old boys DO know better than to force themselves sexually on a woman. Plenty of smart, capable lawyers who were teenagers in the 80’s didn’t sexually assault anyone. There are plenty of smart, capable lawyers who were teens in the 80’s about whom this accusation wouldn’t even be plausible. For Kavanaughto have redeemed himself, he’d have to apologize, first. Demonstrate some true remorse. Demonstrate some commitment to respecting a woman’s bodily integrity.

    • Casey says...

      Yes, people are allowed to grow and change – and we MUST acknowledge that. However, has he given even the SLIGHTEST bit of evidence that he has grown? That he made serious mistakes in his youth and hurt many people in irreparable ways? And that he feels serious remorse for it? No, he has not.

      I also would add that this is not a guy who is running for Congress. He is not running for Senate or President. He is running for the f-ing Supreme Court. He is going to be ONE OF THE SINGLE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE IN THE US for the REST OF HIS LIFE. He has NO term limits, NO re-elections. Literally, this man will be in office for maybe four decades. So YES. We should demand that these people in this position are ABSOLUTELY beyond reproach.

    • Julie Kucinski says...

      YES to what Taylor said. The man is a liar. Furthermore, are you being vetted for a lifetime job where your judgment and personal integrity hold sway over hundreds of millions of people?

    • Lisa says...

      This comment exchange is the best thing I’ve read so far – Laura, your questions are valid and I thought the same too, to an extent. And Taylor, your answer is so spot on and really makes it so much clearer. A true “aha” moment for me. Thank you both.

    • Maryann says...

      Great questions raised by all. And I agree with Taylor. He is most certainly not owed that job or anything. The fact is that he came into this process a privileged white male and he will leave this process a privileged white male.

    • Theresa says...

      This is so much more than a “job interview.” This is about destroying someone’s life long reputation and their entire adult body of work so I think there needs to be facts not emotions before decisions are made. I would hope that great care is taken in judging both parties involved. This is bigger than supporting a specific gender or political beliefs.

    • Jessica Brown says...

      It’s one of the most important jobs in the country – I think we can find better, maybe even the best.

    • Sara says...

      So many comments that say that Kavanaugh isn’t fit to sit on the Supreme Court because he is a liar, he hasn’t apologized, he should be held accountable. He swore under oath that he is innocent. I wasn’t there 36 years ago and I don’t know what happened. But neither does anyone else at this point.

    • anonymous says...

      People can change; we grow and develop. Selfish, privileged teenagers can become empathetic adults who make a positive impact on the world. It doesn’t change the experience of the seventeen year old boy who attacked a woman, a friend, by holding her down and putting his hand over her mouth. The experience of the boy who laughed at her fear, who didn’t take responsibility for his actions, is still the experience of the man nominated for the highest court in our country.

      We can grow but we take our experiences with us. Growth doesn’t erase mistakes and it doesn’t erase the pain inflicted on others.

      If my rapist became a man who devoted every minute of his life to helping others, women, children (he didn’t) – it wouldn’t change the fact that he was once a young boy who made the decision to rape me. To make me fear for my life. And it wouldn’t make me forget or change the pain I feel every day ten years later.

      Brett Kavanaugh is a man who, as a teenager, made a choice to hurt another human being in a way that would forever alter her life. He chose to hide it and he likely purged himself before congress to cover his teenage indiscretion. This is not a man who deserves to be on the Supreme Court.

      There may be three decades of growth between the attack and this moment in history but Brett Kavanaugh is still an attacker and Christine Blakely Ford is still a survivor.

    • Colleen Hodge says...

      In a nutshell Supreme Court Justices should be squeaky clean in regards to there ethical and moral behavior.

  56. Rebecca says...

    We have to stop feeding the trolls.

  57. Nina says...

    So discouraged. When will women’s voices matter? So many people saying “we all did stupid things in high school” like IF he did this it’s ok.
    Remembering the men who held me down and touched or kissed me without my permission and I had no opportunity to say no until I fought them off. The man who wouldn’t GET OFF OR STOP until I asked “if your sister said NO and the guy kept going it would be rape, so how are you different?” I don’t think this will change anything. The reason I tell my 10 yr old boy when I say stop tickling, STOP it’s not ok to force people. Those (GOP) who support whatever it is they support now (I don’t even know what it is they want anymore except to show their power) will deny whatever she says and those who are against them doesnt mean they are for her or us. It’s all very very sad.

  58. Kay says...

    I thank this woman for her bravery, her strength, her voice. What she is doing is so important but I fear it won’t change much. Maybe that’s just the cynic in me. I hope I’m wrong.
    I am due tomorrow with my second child. I don’t know the sex. It’s still a scary world for girls to be born into. But you better believe, if this is a second boy, him and his brother are both going to be raised to be feminists. To hell with the patriarchy.

    • Marki says...

      Love this! Boy or girl, she or he is getting a great mom! Wishing you a happy and healthy delivery.

  59. Kelly says...

    XOXO. I’m just riding out the waves of this hellscape as best I can, it is not a great day to be a survivor in the world, but I am so so moved by Dr. Ford, and by you, and by everyone who I’ve ever met who’s quietly found a way to slip in their status during a conversation, and the relief, recognition, and resignation in their eyes when I’ve said, “Me too.”

    Take care of yourself today, and every day.

    I will not be reading any of the comments here, but I just want those commenting questioning Dr. Ford to know that the worst thing for me, the thing that caused the most harm and trauma, was not being believed. By friends, by institutions I trusted. And that every time I or another survivor choose to disclose, we know our credibility will be on the line, we know our behavior will be subject to analysis and debate. Believe survivors.

    • julie says...

      What’s almost worse than not being believed is being told, it doesn’t really matter. And that is the Republican party is telling us. It doesn’t matter. We don’t matter. The behavior and trauma that perpetrators at any age, typically male, can laugh off, justify or completely forget shadows you for a lifetime. It affects your confidence, your emotional availability, your sexuality for years if not a lifetime. To put it bluntly, F#$K these white guys.

  60. Alison says...

    Joanna- Thank you for posting this. I don’t typically get “into” politics but I can’t ignore what is happening with Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh. I was 22 when it happened to me. Did I report it? Nope. Did I tell people? Three to be exact. My rapist called me the following day to see if I was “okay” (to see if I was planning on pressing charges I’m assuming). I am 35 now and I can remember this night like it happened yesterday. It has had an incredible effect on my life; intimate relationships, family relationships, self-esteem.

    I find myself teary eyed, shaky, and very emotional today as I listen to clips of the hearing. I can’t believe this is the man IN CHARGE OF OUR COUNTRY. I am beyond furious. Women are allowed to speak up with the time is right FOR US. No one can dictate that. Should we speak up right away? Probably. But Aminatou Sow’s comment above is so spot on: we don’t speak up b/c history has taught us that our pain is inconsequential. I feel sick to my stomach and don’t know what to do.

    Thank you for listening. I really don’t have an outlet for what I’m feeling and feel very lost.

    • june2 says...

      Get one or two appointments with a therapist – not a crisis counselor because then you are just talking to the converted – I would express my pain to an average male therapist so they begin to understand what women experience emotionally when abuse like this is condoned on a legislative level. Also, write your senators now, expressing the very same thing you have here. TODAY.

    • Lauren says...

      I’m really sorry that happened to you. Today must have been really hard and you’re a brave warrior for getting through today. Hugs to you. You definitely are not alone.

    • Christina says...

      Hello,
      I am a licensed therapist. This week has been hell on my patients as I deal primarily with PTSD from a range of issues, primarily sexual assault.
      You are not alone and what is happening now will not always be as long we are here standing together. It would be a good idea to see someone about this to relieve the tremendous burden. I’m sorry that you endured such trauma and wishing you the very best in your continued health!

  61. Ciel says...

    I feel so sick every time a white male Republican speaks and vehemently supports Kavanaugh. IT. MAKES. ME. SO. SICK!

  62. Sara says...

    I believe that Dr. Ford had an experience like the one she describes, and it’s too horrifying and awful. I simply don’t think there is enough actual evidence to prove that it was the accused and not someone else. Our justice system is so great BECAUSE we believe in innocent until proven guilty, and that the burden of proof is on the accuser. And yes, this isn’t a criminal case, but the way we come to our own conclusions regarding these matters needs some kind of consistent standard. It behooves us to remember how important it is to see evidence before jumping to conclusions. It’s much too easy for someone’s life or career to be destroyed with an unproven allegation.

    • Melissa says...

      Well said.

    • Zoe says...

      This isn’t a matter of innocent until proven guilty, this is a job interview to sit on the highest court in the country… would you hire a gardener who had been accused to attempted assault? Would you let someone who had been accused of assault watch your kids? What evidence are you looking for exactly, for an assault that happened 37 years ago? Do you demand the same evidence from children who were molested by priests? It behooves you to remember that the job prospects of men are not more important than the lives of women.

    • A says...

      Hence her insistence on an FBI investigation….

    • MP Way says...

      I’m sickened by the judgement and complete bias that’s aplenty within these comments. I have been an avid Jo reader since the beginning and generally disagree with most political topics represented, but continue to read with respect and interest. With that said, the complete unfairness and disregard for the basic tenet of innocent until proven guilty, deeply concerns me.

    • Andrea says...

      That’s exactly why the FBI should look at these cold cases before a vote is taken. All sides should want that, but only one does.

    • Susan says...

      There certainly is not enough evidence to prove anything right now. The issue, as I see it, is how many people are saying things like your last 2 sentences, and then trying to prevent investigations from happening that could turn up that evidence. If it really is about the evidence, I’m surprised you didn’t mention how important it is for them to actually investigate this.

    • Kay says...

      Unfortunately, in sexual assault and rape cases, there often isn’t evidence (especially after time has gone by), and as we’ve seen time and again, it’s he-said she-said, and the victims get dragged through the mud. False sexual assault allegations are actually very rare. I believe something like 2-8% of REPORTED rapes are false, while approx. 54% of rapes aren’t even reported. And in the case of “someone’s career being destroyed”… we’re talking about a life long appointment to the highest court in our country. I think we owe it to ourselves and future generations to take these accusations into consideration. Furthermore, if he did assault Dr. Ford, then he destroyed his own life/career.

    • Rebecca says...

      They won’t allow evidence into the hearing. They won’t subpoena witnesses and friends. This is not a criminal case. The standard is not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, this is part of a job interview.

    • Em says...

      If there’s one thing the #metoo movement has shown us, it is that it’s actually incredibly difficult to ruin an abuser’s life or career without first destroying your own.

    • A says...

      Zoe, “It behooves you to remember that the job prospects of men are not more important than the lives of women.” 100%!!!!!!!!!!!! Spot on.

    • Christine says...

      The idea of “innocent until proven guilty” refers to criminal prosecutions. Judge Kavanaugh is not facing criminal prosecution. No one is bringing a case against him and he runs no danger of incarceration.

      Rather, this confirmation process can be likened to a job interview for Judge Kavanaugh. If he is not confirmed by the Senate, he goes back to a lifetime appointment as a Judge on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, arguably the most prestigious legal positions in this country outside of the Supreme Court.

    • Sara says...

      @A @Andrea @Rebecca: You’re right, I think we should all have heard from any witnesses.

    • Lisa says...

      I agree. I am disheartened by this entire process and feel compassion for them both. I’ve listened to enough NPR to know that many, many men have been imprisoned for rape based on eyewitness testimony only to be exonerated through DNA. The bitterness and vitriol directed at this man has shocked me, because there is a good chance he is innocent, and I don’t understand why people I thought were rational don’t see that. Confirmation bias is clouding people’s minds. I didn’t vote for Trump and I was sexually assaulted twice before I was fifteen.

    • Casey says...

      Then there should be an FBI investigation.

      I’d also add that multiple women are accusing him of being something very, very different from the innocent little schoolboy he was portraying himself to be (and they are being supported by even more men and women who were witnesses).

    • E says...

      Dr. Ford isn’t posting to twitter that she was molested (or something); she was testifying under oath. If you do not believe her testimony, you are presuming that she is guilty of a felony (lying under oath). So: yes, ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is still important.

      Secondly, I firmly believe that many men do not really understand what sexual misconduct is, and it is easy for them to forget and presume themselves innocent. The morning after I was raped by my ex-boyfriend, he told me he didn’t rape me. I don’t know what part of ‘no’ and ‘get off me’ (and explicit prior conversations about not being ready for sex, when we were dating) he didn’t understand. He was convinced that because we had been going out briefly (though we had broken up) he was entitled to sex. I am pretty sure that, eight years after this happened, he would barely remember the incident (if at all), let alone be willing to admit that he had done anything wrong, since he didn’t believe himself to have done anything wrong in the first place.

    • Sadie says...

      I guess my question is, IS our justice system so great when the vast majority of sexual assaults cannot even be prosecuted, much less punished? Even if you think it’s a great system overall, and after careful consideration side ration, have decided it just can’t he helped, surely you can still see that it fails miserably when it comes to dealing with sexual assault. The victims of this type of crime very rarely see any justice.

      Yes, unproven allegations can he life-shortening. But you must realize that the reason that they are so credible to so many people isn’t because of partisan politics. It’s because the exact same “unprovable” crimes happened to us.

  63. caligirl says...

    I know it’s cowardly but I just can’t watch. I have been listening for a few minutes here and there in the car but then I just have to turn it off. This whole process has been painful in so many ways.

    I am trying to hang on to the hope that #Metoo has given me. The people who make and enforce the laws are the people who get the privilege of interpreting sexual aggression of all types through their own experience. For centuries ALL of these people have been men. Women never imagined that their perspective held any weight. Because it didn’t.

    Something has shifted and now we (sometimes) believe that our perspective as women should influence the way we make and enforce laws. The key right now is to keep believing this. Only then may it one day actually become true.

    • Kelly says...

      There is nothing cowardly about taking care of yourself! You are valid and your response is valid. Live to fight another day. Being well, and surviving, and being whole, is a victory. Doing your best is a victory. xoxo

    • Julie says...

      There are plenty of people watching for you, do what you need to do for yourself first. We’ve got your back, sending hugs.

    • Kim says...

      I think it’s brave and wise of you not to watch. You know yourself best, and a healthy you is more important than watching. There are plenty of other ways to stand up for what you believe and be well informed. Strength comes from respecting and listening to yourself.

      And I stopped watching too. Thanks for inspiring me to continue taking care of myself today.

  64. Jamie says...

    I remember being confused by the hearings for Clarence Thomas as a kid, not getting it. Then I could blame my youthful naivete. At 42 years old, I still don’t get it.

    • Katie says...

      SAME.

      Thanks for saying this, Jamie.

    • C says...

      As someone else above stated this is not about being blamed for youthful naivete. He is NOT saying, Yes I did this and it was stupid and wrong and lets make sure this never happens to another woman/girl/person again. He is absolutely denying it took place. This is an opportunity both for him to admit his wrongdoings if there were wrongdoings as well as elevate the general public’s concern, create opportunities for further discourse and action re sexual assault and the soul crushing silence and victim blaming surrounding it. As a judge he should demand that all proceedings having to do with him getting nominated stop until all investigations have taken place.

    • Haylee says...

      THIS! Yes.

  65. Katie says...

    Thanks for this space.
    I feel tired, angry, frustrated. I can’t believe this is happening, again. Aside from the blatant misogyny of it all, I’m overwhelmed by this lame two-party system that seems to move at a snails pace and is dangerously behind our times. I hate that this isn’t about what’s right, it’s about politics. About what one party wants: another white man on the Supreme Court to wield more governance over women’s bodies. Just infuriating.

  66. Liz Monaco says...

    Wait, wait, wait… in this country we are innocent until proven guilty. I am woman, I suffered abuse, and I know and remember EXACTLY when, where and who. Dr. Ford’s allegations have been disputed by her own friend and three others. She was 14/15 and Mr Kavanaugh was 17! I have two beautiful sons, early 20’s. I taught them to never ever disrespect young ladies. HOWEVER, young ladies can also be nasty. One of them almost got my older son in trouble in HIGH SCHOOL and thank God there were witnesses and she retracted her statement to the guidance counselor. This hits home.
    This is an ugly, ugly day in America. Two people and their families are suffering and have been tortured all in the name of politics.

    • Sara says...

      Thank you for this. I completely agree. We CANNOT afford to forget the principle of innocent until proven guilty.

    • Colleen says...

      Like so many others have mentioned, this is not a criminal trial. It’s meant to inform Senate on the character of a candidate for the Supreme Court- a lifetime position, if they so chose. I would prefer that the next judge be one of upstanding morals and ethics- at minimum-, given the weight of their opinion and the way in which it will shape this country.

    • Kathy says...

      Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal trials. This isn’t a trial; it’s a job interview for a lifetime appointment to the most powerful court in the country. He bombed the interview – guess he’ll have to be content with his current position on the second most powerful court.

    • A says...

      “young ladies can also be nasty.” Dr. Ford isn’t a “young lady,” she’s a grown woman, a doctor, and didn’t speak up when she was a 15 year old “young lady”, likely because she was afraid of being accused of being a “nasty young lady.”

    • Rebecca says...

      That is a criminal standard. Not civil law. Not in the context of a job interview, for a life long position, that will decide the future of the American justice system. The person testifying is Dr. Blasey. An adult woman with a degree in clinical psychology. Not a girl your son went to high school with.

    • Julie says...

      Liz,

      Like many others have said, this is a job interview, not a criminal investigation. One that is currently being blocked from being investigated. Do you know why it behooves us to listen to sexual assault survivors, because 994 of 1000 rapists walk free. Because the majority of people who report sexual assault are telling the truth.

      What I’ve learned as of late, is that listening to survivors is so so important, because the majority of the time, when victims come forward, they are telling the truth. May I suggest the following resources where you can learn more: Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by John Krakauer, RAINN has a wealth of information about the statistics regarding sexual assault, Terrible Thanks for Asking has a good podcast episode from a survivor: https://www.apmpodcasts.org/ttfa/2017/10/7-unbroken-metoo/

    • Anna says...

      This has NOTHING to do with that. We are simply asking the question: should someone, who has sexually assaulted women, be given a lifetime position on the SCOTUS?

      I certainly don’t think so.

      The next judge elevated to this honorable lifetime position should be one of upstanding morals and ethics- — at a bare minimum. Given the way that their their opinion will shape this country this is hardly too much to ask.

    • Anathea says...

      Her allegations have not been disputed by her friend and the others she recalls being at the party. They have said they don’t recall that evening. Which makes sense as for them it would have been just a regular night. When she got out of the room she ran downstairs and out of the house. She didn’t tell the others what happened so there is nothing for them to recall. It’s so distressing to have people say her friends dispute it when it is just not the case. And actually her friend PJ says, although she doesn’t recall the evening she believes Dr Blasey Ford.

  67. Kat Rosa says...

    Thank you for this <3. What happened to her happened to me. My reaction was exactly the same: don't tell anyone; pretend it didn't happen; get this even as far away from me as possible. This debacle and the reactions of people who say it doesn't even matter if it is true have had me upset and anxious all week.

  68. Christy says...

    Boys and young men who are watching this are seeing, maybe for the first time, that committing rape or sexual assault might hurt their careers and/or wallets. And I’m really sad to say I think that’s the only way to get some of them to care enough not to do it. Sad as it is, it’s a kind of progress. We can’t get rid of the evil in the world, but we can stigmatize it enough, and attach enough practical negative consequences to it, to rein it in.

    • Heather says...

      …OR they, and young women, will see that our government does not care. That when it comes to the testimony of men and women, they will always reflexively side with the man.

  69. Ess says...

    Triggered AF. That’s how I’m doing.

    • Ciel says...

      Same. This has been the most triggering thing for me in the last two years.

    • Beth says...

      Seriously #metoo

    • Kay says...

      Sending love, sister. Take gentle care.

  70. Claire says...

    Really discouraged and burnt out on all of the highly contentious, emotionally charge dialogue about our political crisis and all of the other social problems that go with it. Nothing good ever seems to come of it, and nobody cares. People just want to fight.
    I believe Dr. Ford, but am opting out of the blow by blow. It takes too much of a toll on my psyche and my life.

  71. Lara says...

    I was wondering, what if the roles were reversed (Kavanaugh was a woman, and Ford was a man)? How would we feel then? Are we supposed to support a man in such a scenario?

    • Taylor says...

      I have a feeling your comment is not in good faith, but I believe survivors. I believe that no one would put up with moving out of their home for fear of their safety on an empty threat, or lie at personal cost the way countless accusers (including Jimmy Bennett) for no reason. If a man accused a female nominee of assault I would absolutely want a full investigation and believe him. Many men keep their assault hidden for fear that no one will believe them either.

    • Emily says...

      Yes. Believe and support survivors — all survivors — no matter their gender or political affiliation.

    • Liz says...

      We have seen that. When the allegations against Asia Argento were brought to light, I saw swift condemnation of her. In that instance, she was in a position of power, so even though she was a woman, she was wrong. She took advantage of a young man with less power than she and that was wrong. I’m curious, do you feel men are lacking in people to defend their actions? We’ve got all of America’s history showing us that they’ve got plenty of people willing to defend them…I’m just unclear what you’re trying to accomplish with your comment.

    • Kelly says...

      You are supposed to support survivors. The fact that men perpetrate more of the sexual violence has to do with balance of power, and how that is wielded. Men are also victims of abuse, from other men and from women. Believe survivors. Full stop.

    • Leticia says...

      I believe survivors because I AM ONE but, I do not believe Dr. Ford.

      I was wondering, if this was a person nominated by Obama, how quick would the dems be to push him through to guarantee the SCOTUS seat?

      Let’s call a spade a spade. Dems only want an FBI investigation to delay the nomination in hopes that they’ll take majority in November and he’ll never get enough votes to secure a SCOTUS seat.

    • Ann says...

      I don’t care what your gender is. If you’ve sexually assaulted someone, it’s not okay. You deserve to be exposed for what you are, and how you treat people, regardless of gender.

    • Anne says...

      Well I believe if you look at another devastating recent revelation, the abuse of many young men by priests in the Catholic Church, there was a noticeable lack of questions along these lines: “Why are these men coming out just now?” “Why didn’t these men report it then?” “How can we be sure of these men’s testimony especially when the priests themselves haven’t had a chance to defend themselves?” “How can these men destroy a priest’s career like that?” “Doesn’t all the good a priest has done since then make it okay?”
      In this instance, the male victims were given more support than women victims seem to be getting recently. Even in victimhood, there is disparity.

    • julie says...

      The Catholic church has paid out millions to men who were molested. I can’t remember the last time I heard about a woman getting paid reparations for her sexual abuse. Does that start to answer your question?

  72. Katherine says...

    I feel the weight of being a woman and carrying a daughter inside me so much today. I feel the weight of my mother’s sexual assault in college, who, when relaying the story to my sister and me, summed it up with saying should we ever find ourselves in a similar situation, the fix is to get out of there as soon as possible, by any means necessary. I asked her a few years ago why she never reported the assault and why she didn’t encourage my sister and I to report, should it have happened to us. She genuinely had to pause and think about it, saying she’d never even considered that as an option, because it would have been her word against his, and she was young and didn’t think anyone would have taken her seriously or believed her. She internalized society’s worth of a woman back then and has just now, as a 60 year old woman, realized she needs to relearn how to claim her space and self in a patriarchal world. I can only hope my daughter is able to demand this autonomy and authority from the very beginning of her being.

    Also, in addition supporting women and their pain and trauma, I’d like to suggest we also consider the way in which Republicans are urging us to consider Kavanaugh as a boy, while black boys like Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin were denied that privilege. It cost them their lives; Kavanaugh isn’t going to die if he doesn’t get this job. The pain and trauma of black bodies needs our continued support and attention as well.

    • Esvee says...

      Katherine, your comment pointing out the hypocrisy regarding boys and race is really insightful. Thank you.

  73. Meg says...

    I find it so demeaning to the cause of women that this incredibly important issue has been tossed around as ammo instead of being treated with care and deference. Not just by the committee, but by so many who seem to think that political persuasion is somehow related to someone’s ability to commit sexual assault or the ability of others to empathize. As a survivor, it hurts my heart.

    This is not an us vs. them situation. It’s not Republican vs. Democrat. We are climbing on top of one another and one day someone is going to realize that a lot of people, a lot of women, suffocated in that pile. For what?

  74. Rachel says...

    As a mother of a 2.5 year old boy, all of the recent news regarding sexual harassment and assault, makes me wonder about the mother’s of these men. How must those mothers feel? What can I do to ensure that my son is respectful to all people, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, etc.? I feel this to be a heavy burden that I imagine many mothers of young boys are struggling with at this time.

    • Taylor says...

      Raise your son without preconceived and frankly, limiting, concepts of what it means to “be a man.” Encourage vulnerability, empathy, kindness, and integrate him with women (teaching boys that girls are “other” and different from them is makes it easy for men to see women as less than) do not isolate him to an all male circle of friends or push him towards stereotypically male pursuits, if he develops an interest in violent sports or traditionally toxic male hobbies such as gaming, make him feel the responsibility of calling out other men, that this is the burden of being a good man, as women are burdened with the actions of bad men.

      I think most importantly, and the fact that you think about this and want your son to be a thoughtful and caring person, that you don’t think “boys will be boys” demonstrates to me that you have already done the best thing: love boys unconditionally, teach them the power of love and openness and support from women.

    • Kelly says...

      Teaching bodily autonomy really young is important! No means no, they don’t have to give a hug if they don’t want to, they don’t give a hug if someone doesn’t want it, they learn to look for nonverbal signs of discomfort. You can teach this with pets, you can teach this with visiting Grandma, long before sex comes into the picture. Teaching autonomy and consent and respecting that is so important. I’m sure you’re doing a great job even by thinking about it.

    • Lisa says...

      I also have a 2.5 year old boy and I’m trying to raise him to be a good man. His greatest ambition is to currently be a “big boy”, so I tell him that big boys have kind hearts and gentle hands. He’s learning boundaries, so to remind him we always tell him to “respect” and that there are places you mustn’t touch someone without their consent. Hopefully it will work

  75. Clara says...

    Dr. Ford’s testimony has brought about a turmoil of thoughts and emotions within me. For one, I feel upset. Upset that this is still an issue in 2018, that a woman sees herself forced to share such a terrible and personal experience in front of the entire nation, that the highest instance of this country, our president, is himself a member of those who hold sexist opinions and have harassed others, and that we face the prospect of someone similar being elected into the Supreme Court.
    I feel scared. Scared that this immensely courageous testimony will constitute only another drop in the bucket, scared that I will have to see daughters grow up in this environment.
    I feel exasperated, I feel hopeless.
    But, I also feel compassionate towards all the women who have shared similar experiences. I feel proud of their strength. And I feel hopeful that we, as a democratic and liberal society, as parents, and as educators, can effect change.

    I personally believe that, in order to effect such change, we must pay more attention to the raising and education of our boys. It is surely important to eliminate toxic competition between females and to teach girls to assert themselves, to speak up, to pursue their dreams. I believe, in this regard, we are on a good path, at least in our largely democratic and liberal society. We must turn our attention now to the way we raise boys, the way we enforce hyper-masculinity. I truly believe that the notion of masculinity as aggressive, dominant, and (physically) strong is at the core of patriarchy, of rape culture, of the male dominance in the workplace, etc. It is my true belief that is where we need to do the work. Since you have two boys, Joanna, I’d love to see a post on this. How do we educate our boys so they do not feel pressured into adopting an unhealthy notion of masculinity.

  76. Annie says...

    While The Daily Show is not my main source for news, I watch a lot to make myself laugh instead of cry about current events. But recently Trevor Noah said something about what happens when women come forward that is so true, it just broke my heart:
    “Our guy’s a saint . . . she’s lying about what happened . . . but if she is telling the truth, it probably wasn’t so bad . . . and even if it was everyone does it, so who cares?”
    I know we don’t want to feel defeated, it is just so tiring.

  77. ciara says...

    Last night I met 8 new women who are all involved somehow in just observing board meetings in our town…school board, library, city hall etc. All are 100% male and 3 of these women are going to run….it was fitting for the eve before this hearing. Diversity is coming an inch at a time on this marathon and women are on the sidelines cheering, coaching, and subbing in (with supportive, educated males as friends, sons, partners, fathers, brothers along the way too).

  78. Sasha says...

    Do you believe in “innocent until proven guilty”?

    • Sasha L says...

      He’s not on trial. He’s at a job interview. The worst that can happen to him is going back to an awesome job and awesome life.

      As far as his guilt, if you don’t think he’s guilty, then you don’t believe her, and why on Earth don’t you believe her?

    • Melody says...

      Yes, in the legal system. This is not a trial in the legal system, though. It is a job interview. Nominees have failed to be confirmed for much less.

    • Larissa says...

      Hi Sasha, I am a 3rd year law student and aspiring public defender. I believe in innocent until proven guilty with my entire personal and professional being. This is not a criminal trial. It’s a job interview. The question is whether Brett Kavanaugh has the temperament and character to sit on our country’s highest court. I think after these hearings it is abundantly clear he does not.

    • In the absence of a formal investigation, it’s hard to know if he’s innocent or guilty. But, why would Dr. Ford be lying? Who would possibly put herself and her family through this kind of stress and harassment (they’ve received death threats and have had to move out of their home) for a made-up story?

    • G says...

      This is not a criminal trial, it is a job interview. His liberty is not at stake, so no, “innocent until proven guilty” should not apply.

      He is applying to be one of the most persuasive voices in our country – to change the course of lives as he changes or interprets the law. He is applying to be a figurehead – someone whose very being represents justice. If he did not commit these acts and does not get this job, then that is a sad thing for him, truly, but it would be a much sadder thing for America to choose as a figure of justice and a maker of law, a man who assaults women. We cannot risk the integrity of our institutions for one person’s personal ambitions.

    • Sasha says...

      Hello other Sasha! I know he’s not on trial, I just meant: what do people think of the idea of “innocent until proven guilty”? I was thinking maybe that’s not the best route anymore. Let me know what you think.

    • Kat Rosa says...

      That’s a vital mechanism of the law. But this isn’t a trial. This is a job interview for a promotion to the highest judiciary position in the country. It’s a lifetime appointment. Only the very very best should get that promotion.

      For centuries (millennia?), sexual assault survivors (who today are still 85%+ female) have not been believed enough for investigations to even happen. Much less for a trial to happen, where those vital mechanisms of the law to be put in motion.

    • Nicole Holman says...

      Multiple women have come forward and are willing to risk so much to share their painful, personal stories with the nation. Also, crimes such as sexual assault are incredibly difficult to “prove,” especially after time has gone by since the incident, which is one of the reasons they’re rarely persecuted. Why do you feel compelled to reject multiple survivor’s stories over the hypothetical “innocence” of one man? You need to evaluate your mindset.

    • Ann says...

      I do not understand this argument when people make it.

      People are not threatening to send someone to prison or charge them criminally – which is the standard you refer to above. They are trying to decide if someone is fit to sit on the highest court of the land, and rule on the most important court cases and legal questions our country faces.

      Whether or not he’s a criminal, or could be charged criminally, is not the issue. The issue is whether he deserves a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. It’s about character, not criminality. Innocent until proven guilty has no bearing on the discussion.

    • A says...

      Um… that’s exactly why Dr. Ford asked for an FBI investigation rather than just a senate hearing… to determine guilt vs innocence. Too bad the GOP doesn’t care about “innocent until proven guilty,” Sasha. They care about winning.

    • Michelle says...

      Here’s one reason she might be lying… Kavanaugh’s “past views, reinforced by testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggest Kavanaugh would permit government to impose stricter regulation of abortion” (CNN). Ford might see herself as a crusader for a woman’s right to choose.

      Here’s one reason Kavanaugh might be lying… he’s been so privileged since the day he was born he felt he deserved to use women as he wanted (a feeling of entitlement reminiscent of Tiger Woods), and may feel he deserves to be part of the supreme court because (in his mind) he’s just a superior human being,

    • Meg says...

      I believe the innocent are generally willing to call for an investigation to prove their innocence and I’m suspicious of someone who isn’t. As this is not a criminal investigation we can’t really expect “proof” to be forthcoming, so it does become a question of belief. Dr Ford underwent a polygraph and asked for an investigation. I believe her.

  79. Emma says...

    I had a conversation the other day with my uncle that made me weirdly hopeful. He works as a guard in a prison. He was recounting tearfully an incident of sexual harassment that his friend and co-worker had experienced recently — a man (another coworker) exposing himself in the hallway and propositioning her. He told me how another woman he worked with had confronted a male coworker who had repeatedly made derogatory comments about her appearance. That guy filed a complaint about the confrontation, and she had decided to fight back with a counter-complaint explaining the torrent of verbal abuse that prompted her confrontation. My uncle said his already stressful work environment was becoming unbearable for him and he didn’t know what to do — “What is happening?! Why do men suddenly think they can act this way!”

    I said what seemed obvious: men have always acted this way. My uncle was just suddenly aware of it. His female coworkers are sharing their experiences with him and all at once he’s feeling all the stress and tumult that they’ve always dealt with. Their experiences feel unbearable to my uncle, but he’s listening nonetheless and he’s completely on their side. I really believe most men are like my uncle, and they will listen if we are willing and able to share.

    I read another comment in which someone proposed the hypothetical — “what if it’s your sons who were accused, wouldn’t you want there to be a burden of proof?” Well, I hope I raise sons who listen, because if they do then I am not worried, but I think it’s also really important to say, I hope I raise daughters like Christine Blasey Ford who talk about their experiences if they can, because people are listening.

    • Silver says...

      Thank you so much for your story. I too think that many men are “getting to think about this for the first time” – really think about it. I think when they were young, for so many of them, they were decent guys and they weren’t like the others… maybe they genuinely didn’t understand… I don’t know. But I engage in conversations with older men often now, whose eyes water as they they talk about issues like this. I recently had a conversation with my dad, who’d always loved the Australian game, rugby league. Increasingly over the years these players have committed so many acts of violence against women (they glass their girl friend’s faces, that sort of thing, they do whatever they want and by enlarge they get away with it). I don’t watch the game, and my son is never allowed to watch it or participate – nor does he want to because even though he is very young (he is now 8, but it has been a constant dialogue since school started – I know it is heavy but raping someone or being raped is so much worse) I have shown him photos of the faces of those women and he understands that we don’t support that sort of thing. Anyway, the other day my dad turned to me with tears in his eyes and he said “I have never heard a single one of those players call out their team mate for what he did – they’re all as bad as each other”.

  80. Anne says...

    I watched/listened to the testimony of Dr. Ford while I sat at my desk today. I found it incredibly powerful and moving and applaud her courage. I thought she did extremely well given the circumstances and having the deck so stacked against her. As hard as it was to witness, and all the emotions I felt: anger, sadness, fatigue; I’m glad I watched it because I think it was one of those moments that defines our history. I will not soon forget. I hope she felt and continues to feel the strength and support of the countless women and men across this country that are in her corner. No matter what the outcome is, she is a hero.

    I’m done following the feed for the day. I’m currently listening to Lizzo and other uplifting tunes and taking time to breathe. We all deserve some extra love today–so give it to yourself and pour it out to others.

    Take care xo

  81. Sasha L says...

    I feel tired. I feel especially worn our speaking with my 21 yo daughter who is lucky enough to not be reliving assaults, but who feels the pain of all these women speaking out nonetheless. My heart just hurts for all of the women out there reliving the most terrible moments of their lives, over and over, because there is just no where to feel safe. I want it to be better, yesterday already, I want some fucking thing to be better.

    To all of the women, and the male survivors too (there are so many victims in this patriarchy), I hear you and I believe you, and I always have, and I know these last few weeks have been horrible.

  82. Anne says...

    I feel so gross and unhappy about all of this. I want to say upfront that I’m liberal and I tend to vote Democratic. But I also care a LOT about fairness, I work really hard not to be partisan, and I think this is messy and not as cut-and-dry as most of the other commenters do. Here’s what’s swirling around in my head:

    – I’m so angry for Dr. Ford, that she went through that, that Kavanaugh was such a prick, that he thought he was entitled to her body. I’m angry for all of the (many, many) women who experience that.
    – I’m disgusted by Trump’s ongoing defense of men who assault women.
    – Turns out I’m still furious about the Merrick Garland debacle and I’m not sure I’ll ever be over it.
    – I’m a little uneasy about diving into someone’s high school yearbook to assess their character. 17 is still really young? I said and did unkind things when I was 17, things that I would never say as an adult. If I went into politics, would one of my high school classmates emerge to tell the newspapers about the controversial paper I wrote when I was a teenager and thought I knew it all? There is obviously a difference in scale in that example, but I think the point stands.
    – I love the #MeToo movement, and I’m so relieved that so many prominent men are FINALLY facing consequences for their actions. However, I think we should figure out what a path to forgiveness looks like for these men. How do they change, and how do they show us they changed? Definitely therapy, definitely restitution to their victims…and then what? That just doesn’t seem satisfying. I want them to understand what they did, and I want them to make amends, and I want them to change. And I DO want them to change and rejoin the world, and be a positive net force, in the end. Is that even possible? Will we let them?
    – I always try to swap parties in any political situation to test my own partisanship. What would I be thinking and saying if someone had come forward to accuse Barack Obama of assault when they were both in high school? The standard needs to be the same for both Democrats and Republicans. I feel sort of cringey about this question, because would I really support his impeachment or resignation in that situation, when I loved him so much as a president? I think I would want to see proof that they understood the severity of their behavior and regretted it. I’m willing to allow someone youthful mistakes (even crimes, even assaults) if I believe they have grown and changed. I think I could imagine that coming from Obama, but I’m certainly not seeing it from Kavanaugh. I’m not completely sure what the answer is, to be honest, but it’s a question I keep asking myself because I think it’s important.

    Anyway. I meant to take a 5 minute break and it’s been nearly an hour. Whoops!

    • Clara says...

      Thank you for your nuanced commentary, Anne. I agree, especially with your statements about forgiveness on the victim’s part, and genuine regret and effort for compensation on the assaulter’s part. How do we handle issues like these? We should start by addressing them, which hasn’t happened often so far in the discourse, so I thank you for doing so.

    • Taylor Singer says...

      Anne, in your comment you do a lot of work on behalf of abusers, trying to figure out how to redeem them. I would implore you that it is not your job to do, it is theirs. When I see folks saying “so Louis CK can’t ever work again?” I get angry because all of these men, Louis CK, Kavanaugh, they wasted their own opportunity and success with their behavior. They put themselves in these situations by assaulting someone. Kavanaugh could have made the arguments you make, that he was a toxic teenager who has grown and repented. That he’s not the dumb kid in a bad culture that he was then. That is not what he’s doing, he’s casting doubt on her and talking about how he is the victim. Please stop granting these men the benefit of the doubt they do not deserve.

    • Christy says...

      Thanks for saying this all so perfectly, Anne.

    • Fran says...

      Thank you for expressing so eloquently exactly how I feel! My heart hurts for Dr. Ford. But I’m also troubled by judging people based on behaviors exhibited while in high school. What is transpiring in our world right now is so troubling . . . in so many aspects and on so many levels.

    • Annie Leither says...

      I understand what you mean about young people making stupid decision. But what Dr. Ford describes is not normal behavior at any age. Additionally, and very importantly, he had 36 years to come forward and make an apology and he didn’t which shows his character as an adult. There is a beautiful segment in thepodcast ‘The Daily’ (which I think one of Stella’s posts got me listening to) from September 20 called “A High School Assault” in which a woman discusses an assault that happened to her in high school. She wondered why she did not seem affected years later as Dr. Ford clearly is. As it turns out, a year (or maybe a few years) after the assault, the boy who assaulted her found her and begged her forgiveness of his own accord because he could not live with himself, not because his reputation was on the line. The woman attributes her ability to heal largely to that apology . The fact that Dr. Ford has not gotten an apology means she is left to deal with the trauma. It tells us that her attacker either does not believe he did anything to apologize for and is not bothered by it, or he knows what he did was wrong but was unwilling to face the consequences of his actions, preferring to allow another human being to suffer. This is the Supreme Court. We do not want (another) person lacking empathy and scruples sculpting the laws of our country moving forward.

      As for what you were saying about Obama, personally one of the main reasons I like him is his character. I think it is so hard to think about the reverse senario because it is SO unlikely given what we know of him. It isn’t really fair to ask yourself to do that. There have been multiple democratic senators and liberal leaders I have been fine with waving goodbye to when these type of assaults come to light.

    • Amanda says...

      This is exactly how I am feeling today. So many emotions. I did a lot of dumb things as a 17 year old. That doesn’t excuse it. But there has to be a way forward. Recognizing and making restitution in some way being a part of it. Which isn’t happening in this case. And I am still so angry. Why are women still being treated this way.

    • Liz says...

      Such a wonderful comment, Anne, I think this wrestling with how to hold men accountable for their past actions while allowing for growth is important and necessary.

      I’m a firm believer in transparency and humility doing a lot in moving towards forgiveness. Like, I wish these men who are so publicly prominent didn’t have things “dug up” on them and instead were forthright, and even better, had already sought restitution and forgiveness personally-before rising to prominence. And to me, that’s just personal ethics and morality. If you do something wrong, take responsibility, not because you might be famous some day but because that is the right thing to do. The fact that this happens so rarely though points to our system’s weaknesses. We praise pristine facades over messy authenticity…

    • S says...

      Agree with all of this. So much to figure out. Well said.

    • Audrey F says...

      Agreed, Taylor. Until these men can admit and repent for their actions, why do they deserve forgiveness?

    • Anne says...

      Taylor, thanks for your comment! I’m actually not granting them the benefit of the doubt – I definitely think these guys are guilty of what they’ve been accused of, and as I said, I’m not seeing any signs of maturity, reflection, or regret from Kavanaugh, nothing that indicates he deserves redemption.

      This line of thought is weirdly one of the remnants of my Catholic eduction. I want people to be good in the end, and I want to give people the chance to make better decisions in the future than they made in the past. In the end, I don’t think that the best outcome is for Kavanaugh to be a bitter, lonely misogynist instead of a rich, powerful misogynist. That’s still one more misogynist than the world should have. I think the best outcome is for Kavanaugh to go to a lot of therapy, realize he’s been a dirtbag, and use his time to volunteer for nonprofits that support a healthier version of masculinity. I think justice is partly about restitution and partly about rehabilitation. It doesn’t in any way diminish the suffering of victims.

    • Starla says...

      I appreciated this comment <3

    • Clara says...

      At Audrey F, about forgiveness: I like to think of forgiveness not as something for the assaulter, but for the victim. To be able to forgive, is to be good to yourself and to allow healing. Forgiving without the assaulter’s remorse is hard. But, I speak from experience, it’s worth trying. For your own sake.

    • Kelly says...

      I think part of it isn’t partisan though. There’s a reason (even though I think Ted Cruz isn’t a great guy in other respects), no one has ever come forward for him, there’s never been a whisper of that type of thing. There are abusers AND good men in every sphere of life. Democrats have had Bill Clinton and Al Franken alongside Barack Obama. We should oust abuse wherever we see it it, and not tolerate it under any circumstances. But it’s clear that Ted Cruz isn’t doing these things, it’s clear that Obama isn’t doing these things. And no one gets a free pass for being likable in other aspects of their life.

      Finally, as a survivor, I wish someone cared half as much about me returning to where I was before the assault as they did about things going back to normal for the attacker. I was a rising star in the Ivy League, very Catholic, very optimistic, and shaken to my core for years after.

    • Kelsey says...

      Sexual and physical assault aren’t just “unkind things”… I’m guessing you didn’t rape anybody and it feels like a false equivalence to compare unkind things you did at 17 to Kavanaugh assaulting Ford at 17.

    • Kelsey says...

      Also, I think that before we figure out how to work toward forgiveness and all that (good) jazz for men, we need to get to a place where more men in powerful positions are literally just ACCEPTING the fact that this happens and is so incredibly rampant in our world. I think the focus still needs to be on supporting women because, as evidenced by the entire situation with Dr. Ford, lots of men (and women) are still resistant to even accepting the vastness of the situation we have gotten ourselves into. I don’t know if this fully makes sense, but I just feel like we need to SIT and STAY in this moment for quite a bit longer before we move on to “okay, now let’s make sure the men are forgiven and healed.”

    • Michelle says...

      Anne,

      I have to admit that when I first read your comment, I couldn’t help but think “These men shouldn’t have made that decision in the first place!” But I’ve been thinking about your comment a lot since then. You’re right. We have to figure out a path to redemption for these men. Otherwise, this pattern of lying is going to continue. The stakes are currently just way too high for doing the thing of integrity. And the full burden is carried by the victim, who never sees her load lightened even an ounce by the man who doesn’t need to take responsibility.

      I mean, how amazing would it have been to hear Kavanaugh say “Yes, this happened. I was young and stupid. I thought I was in charge, I’ve had to learn the hard way that I’m not. I’m a changed person,” etc. “I still feel like the government should have total control over a woman’s body, but…” (Baby steps.)

  83. Ramona says...

    I listened to half of Dr. Ford’s testimony with our college-student nanny and the other half with my retired mother. It is interesting to me that, even though so much has changed for women between our three generations, nothing about Dr. Ford’s testimony surprised any of us. We all know the entitlement of men like Kavanaugh, all know how little respect men like that show to the rights and autonomy of women when they gets in the way of their own ego and needs. It’s sickening.

  84. Lisa says...

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot (even though I’m not in the US) today and in the year since metoo kicked off. I was sexually assaulted more than a decade ago by someone I had known for a while. My best friend at the time believed him over me, which killed our friendship. The person who did believe me was my flat mate, and I distinctly remember him saying “it was sexual assault, you know it was”.
    Last night, for the first time ever I looked him up (couldn’t see any details on what he’s up to, only a blurry photo) and I dreamed about him. The fear I felt was so real; I can still remember all the details, over a decade on.
    Today I looked at my baby girl and hoped that she never goes through anything like this. I’m teaching her and her brother to respect their own bodies, and the bodies of others. Maybe this next generation can do better.

    • E says...

      So sorry, Lisa.

  85. Meggles says...

    I feel so sad and defeated. And I feel disgusting. I know I’m not, but the GOP’s reactions (callous, dismissive, joking remarks) make me feel like women are just bodies to them. I mean, we are, right? I used to be a Republican. Well, the mask has slipped for them and I know who they are. I’ll spend the rest of my life working against the R party. I wouldn’t be surprised if millions of women feel the same way at this very moment.

  86. Amy says...

    I’m disgusted with Republicans. I’m disgusted that the democrats “leaked” this information at the last second. It’s a game to them all. I’m tired of being treated as a pawn by our politicians.
    I am repulsed by men who use their power to bully. I’m tired of women getting the blame for putting themselves in bad situations, saying/wearing “the wrong thing”, not coming forward soon enough. I didn’t realize trauma had a time limit…

    Irregardless, I take heart that what we women have put up with for eternity may be finally changing. Slowly.

  87. katie says...

    How I feel can best be summed up by the poet Nayyirah Waheed’s words:

    all of the women.
    in me.
    are tired.

    • Cait says...

      I love this. It is both an acknowledgement of our multi-faceted selves and how we are all the women who came before us.
      (I’m feeling this way today, too. Thank you for sharing.)

    • Eva says...

      Yes, tired. But also outraged. I had no idea I could feel this much outrage.

    • jen says...

      That’s beautiful. Watching Dr. Ford, I was my 18 year old self, getting felt up by a doctor and no one believing me, my 25 year old self getting harassed into quitting a job and on and on. It would be a small victory if trump has to appoint some other right wing nut other than Kanenaugh.

    • Heather says...

      Thank you for sharing this. I’ve never read that and I love it. And I needed something like that today. Tired yes, but at least we can feel less alone. And that helps too.

  88. Sarah says...

    https://votesaveamerica.com/ They will be doing sample ballots in the next few weeks as well.

    Part of crooked media

  89. Hilary says...

    Is it possible for Cup of Jo to re-share the story of the ‘fuck it fund’? I fear we all need to start one for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren…

    • Sarah says...

      I second this! Maybe Paco could do a piece on why building an emergency fund, especially as a woman, is so important.

  90. Jenna says...

    I feel very tired and defeated and sad. These things help, these words help. But I fear we are on a neverending wheel where we will inevitably take a beating and where inevitably nothing will get done.

    • Lily says...

      I came here to make a similar comment. If you’re thinking that things will just shake out as they shake out according to the “just” justice system (even though this is NOT a trial and Kavanaugh doesn’t stand to lose ANYTHING), you need to listen to this episode or read their chilling, unbelievable, enraging book “A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America.”

  91. selby shlosberg says...

    i haven’t been the best at keeping up to date in politics in the last two years. i tried, but it was making me so mad/sad that i stopped listening to podcasts and really digging into the news.
    but today i’ve been following the live updates and gotten so mad at what people are saying. like lindsey graham, oof my blood is boiling.
    at this point, kavanaugh hasn’t spoken so we’ll see what he says. but right now, i’m scared and frustrated.

  92. Allison says...

    My 2 year-old daughter and I went to Capitol Hill this morning to join with people supporting Christine. I was so touched when an older woman greeted my baby and said, “honey, you won’t remember this, but we are doing this for you so you don’t have to one day.” Let’s hope she’s speaking the truth about a better future for our babies!

    • Alex says...

      <3

    • I love this. I attended the women’s march in Amsterdam (where we were living at the time) with a 36 week pregnant belly and my 20 month old daughter. Neither of my girls will remember the march, but I remember the support and community there, and all I kept thinking was, “We’re all here doing this for you.” That kind of support is so powerful, and I just know that we can change things if we continue to band together, even if that change sometimes feels so far out of reach.

    • Nerissa says...

      Oh Alison, this made me weep. It reminded me of lugging my very chubby and heavy twins to the women’s march when they were just infants. Thank you for showing up today in D.C.

    • This is so lovely, thanks for posting it

    • Fiona says...

      oooooh this made me cry

    • Katie says...

      Aw, that makes me tear up. Thank you for representing those of us who couldn’t make it to D.C. today, and I hope that older woman is right!

    • Ramona says...

      It’s really great that you did that. I’m sure it was a schlep with a little one in tow. If I were her, I know I would have really appreciated to have the support and the reminder of why her bravery matters.

  93. Tina,NYC says...

    I’m just so sad and disappointed because I think this man is going to be the next Supreme Court Justice. Our system is so broken. The Republicans don’t need the Democrats and they will vote on this man and vote him in.

    And he In no way has shown to have the charachter to sit on our highest court for a lifetime appointment. We should be looking for unassailable charachter and integrity and that is entirely lacking in this nominee.

    I found his interview on Fox to be grotesque. His statement “we aren’t going away” to me smacked of such entitlement. He assumes because Of his jobs and education he is entitled to this post. It’s sickening.

    Dr. Ford you are a hero. I’m so sorry you are going through all this and that this happened to you all those years ago. When your voice cracked in the beginning of your statement this morning I began to sob.

    I’m holding you up to the light.

  94. Anna says...

    I was surprised by how moving and compelling I found Dr For’s testimony. Today I just feel very angry. How is this happening in 2018. The suggestion that women go through such horrifying experiences for some kind of personal gain makes me filled with rage. It also saddens me to see comments about how #metoo is lowering the burden of proof and how that is a bad thing. The problem is not the burden being lowered – it’s the burden. As a lawyer, I know that it is incredibly hard to meet. The justice system is set up to make it difficult to achieve conviction on the premise that it is always better to have the guilty go free than to convict innocent people and deprive them of their liberty. In combination with various systemic issues (race, sexism and so on), conviction for sexual assault is incredibly difficult. To suggest that we cannot take allegations into account absent conviction completely misses the nature and purpose of criminal law and the way it has failed to protect women for years. We seek character references for jobs and renting houses etc all the time. The Supreme Court is no different.

    I also don’t think that to say “believe women” is saying we should ignore men. It’s saying that women are suffering immense pain in sharing their stories and they deserve to be fully heard without being dismissed in a he said she said way or by saying she’s doing it for personal gain.

  95. Kimberly says...

    I want to hug Dr. Ford and thank her for speaking out on behalf of all survivors of assault. I want to send her the largest bouquet of flowers, give her a hundred cups of coffee, help pay for her and her family’s security.

    I would be crushed and terrified if I had to testify in public against my adoptive father and adoptive brother. I also have “lapses” of specific details in my memory. But I remember being terrified to the point of not being able to speak or move each time the abuse occurred.

    I am so proud of all the women (and men) who are survivors of sexual assault. I am reminded today that I am in that group as a SURVIVOR.
    Thank you, Jo, for providing this safe place to share. I didn’t feel comfortable sharing on Twitter, but I feel supported and loved here.

    • Charlotte says...

      Kimberly, you are so strong, you have a group of sisters with you here. I am hugging you very tightly.

    • Kimberly says...

      I just want to add that the men who abused me were “well liked” by others–even other women. One was of high-ranking position, was “well respected” and “honored” by his peers and community. The other was equally liked and admired and was considered “funny” and “charming” by women. One drank heavily and denies everything. One blamed “youthful stupidity” for his actions–repeated actions. Both are considered devout Christians.

      Sometimes the only person who will know the truth is the victim/survivor.

      As many with many others, Dr. Ford has everything to lose by exposing her truth. Sexual assault survivors should not be volleyed around in this political arena. I am saddened and exhausted now.

  96. Ali says...

    I have to keep getting up to pace the room and then sit back down and watch more and then get up and walk off my disbelief and anger. I’m just stunned. I have never been assaulted anywhere near the way that she has, but when I was in college, in a hot tub with my then new boyfriend, my best friend and several of my new boyfriends friends, one of those male friends grabbed my hand under the water and put it on his erect penis. I snatched it back and quickly exited the hot tub. When I got inside and was followed by my new boyfriend rather than shock and anger I was greeted with him laughing and saying it’s not big deal and that the friend was just playing around. I was advised not to ‘ruin’ the party by making it a big deal. I CANNOT BELIEVE WE STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS SHIT. It’s like women have to be publicly raped and have it on camera before it’s taken seriously. I’m so tired of it.

    • Manon says...

      I am really sorry you had to go through this and relieved it today. It’s just so maddening, I’m angry all the time now.

  97. Aga says...

    I had a very poignant moment this morning. I arrived early to attend a conference near the Houses of Parliament on a sunny London morning. I decided to visit the statue of Millicent Garrett Fawcett – the first woman in Parliament Square among all the men and only raised this year after a long campaign! A woman asked me to take a picture of her and Millicent and I just felt this sisterly bond.

  98. MariaE. says...

    “The truth is our strength. We are each other’s strengths. ” Thank you for this post today. Very much needed. We are definitely not alone!

  99. Jenny says...

    She is a warrior. Thank you for posting this and holding off on your other posts. It doesn’t seem right to be reading blogs today that talk about things that don’t matter. My heart is with her today. In that court room. Grateful for forums like this one that let women share so much – design, fashion, motherhood, politics, and how we are changing the world.

  100. Natasha says...

    There is so much on my mind.

    There is so much about this whole Ford VS Kavanaugh situation just brings up so many thoughts. Rape culture; it’s just further evidence of these institutionalized ideas of patriarchy and male dominance. Our culture has perpetuated this nonsense forever. Modern day America is rape culture. No, it’s not an extreme example; we’re more subtle, more civilized, more covert about it. But still, it is rape culture. We aim to look better in front of the rest of the world, but it’s all of these little practices that get woven into the experience of everyday life. It’s our president claiming that if a woman was raped, she would have reported it. No, she probably fucking wouldn’t have. Do you know what women have to deal with when they publicly come out with rape allegations? Most of the women I know who have been raped, and there are many, never came forth publicly because it is just too much. I was lucky to be educated during high school by many women who were hardcore feminists, and this paved the way to studying women’s studies in college. Even in my early twenties I still did not fully understand what constitutes “assault.” Understanding now, as a firmly grown, experienced, educated woman, I can say I have experienced assault at the hands of female physicians, not once or twice, but three times! College; high school; sports; the medical profession; patriarchy is alive and well, and that shit isn’t going down without a serious fight.

    Rape culture is when guys like Brock Turner, Kavanaugh, and Trump can avoid a harsh convictions of sex assault and get let off the hook because they’re too white and too powerful. The girl who has been ostracized in public, for having been drunk, and then taken advantage will not only live with a lifetime of unimaginable pain and guilt, while her assailant walks free. Though her case gained massive media attention, this scenario is all too familiar in modern day America. I can’t even count the number of women I know who have been raped who chose not to bring their situations to the police; because unfortunately, the criminal justice system isn’t really interested in another young girl with a penis between her legs. Even if she didn’t consent to it being there. Even if she said no. Even if it was violence committed against her. The legal system doesn’t care; she’s not going to be taken seriously; she’s going to have to relive the events over and over again. There will probably be no justice for her. She basically has to put her panties on and move the fuck on.

    Ford VS Kavanaug just makes me sad, angry, hurt; so long as patriarchy prevails, this kind of situation will prevail. Awareness sheds light; the light is getting shone, as even if Kavanaugh is determined to be not guilty of his crimes, and being one of Trump’s good ole boys, he probably will be viewed as not guilty, our eyes are opening.

  101. Inge says...

    Wow, that photograph! Only older white men in the first row to witness her, maybe 1 exception. Horrible. Parliament/senate should be 50% women. How long will it take? (I’m not American but the same goes for most western world countries).

  102. anonymous says...

    today is a difficult day. i have the tab open listening at work. some points have had me tears and my heart beating so fast, as it can be quite triggering.
    at the same time, i am in awe of her. this evening i will be at an event where i will be in same room as person who played an instrumental part in a difficult time my family has gone through the past year – and who also sexually harassed me around a decade ago. this morning i had a pit in my stomach thinking about it. dr. ford has now given me the strength to go into the situation with confidence.
    sending virtual hugs to everyone.

    • Jen says...

      Sending you so much love and strength tonight. Xoxo

    • Fiona says...

      Such hugs your way, this is horrible.

    • Kate says...

      Ah, shit. I’m sorry that happened and continues to be present in your life. You are strong and I’ll be thinking of you.

    • Sasha L says...

      Kelly, that cam link is awesome, what a kind thing to post here. Why can’t the rest of the world be more like the comments on COJ? Seriously, we really need it to be.

      Thinking of you Anon.

  103. Gill F. says...

    I have not been in the office today, so I haven’t been able to follow the trial, but wow that picture says it all. I applaud her for all of her strength and bravery and I wave a big middle finger to the people in this country who have let it go this far. As a survivor, I want to thank people believing us and standing alongside us. We need it more than ever these days.

  104. I had something happen to me, and how I feel that it has affected me, is that I feel that I do a lot, and often go out of my way to “be in a position” where something “might” happen, and even it’s a situation where there is mutual respect, I still feel overly cautious to make “damn” sure, nothing happens in which I am put, or put myself in a situation where something could happen. Therefore, I have currently (maybe not forever) do not date, and do not care to date. Maybe this is due to other underlying trust issues, but really-what is the point, if there isn’t mutual trust, respect, and men who don’t see women as an object, or an accomplishment. For now, I’m taking care of me, and when people ask if I’ll date again any time soon, I don’t know how to answer that. For now, I guess I just don’t see anyone worth taking that step for yet…

  105. Em says...

    Every person who questions Dr. Ford’s memory of what happened or why she knows certain things but not others–I suspect has never had anything “bad” happen to them. When will these ways of treating women (or anyone) finally NOT be OK? Maybe when there is an actual consequence to them. When it is no longer acceptable to have a creditable allegation lodged against you and still you get to go on to be a supreme court justice. That might help. Wake up, America. Stop allowing this! I am feeling so frustrated and heartbroken that this is my country and the country my daughter has been born into. I expect and want so much better for her.

    • HH says...

      Amen, sister.

  106. Emma says...

    Since we are taking about a legal appointment, I think the question of the standard of proof is very relevant here. When people stand clinical trial, they must be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt, because going to prison is the biggest privation the government can impose (other than death obviously). Here, if he is not appointed, he will go back to being a judge. He will not be fired, he will not go to prison, he will continue to live a life vastly more comfortable than that of most Americans. No one owes you an appointment to the highest court of the land. People are fired, or passed over in job interviews, for way lesser offenses with way lesser evidence. I don’t think this has anything to do with #metoo to be honest. Rape has been a crime for years.

  107. Lauren E. says...

    She’s a hero. I wanted to turn the TV off but knew it was MY civic duty to listen. If she has to go through this, I’ll lend my support in any way that I can.

  108. patricia blaettler says...

    Any individual sitting on the Supreme Court should be able to demonstrate an impeccable character. (IF) the claims against Kavanaugh are in any way true, he does not deserve the honor to serve. If he has proven to be aggressive against women in the past, it can be deduced that he may have an unconscious bias against women deep down inside. Decisions that he may make from the court can affect millions of American women into the future. This is too important to just rush through. We deserve better.
    Ladies, get your young adult children registered and to the polls!

  109. Amy says...

    I’m watching the hearings today even though I shudder at the questions asking about her fears, other traumas contributing to anxiety, and how she is sure her memory is accurate. But I keep it on because I feel like somehow, because of the miracles of the universe and the connectedness of its people, that she feels my support. I hope she does. I’m cheering her on and lifting her up and bearing witness to this spectacle for all of us. For any women who had to prove why she wasn’t lying when she said a man did something against her wishes. Thanks for opening this space.

    • Macauley says...

      This speaks to me – I’m watching it too, not because I’m enjoying it; it’s so frustrating to watch. But because I feel an obligation to bear witness to what Christie is enduring for the sake of our country, for women and for what’s right. I hope that I would have the same strength if a task like this fell to me.

      I want so badly for her to feel the magnitude of the support that all of us are willing her way.

  110. Andrea says...

    I’m always surprised in times like these by the absence of feminists’ voices speaking up about the destructive influence of pornography on our culture that treats women as objects. I am NOT saying pornography use directly leads to sexual violence, just that objectifying women (and men) through pornography can break down another layer in seeing each person’s inherent dignity. Yet it seems (to me) if you’re a modern woman you’re expected to accept pornography as an empowering part of your sexual liberation and talking about its negative influence means you’re prudish and opressed. Just my two cents, that’s how I’m feeling today.

    • Courtney says...

      Thank you so much for this. I agree 100%.

    • Liza says...

      I’ve been thinking of this a lot lately. Thanks for your comment, you’re not alone in feeling this way.

    • Lindsay says...

      agree!

    • E says...

      Yes! I might add music lyrics, movies, and yes even fashion . There’s no modesty. But that makes me prude, I guess. Sexuality is so pervasive everywhere.

    • briana says...

      Totally agree and have always felt like I was in the minority. Glad to see that I’m not alone in my opinion.

    • Emily W. says...

      100% with you. Between the objectifying and the human trafficking that is linked to pornography usage I don’t understand how people can still be in just support of it.

    • Anne says...

      I totally agree. One time I mentioned that it would be fun to talk dirty a little in bed, thinking like, “you look so hot right now.” You know, GOOD dirty! But my husband looked unhappy and said, “I don’t think that would be very nice. I don’t think you’d like it if I called you a slut.”

      Yes, he’s a gem and I adore him, but it broke my heart that that’s what talking dirty meant to him. Even for such a thoughtful, caring, loving man, the porn he’d watched in his teens had taught him a vocabulary for sex that will always be there. If porn represented healthy, respectful, loving sex, then sure! I’d be all for it! But it really doesn’t, and that does have an effect on young men and their understanding of how to treat women.

    • Nicole Holman says...

      Andrea,

      I completely agree with your statements. In fact, several legit scientific studies agree with your statement! The facts are out there that pornography leads to increased sexual violence and objectification. No we just need society to accept this.

    • Kristy says...

      I agree. I also have an unpopular opinion regarding hook up culture (although my friends agree). At first glance it seems prudish to be against it, but sex and other intimate expressions are just so much better with someone you feel emotion for, and more often than not I hear complicated confusion with hook ups, and I also think it oftentimes leads to thinking of other humans as just a prop to play out your loneliness or insecurity.

      Learn to masturbate (without relying on bad porn), learn how to talk to people to create meaningful relationships, learn that having sex with someone, period, isn’t everything.

  111. Adrienne says...

    So affirming to realize others are feeling as anxious and unsettled as I am today. Been watching all morning and trying to work (to no avail). So appreciate the supportive environment here. Also appreciate the wonderful men in my life who love and support me and deeply respect women. Peace to all those struggling today and applause for Dr. Ford’s composure and bravery.

  112. Michelle says...

    I’m holding my baby girl as she naps, worried I’m not going to leave her with a kinder and safer world in which to navigate her most vulnerable years. But I’m also feeling grateful for women who still stand up and speak their truth, even in moments when they have everything to lose and nothing to gain. And grateful for a community of men and women who make the simple choice to believe them. It inspires me to listen and to be strong and honest.

    So, Joanna and others who are feeling weak right now: Unplug if you need to. There are many of us fighting, and who will fight for every last shred that says we can do better. That we deserve better. And we have your back if you need to rest.

    • Emma says...

      This comment moved me to tears. I’m feeling overwhelmed and emotional today, but am so buoyed by the reminder that there are others out there to fight this fight, even in the moments when I don’t have the strength to fight myself. Love and strength to all of us, wishing and working for a kinder, safer world.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m doing the exact same. I will fight to make this world better for my baby girl.

  113. Rhonda says...

    I’m watching this and I am torn up. Half of me is feeling pride, heartbreak, and love for Dr. Ford and sending all those emotions her way. The other half of me is so pissed off! I also watched the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearing back in college and watched that smug SOB deny everything with righteous indignation. I am so afraid that the same damn thing is about to happen again. This is a LIFETIME position. If there is any doubt to his character at all, he should be out. OUT. He’s not on trial for jail, a Supreme Court nomination is an honor, not something he is owed just because he is nominated!! There are so many red flags waving around this guy, when Merrick Garland didn’t even get a chance?? I’m furious today.

    • Karyn says...

      Check, check, check, check, check. Right there with you :(

  114. Ashley says...

    I just can’t believe we are still here 27 years later. I fully believe that every woman needs to be heard because as we can see in these comments, it happens to almost all of us. I also understand that we can’t believe to the extent that it discounts the man’s experience and gives guilty charges to someone who is innocent. The danger I fear today is with the side-by-side comparison of this situation with the Anita Hill hearings. Both men steadfastly denying their allegations and still skating through. The comments made about how hard of a time it is for the men, when in reality the women have been dealing with the repercussions of the incidents for years and not just a few weeks. In this life, I believe that people can change and can leave old selves behind, but I also believe that there are always consequences to actions; whether those consequences come immediately or 36 years after the fact.

  115. Leah says...

    Thanks for posting about this today instead of business as usual.

    Sending gratitude, and warm and healing thoughts, to a true patriotic hero sacrificing for the good of our country – Dr. Ford.

  116. Emily says...

    Joanna, whine I genuinely sympathize and empathize with women who have dealt with sexual abuse and assault, I also feel that there must be a burden of proof beyond what they are providing to truly have an allegation like this hold water. How would you feel as a mother of 2 boys if someone wrongly accused them of such a crime? Wouldn’t you want proof beyond he said/she said if it meant smearing your sons name in front of the whole world?

    • MB says...

      Burden of proof is incredibly difficult to find in these situations. Moreso when the President refuses to re-open an FBI investigation (although there is precedent for that occurring). This is why so few cases of sexual assault actually get to trial and conviction, and why so many women just don’t bother to report.
      That said, she has evidence of speaking about this in 2012 and again in 2013 with a medical professional. She is putting herself and her family in harm’s way and entirely giving up her privacy to bring attention to this. How is that not proof?

    • Caroline says...

      I feel I have to respond here. Of course no one wants their child or loved one to be wrongly accused of such a terrible act. However, I think your posing the hypothetical about someone’s young sons undermines the sympathy and empathy you mention. It’s hurtful to imagine my son being accused of something like this, yes. Of course. That’s a given. When he is old enough (he’s 16 months) I will teach him that what Christine Blasey Ford did today was NOT political smearing of someone’s name. This woman has given up her own family’s safety and stability, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and hundreds of thousands of viewers, taken a polygraph test and I’m really not sure what else she can do. Were the FBI tasked with investigating, were Mark Judge required to testify under oath, perhaps the burden of proof would be met to your liking. In the meantime, I believe her.

    • Marki says...

      Emily, this is not a criminal trial with a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of proof. This is a job interview for the highest court in the land. Most assaults of this nature cannot produce enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, but that does not mean that they did not happen. Kavanaugh will not be sent to jail, regardless of how this plays out – even if his nomination fails, he will go back to his mansion and enjoy all the fruits of his privilege. We simply should not hand a lifetime appointment to the supreme court to a candidate with a credible allegation of assault. Period.

    • Elizabeth says...

      Dr. Blasey-Ford has requested an FBI investigation, repeatedly. The Republicans and the Whitehouse refuse to initiate one. She has done/is doing everything she can – and the people who only have to say the word could provide additional information through an FBI investigation, but they won’t – perhaps because they know what it will find. Also because even that wouldn’t change their minds – they don’t care if Brett Kavanaugh has sexually assaulted women – they made that clear with every insistence that he will be confirmed no matter what.
      I think what I find most unsettling is that instead of accepting the information at face value and with an open mind and a willingness to uncover as much truth as possible, the Republican senators and the President have immediately characterized it as a scam or a con or whatever…that despite all the years between Anita Hill and this, that nothing has really changed. They just don’t care.

    • Liz says...

      Emily,

      This comment is upsetting on many levels but I’ll focus on the main issue for me. Girls are regularly raised to avoid being the type of girl bad things could be said about. Maybe we should raise our boys with the same standard. If a short skirt could be the “cause” of being called a slut or being raped, maybe incessant partying and frat-boy behavior and attempted rape could be the “cause” of not getting the job you want. Seems like a less than fair trade to me but at least it’s a start.

      Also important to note, Brett Kavanaugh is not on criminal trial and he’s too rich and prominent to be at risk for one. So we’re to extend him the benefit of the doubt just so he can avoid career disappointment? Uh no.

    • Anna says...

      While I understand the fear of an untrue allegation (its terrifying!), I think the idea that more than testimony is necessary is not realistic. It’s sexual assault – often it occurs in private and by men who are in positions of power and take steps to hide their behaviour. And Kavanaugh is not facing criminal charges or the risk of being deprived of his liberty (which is why the burden is so high in criminal cases). I don’t think it’s fair to Dr Ford to say it is just he said / she said. She has apparently described the alleged assault consistently for at least six years in circumstances where she would have no reason to make it up.

    • Kate says...

      How would you feel if your daughter claimed that someone raped or assaulted her and was met with people like you defending her attacker and calling her a liar? Or would you defend her attacker and call her a liar if the boys friends didn’t corroborate her story?

      Coming forward to report rape or sexual assault is incredibly difficult, for a lot of reasons, and in part because of people like you. False rape and assault accusations are FAR more rare than unreported rapes and assaults.

    • Julie says...

      I struggle with empathizing with perpetrators for a number of reasons and your comment made me pause to think. The question about “burden of proof” is often raised when women (and men) raise their hand to report sexual assault. Do we value the innocence of our sons over the daughters who are assaulted? If the only “burden of proof” is he said/she said, I take it that based on your question, perpetrators should walk free? What is enough? Who gets to decide?

      Is my burden of proof only good enough for the older straight white men in this country to which I must answer? Why is that? Why is it that we ask about sons and not daughters? Why do they only hold value as our sons and daughters and not just merely as people? I ask that we consider flipping the script:

      Do we value men being accused over the victims who were assaulted?

      How would you feel if you knew that the chances of your daughter’s sexual assault being taken seriously and prosecuted were low (994 of 1000 rapists walk free)? How would you feel if your daughter was called a liar and smeared in front of the whole world? (https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system)

      I ask these questions in this format, because what I’ve learned as of late, is that listening to survivors is so so important, because the majority of the time, when victims come forward, they are telling the truth. If you’re interested in other resources, I would recommend:

      1. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by John Krakauer

      2. There are lots of stories shared by women with the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport

      3. Anita Hill has an OpEd in the NYT that’s worth a read.

      4. RAINN has a wealth of information about the statistics regarding sexual assault. https://www.rainn.org/about-sexual-assault

      5. Terrible Thanks for Asking has a good podcast episode from a survivor: https://www.apmpodcasts.org/ttfa/2017/10/7-unbroken-metoo/

      I know there are a lot of resources out there, but I hope that when people worry about the “wrongly accused” we shift our focus to the survivors of sexual assault. I hope these resources help.

    • Danielle says...

      … ” maybe incessant partying and frat-boy behavior and attempted rape could be the “cause” of not getting the job you want. “. This. I keep hearing the comments of men like “well it has been a long time” and “why now” and yada yada yada. But all I can think is geez louise! Realize that almost every woman you know has been assaulted or harassed in some way, maybe multiple times, maybe beginning when she was a child. Doesn’t that idea just make you crazy? Doesn’t it just boggle your mind at the systems we have in place that allow this to happen over and over?

    • Anne says...

      I don’t disagree, Emily. The fact that this huge, weighty issue hinges on a he-said, she-said confrontation feels completely unsatisfying. My uber-rational scientist brain has no idea how to process it. It’s so unfair that this crime – this violent, dehumanizing, omnipresent crime – so rarely leaves any evidence at all. It makes it so much harder for victims to get justice.

      I ultimately do think that Dr. Ford is telling the truth. Kavanaugh has a pretty well-documented history of being a pig and there are multiple other accusations of bad behavior. But I wish there was something more concrete that we could point to and be like, THERE, there’s the evidence. It feels shaky and abstract, and even if this particular case is legitimate, I could imagine this being used as a political strategy in the future. Unfortunately, life is messy and people are shitty :(

    • A says...

      I understand your concern. There have been cases of false allegation around the world. I hope that this testimony will lead to a further investigation.

  117. K says...

    I’m burying my head in podcasts and music at work so I don’t have to keep overhearing the frustrating comments made by colleagues.

    It’s lovely of you to all hold off on the scheduled posts and open up this space as a reprieve for folks. <3

    • Melissa says...

      Well said.

  118. Katie says...

    Thank you!

  119. Lauren says...

    As Michelle points out, this isn’t a trial despite what some news outlets would like you to believe. The Supreme Court is an incredible privilege, one of the highest in our nation, and as a lifetime appointment should only go to those of the highest moral character. Multiple people have come forward sharing that Kavanaugh is the product of a drunken, privileged elite boys club. Surely we can find someone of better character for the lifetime job, and that’s what this hearing is to determine. The Republicans should be embarrassed he was even nominated with this information, and bring forth better options.

    • Carol says...

      Yes…thank you!

    • escondista says...

      Exactly. And as for “this is all political!” Neil Gorsuch went to the same school and had the same opportunities to assault women and no women came forward accusing him.
      Find a new nominee. How about Merrick Garland or someone else who is more moderate and can represent more Americans?

  120. laetitia says...

    I cannot believe that she has to go through this line of questioning, publicly, and I find her very brave. We listened to her testimony during commute this morning with my two sons in the car. The 5 year old did not really pay attention I think, but my 7 year old was very interested, “Mom, what happened, who did this to her? Is he in prison now?” I think it’s important for little boys to hear the impact physical abuse has on women, for their entire life.

  121. Dr. Blasey Ford’s story today has been nothing short of brave and courageous. Her ability to speak under the circumstances of this situation are utterly inspiring and I believe, truly, that it is women like Dr. Blasey Ford who are leading the way for our stories to be heard and listened to. There are so many survivors, including myself, who have been afraid to tell their stories and hearing Dr. Blasey Ford speak up, against all odds, makes me feel like my story matters. Today has been an emotional day to say the least, but I am hopeful for the future.

  122. I am in awe of Dr. Blasey Ford, her poise, and bravery.

    This hearing brings so many memories from high school and childhood to the my mind, literally images flashing in my mind. I’m appalled that sexual harassment and assault was normalized for me as a teenager that I didn’t even recognize incidents of assault as assault. I am shocked that my teenage self didn’t speak up for myself or my friends, but no one did. The behavior was the norm.

    I hope someone hears Dr. Ford, because her story is all of our stories and she deserves to be seen. We all do.

    I pray my daughters experiences are different from my own.

  123. Taylor says...

    I’m so drained and tired and angry. I’m not going to trot out my abuse story as I’ve done roughly 50 times over the past year whenever someone doubts survivors. I didn’t report for valid, every day reasons. I was too young to know what to do, I didn’t want to ruin my life or his life, I didn’t want it to become a part of my identity. There is absolutely no reason for Dr. Ford or any survivor to risk their personal well being to come forward, there is no basis why anyone would lie about their assaults. If you don’t believe survivors its willing obtuseness at this point.

  124. AK says...

    I remember watching Anita Hill testify when I was twelve. I can’t really believe I’m sitting here watching this happen again.

  125. Beth says...

    I read her statement this morning and started crying by the end. I was surprised how moved I was, given how jaded I’ve become this year. But seeing her open herself to share with the world such vulnerability and to know how the world has treated her in return, and what that means for all of us – I’m crying again thinking about it. I’m so glad you put this up, providing space for us to work this through and support one another.

    • Ashley says...

      Thank you for the article Alice. The water is indeed, not nice today.

  126. Megan says...

    Thanks for talking about this here today. Totally distracted from my work right now watching, feeling like we need to bear witness to her strength and courage while also worrying that the whole thing is just a spectacle that will (again) try to tell us that women’s voices and experiences and bodies don’t really matter.

    • Sasha L says...

      Megan, your words “bear witness” just hit me in the gut. I was a birth doula for many years. I saw happy, inspirational joyful things. And I saw horrible acts of abuse, by medical men and women, who for unfathomable reasons to me, chose to use their positions of authority to abuse the incredibly vulnerable birthing women in their care. It took me a very long time to process what I had seen, and even longer to process my part in all of it. I couldn’t stop it. And the trauma I feel from that is tremendous. The thing I tell myself when I start feeling all of it is this, I bore witness. I bore witness to these women’s courage and suffering. I bore witness to love in the face of powerlessness and abuse. Bearing witness to another’s pain, when that’s all you can do, is noble.

  127. unsure says...

    Thank you for posting this. I can think of nothing else today.

    I experienced sexual assault a little over a week ago from a good friend. Thankfully, bodily I am fine. But I feel sick all the time and especially today.

    I haven’t reported. I still am thinking about it. I don’t know that I have a good reason for not reporting, other than it’s scary and I can’t help but wondering, will it even matter? We have a president who is a known perpetrator, and it doesn’t matter. I don’t know what I’ll do.

    I hope with all my being that this #metoo movement isn’t all for nothing, because sometimes that’s how it feels. What a time to be a woman in America.

    All I know is that I am so proud of Dr. Ford, and I believe her.

    Hugs to all the other women out there in similar boats. There are far too many of us.

    • Liz says...

      My heart goes out to you Unsure. Just know that you are not alone, no matter what you decide to do.

    • Sarah says...

      I am so sorry this happened to you. Standing with you, Dr. Ford, and all victims today.

    • Wanting to help says...

      Dear Unsure, please do consider reporting! Do not let this “good friend” get away with it and possible do it to someone else. This could be something that sits with you and with years can make you feel worse, don’t bring that on to yourself. Hope you feel the support that I am trying to convey <3

    • Leah says...

      I support you and know that you are not alone.

    • Kate says...

      Sending you love, wrapped in a warm hug. I believe you.

    • KL says...

      It matters that you report it, Unsure, because you matter. No doubt it’ll be tough, but nothing like the tough stuff you’ve had to endure already (and will undoubtedly continue to endure ). My heart and hopes are with you.

    • Virginia says...

      I am so sorry. I have been sexually assaulted and chose to report, but fully understand why many people do not. It is your choice alone. If you want to talk, please feel free to reach out (virginialfay (at) gmail (dot) com).

      Sending you and all the other brave survivors so many hugs.

    • Lucy says...

      Unsure, I’m standing with you. Sending virtual love to you today.

    • briana says...

      Sending you so much love. You’re not alone!

    • Amanda says...

      I’m so sorry – sorry that that happened to you and sorry that we live in this country.

      If you want to talk about your options confidentially, have you considered calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline? They won’t pressure you to report, but they can help you decide if you’d like to do so. https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline

      Depending on where you live, you may also be able to report the incident without pressing charges, and choose to remain anonymous. That gives you the option to take action in the future, without requiring you to do so now. You might also have a local organization with sexual assault advocates who can help you through the process and make sure you’re treated fairly.

      Whatever you do, I wish you peace. Please take care of yourself, and know that it’s not your fault.

  128. Laura G. says...

    This is patriotism. Plain and simple.

    • Sasha L says...

      Yes.

  129. Mims says...

    We (and thankfully!) the local public school system have raised our 19 year old son about mutual consent, what that looks like, and “no means no”.
    We had a conversation last night at dinner about Kavanaugh and the whole “good old boy” system. Our son was confused that men ever got away with this kind of behavior. I am so hoping that the next generation will be more sensitive and less tolerant of this kind of bullsh*t.
    Why do men in power insist they are without blame? Are they so blind to their abuses they really do feel they are above such behavior, or that the rules do not apply to them? This whole culture of blaming the victim needs to stop. And I do sadly know, that some women perpetuate this problem by making false claims or remaining silent when they no abuse is happening. Humans are flawed. Most are just trying to get through life being good people with as little drama as possible, but the system warps us. It does feel, with the Cosby jail sentence and the #metoo movement that things are slowly changing. Praise be!

  130. S says...

    Thank you for this.

  131. I was watching Dr. Ford without sound because I’m in my office working. I was also watching a live feed of written text of the testimony. Crying all the while. She shouldn’t have to do this, and she didn’t want to. But she did. Thank you, Dr. Ford. And to all the women (and men and others) who, like me, have to relive trauma, assault, and abuse today and other days, I hold you close. And I’m sorry for all of us.

  132. Amanda says...

    Thank you so much for opening up your space to this, COJ team. I am feeling particularly overwhelmed and “off” today. While I have never been sexually assaulted, I HAVE been subjected to many other difficulties that women face on an everyday basis – sexism, lewd comments, men ogling my body. I feel for Dr. Ford and what she is going through – that picture of her view in the chambers is especially powerful and poignant.

    The world we live in has such potential to change for the good of women, but many days I fear I won’t see that change in my lifetime. And then I think about how this is what people of color and minorities face every. damn. day. of their lives. It is exhausting to comprehend. We MUST do better.

  133. Lilly says...

    She is amazingly brave and sweet. I’ve felt victimized through this whole thing, even though I’ve not been a victim. The world has felt less friendly, that’s for sure. But now, I’ve been watching her testify, and I feel so empowered. I thank her from the bottom of my heart for taking this huge, devastating responsibility and making the world a better place for my daughter and all women (and men!).

  134. Leah says...

    Thank you Joanna for choosing Dr. Blasey Ford today. While watching Dr. Ford’s testimony, I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions. Pride. Overwhelming gratitude. Unity. Horror. Fear. Immeasurable admiration.

    I have been moved beyond words by Dr. Blasey Ford’s composure, authenticity, vulnerability and strength. May she find peace in knowing we believe her.

  135. Heather says...

    Thank you for such a thoughtful, important post today. This is one of the many reasons I love CoJ. xo

  136. Michelle says...

    Thank you, as always, for talking about important things. The hearing is devastating but I’m so glad that she did it. Even if Kavanaugh is still confirmed, we have yet another sign that Republicans no longer care about our country or the women in it, just about their own raw power. I hope that it makes a difference in the midterms. Yes, the Anita Hill hearing was a travesty too, and it was led by our own Joe Biden. But somehow it feels like we should have learned since then, like we should know better. My expectations are too high.

  137. In 1991, I sat in front of the television at my father’s house and watched Anita Hill recount her experience with Clarence Thomas. At that time, I had begun to write and speak publicly about being sexually abused for years as a child, at the hands of my father’s best friend who was a teacher and an upstanding so-called pillar of our community. That afternoon, I wept for us, as women forced to “prove” that we had been survived sexual misconduct at the hands of men in positions of power. The impact of trauma crept into every part of my life, and I worked very long and very hard to move beyond it. Here we are, twenty-seven years later, and women are facing the exact same scenario. I woke today with shaking hands; I’ve been unable to focus much; I’ve been teary all day. I thought for sure that I was over it. I am not. I will never be. It doesn’t work that way. This stays with us like the color of eyes. #Ibelieveher

    • Sending so much love and light to you today. xo

  138. LAURA says...

    Is there a good, unbiased website to find out what each state will generally be voting on in November? I looked up the list of candidates for California but it doesn’t really tell me anything besides their names. I realize this is a seemingly juvenile question. I thought about going to the website of each candidate, but that seems like it will give me biased, overwhelming information.

    Yes, I already registered to vote. Everywhere I look up, it just says: “register to vote!” Well, what’s the step after that?

    • Hannah says...

      I agree, Laura. I’m registered to vote but have the hardest time getting an unbiased opinion about each candidate.

    • Heather D says...

      Your local county political party headquarters (for both parties!) can sometimes offer better information, including direct contact information, should you want to dig in deeper.

    • Lauren says...

      I find my state’s local NPR affiliate to be a great, unbiased resource for candidate info on both sides. In Minnesota, we are also able to type in our address and see a sample ballot that we’ll vote on. This allows me to look up all the offices and candidates running, which might be more tedious but will be focused on your particular representatives, which narrows things.

    • Kim says...

      Here is the voter guide for the California midterm elections. It’s put out by the Secretary of State. There’s a quick reference guide you can click on for all the propositions. It also has all the candidate statements. Good luck!

      http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/

    • Beth says...

      Laura, I’ve found Ballotpedia.org to be very useful. Scroll to “What’s on your ballot” and enter your address. You’ll get to preview what measures and candidates will be on your ballot and understand what your vote for each could mean.

    • Steph says...

      Google your county’s election commission. There should be a voting calendar along with a copy of the ballot. Then google each person’s name and their job description. As you read the information or commentary, look at who paid to publish the information. There are many unbiased sources, sometimes you have to dig around until you can find a voice to trust. You can also watch debates and see how they personally respond to issues that you prioritize. Good luck and thank you!

    • Andrea says...

      Your state board of elections website should have a “what’s on my ballot” button for your specific precinct. If you’re involved in any groups they may have a ballot guide. The Catholic Church in my state usually has one that’s helpful (just how candidates have voted on different issues, not supporting one or the other).

    • Carolina says...

      As the elections draw closer, a good place to start may be the website of your local public radio station. Usually there are good summations, and you can move on from there.

    • Beth says...

      Ballotpedia! Scroll to “What’s on Your Ballot” and enter your address. You’ll get to preview what measures and candidates will be on your ballot and read explanations of what a vote for each could mean.

    • Jenny T says...

      You can get a sample ballot and info the candidates and any initiatives on Ballotopedia.org (click election resources). it’s nonpartisan.

    • Jenni says...

      I find that the League of Women Voters offers thoughtful voter guides. You can learn more at lwv.org or on their educational site vote411.org.

    • Allison Leedie says...

      I find the league of Women Voters to be extremely helpful. https://www.lwv.org/

    • J. says...

      Check out the ballot recommendations for the League of Women Voters in California. The League is non-partisan, though some conservatives paint it as liberal because their research-based positions often (but not always) line up with liberal policy aims. You can then check out candidates’ websites and see if they oppose/promote the ballot initiatives.

    • Julie says...

      This is a really good question! It’s something I’ve struggled with, even as an educated, well-informed woman – especially in California, where there are seemingly millions of items on the ballot. Here’s my approach. It may not be perfect, but it works for me.

      To see *what* you’ll actually be voting on, Ballotpedia has a really helpful tool here – https://ballotpedia.org/Sample_Ballot_Lookup

      To help me decide *how* to vote, I personally find voter guides to be really helpful. Many interest groups, or even individuals, publish voter guides to let you know how they recommend you vote. For example, reproductive freedom is very important to me, and Planned Parenthood puts out various voter guides which explain why they support canditates (for example – http://www.ppactionca.org/voter-resources/voter-guides/). Ditto for the League of Women Voters (https://lwvc.org/vote/elections/ballot-recommendations), Sierra Club (https://www.sierraclub.org/california/2018-endorsements), etc. – basically most big organizations you can think of, just google “[organization] voter guide.” Of course, these guides are going to be biased to the viewpoints of the organization, but if you find organizations that align with your values, it can give you a great starting point.

      In California you also vote on Judges, which is HARD and 99% of people probably don’t know what they’re voting on. Most local bar associations rate candidates, and it’s been my experience that these ratings are very credible and helpful (see, e.g, https://www.sdcba.org/index.cfm?pg=JudicialEvaluations and https://www.lacba.org/docs/default-source/jeec-reports/2018-jeec-report/jeec-report-2018.pdf)

      I recommend printing out a sample ballot, then handwriting (or typing, whatever!) your own thoughts, line by line. You can bring these notes into the voting booth with you, and take your time!

      Voting can be hard work, and I feel like it’s so easy to forget that. Also, always remember that if you’re not sure how to vote on a particular item, you can always leave it blank – and in my opinion, that’s a better option than voting on something I don’t understand.

      Good luck :-)

    • LAURA says...

      Wow, thank you! I will be referring to this comment thread moving forward, as voting day draws closer. I sincerely appreciate everyone’s input.

    • Liz says...

      League of women voters has a voter guide. It lists candidates and their answers to campaign questions. You can compare them in their own words. Then you can choose who you want to vote for, print your ballot, and bring it with you to the booth. Helpful for me in Michigan where in 2016 I had over 30 items on the ballot.

      Vote411.org

    • Meg says...

      Hi Laura and Hannah,

      I’m a political science professor – this is a great question, and it is the opposite of juvenile! It’s really challenging to sift through all of the information out there, and more people than you might think feel similarly. Thanks to the COJ team for opening up conversations where people can talk together and figure these things out.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      Project Vote Smart (https://votesmart.org/) is an excellent nonpartisan one-stop-shop for positions, voting records, and organization’s ratings of political leaders. It is easy to search for candidates’ names.

      Ballot Ready (https://www.ballotready.org/) is a newer nonpartisan organization where you can put in your address and see what will be on your ballot in an upcoming election along with positions, endorsements, and other information. Ballot Ready has this information available for many, but not all states.

    • Amanda says...

      In Ohio, where I used to live, the League of Women’s Voters would put out a bipartisan document on the issues and candidates each election cycle. They used a committee of folks in different political parties to create questions that they would send to the candidates for office at every level, and they’d create informational sheets on the issues. It was a great resource.

      I haven’t found a similar resource in my new state, but I’m looking for one! NPR is incredibly helpful. But also, sometimes you have to look at the claims made by both parties on an issue and do your own fact-checking.

  139. Sharon says...

    She is credible. She is sincere. She is a hero.

  140. A says...

    Its a scary day for so many women, and I really appreciate you taking a moment to address this with the community of readers. I’m sending all my good thoughts and power Dr. Ford’s way.

  141. Kristin says...

    I teach 6th grade and days like this are the hardest. I feel raw and emotional and yet I cannot take a minute to recover because I have 30 students who need me. So grateful for the women with boots on the ground for those of us who can’t be there. Dr. Ford is a hero and I hope she feels our love and admiration.

  142. Ari says...

    Thank you for the link for verifying our voting status!

    I am doing ok. This week marks one year since I was diagnosed with cancer and I have spent the time reflecting on my “new normal”.

    What is really on my mind lately is being present in my everyday life and trying not to sweat the small stuff. I have spent my time recently lifting others up and trying to encourage (and remind) to keep going and that we are all doing our best.

  143. A.S. says...

    I was sexually assaulted as a college freshman 16 years ago by the student body vice president. Aside from a few close friends, I never disclosed the incident and certainly never reported it. He said – she said. I knew it wouldn’t end well. All these years, I’ve brushed it under the rug and tried my best to move on from it.

    It has all come back this week, though. Despite being a lawyer and a mother and a feminist, every time I think about the incident, I still go immediately to all the ways it must have been my fault. Watching the news, hearing the committee questions, and paying attention to the way people are treating this situation only serves to reinforce my unhealthy views: sadly, it feels like our national dialog is much less about protecting victims than it is about blaming them.

    My husband is foreign born. All these years, I’ve thought it would be gun policies that eventually drive us to leave the US as our home, but now I realize that it might actually be the widespread acceptance of sexism.

    • L.F. says...

      I was repeatedly assaulted by a boy in high school when I was 15. I only told my mom last night. Like you, A.S., I blamed myself for putting myself in the position to be assaulted. Fortunately, it has been something I have largely been able to leave behind in my adult life, but those memories have come back forcefully this week. In solidarity, sisters. I believe in you.

  144. Lindsey says...

    Honestly, this whole thing has left me angry and exhausted. It sometimes seems like being a woman means you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. And this poor woman is being put in front of the world to be treated as if SHE were the criminal, only to have the very strong possibility it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.

    • Lauren says...

      exactly.

    • Amanda says...

      Yes. I want to shout this from the hilltops at all the idiots who doubt that she’s telling the truth. What, exactly, does she have to gain from this? Her life will never be the same again, powerful men are treating her as if she’s a nuisance at best or a criminal at work, her life and the lives of her family are all at risk. The fact that she’s putting everything on the line and our ignorant representatives can’t be bothered to treat her with respect is just infuriating.

  145. kate says...

    I’m sobbing in my office watching Dr. Ford with her quiet soft strength. I’m so grateful to her for speaking and enduring all the terrible fallout from speaking. Wish I could stick a note of support in that Coke bottle she has.

  146. edie says...

    I’ve been watching the stream all morning and find Ford’s testimony very convincing. She’s clearly not psyched to be speaking. I’m thankful the GOP has this other doctor questioning her. However, everything Ford has said is uncorroborated. The fact that others have come forward with their own veiled allegations doesn’t make her testimony more/less truthful. Interested to hear Kavanuagh speak.

    While #metoo has created a shift in our culture – for the better! – I notice it has also lowered the burden of proof considerably. I don’t #believeallwomen because it insinuates that to question a woman’s experience is to in some sense, question her humanity. That hashtag may look good on a banner, but it does a disservice to our justice system and to men and women facing allegations with little to no proof.

    • D says...

      Edie that isn’t a doctor. That is a prosecutor. This is unprecedented. 11 white men didn’t have the strength to question this woman, so they hired a prosecutor to do their job for them.

    • Michelle says...

      He’s not on trial! It’s an interview for a job promotion. Character should matter immensely here. It’s not unreasonable to expect that a person appointed to a lifetime position in the highest legal office in the country have zero credible sexual assault accusations against them.

    • Lindsey says...

      Edie: I have to respectfully disagree with you.

    • Elizabeth says...

      So well said. “He said/she said” will always exist in shades of gray. It is dissatisfying and unsettling and always unfair to either a victim or an innocent accused. But that is the reality. Should any uncorroborated decades-old accusation derail a valid Supreme Court nomination? Would we want an assaulter holding one of the most powerful and esteemed positions in our country? These questions will never go away.

    • Lucy says...

      The problem with sexual assault cases is that this crime is very hard to corroborate. It is often only two people in the room; in this case, three, but the other two were fully culpable. This is why so many men get away with sexual assault and so few women speak up. Women know it is their word against his. We see how we are treated when we come forward; being blamed and attacked. It takes tremendous courage and you inevitably risk your reputation and career. Only about 50% of women do report and at the same time, the instances of false report are minuscule.

    • Sonja says...

      Hi Edie. I appreciate your thoughtfulness on this issue. I disagree with your point that #believeallwomen does a disservice to our justice system. For far too long our justice system has done a disservice to women. Until every man, woman, and child is safe, heard, and supported in our justice system we need that hashtag (movement) and many others. Asking that every accusation be corroborated is exactly why survivors stay silent and the damage of that ripples far and wide.

    • CJ says...

      I have to agree with Michelle’s response for this instance – it’s a privilege to be nominated and this is a job interview, not a trial… Companies take into account your social media presence and personal references when hiring, why wouldn’t the American people take this kind of information into account for a lifetime appointment?

    • Taylor says...

      Edie, what amount of false allegations do you think exist? What reasoning do you think women have for coming forward at personal cost to, what? lie? about something that happened to them? What is the motivation to lie? What do you think are all these false accusers end game?

    • V says...

      This.

    • edie says...

      Michelle, again, these allegations are so far uncorroborated. Literally, it’s “he said, she said”. It isn’t credible, nor is it reason to keep someone from serving a justice.

      It’s also much more than a job promotion. In the grand scheme of things, a justice will have more influence over our country than a president.

    • Sonja says...

      My comment didn’t post so take two.

      Hi Edie. I appreciate you giving this thought though I disagree that #believeallwomen does a disservice to our justice system. For far too long our justice system has done a disservice to women (among many others). Expecting sexual assault accusations be corroborated is exactly why survivors stay silent. Until every man, woman, and child is safe, heard, and supported by our justice system we need that hashtag and movement. The damage done by our justice system to the survivors ripple far and wide.

    • Roxana says...

      Thank you, Edie! I agree.

    • edie says...

      Hi Taylor,

      Politics, mostly. I don’t believe women are fabricating abusive experiences, but in our current political climate it could be very beneficial for a man/woman to falsify an allegation in order to derail a nominee. I’m not saying that’s what’s happening here with Ford, but politics are dirty.

      Especially in the midst of #metoo, it would be easy to present an allegation and not have to provide much evidence to support it.

    • B says...

      I am sympathetic to the idea that #believeallwomen lowers the burden of proof. Where will this lead us, in society, if we do not rely on a legal system to cross examine and determine what actually happened? But what if that legal system is one which has systematically, historically, and consequentially ignored the voices of women? In an ideal world, I’m happy to concede that we should not believe all women. But in a world where a majority (statistics vary, and obviously cannot capture, but sources say 60-80%) of women will never report accounts of sexual violence or sexual assault, and a minority of accusations which are made are “false” (at highest, 10%, though most accounts claim closer to 2-5%). We make it difficult (arguably, impossible) for women who have experienced sexual assault to come forward with a claim (in addition to the physical and psychological responses of trauma which make it difficult to recollect and respond to trauma), because we cannot fathom send one man to prison for a crime that didn’t happen. Can we fathom the multitude of women who live with the men who rape and assault them, because that is the way the world is, and its her word against his, uncorroborated as most sexual encounters occur without witness? (Although in this case, though “uncorroborated” as most sexual encounters are, Dr Blasey Ford spoke to her therapist and husband about the incident far in advance of this hearing). I’m not saying we should believe all women, but perhaps we should consider listening to and believing most women, because most women don’t tell their stories readily — there is already so much systemic and cultural and self stigma preventing a victim of sexual assault from telling his or her story. You don’t have to add to pressures which silence them – they already exist, internally and systematically. Questioning allegations becomes questioning humanity when we live in an already drastically unequal society. I wish we didn’t.

      It is challenging to recognize that words don’t exist in a vacuum — they exist in a cultural and societal context. “Believe all women” doesn’t mean literally what it semantically means. “Believe all women” says “I recognise what it took for you to speak out, and I believe your experience is real” — whether or not the legal system believes your experience and memory is enough to try someone in the court of law is not up to me, but it is up to me to believe and validate your experience.

    • Kirsten says...

      I respectfully disagree – can you give an example of someone who has been convicted of sexual assault with a low burden of proof since #metoo? Lots of people have been judged in the court of opinion, but I don’t see what that has to do with the integrity of the justice system. Women have been unfairly judged in that court for…centuries? I’d also like to point out what Diane Feinstein said in her opening – this is not a trial. Kavanaugh is not on trial in a criminal court, Dr. Blasey-Ford is not on trial either. This is a job interview, for people to determine whether this dude deserves a lifetime appointment to an incredibly powerful position.

    • Hannah says...

      #believeallwomen is a reaction to a deeply flawed criminal legal system*

      *I refrain from calling it a justice system

    • edie says...

      Hi Michelle,

      He’s not on trial, but he’s being accused of several crimes. I’ve heard/read several folks acting as if this is a routine a job interview. It’s not.

    • edie says...

      B, I love, love this point you made, “It is challenging to recognize that words don’t exist in a vacuum — they exist in a cultural and societal context.” I’d never thought of it in that way before.

      While I think many people DO believe we should believe ALL women, I should be slower to judge and realize some may use that hashtag to show moral support. Thanks for the thoughtful response.

    • jet says...

      Brett’s behavior today: interjecting, shouting, refusing to answer, asking senators insolent questions–deem him not a fit for the job he wants. And yes, women should be believed. And its good the standard for belief is lowered case it takes a while to come forward. Your sympathy for Brett is way misplaced.