I almost couldn’t believe what I was hearing… my dad and mom and I were watching the news the other day and there was a segment on Dr. Ford, the first woman to come forward and share her story of how Judge Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were in high school (she was 15, he was 17). My dad says to us, “I don’t know what that ladies problem is… stuff like that happens at every school across the country on prom night.” I was floored… a man with 2 daughters would say (and think) such a thing!!! My response to him was swift and without much thought, I asked him, “what if that had happened to me?” He was silent and stumped for a moment. He then tried to make light of it by saying, “Well I would have expected you to poke his eyes out.” To which I replied, “well that is a nice thought dad, but boys are almost always much stronger than girls at that age and it isn’t always possible to fight them off.” His answer was, “that’s true.” I followed up by saying that if that had happened to me, I might not have said anything at the time either, but that if that guy was later in line to become a supreme court judge, I would absolutely come forward.
Of course people make mistakes and use bad judgment when they’ve been drinking… this whole incident might have played out differently if Kavanaugh would have admitted it, apologized and learned how wrong it was. Instead, it now looks like there are more incidents showing the same predatory behavior.
The entire conversation was a sobering realization of how indoctrinated my parents still are in the archaic way of thinking that it is “ok” for men/boys to behave this way and that it is wrong for women to speak up about it. I now have a little better understanding of what it must have been like for women/girls to come forward after an attack and have their parents either not believe them, or blame them for it. My hope is that my own father will now pause and think about his own daughters is a scenario before spouting off with misogynistic comments.