This Ford-Kavanaugh hearing is something else
Christine Blasey Ford is sitting in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee today, voice shaking, describing the alleged assault that took place years ago in high school, by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge.
And this is what she is looking at while she does it:
Here is a part of her testimony, that she bravely gave while a group of men stared her down:
“There was music already playing in the bedroom. It was turned up louder by either Brett or Mark once we were in the room. I was pushed onto the bed and Brett got on top of me. He began running his hands over my body and grinding his hips into me. I yelled, hoping someone downstairs might hear me, and tried to get away from him, but his weight was heavy. Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes. He had a hard time because he was so drunk, and because I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit under my clothes. I believed he was going to rape me.”
Apart from the terrifyingly awful details of how the two allegedly assaulted her, is her memory of the “laughter.”
One of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked, “What is the strongest memory you have of the incident? Something that you could never forget? Take whatever time you need.”
To which Ford answered, “The laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two — and their having fun at my expense.”
The question continued, “You’ve never forgotten that laughter? You’ve never forgotten them laughing at you?”
“They were laughing with each other,” she answered.
“And you were the object of the laughter,” he asked.
Ford clarified, “I was underneath one of them while the two laughed. Two friends having a really good time with one another.”
Chilling, right? Like she wasn’t even there. Anyone who’s been a victim of assault could co-sign this feeling. It was the most telling moment of testimony for anyone who’s been treated as merely a body to be taken advantage of. It’s how anyone who’s ever experienced an assault knows with absolute conviction that this woman is not lying.
Well that, and the polygraph test she passed. The one Kavanaugh refused to take.
The above exchange, of course, took place with a Democratic member of the committee. The Republican men aren’t asking their own questions, they’ve brought in a female prosecutor to do that.
Yes, you read that right — a prosecutor. They’re trying their hardest to make it seem like Christine Blasey Ford is on trial here. She’s not. Diane Feinstein reminded everyone at the onset of the hearings, “This is not a trial for Dr. Ford. It’s a job interview for Brett Kavanaugh.”
Republicans made a big mistake. This look reeks of Dr. Ford being on trial.
— Maria Cardona (@MariaTCardona) September 27, 2018
This is a straight up cross examination and it is coming off TERRIBLY
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) September 27, 2018
Ford had literally nothing to gain by bringing these decades-old events to the forefront. She’s sitting in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee detailing an abuse from her past that has altered her life — to simply do her civic duty. And women everywhere are supporting her, cheering for her, and are just in awe of her ability to so calmly recollect this kind of trauma.
Two male callers to CSPAN: one says Blasey Ford is lying, the other said he would take her out to the woodshed (if I heard correctly). One 76 year old woman caller says, weeping, she was molested in 2nd grade and that this testimony is bringing all the memories back.
— Clare Malone (@ClareMalone) September 27, 2018
her gentle voice, earnestness, efforts to lighten, smiling. this is how we’re socialized to be. to prove we aren’t difficult, lying, deserving of pain. dr. christine blasey ford is all of us. what you’re watching is a portrait of how women must behave in every aspect of our lives
— talia jane (spooky) (@itsa_talia) September 27, 2018
My phone is full of texts of crying women. I love you survivors and I believe you. I'm sorry we all have to go through this TRAUMA because in many ways this hearing is collectively traumatizing survivors but I am so proud of Dr. Ford. #KavanaughHearings #MeToo
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) September 27, 2018
Outside the hearing, there are groups of women, huddled over phones streaming Dr. Ford’s testimony, crying.
— Elaina Plott (@elainaplott) September 27, 2018
Of course we’re crying. The testimony is no doubt centering trauma for survivors everywhere today. But even for someone who has never experienced sexual assault, the entire proceeding is no-doubt chilling.
One woman, sitting in front of a group of predominantly white men, who are hell-bent on pressing forward. The scariest thing about this scenario isn’t that they don’t believe her — it’s that they absolutely do, and just don’t care.
We’re so used to being shouted down, shouted at, and dismissed. This hearing is triggering on so many levels. But Ford is bravely standing up to all the questions and doubts with decorum, strength, and smarts.
WE BELIEVE YOU.