A divided and highly debated issue has once again struck the United States. An American professor of psychology at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine put her career and reputation on the line to speak out about an alleged sexual assault by Sen. Brett Kavanaugh. Her name is Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Sen. Brett Kavanaugh, who has faced allegations of sexual assault, was officially confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice Oct. 6. The votes were close- Kavanaugh was confirmed by a 50-48 vote.
Following the confirmation of Kavanaugh, his supporters rejoiced, citing the mantra “innocent until proven guilty.” His opposition fell depressed, many stating that sexual assault will never be taken seriously in America.
There are both women and men on both sides of the spectrum. This has the country in a major divide, as the differing opinions aren’t limited to certain genders.
While both sides of the debate are made of both sexes, many women are up in arms over the lack of justice for Professor Ford’s testimony. Protests have broken out all across the nation, and women have taken to social media as a major platform to get the word out about our failed attempts.
Women across the U.S. have felt great defeat after Kavanaugh’s official confirmation. Reports of subway stations full of women crying and even a spike in sales of survivor merchandise have occurred. On the other hand, some women support Kavanaugh. This has not only caused a debate on our efforts towards women’s rights, but it has also sparked a major internal discussion on what it means to be a woman that supports women’s rights.
Most eyes, however, have been on radical reactions to Dr. Ford’s testimony. With reports of men not wanting to leave their homes for fear of being accused of sexual assault all the way to CNN’s report of Donald Trump saying, “it is a very scary time for young men in America.”
The latest, male dominated, trend is #BeersforBrett. In reference to Kavanaugh’s statement about liking beer during the trial, men across the nation have also shown their love for the drink in the name of the newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice. According to The Cut, “men are guzzling beers in celebration of Kavanaugh’s confirmation.”
However, not all men are in support of the justice. Here at Washburn, junior, Cedrick Henderson-Smith has concerns about women’s rights.
“I was raised by my mom and great grandma. When it comes to women’s rights and women in general, I am one of the biggest supporters in the world,” Henderson-Smith said. “It could take ten years for a woman to admit it – that’s hard to do. That takes a toll on them mentally, physically, and emotionally.”
While trauma may take time to unravel itself, it undoubtedly takes strength and valor. Our nation’s people have a history of speaking up about injustices and discrimination, whether it be for African-American rights, Native American rights, women’s rights and more. Therefore, it’s not surprising that people are speaking out about what they believe is a major infringement on the rights of women, or men, in some cases.
While some celebrate the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, many stand by Ford’s allegations and the issues that they raised. Many are concerned about the fact that many women who publicly speak out against sexual assault and harassment are often not believed by many citizens. Many of these women also face thousands of negative tweets, comments, and letters. Some even receive death threats. Ford was not exempt to these conditions, and her case is causing an uproar of concern and protest from many all over the country.