Social change is often discussed in two ways, with the bottom-up and top-down approach. Think of them as the People versus the President. Who is responsible for change? Bottom-up says the People, top-down the President. But I say they are both responsible.
Writing well about sexual assault is both extremely difficult and critically important. Every piece tangentially related to assault sends a message to survivors, whether the author intends to or not. The culture around assault and the treatment of survivors is one factor in whether or not they choose to report their assault.
A Swedish proverb that is applicable for consideration in the current polarized political climate is as follows: Man hör vad man vill höra. Originally from the 1981 publication “Svenska Ordspråk” by Fredrik Ström, a prolific Swedish writer and prominent Social Democrat, the proverb translates to: You hear what you want to hear.
As a woman and an attorney, I have been disturbed by Brett Kavanaugh supporters’ willful blindness to evidence that corroborates his accusers’ claims. While I will not be able to discuss every piece of evidence that the Republican leadership seemingly ignored, I would like to highlight some information I believe could have corroborated the sexual aggression accusations against Kavanaugh—information which American politicians ignored in their unquenchable thirst for power.
Being abroad during the Kavanaugh proceedings left me with very few options for action. Unable to attend any protests or call my senators (not to mention the additional roadblock of Susan Collins’s conveniently timed website maintenance), I was limited to sharing posts on social media and preparing to vote for representatives who may end up not representing me at all.
This article is a direct response to the article “I am Brett Kavanaugh.” However, more than anything, I hope this serves as a learning opportunity. For those who were just as appalled by the article as I was, I hope this helps in knowing that you are not alone.
I’ll start with the three things that might be most helpful to know. For starters, I know that I identify as a conservative Bowdoin student. It’s nothing to write home about, but being a conservative person influences the activities that I am part of on campus, and it affects the way that I think about certain topics.
In 1773, a group of people, upset that they were not being listened to by their government, dumped the modern equivalent of a million dollars’ worth of tea into the Boston Harbor. Almost 150 years later, a group of women fighting for voting rights picketed outside of the White House six days a week for the summer of 1917.
I am reasonably certain that most people at Bowdoin were disappointed at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. Most were probably not only disappointed, but angry, at the role Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) played in his confirmation.