Susan Collins Failed American Women

Brett Kavanaugh, judge and alleged rapist, was in the process of being nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States. As I am writing this article, they’re actually voting him in, even after Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford confessed that he had sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. On October 5, 2018, Senator Susan Collins of Maine decided to support Kavanaugh’s nomination, a decision which I believe symbolizes one of the most repulsive insults to the American people.

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In her speech explaining the reasoning behind her decision, Senator Collins kept reiterating how much she sympathized with Dr. Blasey Ford and how strongly she supported the #MeToo movement. “I listened carefully to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony … I found her testimony to be sincere, painful, and compelling. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault… the #MeToo movement is real,” she said.  “It matters. It is needed. And it is long overdue… We must listen to survivors, and every day we must seek to stop the criminal behavior that has hurt so many.”  

How nice, right? But, she changes gears real quick saying, “Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred.” She then added that none of Ford’s witnesses had any recollection of that night.  She then said, “As those who have known him best have attested, [Kavanaugh] has been an exemplary public servant, judge, teacher, coach, husband, and father.” There is much more to her speech, which you can check out here.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels sick to their stomach reading Susan Collins’s speech, regardless of the political party. I don’t particularly identify with the label of “democrat” and I’m very lucky that I’m not personally a victim of sexual assault. Yet, this continues to shake me to my core because this decision is one that will affect the American people for generations to come. This isn’t just another instance of institutions having no respect for women or people having no sympathy for survivors of rape, this is a decision based on power and reputation instead of morals. This is about the world that we’re creating for future generations.

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Not believing Dr. Blasey Ford shows the women of the future that even if they step forward and gather the courage to tell the world what happened, they will not be believed. Dr. Blasey Ford has sacrificed her reputation, her credibility, her privacy, and so much more in order to protect our country from Brett Kavanaugh. Yet, still, she is not believed because some of her witnesses cannot recall an event that occurred over 20 years ago. It has been pretty well established that rapes are rarely reported and I don’t think that rape victims of the future will come forward after seeing that senators are calling a highly educated and respectable person like Dr. Blasey Ford a liar.

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Additionally, putting Brett Kavanaugh on the SCOTUS shapes the minds of the men of the future. Raising young men in a world where someone who very likely committed rape can still be a Supreme Court Justice may give them the idea that there are no consequences to rape. This issue is clearly going to affect future generations. But what specifically is the importance of Susan Collins’s decision?

The secondary definition of rape listed in Merriam-Webster is “an outrageous violation,” and her decision to support Brett Kavanaugh is exactly that. People trusted Collins, as a woman, to protect them and make the right decision. She had a chance to do that, but she instead chose to violate that trust so grievously. She is, instead, a woman who has endangered American daughters and granddaughters for generations to come by helping to create a world where a rapist can be one of the most powerful people in the country.

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And for what? She says her support comes partially from a lack of witnesses being able to recall the event (even though it occurred over 20 years ago). But, that’s only what Susan Collins has said and I don’t believe her. I find it much easier to believe that Susan Collins is simply making a decision that will get her re-elected.

The importance of Susan Collins’ decision is that she is a woman in a position of power who just stabbed the women and girls of this country in the back. She tried so hard in her speech to make it seem like she cared about sexual assault survivors and the future of women in this country. She could keep saying that forever and it would never be enough to mask the fact that she turned around and put an accused rapist on the Supreme Court of the United States. I’m ashamed.

Please don’t forget to vote. Every single person’s vote matters. Do your part to create a better world for the people who have to live in it after us!

 

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