Kavanaugh and Campus

Prior to Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing this week, I was unfamiliar with the now infamous attorney. Now, I know what years he was in high school, his yearbook entry, how much he loves beer and his friends’ names. His victim, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, is much less notorious. Her personality was not on trial this week, just her story. Arguing about the fairness of this analysis of Kavanaugh’s character will only detract from the real problem at hand. The United States is proving once again to side with sexual predators. Even though we are raised under the assumption that everyone is “innocent until proven guilty”, the evidence is relatively damning. Personally, I always side with survivors since I am a survivor myself and I know exactly how difficult the process of reporting is. I went through the process of documenting my assault, and I can confirm that it is not something anyone would go through for any reason other than justice. The questions are probing, triggering and painful, and the interview process forces you to relive the memories you have been trying to forget. Dr. Ford spent twenty-five years doing just that only to be nationally broadcast telling her story. That is a literal nightmare for most assault survivors; however, she was brave and strong.

    The Kavanaugh Ford case is national news; people everywhere are talking about their credibility, and discussing the relevance of the attack to Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. This dialogue has profound effects on campus culture. NMSU emphasizes that “It’s On Us” to stop rape and assault. We are constantly handed pamphlets about consent and information on how to protect yourself while partying. We are taught to report anything suspicious, and that the Office of Institutional Equity is here to help. How are we supposed to believe that if we live in a society in which Kavanaugh is all but convicted of raping someone and still a strong contender for the most prestigious seat in the U.S. Judicial System? It is negligent of our Senators and Representatives to not stop this ludicrous disregard for the young women of America. After my assault, I changed my degree plan from government to business because I saw the corruption and hypocrisy in the U.S. government and the chauvinistic leaders that make decisions for collegiates like myself and my peers. I do not regret my decision to switch career paths because the public sector is repugnantly misogynistic, but I still empathize for the young women who chose to pursue an elected position. In today’s political climate, I don’t understand how anyone could work with known rapists.

    The pain of recalling the details of an assault twenty-five years after the fact is unfathomable. Young women all over are watching the news and taking notes. College students are trying to create safe spaces, but we alone cannot destroy a patriarchy rooted in the foundation of this country. All of us can work together to mitigate rape culture and there will still be Kavanaughs in office. Imagine how many representatives, politicians, and judges have not been caught. These people are making legislation that directly changes the lives of the people they have traumatized. It is time to stand up to this legacy of predators and the best way to do so is to vote. College students often feel like they have no power, but eliminating the incumbents that have been in office for decades and moving to a more progressive caucus is a perfect place to start.