I am still reeling from the events of the last two weeks. I’m exhausted from sitting up at night thinking about it, my shoulders sore from carrying it with me everywhere I go. I can hardly look at my girls without my heart plummeting into my stomach or the wind getting knocked out of me. I have never, in the course of my thirty-one years on this earth, been this viscerally angry.
I know what this means, me writing about it like this – it means I will lose readers, it means I will make friends and family members question my values and intelligence. It means I will have a population of people wishing I could just go back to posting pictures of my children, writing about dirty dishes and laundry and diapers. I am, after all, so much more likable without an opinion, aren’t I? Aren’t we all? So much prettier with our mouths shut?
No more. In the course of the last week I have been reminded on more than one occasion to be kind. It’s okay to be angry, Kara, but you have to be kind. To that I say this: There is a fine line between kindness and passivity. When you ask me to be kind, what exactly are you requesting? A scattering of pleases to brighten our dialogue? A showering of compliments to soften our differences? Or are you asking for silence? Basic human decency is paramount, certainly, and I intend to speak accordingly – but you mustn’t mistake my truth for cruelty.
I believe her. I watched him and I watched her and in the end there’s only my instinct – she is telling the truth. But it’s not enough, right? Where’s the concrete evidence? The irrefutable proof that he isn’t fit for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court (cough, cough – his temperament – cough)? What does this mean for our sons if we start believing every woman who comes forward?*
You guys – what does it mean for our daughters if we don’t?
You want proof, I get it. Not just for Kavanaugh, but for all men accused of sexual misconduct. I want that too. This would all be so much easier if every allegation came with verification. But it doesn’t. It doesn’t – and to those of you claiming it absolutely must in order for anything to be done, I beg you to tell me how exactly we should go about collecting such evidence. With a hidden camera strapped to our lady parts 24/7? With a specimen cup tucked into our purses next to our credit cards and tampons? We want proof too – so please, for the love all things holy, tell us how to get it. It’s about time someone other than Kavanaugh started getting some confirmation around here.
People are my specialty, not politics. I don’t have a political science degree from Yale, but I’m damn good at paying attention, and here is what I know: Humans operate according to cultural norms, which are passed down without question and strengthened by nostalgia. We do what we do because it’s always been done, because nobody messes with tradition (see: Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”). But last week, to the credit of Dr. Ford’s courage, those norms were reevaluated. We were forced to step back and take an honest look at the dynamics under which we’ve been operating, and what we saw – what I saw – was corruption. Lies, double standards, discrimination, self-preservation … a system of evil that left me battling tears of rage. It was a feeling of betrayal intensified by the fact that instead of thinking harder, we all began yelling louder. To those who’ve been here waiting for the rest of us to show up: I’m sorry. I’m sorry it took me so long.
If you’re still reading, you should know that I am not posting this to sway loyalties (I’m neither Democrat nor Republican; my allegiance is and always has been to myself, not a party label), but to document for my daughters that I was on the right side of history. They need to know that in the battle between self-truth and popularity, their futures took precedence. Savannah, Molly, Caroline, and Piper – are you watching? Do you see me doing what my heart says is right?
I am the boss of my heart. I am the boss of my brain. I am the boss of my body. It’s not just our bedtime mantra, warrior sisters – it’s the fuel that keeps us going, that flame that feeds our brave.
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*According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, false accusations occur in less than 2% of cases while over 9% of rape victims are male; our sons have a higher chance of being sexually assaulted by men than they do of being falsely accused by women.
Onward and Upward.
Nothing more important than those four girls and their future cousin(s)!
They have brave, strong, kind mommas paving the way.