Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Kavanaugh Affair-The Fourth and Correct Point of View For Our Country

When it comes to the Kavanaugh affair there are at least four points of view one can take.

Let’s dispose of the first one right away since it is the most despicable.  

POV #1: Boys Will Be Boys

One can take the point of view that when it comes to sexual assault and sexual harassment, the acts don’t really matter.  This is pretty much the “Boys Will Be Boys” view point.  Males, particularly of a certain age-say up 90, just can’t control themselves when it comes to sex and women.  Women just have to learn to put up with it and get on with their lives.  Don’t complain.  Sexual harassment, assault and even rape are just to be expected in America and there is nothing anyone can or should do about it.  For obvious reasons, most but not all people who hold this point of view will not openly admit they think this way.  However, some do.  Fortunately, the number of people who really hold the “Boys Will Be Boys” point of view is very, very small.  If I am wrong about that, we are really in trouble as a nation.

POV #2: The Left-Wing Conspiracy

This is the point of view held by most Republicans I think, particular those who love Trump and watch Fox News.  According to this point of view, these accusations against Judge Kavanaugh are nothing more than a conspiracy on the part of the Democrats and Radical Left to deny Kavanaugh a seat on the court because they hate his stand on issues likely to come before the court and, anyway, they hate Trump.  The Democrats/Left have recruited left-leaning women to come forward and perjure themselves in support of “the Cause.”  Or, the Democrats/Left have found vulnerable women and have convinced them that they were abused and that the abuser was Kavanaugh. In reality, there is no truth whatsoever to the allegations against Kavanaugh because the women are either lying or delusional.  These charges should be put aside as soon as possible and Kavanaugh should be confirmed.

POV #3: The Republicans Must Be Prevented from Packing the Court with Conservatives

This point of view is held by most Democrats.  According to this point of view, Kavanaugh would be a disaster for the court and the country, not just because he would provide the court with a conservative majority that could overturn Roe vs Wade but a court majority that would do great harm to women’s rights in general, LBGT rights, the environment, consumer protection, voting rights and a host of other hard-won rights and privileges. Kavanaugh is the key to turning back the clock.  Accordingly, his confirmation must be stopped completely or, at least, delayed until after the mid-term elections where Democrats have a shot at gaining control of the Senate and the ability to prevent Conservatives from gaining control of the Supreme Court.  The recent allegations are a surprise, but a welcome surprise and offer the best chance the Democrats have to delay and perhaps prevent Kavanaugh’s confirmation.  All progress toward confirming Kavanaugh should cease so the FBI can conduct a full investigation and determine the facts.

POV#4:  We Must Change How We Respond to Charges of Sexual Abuse and Harassment

This is a point of view that is held by most Democrats and, I think, a great many Republicans. It is non-ideological and non-partisan.  According to this point of view, America must change the way it responds to accusations of sexual harassment and abuse.  For too long, American women, particularly young women, have been reluctant to come forward and report male sexual misconduct because they justifiably feel they will not be believed and may even be accused of wrong doing themselves. Their complaint will be either dismissed out of hand and/or they will be charged with “trying to ruin a good man’s life” out of spite or for some other reason.  Even if their accusation is accepted as possibly true, the women making the accusation will be accused of “tempting the man” or engaging in some other behavior that provoked the attacked.  Blame is equally shared.  The man did wrong but so did the woman.  A message is sent to men, young men in particular, that their behavior toward women, treating women as sexual objects, will be ignored or, at least, not punished. They can do as they please without worrying very much about the consequences of their actions in the immediate or even distant future.

According to this point of view, the response to accusations of sexual harassment and abuse that I just described, and which has historically been the response to charges of sexual harassment and sexual assault in this country, must change.  If women are going to feel free to come forward and report sexual harassment and assault, then they must feel confident that the allegations they make will be taken seriously, regardless of whether they are initially believed or even believable.  Women must be confident that any charge of sexual wrong doing, no matter by whom or when or under what circumstances it occurred will be fully investigated and that their motives for making the accusations will not be pre-judged. In short, there will be an honest search for the truth.

Thanks to the Me Too Movement, some progress is being made on changing how we respond to sexual harassment and assault charges.  According to this view, a lot more needs to be done and the Kavanaugh charges are a place to start.  In fact, to ignore the Kavanaugh charges when the man charged is being considered for the highest court in the land, would send a message to women that in spite of the Me Too Movement, nothing has or will change.  A thorough investigation of the Kavanaugh charges will send a powerful message to American women that they are and will be heard.  If Kavanaugh is innocent of the charges that have been made, then a thorough investigation is the best way to clear his name.  Free of these charges, he can proceed with his life, even to service on the Supreme Court if that is what the Senate decides. The accusers can take some comfort that they go a fair hearing.  If the charges are found to be true, then Kavanaugh’s accusers will be vindicated. The wrong done to them will not be undone but, at least, they and others like them will be able to take some comfort in the knowledge that things may finally be changing.  

According to this view, a thorough investigation of the charges against Kavanaugh is not just the right thing to do but the ONLY accepted response or point of view that makes sense for our country.

Let me know your point of view.  I hope for the future of women and our country, that you pick POV #4.

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