The United States has been philosophically turned upside down during recent weeks. Two very high-profile men have been accused of sexual misconduct by an array of women, and the fate of both men will have far-reaching ramifications in America.
Comedian/philanthropist Bill Cosby has been imprisoned after undergoing a lengthy trial in which he was accused of drugging and raping Andrea Constand. There are also at least 60 other women who have leveled similar charges against him. Cosby has been given a sentence of from 3 to 10 years in prison.
Many people, especially members of the Black community, are outraged about the sentence. Some say that he was imprisoned unfairly because there is “no proof” that he committed criminal acts; that the women shouldn’t have been with him, or that he is so old that he will probably die in prison. Mostly, however, the major outcry is that there are numerous white men who have been accused of sexual misconduct but have not been convicted and sent to prison. The outrage is not that women were maltreated, but that a Black man is receiving punishment and not his white counterparts.
The other high-profile male accused of sexual misconduct stands to influence the lives of every American for years to come depending upon the outcome of charges.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a nominee for the Supreme Court. In a situation that seems like déjà vu, summoning the specter of the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas debacle 27 years ago when Professor Anita Hill accused Supreme Court nominee, now Justice Clarence Thomas, of sexual harassment, Kavanaugh has been accused of trying to rape Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford. Dr. Ford, a very credible witness, has had to move from her home and requires a security detail due to harassment and death threats.
Ford said that she was nearly raped by an extremely inebriated Brett Kavanaugh when she was 15 years old, but was able to escape, partially due to Kavanaugh’s inebriation. She has charged that Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s pal, was a collaborator. During a hearing, Kavanaugh gave an incredibly strange and very emotional testimony while refuting Ford’s claims. In the meanwhile, at least two other women have come forth accusing him of inappropriate sexual behavior.
The Kavanaugh debacle is particularly concerning because if his nomination is approved, he will occupy a seat of power on the Supreme Court of the United States for life! The Trump administration is trying to rush the confirmation process, basically because Kavanaugh is in sync with the Republican agenda. If Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court justice, he could set back gains that were implemented benefitting the poor and disenfranchised.
This situation, therefore, is very important. Based on pressure from Democrats and from a number of people in his own Republican party, President Trump agreed to an FBI investigation in order to generate a more thorough background check of Kavanaugh. Even though this is the case, only four witnesses will be allowed, and this reluctantly so. Basically, it is obvious that Kavanaugh is needed for Trump’s agenda, and it remains to be seen as to whether or not he emerges triumphant.
The most important issue in these cases is that though both men, Bill Cosby and Judge Kavanaugh, consider themselves victims, the real victims are women; not only the accusers, but all women.
The most frequent question asked by everyone who supports the alleged perpetrators is “Why did the women wait so long to come forth?” This is ridiculous when looking at what happens to women who do step forth.
Women who accuse men of sexual misconduct are relentlessly attacked. They face character assassination and even death threats. They are faced with disbelief on all sides, including from other women. Yet the emotion generated by a mind-controlled patriarchy ensures that women will remain the victims and “victimizers by proxy” until there is positive change.
Women, with the help of enlightened male allies, can help women gain credibility if they can offset their own misogyny. Sex abuse ruins entire communities, and unless things change, we will all suffer. A Luta Continua.