We have driven the Brett Kavanaugh controversy into the ground. Thank the Lord that the confirmation fight is over. Over the weekend, however, I received an e-mail from a granddaughter to which she had attached a video presentation by a left-leaning commentator. The fellow made a reasonably rational presentation, so I listened to him. Now, I feel compelled to respond.
The commentator’s main point seemed to be that President Trump has somehow made all men into victims of the Me Too movement. The commentator emphasized that instances of sexual aggression against females are quite common, but false accusations against males are extremely rare. He believes that women are frequent victims and their stories should be believed, whereas men are usually guilty of those sexual offenses they are charged with and their denials should be doubted. I really do not know the truth about that. I’m not aware of any reliable studies or statistics on the subject. I only know that I have never been a sexual aggressor, and I would vouch for the good name of most of the men I know.
As a young teen, I was once falsely accused by a young woman. I was with a group of 13 and 14 year old students on a school yard when a young lady I did not know turned and slapped me hard on my face. It was a mean blow, and it really hurt and embarrassed me. Obviously, from her demeanor and what she said, she thought I had inappropriately touched her. I was entirely innocent. I was a romantic and a bit Victorian in my attitudes. If anyone touched her, it wasn’t me. But, what could I say to prove my innocence. Many of those who observed her anger and actions assumed I was guilty, even though my name was previously unsullied. Some of my close friends accepted my assurances that I had not touched the girl, but I could discern that they were not certain. A few of my more raunchy associates were probably envious. It was trivial incident and had no real impact on my psyche. It happened more than 70 years ago. Nevertheless, I remember it vividly, and that slap still stings. The embarrassment, anger, and honest resentment I experienced caused me to empathize with Brett Kavanaugh during his recent ordeal.
Girls and women sometimes make false accusations of inappropriate sexual actions by men: occasionally, it is a case of mistaken identity or misinterpretation of a particular event; rarely, it is a deliberate falsehood born out malicious hate; at other times, it might be a lie to obscure one’s own guilt; more rarely still, a woman might lie to advance a cause that she considers more important than truth itself. Although false accusations may be relatively rare, their consequences can be devastating.
I know that some men are sexual predators, even more are overly assertive, and instances of male sexual aggression are doubtless far more common than false accusations of the same. When these abusers of women are in positions of power, they can do much damage I applaud the Me Too movement for attempting to expose these highly-placed sexual predators.
It would seem that sexual predation and the thirst for power often go hand in hand. One of our political notables once said, “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” It is often difficult for men to resist the temptations and the advantages, sexual or otherwise, conferred by power. And some women seem to be particularly vulnerable to men in these positions of power. Perhaps they emit the same sort of pheromones. Anyway, certain females appear to cluster around powerful male politicians, actors, and sports heroes like cats around catnip. That makes them more subject to abuse. Of course, that does not excuse the sexual abusers. Often these predators appear unsatisfied with the willing ones, and some of them are truly evil men. As my dear, departed wife would say, “Hang’em all!” Actually, she preferred more drastic methods of punishment, but the “cruel and unusual” clause would have prevented her from employing them.
The commentator also had a few things to say about Christine Blasey Ford. He made it clear that he believes Ford and thinks Kavanaugh a liar. What amazes me about this entire controversy is how much our belief in the veracity of Ford or Kavanaugh is based on our political leanings rather than on reason. If we wanted Kavanaugh confirmed as Supreme Court justice, it was obvious he had been falsely accused. If we opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Christine was viewed as a heroic champion, scarred but unbroken, who was willing to give her all in service of truth and justice.
Think about it. Try to shed your political prejudices. Look at the evidence (or lack thereof) and use your reason. Who and what do you believe?