OPINION: Kavanaugh confirmed, and rape culture reaffirmed?
Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
If you’ve been off the grid for the past few weeks, the circus in Washington has a fantastic new act.
The top story of every major news source at the moment is the controversy surrounding one Brett Kavanaugh, the man President Trump nominated to the Supreme Court in July to fill the vacancy left by the now-retired Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Kavanaugh, who was nominated by George W. Bush to the D.C. Circuit back in 2003, has been noted for his conservatism and partisan politics, even facing criticism for the latter by Democratic senators under the Bush administration.
As expected, controversy aplenty arose when Trump announced him as his pick to replace Kennedy. Many on the left worried about his conservative ideals, especially after claims surfaced that Kavanaugh wished to overturn landmark legal case Roe v Wade upon his appointment.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation process has certainly not been smooth, to say the least. The most contentious issue by far surrounding the Supreme Court nominee came to light a few weeks ago, when a psychology professor named Christine Blasey Ford came forward with a disturbing allegation that the justice-to-be, alongside friend Mark Judge, sexually assaulted her at a high school party back in 1982.
The ordeal has thrown social media into a frenzy, resulting in tunnel vision on both the left and right, further widening the gap between Democrats and Republicans and highlighting the prominence of partisan politics in the contemporary political climate. Kellyanne Conway is calling this a "vast left-wing conspiracy," enraging Democrats but rallying Republicans.
Even scarier than his anger, his insistence that the left is out to get him or his aggressively self-proclaimed love for fermented barley is the fact that Kavanaugh is no different than the guy who sits next to you in your physics lecture. In fact, there are many like him. Look around, your local frat house is packed to the brim with future Kavanaughs.
Just judging based off of the makeup of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which consists of 10 Democrats, four of whom are women, and 11 Republicans, all of whom are men, Ford was at a disadvantage from the get-go.
If college campuses are laboratories that act as a breeding ground for sexual assault, then fraternities are the heavily-cultured petri dishes inside said lab. According to a poll by The Washington Post, one in five women indicate that they have been sexually assaulted in college. The three factors correlating most with this statistic were: 1) "sometimes drinking more often than should" 2) "mostly hooked up while in school" and 3) fraternities and sororities in school."
The power dynamic in America is dangerously out of sync, shifted in favor of those guys at [insert 2-3 Greek letters] who are probably throwing back shots of cherry-flavored Fleischmann’s as I’m writing this.
If that’s not an unsettling thought, then I don’t know what is. In no way am I trying to stereotype every single member of a fraternity at the University of Arizona and elsewhere, but keep in mind that this generalization is not entirely inaccurate.
Rape culture is real, but it can also be subtle. Most of the time we may not even realize we are contributing to it. The seed has been planted in our psyches for as long as we can remember, beginning at a time where the concept of consent, let alone that of sex, was foreign to us.
Inside every male college student there is a potential Brett Kavanaugh. Some grow up. Some don’t. A man who has gotten away with committing horrific acts for so long has no choice but to lash out and play the victim upon having to face the consequences of his actions.
They’ve never been punished before, so to them, there is no concept of justice to the people they’ve caused harm to — only a sense of injustice to themselves because there’s nowhere else to run.
In a country where the president himself has faced numerous sexual-assault allegations and is well-known for his disrespectful attitude towards women, it seems as if anything goes.
Where do we draw the line? And what example does it set when his supporters are so willing to look past these "flaws" that still obtained the highest political office in the nation, despite his controversies?
This just furthers the notion that these are acceptable actions that will have no long-lasting effects on the perpetrators and aids in enabling the many Brett Kavanaugh to-be's to continue to do as they please, sans-reparations.
So, Mr. Kavanaugh, the nation deserves to know the truth:
Do you prefer IPAs or lagers?
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