By Raeesa Triegaardt
This article is exclusive to Online Edition 9 of VARSITY.
TW: mention of rape and sexual assault
These are dark times we’re living in. Almost forty years after a life-altering traumatic experience, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with her story of sexual assault. That she came forward at all, let alone decades later, is an act of strength and courage. Further, this reaffirms the obstinacy within some of the highest functioning systems of society when it comes to appointing toxic white men to positions of power.
It took me 30 years to tell anyone. And I’m far from alone. https://t.co/HbBxo2gmps
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 30, 2018
How long did it take you to tell someone?
16 years #WhyIDidntReport
— Mueller, She Wrote Podcast (@MuellerSheWrote) October 1, 2018
“But why didn’t she report it sooner?” This is a question that we’ve seen being thrown around a lot, especially in response to the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing. The experience of sexual assault can have lasting effects on the victim’s psyche. Sometimes, the victim may never come forward with their story because it is simply too painful, too traumatic to share.
This is a really powerful form of public activism: the women’s restroom wall made even more public. pic.twitter.com/c30uElIwn3
— Anna Holmes (@AnnaHolmes) September 28, 2018
As was reiterated by the Democrats on the committee on September 27th, Dr Ford did not have anything to gain from her coming forward and testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. And still, Brett Kavanaugh’s future at Capitol Hill was cemented a bit more than a week later. Through his alternating bouts of weeping and yelling, another angry and power-hungry white man is confirmed to take another powerful seat in US politics. A major victory for Trump, and a catastrophic pitfall for any hope of a revived democracy, this further extends the legacy of misogyny that is so entrenched in the very inner-workings of both social and institutional infrastructure around the globe.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre https://t.co/lwQhNnFhxf
— G. is on sick leave (@GWillowWilson) October 6, 2018
For women, and especially those disproportionately victim to sexual violence, the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing is but a window into the night terrors that flood their daily lives. It seems the only possible explanation for an incident as disgustingly inhumane as the Nicholas Ninow rapeis to call it a nightmare.
It is a nightmare to live in a world where women fear for their lives and the lives of their daughters. It is a nightmare to live in a world riddled with toxic masculinity and its many terrifying consequences. The nightmarish notion that masculinity is about projecting power is an idea that unfortunately still bleeds into the education of men and boys. Abolishing this toxicity and acknowledging misogyny for the tyranny that it is will hopefully push us a step in the right direction.
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