Just like the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the Kavanaugh case has made a global impact. The Weinstein scandal started the #MeToo movement, a movement against sexual abuse of women, especially abuse from men in power. The Kavanaugh case is a reminder of why we need the movement and it has even caused its own movement, #believerher.
Here's a quick brief on what the case is about and why it's caught the worlds' interest...
Who is Kavanaugh?
Brett Kavanaugh, a lawyer close to the White House, has been nominated by Trump as an Associate Junior of the Supreme Court of the United States. However, a recent sexual misconduct allegation has postponed his nomination.
What is the case about?
Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegations. Ford said that she was at a house party when a drunk Kavanaugh and his friend pushed her into a bedroom, Kavanaugh tried to take her clothes off and when Ford screamed for help, he covered her mouth. Fortunately, Ford managed to escape, but it's a horrific event which has scarred her.
Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, says that a drunk Kavanaugh exposed himself at a party during their University days.
A third woman, Julie Swetnick, says that she saw Brett and others at parties, trying to get girls drunk so they could rape them, Julie was one of the women who was raped by Kavanaugh.
Of course, Kavanaugh denies these allegations.
Why can't we just revoke Kavanaugh's nomination?
Unfortunately, it's not as easy as that. The alleged rape happened over 30 years ago whilst the pair were at high school, so there is no concrete evidence. The court can only go by Ford and Kavanaugh's memory and perception of the event.
Why has this case made a global impact?
The overdue but much needed #MeToo movement has opened up everyone's eyes to the sexual harassment and abuse that often happens by those in power. More and more women are speaking up about their sexual abuse, and it's shedding light on sexism and how much control women actually have over their bodies, careers and lives.
Some are questioning whether history is just repeating itself as this case is very similar to the Clarence Thomas case in 1991. Anita Hill accused Thomas, one of the supreme court’s conservative justices, of sexual harassment. Anita was at a major disadvantage though as she publicly testified to a panel of 14 men, some of which mocked Anita's assertions. Thomas walked away as non-guilty.
Those on Kavanaugh's side are saying that this whole allegation was planned in anger of Trumps election. Lindsey Graham, who defended Kavanaugh, said that 'those who drug and rape women for 2 years probably don't stop', which in my opinion is not a valid argument.
Many see the case as a litmus test to see if society has changed and whether women will be believed when they speak out.
This is a tricky case, who knows what the outcome will be, but what I do know is that from watching clips of the 4 hour testimony in court, Kavanaugh's refusal to get the FBI involved, and Ford's emotions whilst telling her story, I don't know if I believe Kavanaugh's innocence.
(Founder of Rani & Co.)