Although it’s terrifying to have someone like Brett Kavanaugh making important decisions for our country, I’m not more heartbroken over his appointment to Supreme Court than I am about systemic racism and the millennia-old oppression of women. In other words, this heartbreak is not new.
In a way, I’m relieved by the stink: We are no longer pretending it’s not happening.
I don’t think I know a woman who has not been violated by a man—in very big and not-so-big ways. The not-so-big makes us feel small, while the very big can kill us.
Thanks to women like Anita Hill, Tarana Burke, Alyssa Milano, and Christine Blasey Ford, our daughters will be more likely to report, or at least confront, their sexual tormentors. Our daughters will be less likely to accept abuse or inappropriate behavior.
They won’t pretend it’s okay, or not a big deal, or even normal. Because we are working hard to un-normalize it with #MeToo and the Kavanaugh hearings. The next generation will recognize this pain for what it is, and care for their wounds until they heal—as we have been forced to do now.
And here’s a silvery lining: There are men out there who’ve hurt women and gone on to marry a (presumably good) woman and make children and live pretty normal lives. Many of them, barring sociopaths and narcissists, recognize themselves in Brett Kavanaugh. They know it could have been them, and they are humbled.
The Kavanaugh hearings showed how men can and will get away with abusing women. But it has also shown how these actions start waves of pain that will eventually come back around to them. Men everywhere know they’re not any better than a man people hate.
I hope it makes them want to be a man people love.
Art by Allen Dailey who generously gifted this piece to the public for our usage.