Of Men and Swine

I’ve never been one to follow politics. In fact, I actively avoided it for most of my life. My view, right or wrong, has always been that it doesn’t really matter how I vote, things do not change. Until now. It seems to me that the climate in our beautiful land of the free has gone from bad to worse, to unimaginable. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Hilary or Trump during the elections, they were both horrible choices to me. I’m neither Republican nor Democrat. I’d like to think that I can make my own decisions and choices despite party lines.

When it first came to my attention that Donald J. Trump, that mash-up of Oompa Loompa meets Troll Baby, was running for president, I thought surely it was a joke. I literally cried that January when, amidst very little fan-fare, he was sworn into office. Since that time, his moronic tweets have been an appalling source of humor for me, at his expense. Every time he opens his mouth, I think, “wow!” I am still in shock that anyone could vote for this man, let alone continue to support his idiotic ways. Yet, even my best friend, because she’s a republican, stands by him. No questions asked.

I watched yesterday as tRump, during a press conference, chose a female reporter to ask a question. As she looked around to verify that he had indeed chosen her, he was heard to mumble, “she’s in shock ’cause I picked her.” When the reporter, ABC’s White House correspondent Cecilia Vega responded, “I’m not thinking, Mr. President,” it was met with Trump’s desultory “that’s okay, I know you’re not thinking, you never do.” WHAT? Did he just say that? Because, assuming Mr. Trump (I refuse to call him my President) doesn’t know this particular reporter, what he just said was to ALL women. ‘I know you don’t think. You never do.‘ What an insult to women’s intelligence. But kudos to Ms. Vega for being a better person than Trump could ever hope to be, and handling the situation with poise and professionalism.

Knowing the contempt that Trump holds for apparently ALL women, it’s no surprise to me that he stands behind his man, Brett Kavanaugh, as a stellar choice for Supreme Court. As I said earlier, I’ve never been one to follow politics, but let me tell you, I’ve been glued to the screen ever since Dr. Ford uttered her first public words during the hearing last week. I’ve been checking the papers daily to keep up on the latest developments as the FBI continues their investigation (is limited, isn’t it? who knows?) into Mr. Kavanaugh’s background. Every hour it seems there’s a new development. Mr. Judge says Dr. Ford is lying (of course he would, he’s implicated as well if she’s telling the truth!), Dr. Ford’s ex-boyfriend (who’s name has been redacted – WHY?) says that she coached a friend on passing a polygraph test, therefore, she must be lying. Julie Swetnick said this, but now she’s saying that. She can’t be trusted. And at the end of all of these updates are the comments from republican supporters who know for sure what’s going on.

These are the comments that I find so infuriating. I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve read from men who are pissed that women are having a moment. They say that it’s unfair that any woman can stand up and accuse a man of sexual abuse and ruin their lives. I say it’s unfair that so many men have unfortunately never thought twice about objectifying a woman (can you say Trump?), or worse, physically assaulting her. How terrible for those men that women are finally speaking out! And how wonderful for the women who are brave enough to finally do so. To all of these men (and women) who are making fun of Dr. Ford for her appearance, or the way she spoke softly (she was terrified), I say shame on you. You’re grasping for straws in trying to dismiss her testimony. Yes, a person can be terrified to fly but STILL FLY. I am one of those people. And, I am also one of those people who’ve had an experience similar to Dr. Ford’s but can’t recall all of the details.

While I was in high school, I had a crush on a young man. Let’s call him Brett. Brett and I took a stroll through the woods one day. I was still a virgin. We started to make out. Brett got a little too handsy and before I knew it, he was trying to remove my underwear. Shocked, I asked him to stop. He did not. In a panic, I was able to fight him off, push his hands away, and run back to my friend’s house. My underwear did not make it with me. I truly feared that Brett would rape me. I remember feeling scared. I was crying and shaking, and my friend’s brother offered to go after Brett and beat him up. But, I said no. The reason? Because I did not want to make a scene. I was embarrassed and ashamed. How could I tell my parents that I went knowingly into the woods with a young man a few years older than me?

While my experience was not nearly as traumatic as Dr. Ford’s, it stayed with me for life. Do I remember what year this happened? No. I only know it was during high school, so it must’ve happened sometime between 1986-88. Do I remember where these woods are located? Vaguely. I couldn’t pinpoint the exact location today. Do I remember what I was wearing? No. I only know that I lost a pair of underwear that day. Do I know that it was Brett, though? 100%. You better believe your “devil’s triangle” that I believe Dr. Ford’s testimony completely. Just because someone cannot recall all of the details of a traumatic event, does not make her a liar. And you better believe that if my “Brett” was nominated to the Supreme Court, just as Dr. Ford felt it was her civic duty to speak out, I would do the same.

How can we expect our daughters to feel comfortable coming forward with similar stories, when women are constantly labeled liars for speaking their truth. I’m sure that there are women who lie, just as there are men who lie, but we cannot dismiss what any woman has to say.

Several years later, at a friend’s wedding, I ran into my “Brett.” Surprisingly, he pulled me aside and apologized for the incident. I could see that he truly was sorry and I’ve forgiven him. In fact, we’re now friends on social media. The thing is, just as I made the poor choice to follow him into the woods that day, teenagers make mistakes. Brett made a mistake. It’s completely plausible to me that Brett Kavanaugh yucked it up in high school and college, partying, having a great old time. And, maybe, just maybe, he made a mistake while he was drunk and accosted Ms. Ford. And since that time, maybe he’s become a decent human being. But the difference here between my “Brett” and Mr. Kavanaugh, is that my “Brett” did the right thing and owned up to his past mistakes. Mr. Kavanaugh, when faced with Dr. Ford’s accusation, went on the defensive, cried like a baby, and whined like a little piglet.

Regardless of whether Mr. Kavanaugh is telling the truth about having no recollection of Dr. Ford’s accusations, it’s become apparent that Mr. Kavanaugh has not been 100% truthful about other things. For this reason alone, Mr. Kavanaugh does not deserve to sit on the Supreme Court.

As for Mr. Trump, keep up the good work of pissing women off. Don’t be surprised if you run for re-election when you lose. Oink, oink, Mr. Trump.

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Pittsburgh mom ranting and raving about everyday life in the 'Burgh.

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