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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Change the Narrative


Before this past week, I had heard little about Brett Kavanaugh. If you Googled him a couple of weeks ago, you might’ve gotten information about him as a judge, his marital status and a portrait taken by the District of Columbia Courthouse for his Wikipedia page.

If you Googled him right now, you’d get about a million more hits.

His name is infamous across the United States. Whether that infamy is temporary—the kind that is eventually reduced to a low buzz and a weak argument—remains to be seen. After all, our president, Donald Trump, had nearly double-digit sexual assault accusers when he took office.

When the CNN story flashed across my phone screen, I didn’t pay it much attention—not until discussions began to erupt among my family and friends. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the stories that I’ve heard, and I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with the way that conservatives and liberals have taken up arms against each other.

I wouldn’t claim to be a political expert by any means, but I don’t think we are speaking of politics here. I think we are speaking of human decency.

I recall colleagues and television pundits remarking that the timing of these women’s allegations was pitiful, because they came out at the same time Kavanaugh was nominated for the Supreme Court. The timing of these women’s allegations would be pitiful, even despicable, if they were the lying attention-seekers that many are claiming them to be.

But personally, I cannot even begin to fathom why someone would choose to bring this kind of wrath down upon themselves for 15 minutes of fame. These women are being brutally slandered. It’s Grand Old Party (GOP) on one side and bleeding-heart liberals on the other. For Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, reliving the trauma that comes with sexual assault has got to be trying.

Kavanaugh stands accused of sexual assault, the most serious of his charges being rape. I would not definitively claim that Kavanaugh is guilty—I do not know the case intimately, nor do know the man. He has fervently denied his guilt, but I can express that my support lies with the women.

I believe that a young Kavanaugh is an example of rape culture. Rape culture is essentially an environment where sexual violence can be normalized through harassment, objectification, explicit humor and pressure put on guys, by their friends and by themselves.

I’m a fan of the popular Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” and one of the central characters, Bryce Walker, is a rapist at 17. Like Kavanaugh, Walker is a white male who comes from a background of tremendous privilege.

Please try to understand that I do not generalize at all; assault can come from all backgrounds. However, guilty white males who have grown up surrounded by rape culture are a significant commonality. Boys who believe that they can harass and assault, solely because they want to, and they can get away with it. And they have.

We can’t change the past, but we can start a new narrative, change the culture, solidify the lines that for so long have been blurred.

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