By D’Anne Witkowski
I just read on the National Public Radio’s health blog about a new study that found that “an estimated 3.3 million (women) nationwide said that their first sexual experience was rape.”
And this is likely an underestimate! The data for the study predates the #MeToo movement and only women age 18 to 44 were included.
That’s a lot of women and a lot of rape. And it’s both shocking and completely unsurprising considering that we live in a country where President Donald Trump has been accused of rape and sexual assault many times and all of his accusers have been dismissed as liars. And then, the president appointed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the Republicans enthusiastically supported him despite very credible testimony by Christine Blasey Ford that he’d sexually assaulted her in high school.
And lo and behold, what’s this trending on Twitter? Brett Kavanaugh’s penis. Because that’s the horror show we’re living in right now.
To be clear, it’s not a dick pic of Kavanaugh on Twitter. It’s more allegations of him using his penis to be a sexually assaulting trash heap. The latest allegations refer to incidents that happened while he was in college and they star his penis being thrust at women who didn’t want that to be happening to them.
Trump, of course, came to Kavanaugh’s defense.
“Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue,” Trump tweeted, indicating yet again that he has no idea what the Justice Department does. “The lies being told about him are unbelievable.”
Trump’s very strange and random capitalizations aside, Trump doesn’t know if what’s being said about Kavanaugh is true or not because the FBI didn’t bother to investigate around the time of his nomination. Of course, that’s according to the liberal media, so…
The next day Trump tweeted, “I call for the Resignation of everybody at The New York Times involved in the Kavanaugh SMEAR story, and while you’re at it, the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is just as phony!”
That’s journalism in America, folks. The damn president calls for the resignation of reporters he doesn’t agree with.
Other, much smarter, people (Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris for example) are calling for resignations, too. Or, more specifically, impeachments.
“Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing,” Warren tweeted. “Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.”
Would the Senate go for it? Well, no. Of course not. It’s still Republican-controlled (though you can help that by volunteering for a U.S. Senate race in your neck of the woods) and Mitch McConnell, who said the new allegations “felt a little like Groundhog Day,” is calling the shots.
But that doesn’t mean a full investigation shouldn’t happen. Impeach Trump. Impeach Kavanaugh. Let the proceedings begin because Democracy is heading toward an iceberg and if we don’t do something, this ship is going down.
Americans deserve the truth. Granted, a number of them will choose only to believe their dear leader. But winning over the mindless isn’t the point. It’s taking seriously charges of sexual assault and saying, “Gosh, maybe men who have credible accusations against them shouldn’t be allowed to hold the most powerful positions in the land.”
Look, it’s clear that Kavanaugh wasn’t a good person before his confirmation hearing. It’s also clear that he wasn’t a good person during his confirmation hearing. Which means he isn’t a good person now that he’s a sitting Supreme Court justice.
This is a man who, for the rest of his life, will be making decisions that govern the bodies and lives of women and LGBTQ people in this country. This man who thought that pushing his penis into a woman’s face was a funny joke in college.
I can’t stop thinking about those 3 million women in this country who were raped as their first sexual experience. Their first! This doesn’t count the many more who were raped after that.
And still, our default is to not believe women. To dismiss them as liars, especially when they accuse powerful men. The idea that there are all these women out there who will stop at nothing to destroy a good man’s life is absurd. Sexual assault isn’t something the majority of women lie about.
The idea that there are all these men out there who will stop at nothing to destroy a good woman’s life by assaulting her and then calling her a liar? We see that played out over and over again. And it has to stop.
—D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.