Kavanaugh Hearings Further Expose Toxic Masculinity in U.S.
“A daunting number of politicians, celebrities, and influencers alike have rushed to Kavanaugh’s defense - an occurrence we’ve seen far too many times…”
Washington, D.C. - The confirmation hearings for United States Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh drag on as questioning continues from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. President Donald Trump announced judge Kavanaugh as his nomination for Supreme Court justice on July 9, 2018, filling the vacancy left by former justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh, age 53, is a former White House Staff Secretary - a position he was appointed to by former U.S. President, George W. Bush.
In his nomination address, President Trump praised Kavanaugh for his devotion to public service, stating that “For the last 12 years, he [Kavanaugh] has served as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with great distinction, authoring opinions which have been widely admired for their skill, insight and rigorous adherence to the law.” President Trump went on to express how he believes that there is “no one more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving,” a point which he stands by firmly.
However, this announcement does not come without its rightful amount of controversy. Kavanaugh's confirmation would add to the crisis for LGBTQ+ rights, voting rights, abortion access, and more. Because of this, each day of hearings bring more protestors, voicing their dissent for the nominee’s previous actions and beliefs. Haunting images of protestors being paraded out of the courtroom in zip-ties have appeared across our screens, presenting the informed American citizen with a choice: remain idle in this time of great need, or stand up for what’s right.
So far, more than 200 protestors have been forcibly arrested for peaceful demonstrations during the hearing proceedings, in which judge Kavanaugh was questioned about personal documents, previous judicial cases, and his past experience in the justice system. The frightening realization of this situation comes not only from the Kavanaugh’s words, but also from his actions. The particular action that sparked outrage occurred during the hearing before a lunch break on Sept. 5, when Fred Guttenberg, father of Jaime Guttenberg, a 14-year-old girl slain in the Parkland school shooting, introduced himself and attempted to shake hands with Kavanaugh. He was met with a cold glare and an even colder shoulder as the judicial nominee abruptly turned and walked away - a chilling moment photographed by the Associated Press.
This frightening situation occurred almost two weeks before an even more unnerving announcement. On Sept. 16, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of statistics at Palo Alto University, came forward to disclose allegations that judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party while they were in high school, with Kavanaugh attending Georgetown Prep and Ford at a nearby all-girls school. These allegations came as a shock to many, but the reaction we’ve seen is one that is all too familiar.
Kavanaugh immediately denied all allegations after Ford stepped forward, with President Trump quickly coming to his side. A daunting number of politicians, celebrities, and influencers alike have rushed to Kavanaugh’s defense - an occurrence we’ve seen far too many times. Once again we find our culture being overshadowed by the dark, boiling cloud that is toxic masculinity. Despite a plausible recounting of the night of the incident as well as Ford’s passing of a polygraph test, many still refuse to believe that her words against Kavanaugh are true.
We fail to realize that this is a man who is going to have, if confirmed, one of the greatest and most honored positions of power in our country. For this reputable accusation to be overlooked would be devastating, yet simultaneously unsurprising. Nonetheless, this should serve as not only a call to action for the American people, but a warning sign, cautioning us of the ever-growing flame that is toxic masculinity.