Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A personal story: why I took Trump's remarks mocking Dr. Ford so personally.

As Donald Trump mocks Dr. Blasey Ford...I was outraged. Not only was it orated by a President who is the  model of male bad behavior, but I took it personally.  I have been baited on my personal Facebook page  this week by some male trying to demonstrate that a rape victim, a victim of sexual assault is lying if she cannot remember every little detail.(He was not a Facebook friend, but this was in the sub remarks of another Facebook friend's posting.) .Unlike the insinuation of Trump at the rally, Dr. Ford  knew her attackers because he was a friend of a friend and they often attended the same social events .Her descriptions were in vivid detials of the event itself:  of upstairs, the layout of the house, the attendees who did not witness the attempted rape and and those who did, the approximite location, and the general date and time.  Obviously her drunk attacker was not traumatized and those downstairs were likewise not traumatized because they did not know what was going on upstairs. Kavanaugh's best defense was he was too drunk to remember, but he had painted himself as a virgin choir boy on TV and that he sometimes drank too much, but not to the extent as to black out.  It is his lies later that are the issue here.

 The exchange from the baiter went like this:
Male: Do you remember what I did to you 40 years ago?
Me: 40 years ago I was 40 years old (the baiter obviusly did not know me personally)  and no, I do not know you or anyone with your name and whatever you said you did was not much of a trauma, if you did it. When I was 40, I was worldly wise and not easily traumatized.  However, let me tell you what happened 60 years ago: I was in a work place in New York City...It was my first job after college, a dream job, writing story lines in early television.  As I was writing, my boss in the next room with the door open began doing what creepy ..we called perverts..used to do in the back tables  of the main  hall in my college library..making sure I saw him do it.  I remember what he looked like, what he was doing in detail, the color of his desk, how he had swiveled his office chair around so I could see it, and how my desk and chair were positioned. I remember his name (he  is long gone from this world).I do not know what I did, but I turned my back. I do not know how I got home; I do not remember anything more, other than I was frightened.

 I was supporting myself at the time.  I could not afford to lose a day of pay.  I called my employment agency.   My answer: I quit my job and found another one, in a typing pool.  It paid more, but was truly below my education level and used less than a fraction of my skills and education.  However, I had a woman boss and I was the only female in the pool. She protected me from the dirty jokes of my fellow workers, telling them to stop it.  We, my husband I ,moved to Denver.  I landed a job in one of Denver's daily newspapers  in the  advertising department. I became pregnant and I was fired immediately once it was obvious by a boss whose name I remember, too.  Those were the days.

I told no one about any of this, but thanks to Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh, I began to talk about it recently.   I am sure there are many like me whose horrible memories in the past have been dredged up and for whom these past weeks have been a nightmare.  My outrage at Trump's remarks are guttural and visceral.

Further maddening remarks for Trump was saying this was a very scary time for young men since what they did when they were younger could be fired because women lied about an encounter who could not remember any details, etc etc.This is decidedly not the case in Dr. Ford's testimony.   Most men like Brett Kavanaugh are not being vetted for the Supreme Court where character counts..and the standards are the highest in the nomination is for a lifetime. If he is  confirmed by the Senate to the court, every time he rules against the interests and rights of women, horrible memories will be a flashback. Since one out of three women have been a victim of worse than what I experienced described in this blog and more than 60% will not have reported this to authorities, that will be a large number of women whose traumas will be revisited. 60% of those young men committing such crimes will get away with it scott free, no blot on their resumes, and the women reporting it will go through the same indignities that Dr. Ford has experienced, probably mocked and disbelieved.    That the character standards are being lowered and such behavior is ignored  is a travesty and an insult to the Supreme Court.

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