Opinion: How much is my humanity worth?
Copy Desk Chief
I smoked two cigarettes on Saturday.
The first was in the afternoon, right after I got the New York Times breaking news notification that Brett Kavanaugh had been confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate. The second was later that night, when I still couldn’t believe it had really happened.
Smoking isn’t a habit of mine, and I don’t plan on making it one. I bought a pack of cigarettes and a lighter a while ago simply because I could, but I didn’t plan on opening it. Until Saturday.
Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court. It really happened. Fifty people decided that he is suited to one of the most powerful offices in our country. A man who yelled in his job interview, who deflected when asked if he’d ever blacked out from drinking, who did not show the temperment you would expect from a Supreme Court justice.
Fifty people decided that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her didn’t matter. That multiple other women’s allegations of sexual misconduct weren’t enough indicators that he’s not suited to sit on the Supreme Court.
Fifty people — half of the Senate — decided that partisan politics matter more than the word of sexual assault survivors. And then people wonder why survivors don’t come forward more often.
One of my closest friends was raped by her ex-boyfriend. She never reported it because she didn’t want to “ruin” his life. I was sexually assaulted nearly 10 years ago by my best friend at the time. I never said anything because it took nine years for me to process what happened, and coming forward now would change absolutely nothing.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation shows that maybe my friend wouldn’t ruin her ex-boyfriend’s life — Kavanaugh made it to the Supreme Court, after all. His confirmation shows that me coming forward now really wouldn’t make a difference, just like I suspected.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation tells survivors that coming forward will not get us the justice. That coming forward doesn’t matter. That the people who attacked us will continue to walk around and face no consequences for their actions.
That our humanity is worth less than political games to our government.
Bridget Dolan is one of The Review’s Copy Desk Chiefs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.