October 4, 2018

Kavanaugh



TRIGGER WARNING

I thought I’d avoid commenting on the whole Kavanaugh thing … then a person I had forgotten I was friends with because we never speak popped up on my Facebook feed saying some really dumb shit, so here goes…

(Seriously, however you may feel about politics, Me Too, or 'toxic masculinity' if your first response to all this is 'men get assaulted too' or concern about his reputation, then fuck you, fuck you.) 

 When I worked in the Dean’s Office, I wrote the Resource Guide to University and Community Sexual Assault Services. The first half of the book was essentially a FAQ. I tried to think of every question I could think of: What is consent? What is a sexual assault? How can I help a friend who’s been assaulted? What happens if I call the police? What happens if I go to the hospital? And answer them clearly and directly, so victims could get answers and make good decisions.

The second half of this guide was exactly what it sounds like: a list of university and community resources (where you can go, who you can talk to, what they can do for you, what you can expect afterward, what say you have in the process there, and what happens next). This covered everything from the Health Center to the Hospital to the Women’s Shelter to explaining SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) and SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner).

I spent a lot of time working on this. I read the existing university literature. I read literature from the different places. I read reports. I read data. I met with people. I had five different people reviewing it for accuracy. I even spent a tense afternoon arguing for my use of the word “victim” in the opening FAQ section (as the booklet would be read by individuals who either had literally just been assaulted or were trying to figure out how to help their friend who had just been assaulted, I argued it was more import at that moment of reading to convey that “this was not your fault” and what happens next “you have full say over.”)

I learned a lot about sexual assault when I wrote that, just like I learned a lot about sexual assault working in the office. So a couple of things – 

Whatever you think you know is probably wrong. Sexual assault is almost nothing like you see on TV or read in most novels. Entertainment seldom portrays rape realistically, seldom structures the story from the survivor’s point of view, and seldom deals with the long aftermath, instead it twists facts, uses rape for a plot twist--an excuse to have someone murder a bunch of other people—or to punish a female character, and presents the whole thing in a cinematic, high-violence way meant for no other reason than to titillate an audience (Game of Thrones is a good example of this with 50+ rape scenes over a mere 5 seasons).

This further muddies the waters of public perception, making an already tough thing to come forward and report (let alone stick) even harder.

False allegations in real life ARE RARE. Extremely, extremely rare.

They seldom occur and when they do, they share a couple of traits:

  • the narrative is extremely involved, dramatic, and lurid 
  • the person making the false allegation usually has a criminal background or a history of mental illness.
I was only ever aware of one false reporting incident – and it fit both criteria: initial statement was involved, detailed, and lurid like a TV show; person making the statement had recently had troublesome behavioral incidents, follow-up statement featured attackers demonstrating supernatural abilities, deeper investigation showed signs of a psychotic break.


What we’ve witnessed in the Kavanugh hearing, I believe, is:
1) true – I believe he’s a rapist,
2) absolutely political (they want this bastard’s appointment because he’s very conservative and would be replacing longtime swing vote Justice Kennedy)
3) Endemic of how the elites look out for each other, because these people don't care anything about you--they're mad this has made it harder for them to just do whatever they want.

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