Over the last few days I’ve been mulling over in my mind Brett Kavanaugh’s fiery and emotional expression of innocence. In reality, his story and Dr. Blasey’s story are actually in total agreement.
The sort of behavior she describes is perfectly consistent with that of a young man who is black-out drunk — and at this point, based on the evidence, I don’t think anybody seriously doubts that Mr. Kavanaugh drank to that level of excess in his youth. So in fact he is being completely honest and sincere when he says he has no recollection of the event in question.
But what struck me was the tone of his declaration of innocence. He was loudly combative, openly hostile and dismissive in response to reasonable questions of fact — particularly if the Senator asking the question was female. He was also prone to angrily shouting about accusations of political witch hunts, and at points becoming emotional to the point of crying.
Imagine if a woman had put on such a show. Of course you cannot. No woman would dare enact such a public display of unbridled emotion unless she were insane.
If a woman were foolish enough to attempt such a thing, the court of public opinion would immediately hang her from the highest tree. You can probably already hear the invective in your head: Shrill, shrewish, pushy, hysterical, “too bad she’s on her period”. Or just plain Bitch (as well as other words that are considerably less polite).
But it’s ok if a guy does it.
So what Brett Kavanaugh was really communicating, whether he intended to or not, was that male privilege is alive and well in the USA. Sure, it’s all well and good to pay lip service to equality between the sexes. But when it comes right down to it, in case there was any doubt, the U.S. Republican party is very much about maintaining the power of the patriarchy.
It is a world view in which only men are allowed to throw their weight around, because only men really count. In this world view, a woman simply isn’t important — other than as a meek and ever loyal supporter of her man.
It’s amazing to me that any woman at all continues to vote for these people.