That’s the question people keep asking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Why wait until now? Is she seeking attention? Or a book deal? Maybe she wants to go into hiding with her family? Maybe death threats excite her? I don’t know the answers to those questions. Maybe the bro's can fill in the blanks.
One question that hasn’t been asked is, why WOULD she have come forward 35 years ago and tell anyone? Rewind the clock to the 1980’s and the bro culture that existed, (and still exists) on many levels. Do you think anything really would have been done? Would anyone have cared? Would Kavanaugh’s school, Georgetown Prep been progressive and launched an investigation 35 years ago? Doubtful. Hell, we have the ultimate bro, Senator Orrin Hatch dismissing Dr. Ford as “mixed up” today, in 2018, post #metoo. Oh, Orrin... #timesup.
The other question is, why is the onus on a 17-year-old girl to come forward to report something that people didn’t talk about back then, was viewed as something you brought on yourself, and more than likely there were no rules in the school handbook on how or where to report a sexual assault? So, you expect a 17-year-old girl to have the wherewithal to report a boy from a place that sounds like it cultivated, nurtured and prides itself on a bro culture? As recently as 2015, Kavanaugh joked about the schools’ unofficial motto, “what happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep.” That’s quite a high expectation on a 17-year-old girl to go up against, while Kavanaugh is being given a pass for just being a kid and engaging in the ‘boys will be boys’ behavior. Or should we say, boys who will be Supreme Court Justices with lifetime appointments and a pattern of shitty past behavior?
There is another 17-year-old involved in this story, Kavanaugh bestie, Mike Judge who is named as a witness in the alleged assault. Judge, former classmate and author of memoirs titled, “Wasted: Tales of GenX Drunk” and “God and Man at Georgetown Prep”, the latter, not a book of prayer, but a story about a school’s culture that the Washington Post called a “nest of debauchery” is now refusing to testify saying he doesn’t remember anything. Judge, the ultimate bro, who likened Obama to a woman because he was sensitive, left his parting shot at Georgetown Prep on his senior yearbook page choosing the Noel Coward’s quote, “Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.” Kavanaugh must be relieved that this character witness for a sexual assault case simply doesn’t remember a damn thing about that night long ago. And besides, as Judge stated in the New York Times, we (meaning he and Brett) were raised Catholic and would not have behaved this way, referring to what Kavanaugh’s accuser describes. The Catholic Church is swimming in its own shit show of yet another sexual abuse scandal, and Judge uses it as a defense. Poor choice.
I, a product of Catholic grade school, high school and college, both undergraduate and graduate school, know that Mike Judge is wrong. I have seen and heard first-hand about rape and sexual assault by Catholic men, and not just priests. I thought back to a situation I told one person about 28 years ago and filed it away in the “things to forget about” folder until this week. Why would I have told anyone or made a big deal out of it? I was lucky and got out of the room, relatively unscathed, but I remember every single detail.
It was junior year at a keg party on a fall night in college, and I ended up making out with a guy in a bedroom off of the living room, while most of the party was outside on the porch and in the side yard. I remember laying on the bed kissing. I remember wearing my tan J. Crew barn jacket, jeans, K-Swiss tennis shoes, and probably an LL Bean turtleneck. The guy was a junior as well, tall and well-built, a former high school football player. I remember he had on a navy windbreaker, because when he wanted to do more than kiss, I tried to push him off of me and my hands slipped on the nylon material. I told him no a few more times and pushed his roaming hands away, finally giving him one big push. He then pinned my arms down, apparently not accepting my rejection of him. That is when I felt fear. I tried to break free, push him off me but I was no match for his size and strength. Through gritted teeth I told him to get the “fuck off me.” When that didn’t work, I used my last resort. I told him, my brother (who was a fifth-year senior) and his friends would kill him if he did anything to me. That threat saved me. He got off me, couldn’t believe he was being rejected, and thankfully never spoke to me again, just the occassional glare when he saw me on campus. I went home shaken up, called a friend from high school and told them what happened, and tucked away the memory of that night from long ago until this week.
I thought about the guy in the blue windbreaker and wondered what happened to him. Where was he now? Did he have a family? Did he have daughters? He too was raised Catholic, like Judge and Kavanaugh, and I am sure his parents did not raise him to assault women. Much like my parents who raised me Catholic didn’t teach me to threaten people with murder. However, desperate times call for desperate measures.
I expected to find some digital footprint showing him the happy family man, surrounded by a wife and kids. Instead my quick Google search revealed something quite different. The guy I had threatened with death had actually died, and in a very tragic manner several years ago. I was not prepared to read this. After several gasps I reread his death notice. According to it, while he did not leave behind a wife or children, he was a man of the Lord who helped others and lived his faith serving the less fortunate. I was in shock, but then I saw his picture in the death notice- the backwards baseball cap, and shit eating grin. I thought, once a bro, always a bro. It was 1990 all over again as I pulled a memory out I hadn’t thought about in 28 years. I remember my hands slipping on the navy windbreaker. I remember what the air felt like on that fall night as I walked home after my narrow escape. I marvel as I type this, that my 20-year-old self, after several cups of keg beer had the tenacity and clarity to threaten him. I felt sorry for his parents that they had to bury a child. But as one of my very wise friends says, karma catches up with you, somewhere, somehow and some way. I guess it found him, tragically.
I know karma will find Kavanaugh. This grueling process may be it. Or possibly a failed nomination, or something else. His story is not over. For Dr. Blasey Ford, I am sure she can recall every detail from 35 years ago. Those memories don’t go away, and it is her story to tell, on her time timetable. She was the one pinned down with her mouth covered. Don’t let Orrin Hatch’, at the ripe old age of 84 years tell you that you might be “mixed up.” Check yourself Orrin. Mike Judge, the bestie, once a bro, always a bro. You stood there like a sick perv watching a woman be assaulted. Karma will find you too. And when she does, she’s a bitch.