OPINION: A Societal Problem, Not an Individual One
Republican Representative Ralph Norman has made light of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations by making a sexual assault joke about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Did y’all hear the latest, late-breaking news from the Kavanaugh hearings? Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out that she was groped by Abraham Lincoln.” — Norman
This is a classic tactic for dehumanization: diminish the experience of an individual by A) making it into a joke, and B) making it appear less relevant by equating the passage of time to the administration of justice.
By conflating Ford and Ginsberg, Norman obfuscates their individual identities, making the attempted rape a less personal experience and more of a general one.
This attempt at generalization is a typical method of deflection — the “but everyone is doing it” kind of logic that we’ve been hearing from so many different Republicans.
By comparing the 34 years of Blasey Ford’s silence to the 153 years in between Lincoln’s death and today, Norman is trying to delegitimize Blasey Ford’s allegations by contextualizing them within a time span that is utterly ridiculous.
He is also trying to suggest through his use of a hyperbolic analogy that because so much time has passed, justice has either been served or is entirely irrelevant.
Not to mention, the sheer fact that this man is willing to joke about an incident of sexual assault being carried out against a standing Supreme Court Justice is not only appalling in and of itself but is also indicative of the representative’s general lack of regard or respect for women as a whole.
All of these issues are widespread throughout our society, and Norman is not the only one to embody them publicly.
When Brock Turner was caught quite literally in the act of raping an unconscious woman, people tried to excuse him by saying that it was the woman’s fault because she was so drunk that she passed out, leaving herself vulnerable.
Now, people are trying to excuse Kavanaugh’s attempted rape on his intoxication.
To summarize: when a woman is drunk and gets raped, it’s her fault — because she was drunk. But when a man gets drunk and rapes a woman, it’s not his fault — because he was drunk.
One would be hard-pressed to find a more obvious, unfair, and repulsive double standard.
And if we allow this man, Brett Kavanaugh, to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, then we will effectively enshrine that double standard into law for the rest of our country’s foreseeable future.
We cannot afford to let that happen.