OPINION: The #MeToo Movement’s Woman Problem Surrounding Kavanaugh’s Hearing
The problem with the #MeToo Movement in the context of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is its blanket assertion to “believe the woman.” You have to ask: Which woman do you believe?
Because conflicting female testimony continues to litter the circus that has been dominating the news cycle these past couple of weeks, the Judiciary Committee has decided to delay the final vote. And you have to be a woman who has no significant man in your life — no husband, son, brother, father, friend, partner — whom you can imagine facing career demolition from unsubstantiated charges to ignore the cultural shift taking place.
But consider, first, some of the key women in the limelight.
Watching the hearing gavel-to-gavel, we were struck by the emotion of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The sense that an event of her past seriously wounded her life at persent was profound. But what exactly and at whose hand?
All the witnesses she named say they did not see Brett Kavanaugh act as she described. And, in fact, her best friend — a woman named Leland Keyser — said she never even met Kavanaugh in a sworn statement to the Judiciary Committee that carries the potential of a felony perjury charge if found to be false. Are we nott to believe this woman?
Keyser’s attorney told The Washington Post, “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh, and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.”
When asked about her friend’s assertion that she had never been at any party with or without Ford in which Kavanaugh also attended, Ford threw her friend under the proverbial bus.
Arizona Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell reminded Ford of the felony implications to the people, multiple men and a woman, noting that they could not back Ford’s story.
In response to Ford saying that she could not corroborate the accusations, Mitchell asked, “Do you have any particular motives to ascribe to Leland?”
Ford responded, “Leland has significant health challenges, and I’m happy that she is focusing on herself and getting the health treatment that she needs.”
But how does that change the fact that, despite whatever health challenges Keyser is currently experiencing, she was willing to say under oath that she does not recall the events Ford described?
Mitchell herself, in summarizing the testimony she observed, reported that she did not believe “a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee.” And even the media is having trouble believing some of the new, last-minute accusations against the judge.
We also have the testimony and testimonials of the many women who grew up with Kavanaugh — like the 65 who attended high school with him between 1979 and 1983 — who wrote and signed a letter defending the judge and his treatment of women.
Or women like Sarah Pitlykand and Rebecca Taibleson, who clerked for Kavanaugh and described a gentleman and a scholar who cared about their personal achievement. They stand in contrast to the female activist attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, who have helped direct the process for Ford and who seem to have misrepresented a few things.
During the process, many reported that the Judiciary Committee hearing had to be delayed because of Ford’s inability or unwillingness to fly. Again under questioning from Mitchell, we learned that Ford flies for work and pleasure frequently. And Ford expressed surprise to learn that the committee had repeatedly offered to come to her, something she said her attorneys had not communicated. Nor had they told her who paid for a polygraph test she participated in.
We learned in fact that Sen. Dianne Feinstein recommended Katz’s firm, which is interesting when you consider that Katz doesn’t always believe the woman. In fact, she defended former President Bill Clinton against Paula Jones.
She called Jones’ suit “very, very, very weak” in a CNN appearance in 1998. Why? “She’s alleged one incident that took place in a hotel room that, by her own testimony, lasted 10 to 12 minutes. She suffered no repercussions in the workplace,” said Katz then.
And what about other, current claims of misconduct by high profile political figures?
How many in the Democratic Party are engaging in investigating the trauma that Karen Monahan is alleging against Rep. Keith Ellison, a six-term congressman and deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, running for Minnesota state attorney?
Monahan, in trying to draw attention to her allegations of domestic violence she said she experienced, reported recently that when she has tried to post her medical records on social media, the proof keeps getting deleted. She also complained to the media that the Democratic Party was not responding to her as they had Ford.
In response to a question about whether the party believes women’s stories about misconduct, Monahan tweeted, “No, they don’t. I’ve been smeared, threatened, isolated from my own party. I provided medical records from 2017, stating on two different Dr. Visits, I told them about the abuse and who did it. My therapist released records stating I have been dealing and healing from the abuse.”
This willingness to highlight some women and ignore others represents a proxy war over, among other things, abortion.
As The Atlantic reported, “Democrats seem to have made a political bet: that they should make Kavanaugh’s nomination about Donald Trump, and make it about the future of abortion.”
And that is what is so troubling about trying to turn the entire confirmation process for the Supreme Court into a belated #MeToo event. With a life-long record of good behavior, Kavanaugh is accused without proof of being some kind of sex offender. You only have to care about one man in your life to feel afraid if the standard for blocking male advancement is an unproven accusation.
What #MeToo should teach us is that women’s stories must be heard, treated respectfully and examined. If proved, those in authority must act them upon. But without due process, the entire system breaks down. And it belittles the true horrors that some women have experienced when events are manipulated for partisan agendas.
Sen. Lindsey Graham’s impassioned statement about the breakdown of the hearings and process was the absolute highlight of the entire sad day, calling the travesty the “most despicable” thing he has witnessed in his time in politics. And while he is a man, his point was well taken.
Making the Kavanaugh confirmation a tug of war between men and women is a mistake.
As mothers with five sons between us, we want to teach them to treat women (like their sisters) — and all people — with respect. But we want the same thing for them. The #MeToo movement was supposed to address a wrong against women not create one for men.
Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America. Kristi Stone Hamrick is a media consultant.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.