Similar to many of you, I've been digesting a ton of information regarding the Ford / Kavanaugh accusation (from both sides) and have been trying to reconcile my own thoughts, feelings and opinions on the matter.
As long as I can remember, boys have been deemed "assholes" and girls have been deemed "psycho bitches". It has always amazed me how prevalent these terms are and how men wear their term like a badge of honor, and yet, once a girl has been branded, she can't shake the stink.
I am a self proclaimed, "non psycho bitch". Growing up, I always had a ton of guy friends who made sure to let me know I was the most sane girl they knew. While I wore this particular badge with pride, it always made me incredibly sad and secretly angry that so many girls were that messed up. For a long time, I didn't understand why.
The worst thing that had happened to me was having my "pussy grabbed" by some unknown, random guy at a bar as I was walking through a crowded corridor. I was IRATE! I was yelling, "who did this?" in the bar and my friends told me it wasn't a big deal, it happens all the time, and to settle down. So I let it go and didn't think about it again until #metoo became a thing. FYI - it IS a big deal.
As many other women have shared, I tried hard not to drink too much, not to set my drink down, not to wear clothes that could indicate the "wrong" idea, not to walk alone at night, park under a light, to carry my keys like a weapon and I tried to always choose what I thought were "nice guys". I prided myself on not dating assholes.
When I was a Freshman in college, I went up to a boy's room in a Fraternity house. I recall saying, "Please don't rape me." Not because he was doing anything that made me feel uncomfortable, but because I knew it was stupid of me to be up in his room and, if he had been an asshole, he certainly could have taken advantage of the situation. He immediately jumped off of me and told me I had to go. In 4 years of college, I made sure never to put myself in that situation again. Or so I thought.
My Junior year of college I started dating a guy in Law school. We had been out on a few dates and I really liked how smart he was. One afternoon, we were in his room making out and he said the words, "either put the condom on or I'm going to slip it in without it." We were fully clothed and 100% sober at the time. Honestly, I had blocked the episode from my mind until later that evening when I was talking with a male friend from High School about him. I must have been so scared that I blocked it. We did not have sex that day. I jumped up, and left his room and said, "I'm not that kind of girl." But just that comment, f**ked with my mind so much, that I ended up letting him manipulate me into eventually having sex with him, twice. Both times were bad. He was bad. He was the "asshole" I had been working to avoid. And he even told me he was an asshole and that I should stay away from him. For some insane reason, that just made me want him more. Over the next 6 - 12 months, I went from being a "non psycho bitch" to "one of those girls". I was needy, depressed, and downright annoying. I jumped and felt excited every time I was "blessed" with a call from him (which were few and far between). My HS friend tried to snap me out of it and kept telling me I was acting like "those girls", but I couldn't let it go. My saving grace was a summer at home with no communication from him. But I became skeptical of men, twitchy, and well, bitchy.
Mid year during my senior year of college, I was lucky enough to meet an incredibly sweet and patient guy who helped me get past this episode and get back to being me. But I never blamed all of those girls for being "psycho bitches" again. I was not raped. I never did anything without consent. And yet, this rocked me to my core. I can not even imagine who I would be today if he had held me down, covered my mouth and followed through with his threat. I certainly could no longer be a self proclaimed non psycho bitch. That's for sure.
Ask me if I told anyone about this aside from my HS friend and my husband. The answer is no. Ask me if I've looked him up on Google over the past 15 years. The answer is yes. I will never forget his name. I will never forget what he looked like. I will never forget blocking out his words and the downright shocked and embarrassed feeling I had when I remembered them. I couldn't help but believe this was somehow my fault. My "guy" is not up for a seat on the Supreme Court, but he certainly could be. And still, I probably wouldn't share his name because I chose to sleep with him. But I am quite certain, I'm not the only one he manipulated. And even though I ultimately consented, it would tear me up if he was someone who would be eligible to make decisions about women's bodies for the rest of his life. In his core, he does not respect women. He does not believe we are equal. His manipulation led me to believe he did. But he doesn't.
We don't know for certain who to believe. Maybe Kavanaugh is telling the truth. Maybe Ford is telling the truth. But as someone who does not drink much and never has, I have had at least two nights in my life where I've blacked out. As a heavy drinker, I do not believe for two seconds that Kavanaugh is telling the truth about that. As far as I'm concerned, any lie under oath should be enough to disqualify him. I don't trust him simply based on that. I don't know what, if anything, this investigation will turn up. But it sure has me twisted up inside reflecting on my own experiences.