Why don’t we believe women?

51932070 - inconvenient word on keyboard button

Women tell inconvenient truths.

That leaves us with two choices: we could believe them and deal with the resulting cognitive dissonance or we could ease our discomfort by insisting, without evidence, that they are wrong.

Guess which is easier.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Women tell inconvenient truths.[/pullquote]

For years women have been telling inconvenient truths about sexual aggression, harassment and assault. I doubt there is a woman alive who has not been the recipient of unwanted attention, unwanted touching or unwanted attacks. The problem is not rare; it is commonplace and equally commonplace is the response: that didn’t happen; it wasn’t him; you misunderstood; you’re overreacting; boys will be boys.

Thus it is no surprise that Christine Blasey Ford’s recollection of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh when they were teenagers has led to the typical accusations against her: it didn’t happen; it wasn’t him; she misunderstood; boys will be boys.

The tendency to ignore women’s incovenient truths is not limited to accusations of sexual assault and it is not limited to men ignoring women. For example, within medicine it is well known that women’s pain is often undertreated. When women complain of severe pain, they are often dismissed in ways that men never are: it’s not that painful; you can tolerate it; you’re overreacting; it’s all in your head.

As Hoffman and Tarzian explain in The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain:

A deeper examination of why women are treated this way is explored by several feminist authors. They attribute it to a long history within our culture of regarding women’s reasoning capacity as limited and of viewing women’s opinions as “unreflective, emotional, or immature.” In particular, in relation to medical decision-making, women’s moral identity is “often not recognized…”

Some researchers have argued that a “bias toward psychogenic causation for disorders in women has occurred even in well defined painful biological processes: ‘Despite the well documented presence of organic etiologic factors, the therapeutic literature is characterized by an unscientific recourse to psychogenesis and a correspondingly inadequate, even derisive approach to their management.'” These findings are consistent with studies reporting that female pain patients are less likely than their male counterparts to be taken seriously or are more likely to receive sedatives than opioids for the treatment of their pain.

Sadly, this tendency to dismiss women’s pain and perceptions about their own bodies is not restricted to paternalistic male doctors. It is widespread among women midwives and lactation consultants.

Women tell inconvenient truths about the agonizing pain of childbirth and the relief they obtain from technology like epidurals. Midwives, who can’t provide epidurals, respond by dismissing women’s agony: it’s not that painful; you can tolerate it; you’re overreacting; it’s all in your head. And my personal favorites: you just need more support; you’ve been socialized to believe that childbirth is painful.

Women tell inconvenient truths about the difficulties of breastfeeding, the pain they experience and the fact that many produce insufficient breastmilk to fully nourish an infant. Lactation consultants, who only make money when they convince women to breastfeed, respond dismissively: you must be doing it wrong; you’re overreacting; it’s all in your head; you’re a victim of formula manufacturers; you just need more support.

Although sexual assault appears to have nothing in common with childbirth and breastfeeding difficulties, they are linked by the fact that they are inconvenient truths. Listeners have two choices: they could believe women and deal with the resulting cognitive dissonance: It is entirely possible for Brett Kavanaugh to be a deeply conservative judge and a man who sexually assaulted a women. It is entirely possible childbirth pain is no different from any other type of pain and worthy of a technological response despite the fact that midwives aren’t capable of providing that technology. It is entirely possible for breastfeeding to be natural and for it to be painful and/or insufficient nourishment for a baby.

It’s easy to see what Brett Kavanaugh and his supporters have to lose by believing Christina Blasey Ford; it’s easy to understand the impetus to dismiss her perceptions as flawed or invalid. So what if it’s both disrepectful and untrue; the ends — conservative beliefs — purportedly justify the means.

It’s harder to see what midwives and lactation consultants have to lose by believing women; they lose autonomy, income and ideological satisfaction; that’s why they have no trouble dismissing women’s perceptions as flawed, invalid or manufactured by doctors or formula companies. So what if it’s both disrespectful and untrue; the ends — midwives and lactation consultants’ beliefs — purportedly justify the means.

But there are no ends that justify disrespecting and refusing to believe women. It’s just misogyny in the service of self-dealing.

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    Why don’t we believe women? Because to many people, women’s suffering is a joke.

    “…Emotional women, loud women, angry women get ignored. Emotional, loud, angry men get to sit on the Supreme Court. They rise ever higher, born aloft on gusts of male laughter. The spectacle of Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing reminded us that, for so many conservative men, and the women who support them, women’s suffering is still a joke.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/opinion/kavanaugh-justice-princeton-women.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    • attitude devant

      That’s a terrific piece. The women in the NYTimes opinion section these days are nailing it.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for writing this Dr. Tuteur. I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I think it is quite possible that Brett Kavanaugh does not remember the episode because he was extremely drunk at the time. However, his manner during his questioning was belligerant, defensive and petulant. This is not what anyone wants in a judge, and we know he was nominated because it is hoped that he will rule against a woman’s right to choose autonomy over her own body for years to come.

  • Dane

    I went to the ER three times for dizziness, nausea and fainting, and because I have an anxiety disorder, was given Xanax (I never would’ve agreed to if I knew what it was at the time) twice and the third time, the IV was taken from my arm and I was berated for being a drug-seeker and kicked out of the hospital. Less than a week later, I had a cardiac arrest from an undetected magnesium deficiency.

    I guess what I’m getting at is that everything is awful and nobody respects anyone ever, but especially if you’re accusing a man in the GOP of rape.

    • Who?

      That’s horrifying.

      I hope you have had a good recovery.

      • Dane

        I did, thank you.

  • Mae Invernessity

    Unfortunately, there are far too many women who lie about having been sexually assaulted. These cases include both high profile, well publicized situations in which the later discredited victim was at first widely believed, like the Duke lacrosse and Rolling Stone’s UVA rapes, as well as less well known cases, including Nikki Yovino and Mary Zolkowski. Every sexual assault victim must be treated with compassion and respect, and they deserve to be heard. But the women (or men) who lie do a disservice to those accused, their communities and the far too many who have truly been assaulted, and we need to hold everyone accountable to the truth.

    • People lie about sexual assault at less than or about the same as they lie about other crimes (ie, ~3% or less). We don’t assume someone who says they were robbed or mugged was lying just because people do lie about that, and we don’t have to preface every damned conversation about crime with “but of course some people lie about it and there are false accusations”. Why do you think rape should be treated differently from every other crime in terms of whether we believe the victim or not?

      • Statistically, a man is more likely to be raped himself than falsely accused.

        • Sarah

          Indeed, I always think it’s suspicious when those claiming to advocate for men ignore all the males, particularly boys, who are victims of sexual assault.

        • A sad but true statement, considering that less than 3% of rapes end in convictions, while somewhere between 1 in 6 and 1 in 10 men is the victim of rape/sexual assault. And ~6% of men are rapists, so there’s that. (Lisak and Miller 2002)

      • LaMont

        Plus, I don’t really know of anyone who is saying “one testimony from one woman should be enough to put a man behind bars forever.” Typically, rapes DO have other evidence that is often ignored! Blood testing showing clear signs of dangerous intoxication of the victim so consent was impossible? People ignore it. DNA evidence showing one rapist’s involvement in zillions of other cases? Ignored. Witnesses who the victim went to immediately? Ignored. Physical injuries consistent with rape? Ignored. No one is saying “don’t investigate, just throw men away.” These cases are systematically underinvestigated and underprosecuted. Anyone harping on “false accusations” here should really be focused more on stopping all investigations into claims of car theft – people have something to gain from that!

        People who focus more on the accused are trying to increase the total harm done to people in society, full stop.

    • Amazed

      Not so unfortunately (VERY unfortunately, actually) I’m quite sure that the number of rape and molestation victim far exceeds the number of those who lied about having been sexually assaulted. I was involved in two such cases, with two different men. My part? I was the victim. No charges were ever pressed. No one even thought of going to the police. I suppose part of my parents’ reasoning (besides, you know, having lived their entire life in a country where such things Did. Not. Happen. Officially, so they were totally unprepared when it knocked on their door) was that the wrong people would think that I lied about I. At the ripe age of eight/nine (time of molestation and the actual rape attempt) and twelve, respectively, I would have been forced to fight too vigorously to ascertain my status of a sexual assault victim to gain the compassion and respect you think we deserve. It would have been hard. Especially when I didn’t KNOW what the first man (a teenager, actually) was trying to achieve by pressing me against the matress, shoving his tongue in my mouth, and trying to open my jeans. I still didn’t know where babies came from.

      For every woman who lied by placing a false accusation, there is at least one who never did anything to seek justice for being sexually assaulted. I am not in any abundance of sympathy for poor mankind.

  • I will never forget what my orthopedic surgeon [male] said to me when I was admitted to the ER with severe right hip pain. Two years previously, he’d replaced my left hip.
    The intern, taking my history, asked me how I’d describe my pain, “on a zero to 10 scale” [he was actually a nice guy]. My surgeon said immediately, “Write down ’12′”.
    The [male] resident had wanted to send me home with a shot of Demerol, second time in 48 hours. My daughter immediately left to call the surgeon who’d operated on me previously. Meanwhile I was telling the resident that I’d lie down on the floor of the ER until I was admitted, but I wasn’t going home; I couldn’t face being jolted through Jerusalem in an ambulance again.

    I was operated on less than 48 hours later, and on post-op rounds the day after, the resident said to me, “How do you feel now that you got the operation YOU wanted?”
    I reported him to my surgeon, who also happened to be the Head of Orthopedics. I didn’t see that resident again.

    • demodocus

      Stupid boy. Hooray for your surgery!

    • Dane

      Blarrrgughhh. That’s so gross.

  • Madtowngirl

    The tendency to dismiss pain is also widespread among female doctors and nurses as well, sadly. I recall my first miscarriage – I had been bleeding for two weeks (I did not know I was pregnant), and when I called to try and make an appointment, the female nurse told me I “just didn’t know what a real period was.” I wasn’t a teenager, I was a full grown adult who had been menstruating for well over 15 years.

    I called my doctor last week because she had asked me to let her know when I wanted to schedule my C-section (surprise, placenta is way too close to my cervix). The nurse went from pleasant to snotty as soon as I explained why I was calling. “You should have just waited until your next appointment to tell the doctor.” Um, I’m sorry I was following her instructions?

    • PeggySue

      I’m sorry. That sucks. Placenta close to cervix is scary situation. You didn’t deserve snotty.

    • FormerPhysicist

      Report the nurse to the doctor. My OB reamed out the hospital nurse for not following instructions and for being a snot, and boy was it deserved! I’m sure she got into more trouble for substituting her own judgement for the OBs, but it’s still worth mentioning if the nurse is snotty. The nurse should not be acting like that.

  • I don’t believe women automatically, because they are humans and humans lie–having XX chromosomes or identifying as a woman does not make one an exclusive truth-teller. I don’t, for instance, believe the account given by the (now fired) female police officer who shot a guy in his own apartment.

    However, when it comes to relating one’s own feelings and experiences, it is ridiculous to dismiss or deny what a woman (or man) is saying because it does not fit your preconceived notions. You don’t impose your own expectations when someone is reporting their experiences or telling you their preferences.

  • Zornorph

    My MIL had open heart surgery when she was in her mid 70’s. The day afterwards, she complained to the nurse about significant discomfort and pain and I sat there and watched as the nurse ignored her and then when one of her daughters followed up with the nurse, she said in this most patronizing tone that my MIL was being a baby and needed to suck it up – in almost those exact terms. Now, my MIL was tough as nails – honestly, it was more of a problem to get her to actually say something if she was not feeling well – she was more from the ‘solider on’ school. So this alarmed me and I went and found the doctor and made it plain to him that if she was complaining, this was no minor thing. He ordered a check and it turned out she was bleeding inside and had to be rushed back into surgery or she would have died.

    But the thing is that the nurse was not prepared to listen to any of my MIL’s daughters (she had no sons) and I suspect that I was taken way more seriously because I was a man. I certainly did not mind advocating for my MIL, but it shouldn’t have been necessary. She might easily been dead within 24 hours had she not had a family member with a penis nearby AND who knew how to make himself be heard and taken seriously.

    • Who?

      That kind of thing is really annoying. My husband is a very quiet, introverted and conflict-averse person, but there are times when I have made him come along to meetings just to sit there, look serious, and nod occasionally. Just because for certain people, a point isn’t a serious one unless there’s a man there to add gravitas.

      • PeggySue

        A white man is most effective. Damnably true.

    • PeggySue

      Yep.

    • mabelcruet

      It’s scary, and I think female nurses are far worse than male doctors for dismissing pain. I had emergency abdominal surgery for a torted ovarian cyst-various factors meant I was admitted to the high dependency unit afterwards. I didn’t have a PCA pump (patient controlled analgesia) put up. A nurse came round about an hour after I was admitted to the unit (about 3 hours since I’d had surgery) and asked if I needed analgesia. I said I did, and her response was ‘I’ll come back in an hour and see how you’re doing’. I’m a doctor myself, I’m a large and rather stroppy middle aged woman and usually have absolutely no trouble standing up for myself but when you’re in pain, can’t physically move, just gone through surgery, naked and in bed it’s a different matter. Luckily the anaesthetist was in the unit (the high dependency unit was staffed by intensivists and anaesthetists) and he intervened. And yes, I complained afterwards about analgesia being withheld and got the typical non-apology ‘we are sorry your expectations were not met’. My expectation was that my experience of pain was not belittled and that I was listened to, but instead I was brushed off and treated like I was some sort of drug seeker.

      • I really think a lot of this has to do with staffing levels. Nurses are stretched too thin, have to make priority calls they should never have to make. I know of a case where a teenage girl died from internal bleeding following surgery for an ovarian cyst, despite pleas from her mother that her daughter was “looking shocky” and “feeling faint” — and the nurse felt she had other, more urgent patients to see to first and tried to fob the mother off with “she is after surgery after all”. She wasn’t being deliberately nasty, she DID have a number of very sick patients and couldn’t spend the time making a proper observation of the girl.

        I wasn’t trained this way, but in my day I wouldn’t have had the patient load today’s nurses do [and nurses’ aides are not competent to understand what can be happening]. Doctors too are under immense pressure, so that even when the staff wants to be more involved with their patients, spend more time assessing and supporting them, they can’t be.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          it also has to do with women’s pain and illness being ignored: https://www.world-heart-federation.org/new-study-women-likely-die-heart-attack-due-unequal-treatment/

          “From their very first point of contact with healthcare professionals, women are less likely to receive the same diagnostic tests, leading to them being 50% more likely to be initially misdiagnosed. Researchers also found that women were 34% less likely to receive procedures which clear blocked arteries, such as bypass surgery and stents, 24% less likely to be prescribed statins, which help to prevent a second heart attack, and 16% less likely to be given aspirin, which helps to prevent blood clots. “

        • PeggySue

          And staffing levels have to do with the Great God of Health Care, which is money.

        • mabelcruet

          But she spent as long with me telling me I didn’t need pain relief as she would have spent with me giving me the drugs. Giving me painkillers wouldn’t have taken her away from other duties any longer than her irate sarky comments did.

  • RudyTooty

    I had been socialzed (indoctrinated) into the NCB crowd, and by midwives.

    I believed that women wanted waterbirths, natural births. lotus births – I believed that this twisted idea of natural birth was empowering for all women universally … I believed this…. who knows why I believed this… I was sheltered and siloed among the like-minded… and I’d only really known one thing: that natural birth was superior, and this is what women wanted.

    It only took working in a busy hospital for a couple weeks to see that what I believed was true (most women want natural birth), was not true at all.
    Most American women want epidurals. And they’re happy with epidurals. They still had ‘normal’ labors and births. They didn’t seem to care that their vital signs were continuously monitored, or that their babies’ heart rate patterns were continuously monitored. They didn’t care about all the ‘evil’ things that I was told women cared about.

    They had good births. They’re having good births. With or without midwives. With or without tubs of water, birth photographers, homeopathy, or essential oils.

    A lot of women are having babies without excessive undesired pain.

    It really did not take long, AT ALL, to see that I had been fed lines of hooey. And now I’m at the point that anyone who says women want natural birth or their just too uninformed to know they want it – is uninformed herself.

    Women, overwhelmingly, want epidurals for labor and they want to be in hospitals to give birth. Anyone who says otherwise is delusional and doesn’t listen to women.

    • mabelcruet

      Has anyone done any research into pregnant midwives and their views on pain relief in labour before and after having their own baby? I wonder if midwives who haven’t had children themselves are less likely to support epidurals and analgesia, and those who have been through it are more likely to recommend it? And how many midwives opt for home birth (proper degree trained midwives, not the CPMs and doulas)? In the UK there is a push to recommend home births but I don’t think the numbers are going up at all. I know quite a few female obstetricians and virtually all of them had elective sections when it came to their own labours.

      • Who?

        My anecdata is that the doctors I know mostly have planned cs, or their wives do; the midwives in my broader circle support homebirths and have (or attempt) them.

      • RudyTooty

        An interesting thing I’ve noticed (which may have little to no validity beyond anecdote) – midwives who’ve NEVER had a vaginal birth themselves can be very militant about “protecting” or coercing women (their clients/patients) into having natural vaginal births.

        I personally know a few of these people, and it’s very curious how adamant they are about the supremacy of natural vaginal birth, even though it’s not something they’ve ever experienced themselves.

        It’s like they’re using their profession to work through their own emotions and past experiences. (Which is wrong. All wrong.)

  • Mirabella

    I do believe women, I believe the 65 women who vouch this never happened, and not the one who has no evidence, no testimony, no clear knowledge of date or time, and refuses to come forward with details after apparently not caring about this for 35 years. As a rape survivor, Ford makes the testimonies of people with real cases such as myself harder to prosecute. I’m a liberal who does not care for Kavannagh but the Democrats are throwing the #metoo movement under the bus over a witch hunt. Believing doesn’t mean unfounded cases with zero evidence should be believed. It doesn’t mean our judicial system should be turned into a circus.

    • LaMont

      The 65 women said he never mistreated *them*, which I believe. Also, after the real story came out, only TWO of the 65 stood by him – they were lied to when asked to put their names on as character witnesses (which is to say, not told that they were going to be used to discredit an assault survivor). Gorsuch, Alito, et al weren’t treated this way because there was no issue with their character this way.

      Also, no one is asking for Kavanaugh to be *prosecuted*, merely not given the most prestigious job in the world. It doesn’t require a judicial standard of review as you imply. If you were hiring someone and four women came to you saying he was a creep who had assaulted them and never changed as a person, would you say “no criminal case, no problem,” or would at least look into it? Would you rush the hiring through even faster than you’d go for a non-accused applicant?

      Also also – Blasey Ford talked about her attack in therapy in 2012, so the idea that she “didn’t care” about her trauma is a vile and nonsensical thing to say.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Gorsuch, Alito, et al weren’t treated this way because there was no issue with their character this way.

        Gorsuch is a right-wing judge who came from the same high school as Kavanaugh. And was nominated for the court just 1 year ago. Yet, he didn’t face any of these types of accusations. We didn’t have women from his circle of high school friends coming after him.

        What’s the difference? It’s certainly not politics. Maybe, just maybe, there is a difference between the two guys?

        All these horror stories about how “no man is safe from these accusations” just don’t hold up. You know who isn’t safe? People who did bad stuff.

        • AnnaPDE

          Yes, the whole line of argument with “how clean was your life at 17” is a bit weird – what are these people thinking, that every guy tries to force themselves on women around that age? Because that’s certainly not normal behaviour.

          • MaineJen

            Yeah, I want to ask these women “WTF kind of friends did you have when you were 17, if you believe all kids do this??”

          • Who?

            More interestingly, ask how their husbands and sons behave now.

            ‘Boys will be boys’ is a real point of view that some women support and encourage.

          • swbarnes2

            I’ve seen men on Christian boards assert that “everyone” commits sexual assault as a teen.

        • I think Kavanaugh is under the spotlight for more than one reason, but sexual attitudes and possible sexual misbehavior cannot be disallowed. Almost the minute he was nominated, articles began appearing asking whether he’d try to reverse Roe vs Wade, since that’s an issue with a certain branch of the Republican Party. He has the misfortune to be nominated by a President who behaves like a schmuck with women, and right before crucial midterm elections. He’s white and male.

          It was going to boil over whether allegations were made or not. And now it is looking more and more unpleasant. I could almost feel sorry for the guy — and I do feel sorry for his family, however it all turns out.

          But I can’t help wondering: how many of us “girls” went up to boys in high school or college and just hugged them or gave them uninvited kisses, let alone groped them below the waist, thinking we were paying the boys a compliment while doing so? After all, what’s sauce for the goose…the reality is that a section of society feels it’s all right to behave in such a fashion with us, but let us even lower our necklines or raise our hemlines…

        • JWay

          Or maybe because the Gorsuch appointment didn’t change the balance in the Supreme Court?

          It isn’t that it’s impossible that Kavanaugh did these things, but can you deny that it is more than likely that someone from the opposing side will ALWAYS come out with an allegation whenever a nomination is made, and there has to be a standard of evidence reached before throwing out the nomination over it?

          • LaMont

            You just stipulated that this didn’t ALWAYS happen, because it hasn’t always happened. There have been journalist stings asking women if they’d make false allegations for big money and women SAID NO. But no wonder people assume women are lying snakes – if you think 25% of American women murder for no reason, of course you’ll also think huge numbers lie for no reason.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Or maybe because the Gorsuch appointment didn’t change the balance in the Supreme Court?

            No. Gorsuch had significant, almost unanimous opposition from the left, and it was on ideological grounds.

            But he didn’t have sexual assault accusations against him. Why? Because he didn’t have that in his past.

            How can you say that there is “ALWAYS” an allegation, when, just last year, there WASN’T!!!! How many sexual assault allegations were there against John Roberts? Oh wait, none.

            No, you have it completely backwards. In order to have these types of allegations, there, indeed, does have to be a reasonable standard for it. You can’t just make up accusations against a nominee – they don’t have teeth. You have to come up with something plausible. And Kavanaugh’s past has enough problems that sexual assault accusations are plausible.

            How can you overlook that in putting the guy in a lifetime position on the highest court in the land?

            This is a case where “beyond a reasonable doubt” has to be put completely on its head. The accusations do not need to be proven true beyond a reasonable doubt. To give him this position, I would insist that they are proven false beyond a reasonable doubt. And “the FBI did not find corroborating evidence” is not disproving anything.

            The guy is a total slimebag, that is clear. His belligerent attacks at his hearing were bad enough, but then his op-ed apology is classic abuser behavior. His “I like beer” is the standard denial of an alcoholic. Hell, can you say honestly that he was for sure not drunk at his hearing? Can you honestly say that? Given how he says that behavior was “not him”? He claims he just lost his head. I claim he was drunk. Can you really, honestly say that there is no doubt I am wrong? It would be stupid to do, sure, but for an alcoholic?

            Can you honestly say, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he’s not Otter from Animal House? Just a reminder, Otter from Animal House is NOT a good guy. He’s a friggin creep who manipulates women for sex.

            There really isn’t a non-slimy right wing judge like John Roberts or Neil Gorsuch? No, they had to get the slimiest slimeball?

          • JWay

            I didn’t mean there was always an allegation, I meant there always will be, or more correctly would be if they had actually nixed this nominee based on allegations alone.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Republican and I personally think both Republicans and Democrats are pretty slimeball-ish. But as someone who has no beef in this fight, it is clear that the Democrat side is behaving in a blatantly politicized way. People just seem to be losing their minds and contradicting themselves in a desperate attempt to stop the balance of the court changing. We are supposed to believe all women, but it is clear that no one believes Julie Swetnick, which is why no one is talking about her anymore. Or saying we need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he ISN’T a slimeball – why wasn’t that the case when there were very credible allegations, more credible than these, that Hillary Clinton had covered up for Bill’s rapes and sexual assaults and bullied women into staying quiet?

            Believe me, I hear the argument that someone has to be squeaky clean to be considered for something like this. But can you see the logic in what I’m saying at all?

          • JWay

            Sorry, posted too early.

            Can you at least see how much this resembles a lynch mob, with the ‘How sure are you that this man is your rapist?’ question, and people believing the ‘100%’ answer as if it is evidence itself? There’s no point pretending this is a regular job interview, because most job interviews are not politicized so the analogy has no weight.

            Again I’m pretty out of the box politically, I go both ways (left and right) depending on the issue. But the left wing in this case really does seem to be behaving very badly right now. Calling women traitors to their gender if they come down on an issue differently, where there IS at least a reasonable argument on the other side, even if you don’t agree with it?

          • Daleth

            and people believing the ‘100%’ answer as if it is evidence itself

            In a courtroom, that actually would be evidence. It always baffles me when people don’t understand that a victim’s testimony IS evidence. A victim’s identification of her assailant IS evidence. And when the victim KNEW her assailant at the time, knew his face and his name and says on the witness stand that it was him, that’s very strong evidence — stronger than her picking a stranger out of a police lineup.

            I’m a trial lawyer, you can trust me on this — or you can google it, or read this:

            https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/can-one-be-convicted-solely-on-testimony-with-no-e-1924282.html

            Asking the victim of a rape, attempted rape, mugging or any other violent crime how sure they are that the defendant is their assailant is completely normal and proper. What were you expecting, a DNA match? To what? They didn’t have DNA testing in 1983, and even today most crimes (including attempted rape) don’t leave DNA evidence.

          • JWay

            Thank you for sharing that link, it was interesting. I am still left with the question of how we can protect against false allegations if victim testimony is enough. Some of the information provided at that link was very worrying. It isn’t that I am more concerned about victims of false allegations than victims of sexual assault – I’m worried about both.

            Of course we are not talking about DNA evidence, but any corroborating information such as the witnesses she identified remembering the event, releasing her therapist’s notes, something.

          • swbarnes2

            Of course, You are equally worried about the tiny number of men falsely accused as the enormous number of women who are really assaulted. Because really, who can be sympathetic towards women anyway? Why would anyone exert themselves to care about them a fraction as much as one cares about real people?

            Mike Judge was a witness, who refused to testify to clear his friend. I’m sure you are just sick with worry over what truthful testimony would have done to his wonderfully bright career.

          • Daleth

            I am still left with the question of how we can protect against false allegations if victim testimony is enough

            The same way we’ve always done in every jury trial and bench trial in the history of this country (and before that, in England, our legal ancestor). This is not new. It’s how trials work: the victim gets on the stand and says what happened and, if he or she knows, who did it. If the victim can’t offer any identifying info — say, she was knocked unconscious at the time or something — then the prosecution will put on whatever evidence it has.

            What might that be? A witness or security camera who saw the guy doing it or sneaking out right afterward, an accomplice who turned state’s evidence, a police investigator testifying about fingerprints or hair or whatever found at the scene, or these days, a laboratory person who tested for a DNA match if there was anything testable at the scene, or an expert testifying that the defendant’s cell phone records show he was there, etc.

            If I were a prosecutor on the Kavanaugh case, I would’ve used, among other things, Kavanaugh’s own 1983 calendar. I’ll let Newsweek explain why: “Ford alleged that the attack took place at a small gathering at someone’s house that summer, and identified Kavanaugh, Mark Judge and P.J. Smyth as being in attendance.” (NOTE: She said that BEFORE seeing any of his calendars. Back to Newsweek:) “Kavanaugh’s own calendar entry from July 1 shows that he went to a type of gathering that had been described by Ford, and was accompanied by two of the men she said were key witnesses to what really happened that night,” namely Mark Judge and P.J. Smyth.
            https://www.newsweek.com/senators-argue-kavanaugh-calendar-corroborating-evidence-ford-testimony-1144539

            And then if you’re the defense lawyer, you might or might not advise the defendant to testify. If he does, then the jury gets to weigh how believable he is versus how believable she is. Personally I happen to think that the lies he told about other things make him less believable. For instance, his BS explanations about what “boofing” or “the Devil’s triangle” mean, not to mention his ludicrous excuse for why he was carrying $200k in credit card debt for years and then suddenly some friends of his paid it off. Is that just me? It’s not, actually — if he gets caught in other lies on the stand, the jury is entitled to think he’s also lying about the crime he’s been charged with.

            Apart from the defendant’s testimony, you might have an alibi (friends, security cameras, cell phone records, credit card payments or highway tolls or anything else showing he was somewhere else at the time). You might have physical evidence that doesn’t match (a blond hair at the crime scene when the defendant is African-American, for instance). You might have evidence suggesting the victim is lying (for instance, a former friend saying, “She was devastated when he broke up with her and told me she was going to ruin his life”).

            Have you ever watched CSI or read a detective novel? Use your imagination. Use your life experience. How do you decide whether someone is telling you the truth? Juries do the same thing every day.

          • JWay

            This was the only response that contained actual arguments and information so I’ll answer separately. I actually found this really interesting and enlightening. You could definitely make a convincing argument to me along these lines. What you are saying, essentially (correct me if I’m wrong) is not that we should take an accusation and just run with it, but that there are a whole bunch of avenues of evidence that could be used, and that at the end of the day, it comes down to making an assessment of who you think is more credible.

            This makes sense. To be honest I think that is what happened here. I think there is a certain amount of this type of evidence on both sides and I think it’s a subjective call over who you think is more credible.

            The yearbook stuff was the thing that made me doubt Kavanaugh, especially the Devil’s Triangle thing. But then a few of his peers corroborated his story that they had a drinking game called Devil’s Triangle, and it isn’t inconceivable at all.

            And then even though I personally believe her that she was assaulted by someone, there is too much circumstantial evidence for me showing a, that she lied and b, that this was politically motivated, to ignore.

            But if anything else comes to light I’d be more than happy to support an impeachment.

          • MaineJen

            Yes, let’s believe the drunken frat boys over anyone else. Absolutely.

          • Heidi

            Oh JFC, more wasn’t allowed to come to light because the FBI was so limited in scope during that sham investigation that it was useless. And Devil’s Triangle isn’t a drinking game. What would that drinking game involve??

            And let’s just say this was 100% politically motivated, and somehow Ford knew with certainty that Kavanaugh would be up for a SC nomination years before he was so she lied to a therapist 6 years before the actual event. Oh wait, she didn’t just plan this 6 years in advance, she planned this almost 40 years in advance. So let’s just say she was 15 and suspected Kavanaugh might get a SC nomination she’d want to derail so she took note to remember this particular party that corroborated with Kavanaugh’s calendar. Still we have a person who drank heavily throughout high school and college and was known to be a belligerent drunk. Then he gets up on the stand and starts spewing conspiracy theories, lies under oath, and evades questions. Why does he deserve a job that only 9 people can hold at one time on the highest court of the land? It should be someone exceptional, not some drunken, angry former fratboy. There was a list of 20 something conservative judges Trumpy could have chosen. Why not pass on this angry, partisan fool and choose someone else?

          • Daleth

            What you are saying, essentially (correct me if I’m wrong) is not that
            we should take an accusation and just run with it, but that there are a
            whole bunch of avenues of evidence that could be used, and that at the end of the day, it comes down to making an assessment of who you think is more credible.

            Exactly, with the slight caveat that to my mind, “who is most credible” is only part of the inquiry. Some people are really good liars. Just go to a movie–actors lie for a living, very convincingly. So it’s not just about who “is credible”; it’s also about whose version of events is most consistent with the other evidence.

            But anyway. That’s what trials, or hearings like this, are for. And investigations are for gathering all the evidence so that you have what you need to make that assessment. And that’s what’s so wrong with the sham one-week FBI “investigation.” Not only was it too short to even gather all the info, it purposely left out a lot of avenues that any good-faith investigator would have followed (e.g., interviewing all the friends of both parties who might have relevant info).

          • rosewater1

            If this had been a trial and Christine Ford had been asked that question, her answer would have been appropriate. She was sworn in and, correct me if I’m wrong, would be subject to perjury charges if it is proven that she lied.

            People are believing it is evidence because it IS. Now, whether or not it can ever be proven is another matter.

            There are zealots and irrational thinkers, etc. in any highly charged political or social matter. That is par for the course.

            I don’t believe all women. I don’t expect anyone else to.

            But, based on her testimony, and what has come out since then, I believe her and I don’t think Kavanaugh has any business on the Supreme Court.

          • JWay

            I hear you and I think you have a legitimate argument. But I think I also do, and in fact it is more the way Democrat Senators have behaved than anything else that makes me think it is a political smear. The timing, the fact Diane Feinstein held the allegation for as long as she did without even mentioning it to Kavanaugh in private meetings, the way none of them questioned Dr Ford in any meaningful way, all point to an attempt to stall until after the mid-terms and prevent the appointment of a judge who will change the balance of the court.

          • LaMont

            But the Republicans picking a judge who they knew would gin up their ground troops in the culture war, who will let the president off the hook? Oh, and they didn’t question their guy (who btw, was the one looking to ascend to the highest court in the land, while Dr. Ford is a private citizen.) Totally not political. Got it.

          • MaineJen

            For the last #$%^ time. Feinstein didn’t release details of the allegation *because Dr. Ford asked her not to*. Because she feared…exactly what happened.

            It’s like everyone arguing for Kavanaugh is selecting what they want to hear and ignoring the rest. We might as well be screaming into the void as arguing.

          • JWay

            ”Feinstein didn’t release details of the allegation *because Dr. Ford asked her not to*. ”
            She also didn’t mention them to Kavanaugh. And I assume you think it was a Republican who leaked it eventually?

            ”I’m floored that we can be discussing how HIS life was almost ruined”
            We can be discussing both.

            ”Because if it were “accusation alone” there were two additional accusations that came out. One, in fact, had some corroboration. She never even got a hearing. The other one was less credible, and didn’t get any traction at all.”
            I hear this. But I think we have testimony that states that Ford lied under oath, and we have only skepticism about whether Kavanaugh did, as far as I can tell. I also think that the alleged lies Ford told are more damning than the alleged lies Kavanaugh told.

            ”Obama had a year left in his presidency when a seat opened. There is no precedent for leaving a SCOTUS seat open that long. Republicans decided, since they have a huge advantage in the Senate that will only increase over time, to just hold the seat open till a Republican president got in. They said that they would have held it open through 4 years of a Democrat should Hillary have won in 2016.”
            This may not have been cricket, as we say where I am from, but it is different. They had a majority in the Senate and could keep a judge out purely democratically by simply voting against him. It is obvious that Democrats would have done the same with any Trump nominee if they would have had a majority in the Senate. And they would have been democratically entitled to do so, although it wouldn’t have been cricket either.

            ”How would have his life been destroyed if he hadn’t been approved for the supreme court? His wife and kids can still stand behind him all they want and believe him. The only difference is that he doesn’t advance off the court of appeals.”
            If it’s enough to keep him off the supreme court, it’s enough to have him fired from the court of appeals. And the court of public opinion is perfectly capable of destroying any person’s life whether man or woman.

            Again I’m not comparing the result of a lynching with the result of this, but I am comparing the process and the principle of justice remains the same. Please answer how these proceedings are different from a 1930s case where a woman accuses a black man of raping her and he says he didn’t and she says he did and he says he didn’t and….

            ”And if you think that anti -choice legislation is divorced from obnoxious misuse of women’s bodies by gross men… that’s wrong. You can’t be anti-choice and treat women well, it’s a fantasy.”
            This is just silly. I’m not even pro-life, but this is silly. It is patently ridiculous to ascribe evil intentions to pro-lifers, and I say this equally to both sides. Being pro-choice isn’t about wanting to murder babies or eugenics or anything else the pro-lifers say, and being pro-life isn’t about controlling women’s bodies. Can we please accept that one side believes that abortion is murder, whether you agree with that position or not, they truly believe it, so much so that the thought of a fetus being aborted makes them cry? And many many of them are women who often become pro-life once they are mothers, so there’s a clear sign there about what their thinking is? And they should also accept that the other side believes that the fetus is not enough of a life to trump the rights of the mother to have sexual freedom and choose the course of her life. And then everyone can start having an actual conversation.

            ”Of course. If a woman’s life is ruined by a man, no big deal. What’s important is men’s lives and futures.. You must think the Brock Turner’s judge behaved just right in protecting the future of such a bright young man. In Alaska, a woman was choked until she passed out, and masturbated on, and the guy who did it was convicted. No prison time for him. Wouldn’t wnat to ruin his life, now would we?”
            This is also viciously ridiculous and has nothing to do with anything I am saying.

          • MaineJen

            “It is obvious that Democrats would have done the same with any Trump nominee if they would have had a majority in the Senate.”
            It is NOT obvious, because Democrats by and large play by the rules. Republicans have decided the rules don’t apply to them.

          • Heidi

            Yes, I can’t but think the sort of person who believe liberals have some dark sinister agenda who would do anything to get that agenda out there only believe this because this is what they would do.

          • Heidi

            Not just what they would do, what they actually do now.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            To quote Sen Hatch: “Grow up!”

            Don’t tell me you are naive enough to imagine that Republicans like Grassley, Graham and Hatch actual believe Kavanaugh. They know he assaulted Ford and they just don’t care. The prattle about political smears is just a sop to the gullible.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Can you at least see how much this resembles a lynch mob,

            Lynch mob? Are you crazy? This is whether to promote him to the Supreme Court! How can you equate “not being put on the supreme court” with lynching?

            How sure are you that this man is your rapist?’

            But, again, this is about selection to the supreme court. A lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. As such, I contend, your question is bass ackwards. How sure are you that this man is NOT the rapist?

            In order to move him up to the supreme court, the answer has to be “without a doubt he is not.” And I don’t care what your politics, anyone who insists that there is no doubt is completely wrong. Hell, half of the crowd thinks he should get “the benefit of the doubt.” But that’s wrong. If there is ANY doubt, it has to be no.

            Then again, the question is, what is it about Kavanaugh that makes you think he is telling the truth? We’ve heard a lot of people contradict his testimony about his drinking, so we have it established that he lies under oath. But when it comes to assault accusations, that’s when he’s being honest? Yeah, right.

          • JWay

            Of course I’m not comparing the consequence of a lynching to the consequence here, although let’s not pretend that not making the Supreme Court is the only consequence here. This is about destroying a man’s life. Which is fine if he really is a rapist, but not fine if he isn’t.

            We’ve had testimony from her ex-boyfriend from which one could, on your logic, ‘establish’ that she has lied under oath also.

            Most women, of course, would never lie about something like this. But when the stakes are this high (i.e. the changing of the balance in the court) I contend that there will always be one who is willing to. And again, if we would have allowed a nomination to fall based on allegations alone, we could easily never have another nominee confirmed to the court ever again. How can you deny this?

            You also have not answered any of the other points in my post.

          • LaMont

            There has not always been a woman willing to lie. And the idea that *Democrats* are the bad actors when the Republicans held open a Supreme Court seat for a YEAR, and have openly decided that only Republican presidents will ever get to pick SCOTUS judges ever again? Hilarious. If you think that jailing and killing hundreds of thousands of American women every year is the result you want, fine I guess.

          • JWay

            ”There has not always been a woman willing to lie.”
            What I’m saying is that there will be IF we allow a nomination to be dropped based on accusation alone.

            ” And the idea that *Democrats* are the bad actors when the Republicans held open a Supreme Court seat for a YEAR”
            I don’t know enough about this – I am not American and don’t know the normal time frame. Please explain why this would be bad acting on their part. I am more than ready to see bad acting on both sides, as mentioned I think they are all a bunch of slimeballs.

            ”openly decided that only Republican presidents will ever get to pick SCOTUS judges ever again”
            Please explain.

            ”If you think that jailing and killing hundreds of thousands of American women every year is the result you want, fine I guess.”
            See, this is the thing. This is what it is actually about. Which has nothing to do with the allegation and everything to do with not changing the balance in the Supreme Court.

          • LaMont

            Obama had a year left in his presidency when a seat opened. There is no precedent for leaving a SCOTUS seat open that long. Republicans decided, since they have a huge advantage in the Senate that will only increase over time, to just hold the seat open till a Republican president got in. They said that they would have held it open through 4 years of a Democrat should Hillary have won in 2016. They’ve decided that only Republicans will ever get to appoint judges to federal courts, and we as a country were conned into thinking that was okay.

            And if you think that anti-choice legislation is divorced from obnoxious misuse of women’s bodies by gross men… that’s wrong. You can’t be anti-choice and treat women well, it’s a fantasy.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            What I’m saying is that there will be IF we allow a nomination to be dropped based on accusation alone.

            Is that what you think happened here?

            I’ll give you a hint: No

            Because if it were “accusation alone” there were two additional accusations that came out. One, in fact, had some corroboration. She never even got a hearing. The other one was less credible, and didn’t get any traction at all.

            There were aspects of Ford’s accusations that had more to them. The therapists notes, for example, established that they weren’t just made up for this situation.

            If it were possible to just do this based on “accusation alone,” why didn’t the democrats do it with Gorsuch? They were ideologically just as opposed to him. It’s just now they got the idea?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            This is about destroying a man’s life

            How would have his life been destroyed if he hadn’t been approved for the supreme court? His wife and kids can still stand behind him all they want and believe him. The only difference is that he doesn’t advance off the court of appeals.

            His life would be in ruins, for sure…

          • swbarnes2

            Of course. If a woman’s life is ruined by a man, no big deal. What’s important is men’s lives and futures.. You must think the Brock Turner’s judge behaved just right in protecting the future of such a bright young man. In Alaska, a woman was choked until she passed out, and masturbated on, and the guy who did it was convicted. No prison time for him. Wouldn’t wnat to ruin his life, now would we?

          • MaineJen

            I’m floored that we can be discussing how HIS life was almost ruined. Dr. Ford still cannot return to her house because of death threats against herself and her family…threats made by the side of the aisle that is NOT, according to you, acting like a lunch mob.

            I am SO sick of this crap. And my filter is GONE

          • Sarah

            Just think of all those lynching parties in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that attacked black people by, erm, demanding their Supreme Court nominations be rejected.

    • Heidi

      There isn’t zero evidence, and we all know you aren’t a liberal. This isn’t a witch hunt against conservative men. Just like the witch hunts of the 17th century, women have everything to lose still.

      I can think of three times I clearly remember being sexually assaulted. The first time I was 17 and a man in a Chewbaca mask jumped out at me naked. I was so scared. I assumed he meant to rape and probably murder me. I had my hand on my pepper spray. The one house that I could have sought refuge at had big “NO TRESPASSING” signs in the yard, and I was too afraid they would come out and shoot me or refuse to let me place a phone call with police. I didn’t know what to do. This was a park walking trail and finally some people walked by and I trailed them and followed them back at a distance until I got to my car. When I got home, I called the police, who seemingly didn’t believe me and who could not stop laughing at the idea of a naked man in a Chewbacca mask. They told me they would “look into it,” whatever that meant. I’m pretty sure they didn’t. It wasn’t until he attacked another woman, which he had been brave enough to actually grab this time, that they took it seriously. She, thankfully, had pepper spray too and was able to spray him and get away. She happened to be a jogger too so was able to escape better than I probably would have. He told the police he had intended to rape women.

      The other two times was unwanted groping/rubbing in a crowded subway and one time at a concert. I kept moving and both times the men would keep doing it. I was so shocked I really didn’t know what to do. I thought about hitting them, but I was afraid I’d be charged with physical assault and not believed. Screaming at a loud concert would have been fruitless. I just kept trying to get away. After being treated the way I was the first time, after witnessing the horrible treatment of women at my college who reported rapes in a timely manner, I still don’t know what I would do.

      • MainlyMom

        OMG, we have such similar stories. My naked guy was wearing the mask from the movie Scream and masturbating. Groped at a pearl Jam concert. I wasn’t groped on the train, but a man tried to offer me money for sex.

    • Sarah

      How can 65 women vouch that other women were never assaulted? They can only speak to their own experiences.

    • Mel

      A woman I know was sexually harassed by a former teacher of ours. We attended the same school five years apart.

      He didn’t harass me – but all that means is that he didn’t harass me.

      I believe he harassed her.

      That’s the bit that people need to wrap their heads around. It’s a rare criminal activity that happens in a completely random fashion. He chose to harass a teenager he had access to on a sports team and who had crazy, dysfunctional parents while not harassing teens in the middle of a class of 15 students with parents who would report him to the school and police. That doesn’t make him innocent; it just means he picks out the most vulnerable students.

      Murder trials don’t include the argument “Well, the accused didn’t kill all of these people so obviously he didn’t kill the victim” – but we fall for that level of logical fallacy around sexual assault all the time.

      • JWay

        By the same logic the fact that there are men who rape doesn’t mean this man has raped. We need some corroborating evidence to be able to take any action against this particular man, including ruining his life and career.

    • Who?

      I’m about the same age as Prof Ford, and as I look back, had I been in the same circumstances, I wouldn’t have told anyone either.

      My parents are lovely people, but very much of their time and place, and would have thought, and said, that having been underage, and drinking, at a private house with boys was a very risky thing for me to be doing. I imagine they’d have told me to dust myself off, and consider myself lucky. On one view, they would be right to think that. At that time, it was a view you would have been hard-pressed to find anyone to disagree with.

      The girls who chose to go with those boys were all ‘sluts’ of course, because boys only want one thing.

      Thing is, now we know better, and hopefully we do better.

      What to do with it now is harder. The judge does seem to have some attitudes to female autonomy that many find difficult, and he will be in a uniquely strong position to enforce those views. Not that the one thing should be conflated with the other, but those who would prefer to see him not appointed are of course very interested in this turn of events.

      I wonder, if he was ‘stumbling drunk’ why his version of events should be preferred to hers, unless of course he was such a hardened drinker at a young age as to be unaffected by it.

      I wonder about a person who wants to be appointed by a president who might end up being entirely discredited. It must be difficult, as a fine, upstanding person, to be publicly lauded by such a grifter. Perhaps I’m oversensitive, but I wouldn’t like that.

    • demodocus

      Ah, hell, that pedophile who ran the gas station never bothered -me-, so he must’ve been okay right? Nevermind that he was starting to groom my little brother when he gotten convicted.

    • Chi

      So just because she can’t remember the date or time, it never happened? She experienced a deeply traumatic event and if you are a rape survivor, you of all people know that trauma can do strange things to the mind. For some people, yeah the date and time might be etched into their brain and cause problems on the ‘anniversary’ of the event.

      For others, the brain erases the date and time because they’re not seen as relevant and focuses on other details, physical details of the perpetrator, the place where it’s happening, smells, etc.

      I don’t remember the exact date and time of my rape either so does that mean mine didn’t happen? Perhaps it was because I was only 12 and so my sense of time wasn’t as focused, or maybe it got lost in the details. All I know is that I was 12 and it must have been a Saturday because my parents were out at some sort of event and they only did that on weekends and it was the guy who they got to babysit us that assaulted me.

      I DO clearly remember the flower pattern on the wallpaper of my room where it happened. I remember his face, I remember the smell of his deodorant, and even now the smell of certain body-sprays can make me physically ill. I remember how I told him to stop, how I struggled, and how he threatened to attack my younger sister instead if I didn’t do what he said.

      I have lived with this rape for 21 years. It has haunted my nightmares, contributed heavily to my anxiety and depression and made it extremely difficult to make trusting and lasting relationships with people.

      I never told anyone. Not even my parents because my attacker told me that he would just say I was lying and because I was 12, because he was ‘in charge’ I believed him.

      I believed him because we live in a culture where rape victims are afraid of coming forward because they fear not being believed. They fear being blamed for being assaulted/raped and indeed may begin to believe that it was their fault, that they somehow brought it upon themselves. And then, if it somehow DOES make it to court, they are often re-traumatized by having to relive the assault, by having to look at their aggressor in person, by the defense attacking them and trying to get them to admit that no of COURSE they weren’t raped, they were totally ASKING for it and other shit like that.

      Look at fucking Brock Turner. There were witnesses, he was caught IN THE FUCKING ACT and look how little time he spent in jail!

      Ford isn’t asking for him to be thrown in jail. She just doesn’t want him to be accorded one of the highest honors in the country, particularly when that honor will give him the power and authority to push his conservative ‘values’ and deny abortions to rape survivors.

      She has been attacked. She has been doxxed. She has taken a great personal risk to come forward after all these years. This is NOT the #MeToo movement being thrown under the bus. This is what the #MeToo movement was started for – exposing predatory men and saying that we’re not going to allow them to keep preying on women anymore without repercussion.

      • rational thinker

        I dont remember date of my rape either i just know it happened and small details about it. It was about 18 years ago and I have never said a word about it until very recently.I think I kept quiet because It was a gang rape (about 7 guys) and I did not tell anyone cause of fear of not being believed and being labeled as a slut for it.

        • Daleth

          I’m so sorry. May all those guys burn in hell.

    • Daleth

      I believe the 65 women who vouch this never happened, and not the one who has no evidence

      Wait, what? Tell me what evidence those 65 women have that another woman was not raped when those 65 women weren’t there. “He never raped ME” is not evidence that he never raped anyone.

      no clear knowledge of date or time

      Are you saying you expect victims of rape or attempted rape to look at their watch during or shortly after the attack? What?

    • MaineJen

      “…real cases such as myself”

      You don’t call being held down on a bed, having a hand over your mouth as you try to scream, and fearing for your life a Real Case?
      GTFOOH

    • Nikalix

      “after apparently not caring about this for 35 years.”

      I’ll come right ahead and say it : I don’t believe you are a rape survivor, no rape survivor would claim someone keeping silent on the abuses they suffered is the same as not caring about those abuses.

      • Mae Invernessity

        You advocate to believe women who say they are sexually assaulted, but here you are denying this woman’s claim that she was assaulted. I cannot help but question if you cherry pick the women you believe based at least in part on their politics. Politics should not be a factor at all!

        • Who?

          Unlike Nikalix, I have no problem imagining that someone who was sexually assaulted would be very unsympathetic to others who were-she might well feel that anyone ‘weak’ enough to complain is less worthy than she is, or she might feel that what happened to her was exceptional-like women who protest against abortion but would have one themselves, or procure one for a daugher or sister if the need arose, because they are ‘different’ and a ‘special case’.

          Politics shouldn’t be a factor, I agree-the reason it is interesting here is because the Judge has some pretty challenging views about female autonomy, and if he hasn’t walked the ‘respectful good guy’ talk, that is good information to know about him before he wreaks havoc on the Supreme Court Bench.

        • Nikalix

          There is nothing political in my post. That’s just in your mind.

          I’m merely pointing out that when someone think a rape survivor’s silence equal not caring then that person demonstrate a lack of knowledge of the very basic facts surrounding rape and trauma.

    • Spamamander ctrl-alt-right-del

      Most of the 65 women say now they did not know what they were signing, and only 2 stand by it.

  • demodocus

    I’m not sure sexual abuse and childbirth/breastfeeding difficulties have nothing in common. Remember our friend who had such bad flashbacks from her rape during her son’s birth? I hope she and her family are doing well