So many men have been accused by so many women of sexual impropriety that the process now follows a predictable path. So, much so, that like very thing else associated with the Brett Kavanaugh Senate confirmation process, it is proceeding at breakneck speed. We have the accusation, the denial, and the testimonial of what a great guy he’s been to x-number of women. Any attempt for the accuser to remain anonymous is not allowed. She is either doxxed by the incel misogynist crowd or her accused supporters which usually overlap by this point in the story line, or she comes forward of her own volition realizing that her accusations will not be taken seriously without her pretty face next to them so everyone can judge for themselves whether she was worthy of sexual assault by such an esteemed man or not.
Here’s what caught my eye about all this: we also know a bit about the circumstances that contribute to sexual aggression (Niel Malamuth’s Confluence Model), so we can take this ugly episode of the accuser and the vouchers and come to some fairly reliable conclusions about who Old Brett Kavanaugh is.
The Timeline of Accusation
Just so we’re all clear, way way back to like July Christine Blasey Ford sent a letter to Anna Eshoo, her representative. Eshoo gave the letter to Senator Barbara Feinstein, who then sat on it until last week. She sat on it while her Democratic colleagues asked her about it and rumors swirled of its existence and its content. Finally, she gave it to the FBI and released a statement to the fact. That was Thursday 13 September.
On Friday 14 September, The New Yorker, published an article with the details of the letter: at a party in the early 1980’s, a drunken Kavanaugh and friend, Mark Judge, took Ms Ford to a bedroom where Kavanaugh held her down, groped her, attempted to remove her clothing, and held his hand over her mouth when she began to vocalize her protests. They also turned up the music. It’s not like they didn’t know she didn’t want this to be happening. Then, inexplicably, Judge threw himself bodily into the fray sending them all tumbling at which point young Ford made her escape to a handy bathroom where she locked herself in.
Kavanaugh makes the denial, but then something out of sequence happens. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Rotting Fish in Denmark) released a letter signed by 65 women who reportedly knew Brett Kavanaugh between 1979 and 1983 well enough to unequivocally state that he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect. Well, ain’t that just Jim Dandy! That’s just a little quick on the draw for something that blindsided them at the eleventh hour, don’t you think? Maybe they knew this accusation was out there? Maybe Old Brett tipped them off somewhere along the way? Maybe?
The 65 Women
There’s two problems with this letter: (a) obviously Old Chucky knew about the accusations well enough before hand to be able to write the letter and then find the 65 signatories — okay, his intern did the actual writing and work and woke Chuck up from his nap when she had it all done. And (b) it doesn’t matter a hill o’ beans as President Clinton is found of saying.
How many times have we seen a prominent man accused of sexual impropriety and then a number of women from his life sign a letter attesting to his goodness around women? All of them, Katie! Well, almost all of them.
Why doesn’t it happen all of the time (honest this is an interesting aside)? The times there ain’t no statement saying so-and-so is so respectful and honorable and gentlemanly and chivalrous and all that horse hockey is because he wasn’t ever.
Most of us know how to behave around women when we have dinner with one in a restaurant — except for maybe Mother Pence, and I don’t mean the Second Lady, I mean the high-breasted stuffy closeted queen of a VP — or at the office or even alone in a Senate building elevator — John Tower didn’t get to be Secretary of Defense because he didn’t know how to behave when alone with a woman in a Capitol Hill elevator. So, you round up a bunch of these women and they all sign the letter. All it really means is that he can behave himself when he has to. When there ain’t no letter, it means that there ain’t no circumstances under which he can behave himself around women — good thing Mother Pence don’t never have no dinners alone with womens, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, because that hunka hunka burnin’ heterosexual love would call siren-like to those womens and they would be all over him! He is such a heterosexual who loves all the ladies, honest he is.
The reasons these letters and testimonials don’t matter is because sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual impropriety takes place in the shadows. It occurs when a woman is vulnerable. That there are women in a rapists life that he has not raped doesn’t mean that he hasn’t raped anyone. It just means he can control himself when there are witnesses.
Did any of those 65 women find themselves locked in a room with a drunk 17 year- old Brett Kavanaugh? I don’t think so, so no, their testimony to how well he treated them decently during their encounters in the mall and social mixers — he went to an all-boys prep school, so it weren’t in class — doesn’t mean he would’ve continued when they were vulnerable to assault.
The Nature of Sexual Assault
That’s the nature of sexual misbehavior. It occurs when a man has power over a woman. And, all men have power over some woman. It doesn’t mean that anytime a man has opportunity to commit sexual assault, he will. But, it does mean that anytime the circumstances are right, women should be on their guard.
That’s why one of the most successful campus rape prevention programs, Sexual Assault Resistance Education (SARE) teaches women to be alert to signs of sexual assault being possible: you’re alone with a man. The program creators realized that you couldn’t teach women to accurately predict which men would be their rapist, so you had to recognize the situations that rape occurred in: anytime a man has opportunity. Never mind who, it is when that matters most. Remember, most rapists know their victims in some social capacity.
Then, once you recognize the possibility, you are assertive from the get go. Your last worry is whether or not you hurt their feelings. Fuck their feelings. They’ll get over it. It is better to be assertive and hurt some brother’s friend’s feelings than to be raped by him, amirite?
Authoritarian Personality and Brett Kavanaugh
What do we know about Brett Kavanaugh? We know he has an authoritarian personality: he wants to control women’s sexuality by punishing any slutty behavior with carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term, he lies to Congress for political expediency — he has no respect for the rule of law, and he doesn’t believe that a sitting president (that he agrees politically with is the probable caveat) cannot be investigated for any wrongdoing while in office. Those are all hallmarks of an authoritarian personality.
Let’s go through the authoritarian checklist and match them against our list:
- Aggression towards those who violate conventional thinking or who are different — slutty women be different, amirite? Conventional thinking suggests that women be prime and proper and not be out having sex like men do.
- A professed belief that all people are bad and will lie, cheat, and steal in the right circumstances — slutty women are bad and will lie and cheat to have all the sexes, amirite? Mens will lie and cheat to trick all the good and pure women into having sex, too, right Brett?
- A love of strong leadership and displays of unbending power — A sitting president cannot be investigated, what the fuck else do you need here?
- Using simplistic solutions and polemics to address problems — We are good people so everything we do is good including stealing Congressional emails and then lying about it to Congress.
- Black and white thinking, an inability to see gray areas — There are no circumstances under which abortion or birth control is ever good.
- Projecting feelings of rage, fear, and inadequacy onto a specific group — Bitches, what else do you need.
- Being preoccupied with violence and sex — He be thinking about them sluts a bunch.
- Willingness to submit to an authority — He loves him executive branch power.
- Conventional morality — See sluts, again.
Hostile Masculinity and Brett Kavanaugh
Neil Malamuth has developed the Confluence Model over the past twenty years to explain the elements that are necessary to cause men to commit sexual assault. He has determined that three are prominent in the list: hostile masculinity, impersonal sex, and low levels of empathy. Most pertinent for us is hostile masculinity.
This high school sexual assault suggests that maybe just maybe Old Brett here has him some hostile masculinity problems. Here are the two hostile masculinity factors:
- Attitudes that accept violence towards women (I would argue that attitudes that accept aggressive behavior towards women)
- Narcissism, hostility towards women, or sexual dominance (I would argue that includes difficulty accepting women as equals)
I don’t wanna say that he accepts violence towards women, but he certainly assaulted Ms Ford in high school, and like my favorite drunk uncle says, get ’em young, work ’em hard. That kind of behavior doesn’t just occur. You work yourself up to it. He didn’t just get drunk, look at this girl in her super sexy one-piece bathing suit covered by clothes, and become so overwhelmed by his lustful desire that this harlot invoked in him through her overly sexual attire and behavior that he assaulted her.
No, the events of that incident suggest that he and Mark Judge planned this. As in, this is what we’ll do: you watch the door, I’ll have first go, play music, etc. It also suggests that this isn’t the first time, which also suggests, it wasn’t the last. It may not have continued into his present, but no one attempts a rape like that without having multiple attempts.
His views on abortion and birth control also suggest a high degree of hostility towards women. His extreme views on social issues suggest that he is extremely hostile towards women.
We should commend Christine Blasey Ford for coming forward and being willing to have a phone conference with the judicial committee and face the living hell that partisans put people like her through. Interrupt any disparagement of her that you encounter by praising her bravery. Her account is highly believable given that she released her therapists notes form 2012 detailing their discussions of the attack and how they affected her.
The best thing that can happen is for the other women that Brett Kavanaugh has attacked to come forward. More than likely, there are more victims out there.