As Judge Brett Kavanaugh delivered his recent performance more befitting an actor’s soliloquy in a Shakespearean drama than a sworn testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, we wondered why no one has ever suggested that he simply take a polygraph test. That would remove any doubts as to whether his indignant denials are based on truth or his inability to remember.
Surprisingly, it was Kavanaugh, not Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who exhibited the kind of emotional display more often attributed, due to long-held, gender-linked stereotypes, to women not men. Meanwhile, Blasey Ford moved through her testimony without breaking down into tears, methodically describing what she experienced and how it made and still makes her feel. After taking the oath to tell the truth she delivered her testimony like a model witness.
So, why do the Republican members of America’s predominantly-white-male U.S. Senate find it impossible to fathom that Blasey Ford might actually be telling the truth? Was Kavanaugh’s testimony so compelling and so thoroughly convincing? Or have their hoods been removed so that what we’re witnessing are either an outright refusal or the inability to doubt the word of one of their own over that of a woman?
Kavanaugh says nothing happened, ever! On the other hand, Blasey Ford says something happened. Does that mean we’re facing a stalemate? It didn’t seem that way as one Republican senator after another shed his robe of neutrality to jump to Kavanaugh’s defense.
So, the president has finally agreed to a more thorough investigation, presumably in order to get to the truth. But even this fourth quarter move leaves us void of any solace. The message we heard as the committee ended its proceedings should have made every U.S. citizen ashamed. What was confirmed, if not in actual words then clearly in actions, is that America still has a hierarchy of citizenship with certain limits placed on rights and privileges dependent upon where one exists on the ladder.
Women may finally be free to have their say. But once done, it seems like they’re expected to go back to their corner and quietly fade back into the woodwork. Who knew that the Godfather of Soul was actually a prophet singing this message: “This IS a man’s world.”