20 million people watched to see how this was going to play out, because they’re going to take their cultural cues from how the politicians behave.
What we saw was, they were very careful to treat the accuser well (declining even to question her directly; they had a woman come in to give her a bunch of softball questions, in between 5-minute pep talks by the Democrats).
Then it was Kavanaugh’s turn to be questioned, and they treated him the way men typically get treated these days, when they’re facing an accusation by a woman. The Democrats said whatever they could to embarrass and discredit him, while the Republicans defended him somewhat, but ultimately have now joined with the Democrats in calling for further investigation.
So, he got attacked, but she didn’t get attacked. She actually got praised by both sides for her courage, and half of the Republicans’ criticism of the Democrats was because they said she wasn’t treated fairly.
This type of outcome is pretty predictable. The nature of rape is that it’s a hard crime to adjudicate accurately. Either a lot of guilty men will go free, or a lot of innocent men will get convicted.
More generally, we only have three options, when it comes to relations between the sexes:
(1) Male supremacy
(2) Female supremacy
In the Philippines, the way separation occurs is that young women just don’t go anywhere unaccompanied by a chaperone. That’s to keep them from being raped. Their fathers would not allow them to go to a party unaccompanied by someone who would prevent them from having sexual intercourse (consensual or otherwise).
In the U.S., we decided we know better than to restrict women’s freedom in that way, so we allow them to go wherever they want unchaperoned, and that’s how they end up getting raped. Alternatively, they may make a false rape accusation against a man, and he will have a hard time disproving that he raped anyone.
Look at the situation Kavanaugh is in. His accuser can’t remember where or when the alleged assault happened, yet these allegations are still being taken very seriously. Most of the press is taking Ford’s side.
Maybe he will still get confirmed, and then he’ll become the next Clarence Thomas — i.e. he’ll have a long and distinguished Supreme Court career, but his reputation will be forever tarnished by the allegations.
I’m in a fairly similar situation to Kavanaugh, actually. My most recent ex-wife came to my door a few months ago and explicitly made an ultimatum that if I didn’t sign for a divorce, she was going to file a police report against my for rape.
She ended up following through on that threat, and the cops got a search warrant and came to my house to seize a bunch of electronics, in search of emails and other evidence that could substantiate a rape allegation.
It’s going to be the same way as Kavanaugh’s case — it’ll end inconclusively, because it won’t be possible to prove a rape did or didn’t happen. Obviously a magistrate thought there was probable cause to support a search warrant, but that doesn’t mean anything; that’s just like the grand jury system, where you can indict a ham sandwich. They hand out search warrants pretty liberally too, under the theory that if they mess up, you can always try to get the evidence suppressed later, with no harm done.
As soon as laws were passed criminalizing marital rape, the institution of marriage became nonviable, because the marital home is fraught with opportunities for rape, given that the married couple is together behind closed doors, without any witnesses present. Female nature is also to, during divorce proceedings, use whatever means (including, possibly, false rape allegations) will be helpful for securing provisioning. For years, though, the way the system worked was that the criminal courts would dismiss allegations of marital rape (due to lack of proof beyond a reasonable doubt) while the family courts would accept such allegations (based on proof by a preponderance of the evidence).
Now, in this #MeToo era, we may be seeing that more and more venues are going to be accepting proof by a pretty low standard of evidence. E.g., maybe the Senate is going to credit a rape allegation, such as Ford’s, that would never stand up in criminal court. At any rate, we might see about 49 Senators say they credit it.
Of course, they’ll say that Kavanaugh has no right to serve on the court, so he hasn’t been stripped of any rights, if they refuse to confirm him. True, but culturally, influence will still have been shifted from the accused to accusers.
I would imagine that Kavanaugh will probably get confirmed next week, although given the slim margins we’re dealing with, who knows. I would also imagine my ex-wife is going to get her 10-year green card based on an I-751 divorce waiver and move on with her life, although I probably won’t be getting my electronics (iPad, laptop, etc.) back from the cops any time soon, if ever. Oh well, these are the inconveniences we have to put up with sometimes in a #MeToo world.
Even if Kavanaugh doesn’t get confirmed, he’s theoretically no worse off than Merrick Garland, other than that his name got dragged through the mud and Garland’s didn’t.