Friday, October 05, 2018

Quote of the Day

Image: Bruce MacKinnon

It seemed as if something had changed since the 2016 election. Women got angry, and they poured out their stories, and they mined their pain on social media, and they got up in politicians’ faces and begged to be heard. Nationwide polls after [Christine Blasey] Ford’s testimony showed that more than half of U.S. women surveyed said they opposed [Brett] Kavanaugh’s nomination [to the US Supreme Court] and fewer than a third said they supported it.

Republicans pretended to listen to them. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) called for a limited FBI investigation shortly after being confronted by sexual assault survivors in an elevator, and he and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) made a show of being undecided up until the last minute. But ultimately, all of the party’s unease with the Me Too movement coalesced around the figure of poor, put-upon rich white guy Brett Kavanaugh. A line was being drawn. He was not going to be another guy who went down for a 30-year-old claim, no matter how credible the witness or how many lies he told under oath or how many more people came forward to support her claims.

Somehow, Republican men assumed the mantle of victimhood. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) decried the “physical intimidation” of members of Congress by women. Trump lamented that “it’s a scary time for young men” but said that young women are “doing great.”

The government cupped its hands over women’s mouths and turned the music up.

Laura Bassett
Excerpted from "Women Let Out A Primal Scream
Over Brett Kavanaugh. It Didn’t Matter
The Huffington Post
October 5, 2018

Related Off-site Links and Updates:
Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation to US Supreme Court Gives Trump a Major Victory – Sabrina Siddiqui and Lauren Gambino (The Guardian, October 7, 2018).
Brett Kavanaugh Confirmed to Supreme Court as Senate Rejects Me Too Movement – Jennifer Bendery and Arthur Delaney (The Huffington Post, October 6, 2018).
So It’s True: Republicans Really Do Hate Women – Amanda Marcotte (Salon, October 5, 2018).
Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation: The Patriarchy Strikes Back at #MeToo – Erin Keane (Salon, October 6, 2018).
"I Feel Outraged, Exhausted and Betrayed': Kavanaugh Nomination – the Feminist Response – Joanna Walters and Erin Durkin (The Guardian, October 6, 2018).
Donald Trump Has Turned America Into a Place Where Victims Are Mocked and Being Merciless Is a Virtue – Shappi Khorsandi (The Independent, October 5, 2018).
Brett Kavanaugh Cannot Have It Both Ways – Robert Post (Politico, October 6, 2018).
Brett Kavanaugh’s Partisanship: It Is as Disqualifying as the Supreme Court Nominee’s Alleged Mistreatment of WomenThe Economist (October 4, 2018).
The “Gravedigger of American Democracy”: Holocaust Historian Says Mitch McConnell Broke Politics – Cody Fenwick (AlterNet via Salon, October 5, 2018).
McConnell Says Kavanaugh Outrage Will “Blow Over” – and GOP Takeover of Courts Will Continue – Chas Danner (New York Magazine, October 6, 2018).
The Cost of Kavanaugh's Victory? The Legitimacy of the US Supreme Court – Andrew Gawthorpe (The Guardian, October 7, 2018).
The Supreme Court Is Now a Partisan Institution – Yascha Mounk (Slate, October 6, 2018).
The High Court Brought Low – The Editorial Board (The New York Times, October 5, 2018).
Susan Collins’ Pro-Kavanaugh Speech on the Senate Floor Was an Insult to Americans’ Intelligence – Mark Joseph Stern (Slate, October 5, 2018).
Christine Blasey Ford’s Attorneys Reveal Statement From Corroborating Witness – Carla Herreria (The Huffington Post, October 6, 2018).
The Problem That Has No Name – Jessica Valenti (Medium, October 4, 2018).
Presumption of Innocence Is for Privileged Men Like Brett Kavanaugh, Not Laquan McDonald or the Central Park Five – Briahna Gray (The Intercept, October 4, 2018).
"What Goes Around, Comes Around": Kavanaugh's Snarl Takes on New Meaning Now That He's a U.S. Supreme Court Justice – Jon Queally (Common Dreams, October 7, 2018).

See also the previous Wild Reed post:
Insightful Perspectives on the Kavanaugh/Ford Hearing

Image: Bruce McKinnon.

The following is excerpted from Alex Cooke's September 30, 2018 article, "Halifax Artist's Cartoon in Response to Kavanaugh Hearing Grips Internet."

The graphic image by Halifax-based Bruce MacKinnon shows Justice blindfolded and pinned down, her scales cast aside as a man's hand covers her mouth — an explicit reference to how California professor Christine Blasey Ford described an alleged sexual assault by [Brett] Kavanaugh dating back to 1982. In the picture, the cuffs on the shirt the man is wearing are decorated with the Republican elephant.

Like many viewers over the past week, MacKinnon, a cartoonist for The Chronicle Herald, was gripped by Ford's televised testimony at the Senate Judiciary Committee, which culminated in a request for an FBI investigation and the delay of a Senate vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation.

"I watched the testimony as it happened. It was riveting," MacKinnon said Sunday. "It was one of those things where you couldn't even exhale until she was finished."

Ford alleged Kavanaugh groped her and tried to remove her clothing after he pinned her to a bed at a house party when she was 15 and he was 17 — claims he vehemently denies.

MacKinnon said he was compelled to draw the cartoon, which was published in the weekend edition of The Chronicle Herald, to illustrate what he believes to be a crucial example of how allegations of sexual abuse are treated in North America.

"In a year that was so dominated by the #MeToo movement and the changes that I think we all hope will come from that, this seems to be an almost watershed moment and a very pivotal one for America," he said.

The image has gone viral since Saturday, amassing tens of thousands of likes and thousands of shares on social media websites like Reddit, Twitter and Facebook.

It caught the attention of actress and #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano, who tweeted it out Sunday with the caption: "You've made a misogynistic, hurtful, joke of our Supreme Court, @realDonaldTrump. ... Women won’t forget. And we vote."

Some users have described feeling a "gut punch" upon seeing it, and one woman tweeted the provocative cartoon made her feel like she couldn't breathe.

But MacKinnon said these feelings of disgust are, in some ways, the point of his cartoon.

"I think it's important that people face up to it. It is disturbing. But it's exactly the scenario (Ford) described," he said.

"So if we don't talk about it, if we turn away from it and pretend it isn't there, we're not going to solve the problem."

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