Are We Making a Stink? - by Greer Clem

“Should someone be judged for something they did when they were a teenager for the rest of their lives?” “Yes, but it wasn’t rape.” “Isn’t this something the Democrats are pulling because it’s convenient?”

I’m here to say that sexual assault is never “convenient.” No, it wasn’t rape: it was attempted rape by aggravated assault. A woman was held down, her cries for help and her pleadings of “stop” were ignored. So should Brett Kavanaugh be judged for something he did when he was 16 for the rest of his life? Perhaps not, but it should factor in to whether or not he can sit on our nation’s highest court.

Holding a Supreme Court seat is arguably the most influential position available in America. The presidency comes and goes, is marred by personal legacy and political gridlock. But being a supreme court justice is a guarantee to oversee the shaping of our nation until your dying day.

So how could we allow someone who wanted to forcibly violate a woman’s rights have a say in any right at all? The answer is we can’t. Regardless of party, regardless of how you feel about the current administration or any administration in the past, we have to hold ourselves and our justices to a higher standard.

I challenge any and every man in America to look at the women they know. Every man knows a woman who has either been a victim of sexual assault or a victim of attempted sexual assault. If you think you do not, then you just haven’t been listening. I wish that was an exaggeration, but it’s not - it’s a reminder. A reminder that there is a reason we don’t speak up. This happens all too often and with no resolution. We’re told that “boys will be boys,” that the lines are “blurred” and that we were leading them on. So it’s a cheap shot when Republicans come out and say, “Oh, isn’t this convenient for Dr. Ford to bring this up now?” And the answer is no. In fact, it’s never convenient. There is never a good time to raise your voice when society doesn’t want to listen.

In the words of another survivor of sexual assault who has recently spoken out: “After years of therapy, I never wanted to mention his name again. But you can bet your ass that if he was nominated for a Supreme Court seat, I would be yelling his name as loud as I could, even if it cost me everything. Because I would want people to know.”

There has to be a Republican SCOTUS candidate who has not sexually assaulted someone. I would hope that there are many more qualified nominees who haven’t committed assault than those who have. So my instruction is this: Republicans - go find one. Stop putting all your chips behind a man who has never, can never, and will never be worthy of holding this position. Some choices are hard but this one is easy. If you need more help, look to the women you know and ask them. And please, for once, listen.

Greer Clem