Forty-six years ago when John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band released a song called “Woman Is The (N-word) of the World,” folks were outraged. Many Black folks were upset that the song compared white women’s “oppression” to ours, noting that white women had never, and would never, know what it was like to have generations of one’s family enslaved. Women objected to the “N-word” in the title and lyrics.
But if the controversy over U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh tells us anything, it’s that white men, as personified by the Repugnantthug Party, don’t think much of white women. Although he has been accused of allegedly sexually assaulting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when both were in high school three decades ago, the Repugnantthug-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee is racing to confirm him and place him on the high court in time for the new term in October.
The committee’s behavior glaringly contradicts the longstanding near worship of white women by white men in the U.S. White women’s “beauty” comprised of straight blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin, is still considered the gold standard to which all women of whatever ethnicity must aspire. “Miss Ann” as enslaved Africans derisively referred to the “Massa’s” wife, was and is perched on her invisible pedestal. A model of manners and comportment, she can do no wrong — as long as she “stays in her place.”
And she must never, ever have anything to do with Black men, especially in the Southern states which were part of the Confederacy during the Civil War. All a Black man had to do to be lynched by angry mobs of white men was glance in a white woman’s direction. White men claimed they were protecting and honoring their delicate and pristine females.
But the rush to confirm Kavanaugh demonstrates how much white men’s protectiveness of their women is a load of hogwash. GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are tying themselves up in knots trying to mansplain why there’s no need to put the confirmation process on pause while its members investigate Dr. Ford’s charges. Or why the FBI shouldn’t be brought in for at least a background check. They don’t even want to invite others to testify before the committee who could attest to Kavanaugh’s high school age behavior: that he partied hard and got drunk when he did. Like writer Mark Judge, who attended Georgetown Prep at the same time as Kavanaugh. Dr. Ford says Judge was in the room when Kavanaugh attempted to rape her. Judge says he wasn’t there, and refuses to testify before the committee.
Senator Chuck Grassley, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says the FBI isn’t needed to investigate the charges against Kavanaugh, even though Dr. Ford says she won’t testify unless an investigation takes place. Grassley sang a different tune during the committee’s 1991 hearing on Anita Hill’s charges that then Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her in their workplace. At the time, Grassley said of course an FBI investigation would be the right thing to do. The unpresident is also refuting the need for an FBI probe of the charges against Kavanaugh.
All the while, Repugnantthugs are strenuously casting doubt on Dr. Ford’s charges and her supposed motives for making them: Why did she wait until now to come forward? Why can’t she remember details of the incident? Did the Democrats on the committee put her up to this to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation?
Repugnantthugs have always had what can only termed a “unique” way of viewing sexual assault. Former U.S. Representative Todd Akin of Missouri said in 2012 that if a rape is “legitimate” “. . . the female body has ways to shut that thing down.” Arizona Representative Trent Franks said in 2013 that pregnancies resulting from rape are “very low.”
More recently a South Carolina lawmaker seized on the current controversy to make a “joke” about it. “Did you hear about this?” said U.S. Representative Ralph Norman. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out saying she was groped by Abraham Lincoln.”
It doesn’t matter to the Repugnantthugs that women who have been sexually assaulted, as Dr. Ford alleges she was, are emotionally, and often physically, scarred for life by the experience. They just want their guy on the U.S. Supreme Court bench so he can form what will become a conservative majority that could rule to overturn legal abortions under Roe v. Wade, the Affordable Care Act, and anything else made law in the last sixty to seventy years that’s the least bit humane and progressive.
And if those previous rulings improved the quality of life and health for women, so what? Get back on your invisible pedestals ladies, the GOP seems to be saying, and keep your mouths shut. What you want doesn’t matter. Your opinions don’t matter. Women.Don’t. Matter.