Kavanaugh hearings bring teaching moment

I watched the Kavanaugh hearings with an open mind, ready to hear an incredible he said/she said tale woven by the two.

As I was watching Christine Blasey Ford — her demeanor, her body language — and hearing the timbre and tone of her voice, I realized I had seen the exact same mannerisms in my wife.

In her teenage years, she was a victim in of a brutal sexual assault, and everything else about the incident is a fog to her except for the act itself and the one who did it.

Of course, when she went to come forward at the time, she was slapped in the face by all of the “Well, you seem to be OK” and “He could never do that, so you must be lying,” as well as the “Boys will be boys” mantra.

That came from the ones closest to her, people that she felt the safest with and believed would protect her. After that, she buried the trauma, terrified that she would be shamed again if she ever spoke of it, since “private matters stay private” was another mantra.

We have been married for three years, now, and have been together for six, and it was in that third year that she saw someone in our local variety store that looked just like her assailant.

Her reaction was disturbing in the extreme: She started shaking and pacing, lost all color and started to hyperventilate, and then, with all the strength in her little body, she grabbed onto my arm and managed to say through gritted teeth to get her out of there.

One year after that incident, she finally spoke to me about what happened. That person was now a powerful, respected figure in the town that she was from. So goes that familiar story.

Watching Ford closely and looking at her as she spoke, I could not help but know with every fiber that she was speaking her truth. I still gave Kavanaugh the benefit of the doubt though until I could hear his side. That is where I was hugely disappointed.

Instead of seeing a great judicial, professional mind full of the compassion and standing like a man, a true man, with gentle firmness acknowledging Ford’s pain but telling his truth that he did not do this to her, there was instead a spittle-filled teenager throwing a tantrum and spouting insane conspiracy theories that had nothing to do with simply denying the allegations with his heart, as a man would.

He showed himself to be, not a true warrior for justice as he is supposed to be, as SCOTUS is filled with these warriors, but a petulant teenager blaming everyone else and lashing out at all the wrongs that were done to him.

My disappointment in him was heartbreaking.

In the end, all that matters is what and how we teach our children. It should be the greatest wish of all parents that their children grow to be better than they, and so it is that I teach my children to treat everyone with honor and respect, no matter who they are.

Steven Jimenez

Altoona

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