You know what’s spookier than demons and goblins and witches? America’s lack of belief—in people of color, minorities, immigrants, and women.
I came across an article assessing events related to the confirmation of Kavanaugh on the judicial court, “The Kavanaugh hearings have become a ‘witch hunt,’ where belief is all that matters.” In the article Jonah Goldberg compares Kavanaugh’s accusations with the hysteria of the Salem witch trials of 1692. By the end of the article I was actually pretty convinced that I had thought about the #metoo movement in the wrong way. Maybe I shouldn’t have automatically assumed Dr.Ford was telling the truth because as Goldberg states “credible means ‘believable,’ not ‘true.'”
Then I stepped back, and re-evaluated his claims and came to the conclusion that Jonah is in fact “mansplaining.” The Salem witch trials are in no way similar to the #metoo movement. Though the witch trials were horrific and resulted in the loss of twenty innocent lives and the disruption of two hundred, in no way does it statistically compare to the #metoo movement.
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. That means about two out of three go unreported. It’s also important to note that most rape cases go unreported because women are often assaulted by the men they know and trust. If not sexually assaulted, how many women are sexually harassed? In January 2018, Study on Sexual Harassment commissioned a 2,000-person, nationally representative survey on sexual harassment and assault, conducted by GfK. It found that nationwide 81% of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment—cat calling, physical or verbal conduct, etc. This is hunting, and innocent women are the prey.
The truth is I did believe Dr. Ford when she stated that she had been a victim of sexual assault. Every woman I know in my life has faced some form of sexual harassment, and some have been victims of sexual assault and never reported it. In many cases, it took years of trust and courage for these marvelous women to open up and discuss their experiences.
And it took years to come to terms with my own.