Thursday, September 27, 2018

No, most teen boys don't behave as in Christine Blasey Ford's accusations

Here is Christine Blasey Ford’s statement opening before the Senate this morning.

It’s easy to imagine, with cynicism, that the “Left” wants to delay any confirmation until after the 2018 midterms, and could try to stall any nomination if the Democrats are in control, to protect Roe v. Wade, among others.

I’m not convinced that Kavanaugh’s confirmation means that the sky falls, or that “stare decisis” won’t hold.  I know what Jeffrey Toobin says, but I’m not convinced he is right.

Should accusations from almost four decades ago matter now?

Ford’s testimony was emotional, and from the heart. It sounds amazing she got a Ph D from USC after floundering, as she says, at UNC.  She teaches and does research in clinical psychology at Stanford.  Since I have friends at Stanford and some others with connections to UNC, this has some personal relevance to me, possibly.

Is this a case of “will boys be boys”?  The young men I ran around with in high school and college myself would never have done these things, and the young men I know today (some online) I am pretty sure don’t to these things.  “The Young People Will Win.” 

But in that lost semester in the fall of 1961 in the dorm at William and Mary, there were boys who “bragged” and who tried to coerce others to join them.  There was also the issue of the “tribunals”, hazing ceremonies and gauntlets that supposedly applied to all, not just pledges.  I skipped out on those, which may also have contributed ultimately to my expulsion.  So there is more to this that a lot of men want to admit.  And I have to say, a few men of my father’s generation admitted to escapade like this back in their own youthful days, even before WWII.  Here's a piece on Medium and the Washington Post by Post by Monica Hess on "#NotAllMen". 
Look at Matthew Iglesias’s piece in Vox, “Republicans just don’t take sexual assault seriously.” 

And, ah, this. Access Hollywood.

Update: later today

Here is Brett Kavanaugh's opening statement. (or here on CNN). Kavanaugh testified that he corresponds to a character in an autobiographical fictional book of an acquaintance with addiction problems -- the issue of "libel in fiction" which I have discussed before. He also "blamed" big Left-wing money aimed at him (CNN).  I wonder what he would think of my own 2005 incident when I worked as as substitute teacher.  NPR offers a perspective on whom everyone believes by gender, here. 

Update: Oct. 4

While the demonstrations and arrests happen, here is Kavanaugh's side of the story as an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. 

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