Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh nothing less than heroic. She came forward to testify under oath about Kavanaugh’s sexual assault on her at a party when she was just 15-years-old. Dr. Ford found the great courage within herself to rip open her heart before the whole world. Little did she anticipate this amazing honor.
A professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Jennifer Ho, nominated her for a Distinguished Alumna award. Ho is in the university’s Department of English and Comparative Literature. Ford earned her first degree, in experimental psychology, from this alma mater.
The Hill acquired Ho’s letter. In it, she wrote that Ford accomplished “something that was extraordinary:”
‘She told the truth about a sexual assault she experienced when she was fifteen years old at the hands of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.’
Ho said that this nomination was not “about partisan politics.” Instead, it was about “bravery:”
‘Recognizing that the simple act of speaking one’s truth, especially when that truth involves sexual assault, is an act of bravery. We live in a society that does not believe women. The many indignities that women experience in their day-to-day lives is proof of this, as is the continued attacks on Dr. Blasey Ford after her testimony. We know that people who are survivors of sexual assault do not experience justice for their trauma; we know that many of them choose not to report to the police and choose not to reveal their assault out of fear that they will not be believed.’
The professor continued, indicating that this nomination should also take another powerful message to the nation, that:
‘UNC Chapel Hill believes survivors of sexual assault (and recognizes) the inordinate courage it took for her to take the moral and ethical stand that she did in testifying about her sexual assault experience in front of the world.’
Ford went on to earn a masters and a Ph.D. in spite of the trauma she experienced when a drunken Kavanaugh, then 17-years-old, pinned her to a bed. She was speaking not only before the Senate Judiciary Committee but the entire planet. Bravery is not being unafraid. No, it is about doing what is right in the face of one’s fear.
Her convincing testimony was heart-wrenching as viewers experienced Kavanaugh’s attack through her eyes. She told of him grinding his body against her as she futilely tried to escape, but he was a football player and stronger than her. She was afraid that he would accidentally kill her when he tried to smother her screams for help with his hand.
Then, Kavanaugh tried to rip off her clothes, but he was too drunk. At the same time, he and his good friend laughed nearly uncontrollably, laughter that lives on in her memory. When that friend piled on, Ford was finally able to escape.
Kavanaugh responded with rage and denials to Ford’s testimony. In doing so, he showed the nation that he reacted in the same way as almost all sexual predators do.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.