"Boys Will Be Boys," and Other Lies We (might) Build Supreme Courts Upon
My darlings! I hope your week is treating you well, and that you’ve fully entered your own personal Atone Zone to make those amends you’ve been meaning to get to over the past year in the Jewish calendar. If not, you’ve still got today! So call up that person you’ve wronged, and let them know you’re atoning, dammit! Times a’ticking, and you KNOW you want to be written in that book of life. Which is also a long way of getting to the fact that there will not be a Missive tomorrow, as I will be at Sherith Israel all day for Yom Kippur (a holiday one does not wish a “Happy!” for, as I so awkwardly learned during my first high holidays of conversion studies.) See you in Shul!
And you know who’s got some atoning to do? A certain candidate for the Supreme Court, I’ll tell ya (note to self: work on less awkward transitions.) Because in addition to the various elements of his professional life that I believe deem him ineligible to be on the highest court of the country, like his seeming belief in the absolute power of the executive office and his tending to “dissent more often along partisan lines than his peers,” (which makes sense, considering he was a stalwart GOP operative for decades,) we recently learned of an accusation of sexual assault against him from high school.
Last week, nearly instantly after a report surfaced that California Senator Dianne Feinstein was in possession of a letter detailing the allegations, the White House produced a letter of 65 women attesting to the judge’s character, which isn’t a weird thing to just have on hand to share with media, oh no.
Now some are screaming about this is a last minute Hail Mary by Democrats to attempt to derail hearings before the midterms, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who issued a statement with NO IRONY WHATSOEVER that he was upset this information did not come out through the “standard bipartisan process.” To which we throw to Merrick Garland, shaking his head over his bowl of porridge, because I imagine that Merrick Garland eats porridge for breakfast, which is a complete normal thing for a 34-year-old non-lawyer to think about.
Anyways, the entire thing is a mess, and we don’t know if the allegations are true. But if I hear one more person comment on how it’s not fair that something from his high school days is being brought up now, I’m going to throw my computer out a window. This isn’t some embarrassing senior prank, this is (allegedly) holding a 15-year-old girl down and covering her mouth so she wouldn’t scream as he assaulted her. And everyone claiming it is unfair that he might not SERVE ON THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND can just stop talking, now.
Because this “boys will be boys” attitude towards teenage sexual assault is infantilizing garbage, and I am so done with it: when we attempt to claim it’s just a reality of male adolescence that sexual assault happens, then we besmirch the majority of young men who do NOT sexually assault in high school. And the hypocrisy of waving this sort of sexual assault by a teenage boy away and bemoaning any lasting life consequences for it, while simultaneously requiring that teenage girls carry babies to term by making abortion illegal, or simultaneously describing a young black boy shot dead as a “thug,” is some doublethink insanity.
Per usual, Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post is the only one who can sum up my anger, via satire, of this absurd conversation: “there ought to be some kind of punch card — say, if you treat 65 women with the respect and dignity you would accord any man, you are entitled to one freebie.”
Which leads us to today’s reminder: ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE? Grrrrr. Let’s do this, friends.