Dr. Ford versus Judge Kavanaugh: What went down at the Senate hearing

Katarina Kovac, Campus Editor

If you’re a living human being, there’s no doubt that you have have heard about the Senate hearing that involved Brett Kavanugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

If there’s some chance that you haven’t heard about the hearing, let me debrief you.

Ford accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed during a house party in Maryland in the early 1980s, attempting to remove her clothes and putting his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. She said she was able to escape when Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh’s, jumped on top of them.

At the time of the alleged incident, Ford was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17.  In a letter obtained by Senator Dianne Feinstein, she added that Kavanaugh was drunk.

Ford then publicly came forward in an interview with The Washington Post, stating that her “civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about the retaliation.”

Both Ford and Kavanaugh were set to testify on Sept. 27.

At the hearing, Ford detailed for the committee the harassment that has driven her from her home twice, the PTSD that forced her to install two front doors on her home for protection, and the assault she claims Kavanaugh and Judge committed against her.

The most poignant response Ford gave was during questioning by Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, a Democrat, who asked what the strongest memory she had from her alleged encounter with Kavanaugh. Ford, a doctor of psychology, included clinical language into her responses throughout the hearing, and replied that it was her assailants’ laughter.

“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense,” Ford said.

Throughout hours of questioning, Ford was increasingly cooperative, often stating that she could not be of more assistance. After Senator Cory Booker asked her a leading question about how she felt about the way the hearing had been conducted, she replied, “I wish that I could be more helpful and that others could be more helpful, and that we could collaborate in a way that would get at more information.”

That calm disappeared the minute Ford’s testimony ended.

During his testimony, Kavanaugh welled up with emotion, often pausing to compose himself, drank water, banged on the table and shouted upon speaking of his support for women. As well as his love for beer. 

At some moments he seemed enraged. There is no doubt that what is happening in his life right now is unpleasant and against his wishes. His reaction to it, however, suggests a person who is unfit to participate on the Supreme Court. 

Kavanaugh repeatedly interrupted, talked over, and yelled at Democratic senators. He refused, multiple times, to say whether he’d be in favor of an FBI investigation.

In fact, Vox published a piece that dissected the amount of times that Ford dodged a question versus Kavanaugh. The results? Only Ford made an effort to answer every single question.

He has every right to his emotions, but the general public and body of Senators would never have allowed such a display from Ford, or any woman for that matter. Kavanaugh benefited immensely from a double standard that we apply to women that polices their behavior and expressions of emotions.

Slate recently published an article titled, “Men are more afraid than ever.”  My response?  If you are a man, you shouldn’t be afraid if you don’t sexually assault people. It’s that simple.

The FBI investigation into allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh began after the hearing. Although it appears to be narrow in scope, we can only hope that the truth prevails.