By Mara Gerstein:
I was 16 when Anita Hill testified before congress. I watched and was devastated — for reasons I understood and some I couldn’t yet articulate. I can now. It was the first time I realized that women’s lives are worth less then men’s. Ouch.
Even by 16, I had been masturbated in front of in public twice. I had been told that I must give good blow jobs, as I walked down Park Avenue in my Laura Ashley dress, wearing lip gloss and 1/2 inch heels for the first time, on my way to so-and-so’s Bar Mitzvah. I had been hit on (hard) by my high school drafting teacher. (thankfully nothing as terrible as what Blasey-Ford endured)
But these things change your life forever. Your sense of self, your understanding of your own value, your comfort in intimate relationships.
What these assholes tell us every time they excuse sexual abuse is that we shouldn’t negatively impact a man’s life just because he has negatively impacted a woman’s.
Blasey-Ford’s testimony, starting Wednesday or Thursday of this week, will lay this truth very bare. That a single boyhood indiscretion changes a woman’s life forever. That Kavanaugh’s attack almost ruined Blasey-Ford’s life, and that it deeply shaped her life choices. How she spent her college years (hiding with a girlfriend in a dorm room), the subject of her life’s work (trauma and its relationship to depression and anxiety), where she chose to live (as far way from the attack as possible)…
I urge everyone to watch the Senate hearings this week and to make your voice heard in whatever way you can on this issue. March, call, tweet, and talk to everyone you know about it. VOTE. Get everyone you know to vote.
In the end, as with everything these days, it is up to the people of this country to say that they will not stand for women’s lives being worth less then men’s anymore. That it’s time to #kickthebumsout, and get real about equality. It’s time. #timesup #metoo #Ibelieveanitahill #IbelieveBlaseyFord
Thank you Mara for your courageous honesty.
A statement of our time that honesty so often requires courage.
Fabulous writing. To the point and potent. Should be shared far and wide.