I knew two girls growing up who lied about being raped. Or, more to truth, I knew two girls growing up who said they were raped and then a couple days later, recanted. What actually occurred is really anybody’s guess; only they and God, and the guys they accused, of course, truly know the truth.
But the fact is, somewhere along the line, lies were told.
And while America does not need to go back to the time when females accusing sexual assault or rape or abuse are asked such stupid questions as, “What were you wearing?” and “How many sexual partners have you had in the past?” — fact is, too, there are indeed cases where women, for whatever reasons, do make up these stories.
Word was, the two girls in my growing-up years were angry at their boyfriends and wanted to inflict some revenge. It happens. It’s a terrible injustice to the guys who find themselves in the terribly unjust spot of having to prove their innocence for a crime they did not commit. But it happens, just the same.
What happens more, of course — and only the completely unaware or outright misogynists of the world would refute — is that real female victims of sexual harassment, sexual abuse and sexual attack often dismiss, ignore, deny, downplay, disregard and yes, in cases of high trauma, in cases that bring post-traumatic stress disorder horrors, even forget, in whole or part, details of the instances of harassments, abuses, and attacks.
Case in point: While I’ve known two in my own circle to falsely claim a sexual attack that never happened, I’ve known easily 100 or more who’ve actually suffered sexual harassment, abuse, even rape, and who’ve bit their tongues on telling.
Women in the military, for instance, often go along to get along with their harassers because they fear they have no voice.
Women in the civilian workplace frequently turn blind eyes to the leers or deaf ears to the suggestive comments because they don’t want to stir the pot, damage their careers, stunt their chances for advancement.
That all happens, too.
No matter how you slice it, it’s ungodly. All of it.
But now we’ve got an accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, who’s coming forward after decades of silence to say, in essence, as a paraphrase, “Hey, you know that guy who’s about to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court? Well, at a high school party, he drunkenly pushed me on a bed and tried to have sex with me. He didn’t, and I fled, but I lived with the trembling secret all these years — all those years he climbed his very public career ladder, from clerking for Justice Anthony Kennedy to writing the Ken Starr report. And I kept silent. Until now.”
Apparently, Ford’s finally reached the boiling point of her alleged ordeal and called for an FBI investigation of Kavanaugh’s high school behavior, along with umpteen conditions in exchange for offering senators now what should have been offered at the get-go: facts and evidence to support the allegations.
Seems a bit hog-washy.
This whole confirmation process, in fact, has grown, in the words of Alice, curiouser and curiouser. The more we learn of Democratic funding to stop the Kavanaugh process, the more we learn of George Soros’ ties to groups like Demand Justice — a non-profit entity aimed at halting President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court picks that, coincidence-of-all-coincidences, just hired the same general counsel who worked for Sen. Dianne Feinstein — the more Wonderland this all becomes.
What’s more, it’s gone around the bend of un-American.
It’s just not constitutional to throw out unfounded, unsupported accusations against an individual and then sit back and watch the chaos that unfolds, all the while claiming some untouchable high ground of victimhood.
If Ford has proof, it should’ve come at the same time as the accusation.
If Ford has a compelling reason why that proof couldn’t come at the same time as the accusation, she should’ve made known that reason.
If Ford has anything, anything at all that could show her claims against Kavanaugh are rooted in fact and truth, she needs to cough it up and cough it up quick. It’s not incumbent on Kavanaugh to prove his innocence.
It is, however, incumbent on Ford to prove his guilt — to prove she’s not lying and using a shameful, despicable tactic to disrupt the Supreme Court proceedings and kill Kavanaugh’s nomination. After all, it may not happen often, but women can indeed lie about such matters. And when they do, they don’t just hurt the accused.
They hurt the real victims, the ones who’ve already come forward in truth and courage to tell their stories of abuse and injustice and, more egregiously perhaps, the ones who are yet to come, and need to be believed.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.