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Sat Sep 29, 2018, 08:42 AM

Brett Kavanaugh and the Terrifying Logic of the Boys' Club

The Texas Observer


Brett Kavanaugh and the Terrifying Logic of the Boys’ Club
Justice is about diffusing power; sexual assault reinforces and consolidates it.

https://www.texasobserver.org/brett-kavanaugh-and-the-terrifying-logic-of-the-boys-club/

by Andrea Grimes
September 24, 2018

Who among us has not gotten blackout drunk with a best friend, cornered a teenage girl at a party, dragged her together into a shuttered bedroom, together conspired to silence her by drowning her screams with our hands and loud music, and together attempted to tackle her and remove her clothing?

This seems to be the consensus take from Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s defenders, who are concerned that “every man should be worried” if something as piddly as getting blackout drunk with a best friend, cornering a teenage girl at a party, dragging her together into a shuttered bedroom, together conspiring to silence her by drowning her screams by force and with loud music, and together attempting to tackle her and remove her clothing, is now some kind of, I don’t know, bad thing.

I don’t know if every man has done something like this, or if most men have — I suppose I take any man who believes this kind of behavior is unremarkable at his word that it is at least unremarkable in his lived experience, which is an awful presumption for another essay.

But I do believe that Brett Kavanaugh has done this thing, because I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez. And I believe that willfully treating any instance of sexual assault as if it is a harmless, youthful indiscretion is dangerous, but treating a conspiracy to commit sexual assault between two wealthy, drunk young men as some kind of understandable, bumbling accident that could happen to anyone is altogether more appalling.

Rape culture loves mixed signals and fuzzy memories. Anything to explain away predatory behavior as a hysterical overreaction, or merely a regrettable date and too much to drink. Rape apologists take comfort in the smoky, leather-lined boys’ club that occupies the space between he said and she said.

<snip>

Is there a special room in the club for boys who say to other boys: Let’s do this one together? Brett Kavanaugh would be in that room, with his friend Mark Judge. They have done a lot of work on the boys’ club together, each in their way, over the years. Kavanaugh went the respectable route, using the tools of law to empower the patriarchy. Judge styled himself a recovered bad boy, spending unknown hours online attempting to discredit survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and writing self-indulgently and, perhaps tellingly, about masculine power.

<snip>


After all, there is a terrifying logic at work when a man says to another man, Let’s see what we can do to this woman, together. It is eminently reasonable, in the most literal sense of the word, to deduce that two men claiming “we didn’t” is better than one saying “I didn’t.” It is objectively more effective, if your goal is to exert your power over a woman — and that is the purpose of sexual assault — to enlist the help of a friend in doing so.

<snip>

Justice — true justice — is about diffusing power. This is why narratives about reclaiming America and rhetoric around law and order play so well in a political moment when progress has begun knocking at the door of the boys’ club. I imagine the boys inside parting the curtains, peering outside, talking about back doors and panic rooms, just in case.

I don’t believe that Brett Kavanaugh wants to make the world a more just place. I believe he wants to reinforce and consolidate power. Because he has done it before, and because it is, in the darkest and most disturbing ways, the logical thing for a boy like him to do.

Andrea Grimes is the manager of communications and development at If/When/How, where this column first appeared.

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Reply Brett Kavanaugh and the Terrifying Logic of the Boys' Club (Original post)
marble falls Sep 2018 OP
tblue37 Sep 2018 #1
2naSalit Sep 2018 #2
lunatica Sep 2018 #3
BlancheSplanchnik Sep 2018 #4
ThoughtCriminal Sep 2018 #5

Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 08:46 AM

1. K&R for visibility. nt

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 08:59 AM

2. K&R

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 09:06 AM

3. Yes. It's time we had this conversation again

Some of our most precious cultural traditions need to be thrown out. Male privilege has done more than enough harm. It needs to be curbed.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 11:19 AM

4. She is eloquent!

I’ll have to read more from her.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 11:51 AM

5. This democracy is broken

The checks and balances have failed to handle corruption and treason on this scale.

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