Dr Ford’s Dignity

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the work was done, and there is heartache and victory in it.

the decision will come and it may be a logical decision (to stop Brett Kavanaugh from becoming a member of a body meant to hold integrity and accountability), or it may be an irrational and politicized decision (to barrel forth with this mess).

regardless, Kavanaugh has been marked by his actions in public, his dirty hands showing, his rageful face showing precisely how a boy who sexually assaults a girl while he is drunk looks when he grows up. his true self showed today, and every survivor who saw his face, who heard Christine Blasey-Ford say she was once scared he might kill her, recognized him as a perpetrator.

and Dr. Ford stood in her dignity, her life – changed long ago by this trauma – is now again forever changed by her bravery. her dignity helped her stand there in her terror and revisit her trauma. she even explained to the world how trauma works in the brain, because like all of us, she is not only a survivor but a whole human being…and in this case, a scientist.

Amilcar Cabral taught us to “claim no easy victories”. i deeply believe that – and i am curious about how we understand what a victory is in this political climate. i was teaching all day yesterday. i read the testimony laying in bed, after reading about Bill Cosby finally being held accountable in the only way possible in his lifetime.

i want to share that i believe it is a victory that the attention of the nation was on this hearing, and that this brilliant woman stood in her dignity and told the truth. now everyone has to face it. those who are doing everything possible to regress humanity back into caves still have a say in the decision of this moment. they may not be transformed by Dr Ford’s dignity, by Kavanaugh’s pathetic guilt. but the landscape of this long war against patriarchy and rape culture is changed by her advance, by this battle.

the #metoo movement is opening up the closets of this country. when Dr. Ford tells her truth, in her dignity, she is flanked by millions of survivors finding our voices and tired of the bullshit. we shake and we cry and we rage and we battle through the day. we cast binding spells. we tell our stories, again and for the first time. we are not passive observers. we are survivors who have learned and are learning to alchemize our pain into futures that don’t hurt our children’s children. our stories are our slingshots, and we are moving forward. and none of us move alone. we are growing from #metoo to #wetoo, and we hold each other up on days like this.

and Kavanaugh, regardless of the decision made about his work, still has options for his soul. his legacy doesn’t have to be that face full of rage and denial, barrelling towards a false entitlement. he can turn and face his actions, his history. he can atone and be accountable. it is important that all perpetrators know that.

but for me, i want to recognize the victory of Dr. Ford, the dignity of that survivor telling her story and shifting the lens through which we see this man and any governing body that would accept him without him taking accountability for these illegal and immoral actions. i hope she is being celebrated properly by those closest to her. i hope there is victory in her heart.

4 Responses to “Dr Ford’s Dignity”


  1. 1 Catherine Wilson

    Thank you for this beautiful and thoughtful piece, I just saw it this evening. I too believe that Dr. Ford is a strong woman who stood up for all of us as a society, and that by speaking out she brought the light into that Senate room. Her story rang so true. To me, Brett Kavanaugh sounded and looked so shocked that he had been called up for his actions (by a woman!) Like he was telling a well-rehearsed lie, perhaps one he’d told before. But as my sister Peg says, “His karma just came down and sat on his face.”

  2. 2 Leanne

    Thank you to the brave and amazingly strong Dr. Ford and all of the women that are holding men accountable for their actions. I am so proud and grateful. Moved beyond measure for the battle you have fought and yes, it is a victory. No matter what happens now, so many more women are uplifted by your strength and courage.

  3. 3 Heather L Stevens

    So brave, so strong, so true, thank you for standing up for all us women and noting that trauma from high school can affect our whole lives. He needs to be held accountable for his actions regardless of his age and how many beers he had..

  4. 4 Colleen

    I watched the entire hearing and was so moved by Dr Ford’s testimony and courage to bring the truth forward for us and her America. She is a brave soul, when she got emotional remembering her terror, I cried remembering mine. It was cathartic and gut wrenching.

    Watching Kavanaugh reveal his feelings of entitlement and evidence of his shortcomings as a caring human was horrifying and laughable at the same time. To watch someone nominated to one of the highest positions in our country act this way, is beyond belief ! It was clearly an academy award acting performance !

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