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Oct 8, 2018

What I Hope My Daughters Learn

As a husband and a father who has raised four girls, the idea of sexual abuse is frightening to me. It is a reality, and one for which I've had to prepare to face directly for nearly thirty years. Thus, the recent Senate Hearings on Kavanaugh have brought those tensions to the forefront for me, as it likely has for many of us. However, I feel like far too many people are focusing on the wrong aspects of what has happened. In that perspective, I'd like to share what I hope my daughters (and all women) learn or remember from the ordeal.
While I have opinions, to tell anyone else what to believe is not my place. What each of us believes is a matter of filters, previous experiences, perspective and likely a bit of political bias. And people on both sides of the accusation are angry because someone in the government didn't believe as they did.
But this is where my point of focusing on the wrong issues comes in. Some think she should have been believed; others think she was not credible. And in the end, she was not believed but those whose view made a difference. The big question I have is why wasn't she believed. Some would claim snarkily because it didn't happen. Perhaps that's true, but the truth is we don't really know. In the end I think the greatest component was not political but rather was chronological.
We can all point to this political event or belief, declare bias by certain stereotypes, and give other explanations. However, assuming it happened, had Ford reported the incident in 1982 when it occurred, none of this social upheaval over the ruling would be occurring today. And that is my whole point. Daughters and other women, I pray that nothing like this ever happens to you, but if it does, please, please, please tell someone immediately. An early report changes everything.
Rather than blame the government, hate certain groups of people or tell others how to feel, I believe we can all learn something from this horrible event. I believe this issue can act as a reminder to women everywhere how to handle such hideousness. We can learn not to remain silent. We can learn not to be afraid. We can learn not to wait. We can learn if we do, it reduces the odds of being believed in the future. And that is what I hope my daughters get out of this calamity.

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