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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Rape has no political party


Why is the news focusing on political parties when it comes to a rape allegation and not on the act itself?

In the past two weeks, Brett Michael Kavanaugh, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and the recent nominee for U.S. Supreme Court Justice, has been accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, who went to high school with Kavanaugh.

[media-credit name=”Graphic by Janna Marnell” align=”alignright” width=”192″][/media-credit]Watching and reading the major news networks talk about this has consisted more of political statements rather than a focus on what truly happened.

Many U.S. politicians are victim shaming a scared woman for finally coming forward about a night that has haunted her all these decades. These politicians include both democrats and republicans alike, notably including President Donald Trump.

“The men in this country (should) just shut up,” junior democratic U.S. Senator from Hawaii Mazie Hirono told BBC in an article published on Sept. 19. “Not only do women like Dr. Ford, who bravely comes forward, need to be heard, but they need to be believed.”

Many people, including government officials, have stood behind Ford to encourage her to keep fighting this. Meanwhile, President Trump apologized to his nominee that he has to go through this inconvenience.

“I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this, to be honest with you,” President Trump said in a news conference, according to BBC. “This is not a man that deserves this.”

Kavanaugh has denied all allegations against him.

“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” Kavanaugh said, according to Fox News. Kavanaugh said he has no recollection of the alleged events.

Trump has been through his own series of sexual misconduct allegations during the presidential debates for the 2016 election, but he was still voted into office.

A video of Trump engaging in what many call “locker room talk” that was taped in 2005 surfaced during the election. In the video, Trump described how he will grab girls by the “pussy” and just start kissing them just because he was famous.

Trump believes that these two women coming forward is a political move, like the women who came forward during his election process in 2016. The difference here is that Trump wanted to make sure women knew he had the power because of his celebrity status. However, rape is rape, whether it be to ensure your power with your position, or just because you feel like it.

This type of power and control to push women to have a sexual interaction with you is still rape or sexual misconduct. No allegation should be overlooked just because the accused believes the victim is seeking their “15 minutes of fame.”

Republicans have different viewpoints on rape, especially a rape that happened in the 1980s, since laws indicate that the statute of limitations is on average 10 years for a rape crime.

If all of this is still not enough, Deborah Ramirez who attended Yale University with Kavanaugh, also came forward on Sept. 23 with her own allegations. Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly exposing himself at a dorm party, thrusting his penis in her face and forcing her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away, according to the New Yorker.

But still, President Trump believes these women are making these allegations solely for the gain of the democratic party.

“[F]or people to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago and never mentioned it and all of a sudden it happens, in my opinion it’s totally political,” Trump said according to CNN. “It’s totally political.”

Many women and men have a hard time coming forward and reporting a rape. Twenty percent of women who have been raped have not reported it because they were afraid of retaliation, according to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

Ford has been keeping this traumatic incident to herself these past 40 years and now her whole experience is suddenly under a microscope for the Trump administration and the republican party to analyze and dismiss.

Ford is still facing retaliation, although Ramirez coming forward changed the way the republican party is handling the situation.

Due to the timing of the allegations being made and the chances of having an unfair trial, Ford’s lawyer has encouraged her not to show up to testify in front of Congress on Sept. 24 until the FBI has done a full in-depth investigation against Kavanaugh, according to a CNN article published Sept. 18.

Both Kavanaugh and Ford will be testifying on Sept. 27.

With the timing of the allegations, both parties are skeptical. I believe whoever “wins” this investigation will cause an uproar. If Kavanaugh wins, republicans will ruin the advancement of rape culture. This verdict would potentially be sending the message that if the president and a Supreme Court Justice were not convicted for their sexual crimes, then anyone else could get away with them too.

If voted that Kavanaugh did not assault both women, rape culture will go backward in history and it will be even harder to hold rapists accountable for their actions in the future.

If Ford wins, then the democratic party has an increased chance of winning over the House of Representatives.

Ford and Ramirez coming forward will hopefully change rape culture for the better, but I think we will continue having a problem with rape as long as our government officials still consider it political.

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About the Contributor
Janna Marnell, Creative Director