Essay

Today Was About Listening

Today was about shutting up and seeing just how bad and how sick this all is.

I searched my inbox for an email today. It came from my friend last October, when the #MeToo movement gained momentum, and women began coming forward with their stories of abuse and assault. This friend took the time to thank me. She told me of a night where I got her home safe and thanked me for being a better man than so many others.

It broke my heart reading it then, and today, in light of the Kavanaugh hearing, it breaks my heart again.

I shouldn’t be thanked for that. That should be basic. That should be common humanity, decency, and respect. Common.

Instead, it’s rare.

Instead, we have an environment where a Senator can say, with a straight face, that Kavanaugh is as much a victim as the woman he assaulted. Instead we live in an environment where men come to the defense of abusers and stand in opposition to victims of horrors they find inconvenient.

I had one thing to say today on social media, which is that this is appalling, that Dr. Ford is a hero and tremendously brave for going into that hearing, and that we men all need to be better. I’ve only been retweeting women today because I think today men need to listen.

I don’t have a conclusion here. Today is about listening. Today is about listening to the petulance and arrogance of Brett Kavanaugh, and seeing that the system and culture is so weighted in his favor that his behavior and actions are all being tolerated and justified to get him a seat on the highest court in the land by Republican Senators.

Today was about listening to Dr. Ford- her experiences, her pain, and her fortitude and grace under fire.

Today was about listening to all the women with stories of their own, their disgust, their horror, and their exhaustion at how predictable this all is to them.

Today was about shutting up and seeing just how bad and how sick this all is.

Today was about listening, so we can hear the call for what we need to do, and who we need to be.

We move forward.

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