As a young woman in America, I am personally disgusted by the way men in power are so quick to brush off serious problems such as sexual assault. Women are constantly perceived as “crazy” or “hysterical” in the eyes of men, and in the hearings done recently between Kavanaugh, a nominee for the Supreme Court Justice and Dr. Christine Basley Ford. Looking at the photograph below, a woman is looking at a panel full of men, who probably do not believe her and even if they do, they do not care. It shows a sign of bravery and sign of strength because she is facing all of them head on at once and is not afraid to come out with the truth. Coles in his novel, Doing Documentary Work, states, “These pictures remind us, yet again, that tragedies have a way of becoming contagious, that one of them can set in motion another” (p. 113). With the hearings going viral, it is important, now more than ever, to speak up, take a stand, and listen to women who are subject to these problems every day. I have never felt more unsafe, especially as a woman going on twenty, in my own country. These officials are so quick to make excuses that put the victims at fault, whether it has to do with their clothing or state of mind, rather than looking at their own behavior and assessing it. I really hope that one day, I can walk in whatever outfit I want, whenever I want, however I want, while feeling safe and protected. I really hope that one day, I won’t feel the need to carry pepper spray in my purse. I really hope that one day, women will be respected and listened to the same way that these men are.
Ford’s hearing is compared to the statue of the young girl and the bull in New York City. Both women are standing tall and fearless against their assaulter/predator, ready to face the issue head on. However, in the picture below, Kavanaugh is sitting, surrounded by women who definitely are not happy, yelling and looking immature. He looks afraid because for once, he is being targeted instead of laying low like other sexual assaulters do.
“Engaging in documentary study challenges others to follow suit, to do their share in taking the measure, for good and bad, of our nation’s twentieth-century fate” (p. 114).
I admire Christine Basley Ford. I believe her and the other women who have came forward about their experiences. I care about what happened to them and want to make things right. But most importantly, I listened, and that’s the biggest problem in this country. We do not listen, we are too busy thinking of what we are going to say next.