The hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of the allegations brought forward by Christine Blasey Ford and others have been an embarrassment for U.S. leadership. The abrupt interruptions of female senators and admonitions about Ford’s credibility from senators like Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are a sign white men are angry that white women are challenging their “boys will be boys” attitude.
All of this is happening as the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke—a Black woman—is shifting culture in real time around how we respond to all survivors of sexual violence. To share a core principle of reproductive justice, another human rights movement we all benefit from that was founded by Black women, “our experience is our expertise.” When it came to Ford, that experience was questioned: These senators claimed that her alleged violator is just as much of a victim as she was. She was all but physically dragged by her tender-headed white womanhood in front of millions of white women. These men used the Kavanaugh hearing as an opportunity to directly confront white feminists who challenge them, by toppling the pedestal of their womanhood as a protected class.