There are a variety of factors why 15-year old Christina Blasey did not report the alleged sexual assault by a 17-year old Brett Kavanaugh at a party in 1982. The freewheeling 1980s were not kind to those who were sexually harassed or assaulted. The decade was marked in the Washington, DC area by booze, drugs, and inappropriate behavior in the workplace. This was the environment, particularly insidious among the affluent teens of Georgetown Prep and University crowd, that Blasey found herself.
At Yale University, Kavanaugh was a member of the extremely misogynistic fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE). He was also associated with a sub-fraternity called “Truth and Courage” (T & C), which was nothing more than a club of drunken and debauched males. T & C was also called “Tits & Clits” and its motto was “No means yes and yes means anal.” Deborah Ramirez, a female classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale, has come forward to describe a corroborated incident in which Kavanaugh thrust his penis into her face, while the two were at a freshman year party. .
Americans who have insisted on good legal minds and well-behaved justices on the highest court of the land—something America failed to get in the confirmation of Clarence Thomas as an Associate Justice in 1991—have more than good reason to doubt Kavanaugh’s character and thought process to receive a lifetime appointment to the court. In Thomas, someone who reveled in talking about his “likeness” to a porn actor named “Long Dong Silver” to female employees of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the court got an unqualified dud. In Kavanaugh, Thomas is set to receive as a colleague someone whose sordid background at Georgetown Prep, Yale, the chambers of disgraced former U.S. Judge Alex Kozinski, and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia would be more than fair game in a political campaign.
Dr. Blasey Ford has every right to expect that her experience as a victim of a sexual assault be understood and appreciated by those who have never had to endure such an ordeal. There are many reasons why victims do not come forward, as seen with the many years between priests sexually abusing children and those victims later coming forward as adults.
The immense and intimidating power of the Catholic Church over children, their parents, and parishes and dioceses prevented many children from revealing abuse.
When this editor was sexually assaulted by a male Navy Captain in the Bachelor Officers’ Quarters at Naval Station Keflavik, Iceland in 1980, there was an attempt to report the incident immediately to my commanding officer. His response was, “You’re a Lieutenant JG, he’s a Navy four-striper. You might not want to spread this around, because you’ll come up losing, in the end.”
Not only was the assailant a full Captain, but as a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he had the same sort of academic pedigree in the Navy that Kavanaugh has in the legal profession with his Georgetown Prep and Yale undergraduate and law school sheepskins. In 1980, the Navy’s policy on sexual harassment was “don’t talk and don’t tell.”
Later, other male officers on the base reported sexual advances by the captain in question. In the Navy of 1980, in a case of the word of a junior officer against that of a more senior officer, the Navy always deferred to the higher rank. In such sordid matters, the Navy abided by the principle of “205 years of tradition, unhindered by progress.”
There are many reasons why victims of sexual assault do not come forward. In my case, there was an obvious threat to my career. But, in addition, there were the inevitable accusatory questions of: “Why did you let yourself get into a situation like that?” and “Did you lead him on?” Given Dr. Ford’s age at the time of the alleged assault, 15-years old, she had many more reasons not to report the incident, particularly since Kavanaugh’s parents were politically and socially influential in the Republican social set of northwest DC and Montgomery County, Maryland.
For those on the receiving end of sexual assault, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and other victims of Kavanaugh who are coming forward, not only have our support, but our complete understanding and empathy.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).