No, I’m not asking us to ignore or “brush aside… thousands of years of corruption.” But even if I wanted to ask us to do that, it would be a pointless exercise given the past is never going to change. I believe the past should inform our present and help shape our future. That said, I also think dwelling there makes it impossible for it to provide that service.

Now I’m absolutely no fan of Brett Kavanaugh. I was opposed to his nomination even before the allegations against him had surfaced. Furthermore, I think his reaction to those allegations demonstrated a lack of character that should have disqualified him even if most senators remained unconvinced by Christine Blasey-Ford’s statement and subsequent testimony. However, it’s simply a fact that he has not been convicted of anything and that her testimony, while compelling and certainly worthy of more investigation than it got, did not prove his guilt. You say in one breath you believe people are innocent until proven guilty and in the next that the US appointed someone guilty of assault to the Supreme Court. He wasn’t proven guilty. Had you said you think he’s probably guilty, I would likely say nothing about it, but you said he is actually a “sexual predator.” That’s a serious charge, one that disproves your claim to believe in innocence until proven guilty. Big claims require big evidence.

Herein, I think, lies the difference between us and between myself and the whole “social justice warrior” (your self-identification, not my label) approach to these problems. I think the outrage in the Blasey-Ford case is that we had to drag the Senate kicking and screaming to initiate a very cursory investigation of her claims that barely lasted a week, if that. You think the unwillingness to assume Kavanaugh is guilty is the outrage. Treating women fairly means investigating their claims thoroughly and professionally. It does not mean assuming anyone’s either guilty or innocent before hand. Just so I make myself perfectly clear, it’s that the allegations against him (Kavanuagh) were never thoroughly investigated that’s the evidence of sexism. We need take no position on his guilt or innocence to see that.

Last but not least, we need to be honest about the fact that allegations that surface years after the fact, for whatever reason, will be far harder to prove through a preponderance of the evidence, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s not due to sexism. That’s due to the fact physical evidence can only be collected for so long and the fact that memories do actually fade and change. As the years go by memories of events will diminish and alter — both for the woman and the man involved in the case. That’s been demonstrated over and over again and in no way reflects upon either the victim or the accused. It’s just a result of the passage of time, the accumulation of new experiences, and biology. So we need to be urging our children, our loved ones, and our friends to file a complaint as soon as possible if they are the unfortunate victim of an assault. We can’t accuse the justice system of not doing its job if we never informed the justice system of the crime in the first place. While I understand the historical reasons for the hesitancy on the part of some women to come forward at the time, from this point forward we need to be urging victims to muster the courage to file a complaint ASAP. The fact that so few women who have come forward years later have found real peace or justice should be more than enough to convince anyone claiming to be concerned about these issues of the importance of filing a report in cases of sexual assault quickly.

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US citizen residing in British Columbia, Canada. Degrees include anthropology and environmental studies. Activism, politics, science, nature.

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