Tag Archives: MeToo

Dr. Ford’s testimony cultivates both support and backlash

By Rylee Storms

Everest Staff Editor

There are many interpretations of what Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate testimony means, but it undoubtedly brought awareness to sexual assault survivors and what problems regarding sexual assault are still prominent in America.

On Sept. 27, psychologist Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill. Dr. Ford testified during hearings for the now confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh regarding her claims that he sexually assaulted her in high school.

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Dr. Christine Blasey Ford PHOTO CREDIT: U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

Since the testimony, Dr. Ford has gained support from many women and men, including celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, who made a post on Instagram saying, “Dr. Ford, I am in awe of your bravery.”

At Everest Public High School in Redwood City, the testimony affected many students who watch the news. Everest sophomore Nikola Self gave her opinion on Dr. Ford’s testimony, saying, “I believe that she is telling the truth, but in order to take down Brett Kavanaugh she needs more evidence.”

Another student who voiced their opinion is Everest sophomore Isabel Cline, who said, “I think it was powerful, and it displays how much women have been through and how much power men have over women. I think it represents sexual assault survivors coming forward and having their truth known.” She later added, “I think she’s telling the truth.”

Everest senior Juan Espido gave a short, but honest, statement: “I didn’t listen to the whole thing, but it sounded genuine. I believe her.”

Teachers were also affected by Dr. Ford’s allegations. Bea Daily is an Expeditions teacher at Everest who teaches Human Sexuality. She said, “I think that she’s completely telling the truth. It’s completely loyal and credible that she came forward 30 years later. She decided to share an event that has obviously shaped her into the person she is. She’s standing up for women and smashing the patriarchy. Sexual assault is alive and well.”

Emmalee Austin is the teacher of A.P. US History at Everest. Ms. Austin, while having not watched much of the testimony, said, “I think we should always believe survivors. I don’t think someone would come forward if they weren’t telling the truth.”

Aside from voiced support, Dr. Ford’s testimony inspired many women to come forward about their own experiences with sexual assault. RAINN, an organization that helps survivors of sexual assault, put out an article saying, “Between Thursday, the day of the hearing, and Sunday, RAINN saw a 338 percent increase in hotline traffic.”

The increase in calls made it possible for RAINN to help a record number of survivors. Compared to September 2017, their hotline saw an increase of about 10,000 this September.

Women are often doubted when they come forward about sexual assault. Many people assume that they are doing it for money, to sabotage someone, etc. Dr. Ford faced a vicious backlash after coming forward; death threats and harassment forced her out of her home. 

The Democratic and Republican parties have very different opinions regarding both testimonies. The Republican Party supports Justice Kavanaugh and they wanted him to be confirmed. Many Republicans stated that they did not believe Dr. Ford’s testimony, and they disregarded her credibility. 

The differing opinions Dr. Ford has received show that the country is still politically divided. They also show that the United States has a lot of progress to make with our reaction to sexual assault.

While Dr. Ford’s testimony is mostly backed by Democrats, there are Republicans who believe her. This is talked about in an article by The New York Times that says, “Emily McLaughlin, a sophomore at the University of Maine who was a treasurer for the College Republicans, said she believed Dr. Blasey, but wanted to hear from Judge Kavanaugh.”

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Chuck Grassley listens as Dr. Ford testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr

Justice Kavanaugh testified the same day and received support from Republicans such as Senator Lindsey Graham who said, “This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics. And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy.”

The differing opinions Dr. Ford has received show that the country is still politically divided.

Every year in the U.S. around 321,500 people over the age of 12 are victims of sexual assault or rape. Female victims are much more common than men.

According to RAINN, “82 percent of all juvenile victims are female. 90 percent of adult rape victims are female.”

Many survivors of sexual assault do not report what happened out of embarrassment and fear. Victims also frequently suffer from PTSD and might even contemplate suicide.

As for why Dr. Ford didn’t come forward, she testified that she was scared of getting in trouble for attending a party underage. She said she was also scared due to there being alcohol at the party.

Dr. Ford’s actions of coming forward and accusing someone so powerful encouraged others to stand up for themselves. She helped women realize that sexual assault isn’t their fault.

Others, such as President Trump, do not believe Dr. Ford, and say her story is inconsistent. Many have responded to him, reminding him that it has been 36 years since the assault.

During the testimony, there were definitely a few details Dr. Ford couldn’t remember. However, what she did remember is something much more important than who took her home.

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Brett Kavanaugh, now confirmed as Supreme Court Justice, smiles for photographers. PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Ford, in response to a question asked by Senator Dianne Feinstein, made it clear that she is sure Justice Kavanaugh is the one who assaulted her. She explained that there is no possibility of it having been someone else.

Now confirmed, Justice Kavanaugh still denies all allegations made by Dr. Ford. Regardless of whether he is or isn’t guilty, the allegations have brought light to the standards Americans hold for who they think should be serving in the country’s highest offices.

Related:

Sexual assault allegations complicate Kavanaugh confirmation

Kavanaugh hearing stirs controversy

Why is the #MeToo movement so important?

By Kai Lock and Ethan Sheppy

Staff Writers

It seems now that #MeToo has been the topic of conversation for many months now, especially in the entertainment industry.  It has been showcased in several award shows, influencing things like speeches and wardrobe. High-profile men in the industry continue to face fallout from the movement toward accountability and transparency. 

More and more actors have been coming out and speaking their truth as well as promoting inspirational speeches from those who have shared their stories. One of these cases was when Oprah Winfrey preached at the Golden Globes, stating that speaking your truth is one of the most powerful tools you have.

#MeToo was created by Tarana Burke in 1997; 20 years later it has risen into an immensely powerful movement all over the nation, creating conversations and evoking uncomfortable subjects that need to be uncovered and fully assessed.

According to a New York Times article, “The Woman Who Created #MeToo Long Before Hashtagsby Sandra E. Garcia, when Tarana Burke initially created the Me Too movement, her intention was to create a nonprofit organization to help those who have been affected by sexual harassment and assault.

The entertainment industry has been solely responsible for the attention that #MeToo has gotten within these past few months, starting with Alyssa Milano, who is believed to have brought attention to the movement.

The attention arose with a single tweet which stated, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” She provided an explanation for the tweet, “Suggested by a friend: ‘If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me Too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

On Jan. 7, the distinguished Golden Globes took place in the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Known for its prestigious awards and celebrated celebrities, the Golden Globes was quick to promote #MeToo in many aspects.

Those in attendance dressed in all black to show their respect and support for the movement. The wardrobe was not the only thing to showcase the support, having inspirational speeches from actors also take part in advocating #MeToo.

Oprah Winfrey’s powerful speech moved the audience. She brought up topics such as #MeToo, racism and hope for a new future. Her speech easily became one of the most iconic moments of the night.

Actors standing behind the movement are not only hoping to provide relief for those in the entertainment industry, but also for those whose stories might not get told. Using their power in social media and fame in the industry, they are hoping to inspire young girls and spread an important message to all teenage and adult women.

We talked to two people outside of the film industry to help answer if those promoting #MeToo are helping them understand it better and to explore how it’s personally affecting their life. They both provided insight into their perspective as women outside of the entertainment industry.

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Gretchen Oorthuys, resource specialist and sophomore mentor

Gretchen Oorthuys, a resource specialist at Summit Prep, helped us understand her stance on #MeToo.

“I think it started a lot of conversations with different people in my life, not just about their personal experiences, but about how awareness of power imbalances between the genders impacts their daily lives.”

Eliza Insley, a sophomore at Summit Prep, elaborated on the #MeToo movement and what her perspective on the subject is.

” I think the Me Too movement has affected me personally because I know people who have experienced sexual violence, sexual harassment and sexual assault, and watching them experience the shame and the guilt and the pain that goes along with not feeling like they can express and share what happened to them was rough. I think this movement that is gaining so much support for the victims of this abuse is really powerful because it’s life changing how these people have kept it in so long and now they feel like they’re in a safe enough environment to share this. ”

Hearing such shocking stories these past few months has resulted in a new growing awareness of the problem. What people would like to know now is the solution, a positive ending to these dreadful stories.

A few developing ideas are now being discussed with the hopes of preventing more women from experiencing trauma. According to an article by The Washington Post, Women share their #MeToo experiences on Metro — and offer solutions,” an idea from women who have been harassed or assaulted on the Metro was to share stories to the public via social media.

Margaret Wroblewski created a project called #IWasOnTheMetroWhen, sharing unsettling stories of women who have been harassed or assaulted on the Metro. She was hoping these stories could provide relief and awareness to those either affected or not affected by this movement.

Her intention is to promote self-empowerment and encourage women to seek assistance from passengers on the bus or to speak up for others in such situations. Beyond Wroblewski’s project, there have been many others who have also followed the tactic of using social media to speak their truth.

#MeToo has been a wake up call to the nation, educating those who are oblivious to this unvoiced problem. Though all the stories have upset many people, it brought something deeper amongst all men and women who have been a part of #MeToo.

Finally speaking the truth has been described as a relief and a weight lifted off the shoulders of those assaulted. It brought them peace and unity. Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes summarized our future perfectly. A new day is certainly on the horizon.

See below for a video on the #MeToo movement: