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Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Is What Backlash Looks Like

Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Is What Backlash Looks Like

I’m processing.

Mostly, I feel very sad for Dr. Ford. Achingly sad.

I know I’m going to have a burst of energy. But right now I’m bone-deep sad.

How are we living in a country in which our president mocks a victim of sexual assault at a rally? OK, alleged sexual assault. How does he mock the victim of an alleged sexual assault at a rally? I can’t think about that without tearing up.

What do I tell my daughter?

And how did I spend my life working in an industry in which the headline of its newspaper of record, the Wall Street Journal, read “Susan Collins Consents” after she said she’d vote for Kavanaugh?? (Get it? It’s so cute because it’s not just about the Senate’s role in the Supreme Court nomination process; it’s also a sexual assault double entendre. Lol. Financial patriarchy much?)

What do I tell my son?

What do we do now?

We vote. We must vote.

And we should all do what we’re most capable of doing. Maybe that means we mentor another woman. Maybe that means we mentor a young man. Or promote a woman. Or speak out publicly, perhaps for the first time.

And I’m asking the men in my life to step up. I had a conversation last week with one of my closest male friends who told me — again — that he’s appalled by how we treat survivors in our country and how little progress women in business have made; I asked him to not just tell me privately but to please share this with his zillion Twitter followers. I also asked him to direct some of his money to women: women candidates, women-run companies, investments that advance women.

I’ve been to several events at which people said that there would be a backlash to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. And that the more powerful these movements and the more meaningful the potential for change, the greater the backlash. (How powerful can this be? None other than Steve Bannon called Time’s Up “the single most powerful potential political movement in the world.”)

The Kavanaugh confirmation process — the backlash that it represents — is worse than I thought it would be. I hope that means we are more powerful than we knew. And that the change to our society for women and underrepresented groups will be more meaningful than we perhaps thought.

First, we are sad. And then, we get busy rewriting our future.

This article was originally published in Ellevest's newsletter, What The Elle. You can learn more here.



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