Kavanaugh hearings put gender inequality on display
FROM: JAN LUPNACCA RISING SUN
It was the day of Brett Kavanaugh’s swearing in as a Supreme Court Justice when a dear friend lobbed an off-color joke about Dr. Ford in my direction. He saw humor in it. I did not.
Yes, I may be a bit sensitive about sexual abuse, workplace male dominance and a commonly accepted disrespect for my gender camouflaged as “boys will be boys.” A 40-year career in a male-dominated field has taught me that, for all of my accomplishments, girls must still ... surrender.
What followed was what some might call a testy, but also healthy, conversation about the times. The kind we need more of. I drew from the bowels of my past and my pent-up, full-throttled anger. But, our passions aside, this healthy exchange occurred without the usual fear of conflict.
Aside from bar room brawls and contentious sport pairings, men steer as clear of conflict as they do conversations about what’s in a woman’s purse. They just don’t wade in. On the other hand, fear of conflict is foreign to women. Women relish the opportunity to intellectually and persuasively spar. This may be because over the years, the mandate has been that they must prove themselves superior to their male counterparts just to get equal recognition. They have had to excel at tasks just for an invitation to the table where their male counterparts have already comfortably settled in with far less investment. After years of falling short, menopausal women now approach opportunity prepared to pass valuable road maps to those who are less seasoned at the race.
In other words, we’ve been bred to find ways to do better, do more and accomplish efficiently. You — Those of you men who, as Ruth Bader Ginsberg says have kept “your boots on our necks”, have unknowingly taught us how to succeed at this. So thanks.
The Kavanaugh experience wasn’t about sexual assault. It was about power. Because of the author it’s painful to say out loud, but Steve Bannon may be correct when he reputedly writes “women are gonna take charge of society.” Off-color jokes notwithstanding, perhaps here’s one lesson emanating from the stink of the past few weeks on Capital Hill: women appreciate their accomplishments, women earn what they want, and women now say what they think. Buckle up Mr. Bannon, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.