What a woman. I actually watched her testimony today. I didn’t rely on news outlets or the narrow-minded reactions of some of my family members posting on social media. I wanted to see it for myself. I’m so glad that I did.
Let me just say I didn’t want to believe her. That’s easy, right? I was open to hearing what she had to say, but let’s face it. When you are convinced nothing is there, there is nothing to deal with.
Based on the near non-stop reporting, I thought and assumed there was actual forced intercourse. I thought she was claiming to have been raped. Again, this is why hearing from her was so key and absolutely important. The current news climate is less than outstanding.
When she recounted her experience with such grace and bravery despite the cameras and strangers and likely itchy suit and uncomfortable chair and lack of coffee (seriously!) I was moved. To have to go back to that vulnerable place in front of all of those people and feel those fifteen year old’s feelings as a grown woman who now has sons of her own, I can’t even fathom it. I was struck by her strength. She was anxious and nervous and obviously uncomfortable, but she still got through it clearly, and with integrity.
I am so glad for her that the drunken attempt on her body was unsuccessful in it’s completion. I am terribly and achingly sorry that the incident occurred, but I am astonished at how much she has pushed to have her story told.
Watching her nervously sip her water, I thought about all the stories that don’t get told. All the attempts and near misses. All the girls who have kept silent about the people close to them who have thought they could prey on a person simply because they wanted to. I have my own stories that I haven’t shared. I have plenty of near misses and deliberate attempts that because it (thankfully) didn’t end in actual physical assault I lessened it’s severity and the reality of the impact it had on me.
It still happened. It was still impactful and severe. Just the act of victimizing a young girl is heinous and life altering. Why is it so acceptable in our country to accept the disrespect and minimalization of the importance and worth of girls?
Dr. Ford has put her family under a microscope, subjected herself and her loved ones to an amount of scrutiny that most of us would buckle to. She has turned her own life and that of her family upside down to shed light on the character of a man being given an incredible amount of power for an indeterminate amount of time. I thank her for our justice system, but most of all I thank her for myself.
I thank her for getting girls that much closer to speaking up when something is wrong. Speaking out when you are being told to be quiet and just cope. I am appreciative of the strength and conviction Dr. Ford has in her own worth and rights.
Being that this is my birthday, my wish is that girls find their strength and self worth and speak up before they become women who have had to cope with trauma and abuse.