A decision on Brett Kavanaugh will not affect just him, Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and the new third accuser Julie Swetnick.
I was so fresh off the boat that the whole system of leaving your tab open behind the bar was a new and confusing prospect to me when a kind stranger offered to explain and save me further dirty looks from a barman. We were both at the same birthday gathering in an East Village bar where I knew nobody but a new housemate and was very grateful for any kind of friendship shown toward me in a new country and city.
After a few minutes of chat about the history of Irish versus Italian in New York, he wanted to introduce me to his other friends at the same party and I was again grateful of the chance to meet new people. Having introduced me to all the women in his group and sitting me down with them at the table while the men hovered over, he quickly launched back into his conversation with his male friends, checking in on me every few minutes in case I needed another drink.
This quickly became tedious and thinking of my housemate who would presume he’d lost me forever, I got up to find him again, telling the initially-kind stranger that I’d speak again later.
The birthday party moved along and for the whole rest of the night, even when my good samaritan and I found ourselves in the same group of people again, he’d throw me dirty looks and refuse to acknowledge me to such an extent that he physically walked into me in his efforts to ignore me.
I shook it off and decided I was still going to be friendless in New York for another little while longer, at least.
For most people, this memory would be something trivial and easily forgotten and maybe it should have been, but as I’ve spent longer living here, I can no longer look back on that experience as a once-off occasion in which a man felt a possession over me he didn’t deserve.
Over the past four years, it’s happened time and time again where I haven’t sat where I’ve been told to sit, I haven’t talked to who I was told to talk to, and have felt the wrath of a man scorned because his privilege didn’t extend as far as he wanted it to.
You may not like @MichaelAvenatti's style but the man brings the goods & the receipts: he does not lie. His brave client #JulieSwetnick has sworn by affidavit that #BrettKavanaugh committed vile acts against women. The hearing cannot be limited to 1 accuser: there are too many— Stefanie Iris Weiss (@EcoSexuality) September 26, 2018
It has ranged from the man who shouted abuse at me for daring to move away from him when he decided to practically sit on top of me in an almost empty subway car; to the man who called me a mess and some other even less favorable terms, yet still logged into my social media accounts without my knowledge to ensure I wouldn’t dare speak to any other man but him. To be honest, American masculinity has far from impressed me.
And so I’ve felt less than surprised at the treatment of the women who have bravely come forward to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault in the past few days.
While I believe the women who take that courageous step, for those of you who don’t, you must at least acknowledge the steel it takes to come into the public eye and expose yourself to criticism from the world for simply saying you won’t sit where you’re told anymore.
Ireland is far from free of its own guilt in mistreating its women, as the Belfast rape trial and Michael Colgan of The Gate Theatre - never mind the magnitude of the horror of the Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby Homes - has gone to show. Yet, I was fortunate enough while I lived in Ireland to never feel a dread about the influence on my life of a grabby President and his Supreme Court nominee.
You can tell me to go home if I’m not happy with the way things are here, but the fact remains that even heading back across the Atlantic will not save me if a man accused of sexual assault finds himself sitting on the US Supreme Court.
The world is watching the U.S. and its next steps.
The world will be influenced by whether or not the U.S. chooses to believe Kavanaugh's accusers - Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and the new third accuser Julie Swetnick - and rightly punish him.
And as the world watches, so will every man who either in the past or in the future, makes the decision to treat me as a sexual object; every man who will belittle my worth or assume a dominance over me because of my gender; and every man who should just treat a woman better but thinks that he can still get away with it.
Here is a picture of my client Julie Swetnick. She is courageous, brave and honest. We ask that her privacy and that of her family be respected. pic.twitter.com/auuSeHm5s0— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 26, 2018
A decision on Brett Kavanaugh will not just affect him, Christine Blasey Ford Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.
It affects every woman and man who is tired of hearing stories of assault that people are too scared to report.
It affects all the young men who will potentially think that their actions won't ever have any consequences.
It affects everyone who is tired of shaking it off and deciding to make friends elsewhere.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section, below.