Books

Bill Cosby Tag

We're reeling at the news that the Supreme Court actually did it. They utterly erased Roe v. Wade. Not that we weren't expecting this, because we were. Not that we weren't ready for this, because we are. But we need to fortify ourselves--with will, political will.

This is my 2019 end-of-year blog post before the holiday hiatus, so it seems fitting to take stock of where we've been and where we are, especially since we’re unsure—but intrepidly hopeful!—about where we're going. It needn’t be a comprehensive list; in fact, it shouldn't be, because who would want to revisit so many moments of this past year? But if we don’t take the time to notice our victories (eyes always fixed on the next struggles), we can wind up where only the failures feel real. That's what our adversaries focus on, but why should we help them do so? Instead, it's crucial to develop a taste for, a habit for, moving forward. And it's crucial to note that our wins have been considerable. On one end of the spectrum, just this past week Bill Cosby’s appeal of his 2018 sexual-assault conviction has been unanimously denied by a panel of three...

That’s an odd, uncomfortable title for any writing of mine. I thought I thought vengeance a waste of energy. Then a recent barrage of news stories set me off. Nothing unique about any of them, given the pattern we’re used to under patriarchy. But the barrage, across a range of contexts, kept drumming the same insult home. There’s Trump's boy, Brett Kavanaugh, confirmed to the Supreme Court for life by the narrowest of margins, after having been credibly, publicly, convincingly accused of sexual assault, and responding with an indignant tantrum before the Senate committee. Now the story breaks that additional credible witnesses contacted the FBI to testify in agreement with Dr. Blasey Ford, the survivor of his assault—but the FBI refused even to interview them. Did the FBI, pressured by the White House and GOP-dominated Senate, just cave in? Was the FBI worn out by right-wing accusations against its own...

This is the 14th time I've written this blog post, which was originally about Bill Cosby's sentencing. Then, over and over, news broke about Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

As I write this, it's still uncertain under what circumstances Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary committee about her alleged sexual assault in high school by Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee for a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.

You might as well settle back. This may take me a while. Because, oh my god, this has already taken too long a while. Too many tipping points. I think it was around 1974 that Ms. magazine ran the first cover story on sexual harassment, which was already an issue in the women's movement. Almost 20 years later in 1990, Anita Hill's courageous truth-telling before Congress galvanized American women–yet Clarence Thomas, the perpetrator of criminal sexual harassment against her, still sits on the United States Supreme Court. In the mid-1990s, feminists were divided over whether Bill Clinton's semen stains on Monica Lewinsky's dress were "consensual": yes, she had told friends that she planned to go to the White House carrying kneepads in hopes of just such an encounter; and yes, many of his policies were good for women; and yes, there was a vast right-wing conspiracy out to get him...