Aspen Princess: Entitled behavior at the expense of women
“Hey, sweetie, want anything? I’m just about to order a sandwich,” Bill said casually, as if nothing had happened.
I stood in the doorway, seething. He obviously didn’t remember anything.
It was 1989 and I was a freshman at the University of Denver, standing on the threshold of the dorm room that was inhabited by “Bill and Bill,” two totally nondescript frat boys from I don’t even remember where. It was the morning after, and I decided the only way for me to deal with the situation was to confront it head-on and not be scared. After all, these guys were supposed to be my friends.
I knew they’d been wasted the night before, in the midst of their fraternity’s rush. When I’d mentioned I wasn’t feeling well and planned to stay in that night, they’d offered to let me hang out in their room and watch a movie while they were out. Bill and Bill had it all — a big TV, VCR, Nintendo, a microwave and a stocked mini-fridge. We lived directly above them in the same dorm.
They really were nice guys. But as soon as they burst into the room, loud and stumbling around, knocking things over, I knew they had been drinking heavily and likely doing cocaine, the drug of choice among the children of wealthy kids who went to DU. They had that absent look in their eyes. One of the Bills decided it would be funny to throw me on the bed and pretend he was having sex with me in front of the group of guys who had followed them into the room. He didn’t remove any of my clothes, but it was enough to scare me. I began to struggle, and then fight, pulling his hair and hitting him in the side of the head as hard as I could, but he was totally unfazed and easily pinned me down, his knees on my elbows, panting heavily.
“Let her go, man,” someone said. “Dude, it’s not cool.”
As soon as he backed off, I ran out of the room, terrified. In my rage, I grabbed his bike from the hallway, took it outside, and threw it into a bush, only to retrieve it and return it a few minutes later. I was afraid it might actually get stolen and then I’d be the one who was in trouble. Maybe I was overreacting. Bill was my friend. He was just joking around. But why hadn’t he let me go when I panicked?
I told my roommate and she told me I was overreacting.
“Bill and Bill would never do anything to hurt you,” she said. “They’re like our brothers.”
Here’s the thing: we have all known a Bill, er, I mean a Brett Kavanaugh.
He’s that guy, that spoiled little rich kid who gets everything he wants, does whatever he wants and never gets in trouble. He parties every weekend, and sometimes after school, but still manages to play football and get good grades. He drives a new car he didn’t pay for. He doesn’t have to work, spending summers lounging around at the country club during the day and partying at night. He has his parent’s credit card, no curfew and grew up with a nanny who cooked his food and did his laundry but didn’t have any power over him. He comes from an old-money culture where functional alcoholism is a thing, so long as you make it to the Ivy League, which so many of them do.
I don’t consider myself a victim of sexual assault, but being a woman is enough to have had more than a few unpleasant experiences. I believe every woman has been sexually assaulted in her lifetime, it’s just a matter of degree. It’s easier to submit and wait for it to be over. There’s not much more to tell.
Many victims of sexual assault suffer from trauma for years after they are attacked, and this whole Brett Kavanaugh debacle has been horrifying for them. I can’t imagine what they are going through.
As for me, I’ve just been agitated all week, my mind full of Brett Kavanaugh’s furrowed brow and pinched, doughy pink face.
I thought for sure if the reckless display of anger didn’t do him in, then the clear statement of partisan bias might, never mind allegations of assault. I thought for sure that in this modern day and age, accusations of sexual assault would be a humanitarian issue and not a partisan or political one. After all, this wasn’t even a trial, but a job interview. I can’t imagine any situation anywhere where a candidate wouldn’t be eliminated with even the slightest trace of scandal or mistrust (not to mention alleged criminal behavior), especially when there was a long list of other qualified candidates.
I thought for sure any woman, conservative, pro-Trump, Christian, whatever, would empathize with the victim and not blame her. Haven’t they all known this guy at some point in their lives? Haven’t we all?
It turns out I was wrong.
I discovered this via various Facebook post threads where conservative friends of friends chimed in with their take on the situation. In a nutshell, that Ford isn’t credible and that this is an orchestrated scheme by Democrats.
I know when to disengage from social media and this is probably one of those times, if only I weren’t so busy gloating about all the beautiful fall hikes we’ve been taking. Still, I can’t help but look at my son and wonder what I can do to make sure he has respect for women and human beings in general, that he is kind and compassionate and thoughtful.
Speaking of my 2-year-old son, Kavanaugh’s antics were all too familiar. Not only because he reminded me of boys I knew when I was young, but because he was acting exactly like my toddler.
The Princess is seriously thinking about moving out of the country one day. Email your love to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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