The contentious election of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in the US could have been a real turning point in regard to male privilege. It could have been, but it wasn’t.
What does it take for women to be really heard? What has to happen to create the change we so desperately need in terms of sex and gender equality? While misogyny and the global brutalisation of women and girls continues unchecked, and increases exponentially, powerful men get to go about their business. How will things ever get any better? That a person – woman or man – should be assumed to be innocent until proven guilty is a fundamental cornerstone of our society, and is a precedent that holds strong against tyranny and false accusation; long may it last. But when the deck is stacked to facilitate and maintain patriarchy (and especially white patriarchy), when our systems of governance are created within that patriarchy, what chance do women have of a fair trial; what chance will we ever have? The most recent appointment to the Supreme Court of the US has profoundly upset most of my friends – again, men and women. That one of the highest offices, perhaps the highest, in the western judiciary can be so easily granted amidst such accusations proves how powerful the white patriarchal elite are. Women spoke, they lobbied, they agitated but in the end the men got their way (the president said they “won”). And the women who voted yes to this appointment – well, shame on you. Shame on all the politicians on either side of the aisle who wring their hands but allow this to continue. This is not about those powerful elites considering the possibility of their wife, their daughter, their mother, or niece being the victim. It is about, once and for all, understanding, and weaving into our systems of control, the notion that men and women are truly equal and that women are not defined by their relationship tosomething or someone else. And to be clear I believe there is a strong link between homophobia and misogyny. Gay men are still regularly perceived and portrayed as softer, or more feminine – all that homophobic nonsense that underpins the notion of man=strength/woman=weakness. It’s a hard time to be a woman. But when hasn’t it been? So, I ask again – what will it take for women to be really heard?