Women: We Must Speak Up Now

If the US Senate Confirms Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court without Investigating Him, We and Our Children Will Suffer

Politico, September 22, 2018

On Thursday September 24, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh will testify before the US Senate Judiciary Committee about Kavanaugh’s alleged attempt to rape Blasey when she was 15 years old.

And although noone is being charged with a crime, the Senate Republicans have contracted a woman sex crimes prosecutor to question Blasey and Kavanaugh at the hearing.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, name, state, age, years in Senate, and when up for reelection.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, has scheduled the Judiciary Committee to vote on recommending Judge Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court for Friday September 25.

Odds are high that the US Senate will vote early next week on whether to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed without an FBI investigation of his alleged attempted rape and shoving his penis into the face of Deborah Ramirez, his college classmate, all women and our children in America will be at increased risk of sexual assault.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with other conservative leaders, spoke at the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit on September 17, 2018. Full video here: https://cs.pn/2MSAtoS

By “plowing right through” to confirm Judge Kavanaugh as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to do on Friday, Senate Republicans are saying to would-be sexual assailants “go for it. There will be no repercussions,” and to women and children“just lay there and take it. If you complain you will be revictimized and your assailant will not be held accountable.”

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, we and our children will also be at increased risk of dying by gun violence, because Judge Kavanaugh is a strong supporter of the National Rifle Association, who has spent over a million dollars on television ads to get him confirmed.

NRA ad airing in states whose Senators have not confirmed how they will vote on Kavanaugh.

As it stands now nearly half of all women murdered in America die at the hands of their romantic partners.

At least 26,000 children and teenagers younger than 18 were killed by gunfire in the United States between 1999 and 2016, according to mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Firearm injuries are the third leading cause of death among children age 1 through 17 in the United States, according to a 2017 study published in the journal Pediatrics.

As a mother and a sexual assault survivor, I cannot sit idly by and allow the Senate Republicans to imperil women and children this way.

That is why I was among the 128 people arrested at the US Senate yesterday, to support Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez and hold our elected officials accountable. I am so grateful to the Women’s March, Center for Popular Democracy and Housing Works for organizing this civil disobedience.

I am also tremendously grateful for the Mormon Women for Ethical Government, an organization of 6000 Mormon women, continuing Mormon women’s long history of political engagement by sending a message to the four members who share their faith — GOP Sens. Orrin G. Hatch and Mike Lee of Utah, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Mike Crapo of Idaho- to halt the confirmation until the claims against Judge Kavanaugh are properly investigated.

I urge women’s groups of all faiths to follow our Mormon sisters’ example.

Tomorrow, women are going to speak with the six Republican women in the Senate, woman to woman:

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa

‪Senator Susan Collins of Maine

Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska

Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi

I urge these women Senators to reflect on their life experiences and think about how important it is for women and children, the Supreme Court, and Judge Kavanaugh that the allegations against him be thoroughly investigated before a vote is taken to confirm him to serve for a lifetime on our nation’s highest court.

I urge you to call them too, call your Senators, call everyone you know and ask them to call their Senators 202–224–3121. Organize actions in support of Dr. Ford at your Senators’ local office.

Women: we are the conscience of our society, and we must speak up.


Karen Fleshman, Esq. is an attorney, activist, and a nationally recognized expert on racism, feminism, workplace fair practices, police brutality, and politics.

Working in nonprofits and local government, Karen came to understand that racism is the underlying problem in our society. In 2014, Karen founded Racy Conversations, a training company, to inspire the first antiracist generation.

She gives talks and facilitates workshops at companies throughout the United States on unconscious bias, micro aggressions, sexual harassment, and raising antiracist children. Her clients include the Sierra Club, the Wikimedia Foundation, Yahoo, Sony, Xero, Salesforce, and KARGO. She blogs for Huffington Post, Moguldom, and Blavity.

Karen dedicates much of her time to police accountability activism and serves on the workgroup overseeing implementation of the United States Department of Justice recommendations on ending bias at the San Francisco Police Department.

She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, the University of Texas at Austin, and New York Law School, and is admitted to practice law in New York.

Founder, Racy Conversations Inspiring the antiracist generation.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store