TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Move Over, Dorian Gray

I spent more time on my fantasy football picks than the Senate has on Brett Kavanaugh. No matter how it turns out, I’ll have another chance next year. But the Supreme Court is for keeps. If the 53-year-old nominee serves to the age of 90 like Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr. did, he’ll reign until 2055. Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be 122.

Perhaps by then, wives, daughters and mothers will no longer be second-class citizens. Or maybe they’ll all be dystopian Handmaids, Jezebels or Aunt Lydia’s. (See Hulu for a preview.)

These are revealing times. It’s as if America is gazing into the Picture of Dorian Gray. We’re getting a good look at who we really are.

Did you have any doubts that mysogyny was still alive after all the pussy-grabbing, porn star payoffs and the recent string of men deposed from positions of power? If so, the reaction of the roster of Republican senators scrambling to confirm the missing piece to the Roe v. Wade puzzle should be evidence enough. There’s a rush to knight a man accused of assaulting a 15-year-old girl when he was 17.

Their suspicion is that this is a politically motivated effort to derail the nomination. Let’s say that’s true — that Christine Blasey Ford relished the idea of being forced into hiding. Who isn’t invigorated by a good death threat? Even if it was politically timed, if it’s true, should that disqualify Kavanaugh — or does he get the locker next to Clarence Thomas?

Let’s ask noted feminist Kevin Cramer. “If to the degree there was any legitimacy to Anita Hill’s claims, and she tried and didn’t prevail — Clarence Thomas did and America did — this case is even more absurd because these people were teenagers when this supposed alleged incident took place,” he said. Besides, “it was supposedly an attempt or something that never went anywhere”.

America prevailed. If you don’t successfully rape, it doesn’t count. New rules? Nah. Women have been living under those rules forever. Count the women you know who have been threatened, abused or raped. Do you need both hands? A calculator? The National Sexual Violence Resource Center says one in five women are raped in their lifetime.

But some girls have it coming. Let’s make sure we find out what she was wearing. Was she a virgin? Did she tell her psychiatrist about the alleged attack in 2012 just in case it could be used to torpedo Kavanaugh in 2018? How prescient.

They set loose the frothing attack dogs instantly these days. Even if a woman is just an accuser now, she’ll be the victim soon enough. Attack. Dehumanize. She is the enemy. Destroy her credibility. Slut shame. No mercy.

It must be for a book deal, right? It couldn’t possibly be that she is the most reluctant of witnesses coming forth out of a sense of duty to her country because she’s experienced the dark nature of the man. It couldn’t be that. No one does patriotism anymore. Besides, if it happened, it probably only happened once.

Except now Debora Ramirez has stepped forward to claim Kavanaugh exposed himself to her in an ugly incident at Yale. But relax. She’s not your wife, daughter or mother.

There’s desperation among complicit Republicans who sense this presidency is imploding under the weight of a thousand corruptions — a variation on 41’s theme. They’re grabbing what they can while they can. And it would be terrific if they could lock in a justice who knows how to keep women in their place.

Take a look in the mirror, Dorian. Take a look outside your window. That’s America today.

Now take a look at your ballot. You can close the blinds or change the view.

© Tony Bender, 2018

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