I Cannot Write a Movie Review Today

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I Cannot Write a Movie Review Today

M. Herle '20, Writer

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It is Oct. 5, 2018. It is not quite Halloween, and we are way past Labor Day. The drudge of the fall and day to day life as a junior in high school led me to believe I wished to write simple movie reviews for my high school’s newspaper this year. I am putting my first movie review of the year on the back burner. It is not a date I will remember twenty years from now, but today has caused me to rethink my ambition as a young aspiring journalist.


On July 9, 2018, Brett Kavanaugh, a judge who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals, was nominated by President Donald Trump to take former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat. The last few weeks have been dominated by news of his hearing as it becomes a pivotal marking of our current political landscape. The timing of a sexual assault allegation against Judge Kavanaugh may have seemed too convenient to many. But as a young woman growing up in the wake of the #MeToo movement, to me, this case became a momentous statement of my country’s response when confronted with the truth. Today, at approximately 11:00am, a vote was held to decide whether an alleged sex offender may or may not be appointed to the United States Supreme Court.


On Thursday, Sept. 27, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s only accuser to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, described how she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh when she was in high school. She was fifteen. She did not speak of it for years but claimed that Kavanaugh’s nomination was the last straw that broke her silence.


While I do not underestimate the word “alleged” and the blurred lines and lack of concrete evidence throughout this case, I also refuse to believe that just because the word “alleged” is repeated a million times, the accused perpetrator is innocent.


In a court of law in America you are innocent until proven guilty. This remains a concept I wholeheartedly believe in, and so it has caused me to rethink my whole stance on this issue for the last two weeks. I believe that Kavanaugh, in a court of law, is and should be innocent until proven guilty; however, he is not being prosecuted, but merely examined, and a regular jury did not vote innocent or guilty. The United States Senate Judiciary Committee voted yes or no to this “alleged” sex offender becoming a United States of America Supreme Court Justice.


I know that by writing this my political beliefs may seem completely obvious to readers, but my opinion on this issue is not one of political influence. Whether or not Judge Kavanaugh, a seemingly intelligent and respectable person, sexually assaulted one woman, two women, three women, four women, more, or none, having any sort of doubt in one’s mind that he may have committed such crimes, I hoped would prevent this man from serving as a Supreme Court Justice.


And I know, over the past few weeks, American citizens have watched as Kavanaugh tirelessly defended himself and his values. I read Kavanaugh’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal claiming he was simply acting as “a son, husband, and dad.” I am sixteen years old, and I would like to think I am a pretty independent thinker. I have brothers, uncles, grandfathers, and my own dad. But today I am not writing as an understanding sister, niece, granddaughter, or daughter. Today I write as a disappointed and frustrated young woman growing up in the United States in 2018.


I write in 2018 after a man who may or may not have sexually assaulted a woman continues to be protected and defended by other men—and by women, too. I write in 2018 after this man cleared a procedural vote by only one vote less than Justice Clarence Thomas did twenty seven years ago.


So now, instead of writing a movie review, I must express my wholehearted disappointment to my classmates and teachers that in 2018 a man who may be a sex offender passed a procedural vote and is about to become a Supreme Court Justice.

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