I Want to Believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
Back in the Day
I am a woman. At one time in my life, I would even have said an attractive woman. Because of that, over the course of my six decades on this planet I have been the recipient of more than a few unwanted sexual advances, lewd comments, and just plain vulgar behaviors. I know what it feels like to be treated like a sexual “object” rather than a human being with thoughts, feelings, and substance. So let me say at the outset that I wanted to believe Dr. Ford. Sadly, I just can’t. Here are my reasons.
When a woman comes forward to allege that she has been sexually assaulted (or worse), I listen. I understand that the very act of coming forward with this information is terrifying for a number of reasons which I don’t need to enumerate here. Suffice it to say that it’s not an easy thing. In the past, it was almost overwhelmingly difficult. With the #MeToo movement, things have improved somewhat.
With that said, the burden of proof is still supposed to be on the person making the accusation. However, also because of the #MeToo movement, the scales seem to have tipped almost 180 degrees the other way when it comes to allegations of a sexual nature. And in my opinion, that’s not an improvement. It’s still an injustice, only the tables have been turned.
Fast Forward to Dr. Ford
In the case of Dr. Ford, she didn’t come forward to heal herself, or find justice. She came forward in the era of #MeToo, knowing that all the old white men in the Senate (and the women too) would be obligated to listen. She came forward to thwart the career aspirations of a boy she purportedly knew 36 years ago. But why? Supposedly because of her “civic duty” and that she believes a 17 year old boy who would get drunk at a party and fondle a 15 year old girl (who had also been drinking) is irredeemable and should never, ever be given a position of significant power and authority. That’s one theory. I think that the actual motivations of Dr. Ford are far more complex and self-serving.
Permit me to offer my opinion here, extrapolated from the facts that I have been able to assemble so far. This is what I think is going on.
- Born Privileged. Dr. Ford grew up in a super affluent household, with all the privileges of the upper crust. This included a private all-girls High School, a country club swimming pool to use in the summer, and on and on. She was expected to go far.
- Years of Education. She continued in school for many, many years after High School, completing a Bachelor’s Degree, two Master’s Degrees, and a Ph.D. No one has said how she afforded the tuition for all of this schooling, but one might conjecture that her parents probably funded her education.
- Relocation West. She sought to achieve a professional prominence in a university. Not back on the East Coast, where evidently the culture is heavily male dominated. Rather, she found a position at Palo Alto University, where 79% of the student population and two-thirds of the professoria is female, and where the number one core value is social justice, cultural competency, and diversity.
- Academic Standing. Dr. Ford has written numerous peer-reviewed articles, and book chapters. Yet she has been toiling away in relative obscurity, while the boys from Georgetown Prep have gone on to become powerful and influential members of society, furthering a conservative political agenda. This could not have been sitting well with Dr. Ford. It needed to be stopped.
- Fame. What better way to thwart the conservatives, make a name for yourself, and cement your reputation as a culture warrior than to come forward and accuse a nominee to the SCOTUS of sexual misconduct. To smear a powerful man is the zenith of achievement in her feminist ideology. Since she is a contemporary of Judge Kavanaugh, the historical logistics were there. It might have stayed anonymous, but then she wouldn’t receive the fame she sought. So she would be certain it was “leaked” to the press. Problem solved.
- Rewards. Dr. Ford will have book deals, speaking engagements, television appearances, and the red carpet treatment for years to come. And the personal satisfaction of “taking down” a Trump appointee. Plus, she is already scheduled to receive a special proclamation from the City Council in Palo Alto. At this writing, her GoFundMe campaigns have already surpassed $700,000. So it has begun. And so it will continue. Unless, of course, we find out that she is a fraud.
It Just Doesn't Add Up
I listened to Dr. Ford’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in its entirety, so I’m not just basing my opinion on superficial highlights and quotes from others. Here is what disturbs me the most about her case.
- High School Best Friend. Dr. Ford’s best friend (Leland Ingham Keyser) from the time of the incident has no knowledge of anything happening as described, and states that she does not know Judge Kavanaugh. Yet Ms. Keyser was supposedly at the gathering. From my own personal experience I can say that if I had gone to a party with my best friend then left that party abruptly, essentially coming down from upstairs and taking off for home leaving my friend behind, I would have had to explain the reasons for my departure. I can’t imagine just leaving like that and never being asked what happened. It makes no sense at all.
- Fear of Flying. My Father, who was required to fly in airplanes during WWII, developed an aversion to (dare I say fear of) flying. For his entire life after leaving the military, he never stepped foot in an airplane again – for any reason. That is what true fear of flying looks like. Not just fear when it is convenient, that you can switch off if you’re flying for vacation.
- The Second Front Door. Senator Feinstein made such a big deal about the second front door. So much so that it seemed odd to me. Subsequent to the hearing I have learned the second front door was part of a remodel in 2008, to facilitate renters and a business operating out of Dr. Ford’s home. So it was a second entrance, not a second exit.
- Therapy Notes. Dr. Ford states that she talked about the assault during a 2012 couple's therapy session. We have never seen the notes from that counseling session where Dr. Ford asserts that she discussed the fateful teenage gathering from 1982. We have heard, however, that the notes erroneously say that there were four boys in the room where Dr. Ford was allegedly assaulted. But somehow the therapist wrote it down wrong. If my therapist made such a glaring error, I would be deeply disturbed. Also, we have yet to see the actual notes. Why?
- Polygraph Test. I have learned that Dr. Ford did indeed coach Monica McLean (a close friend of hers) on how to take a polygraph test. She said the exact opposite in her testimony to Congress, under oath. I have also learned that the polygraph test Dr. Ford took consisted of exactly two questions (is any part of your statement false, and did you make up any part of your statement). That strikes me as a sham.
- Handwritten Statement. I have seen the handwritten statement that Dr. Ford wrote that was used for the polygraph test. As a fellow writer, I can tell you that I would have typed up my statement and presented it, error free, to my lawyers. It makes me think she was building her case of being distraught, rather than composed and calculating.
Other things bother me about Dr. Ford’s case. That timid, trembling, childlike, on-the-verge-of-tears voice that she used during her testimony was difficult to listen to. And what was up with the hair that kept falling in front of her oversized eyeglasses? I assume that she has spoken in front of an audience before. Yet that is how she decided to present herself. Curious indeed.
What’s worse was her inability to recall if she had shown a reporter notes from her marriage counselor, or merely summarized them. This is a woman who is a research psychologist, working on statistical analysis, who can’t remember a simple detail like that. The two images of Dr. Ford don’t reconcile in my mind.
The kicker is that her lawyers did not inform her that she didn’t need to fly to Washington D.C. at all. The testimony could have been taken behind closed doors in California. That alone gives me pause about the motivations behind her coming forward with her story in such a brutally public way.
All things considered, I just don’t believe Dr. Ford’s allegations regarding Judge Kavanaugh. I do believe that she is a deeply disturbed and emotionally fragile person. How she got that way is a topic for another day. I just don’t think it had anything to do with Judge Kavanaugh.
Your thoughts? Please comment below.
What do you believe?
© 2018 Carolyn Fields