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Sunday, 21 October 2018

Dissatisfaction Is How We Get Anything & Anywhere || Thoughts on Dr Christine Blasey Ford's Testimony Against Brett Kavanaugh's Nomination To The Supreme Court

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It's two weeks since Brett Kavanaugh was accepted as Donald Trump's nomination to the US Supreme Court despite there being a lack of a sufficient investigation into the allegations of sexual assault against him. Two weeks since another misogynistic white man was granted power to enter one of the most powerful offices in the world. Two weeks since Dr Ford must have felt like her bravery in speaking out against him was all for nothing.

I cried when I saw the news that Kavanaugh's nomination was going through. I cried because I can't begin to comprehend the courage it must have taken Dr Ford to publicly state what happened to her. I cried because she will likely now forever be known not for her work as a professor of psychology (although I hope that she is), but for her testimony against Brett Kavanaugh. I cried because bigots are still winning.

I wrote a blog post nearly two years ago when Donald Trump won the US presidential election. I was heartbroken because of what that meant, what that represented. It represented regression. It represented hate. It represented minority voices being quashed. And, unsurprisingly, two years down the line into the Trump presidency, these things are continuing to happen.

I've been reading people state that emotions get us nowhere. That nowadays we're acting based on emotion rather than reason, but I don't know who decided that the two are mutually exclusive. Listening to an episode of The Guilty Feminist podcast the other day, Deborah Frances-White stated "dissatisfaction is how we get any thing and anywhere". She used the comical example of the invention of the chair to illustrate that, without the dissatisfaction of having to sit on the ground, the chair would likely not have been invented.

In the same way without the anger, heartbreak and the decision based on those feelings to do something about dissatisfaction, nothing will change. And so I am proud of the fact that the disregarding of a woman's most traumatic experiences so publicly and with such huge implications made me emotional, made me angry, made me cry. I am proud to know other women who felt the same way, women who have made suggestions for 'little things' which we can do which in the grand scheme of things all add up to make a difference.

So I will continue to be angry at the state of affairs in many goings-on in the world today, from the fact that abortion is still not legal in Northern Ireland, to the refugee crisis, to Brexit, to many other things which I am no doubt sorely lacking education in.

And today what I'm doing about that anger is sending a postcard to Dr Ford to let her know that her bravery was not in vain, inspired by the amazing Gina Martin who suggested doing so a couple of weeks ago. It's not a huge thing and who knows whether she'll ever read it, but it will keep my hope up and make me feel like I'm doing at least something to recognise her plight.

I wanted to write this today because I don't want Dr Ford's bravery and position in all of this to be forgotten. I probably haven't written everything that I feel in the most eloquent way and haven't mentioned a million other things which I could have which also anger and upset me today, but I wanted to write something at least.

If you feel the same and are hurt and horrified by some of the recent goings-on in this topsy-turvy world then there are a few things I'd recommend doing:

  1. Consider sending Dr Ford a postcard to show your support. 
  2. Specifically with regard to the status of abortion in Northern Ireland, you can read this short but great article from The Pool about a bill which is going through the House of Commons this week and in which you can find a link to send an email to your MP urging them to vote for its decriminalisation which only takes two minutes! 
  3. Donate whatever you can if you can to Help Refugees who are bloody brilliant. 
  4. Listen to Richard Curtis on Ways To Change the World podcast to remember all the good that's going on in the world. 
  5. Look after yourself and stay educated. 


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