The Kavanaugh Protests: I wish I had somewhere to walk out of

Yesterday women all over the US did a walk out to support Kavanaugh’s accusers.There are pictures of men and women getting arrested for protesting in the Capitol.  As women are chanting on the steps of the Capitol they are telling the press they want Christine Blasey Ford to know that if the Senate won’t keep her safe, the women of this country will. We will not let her down.

And here is a picture of Yale law school students walking out of class to protest the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. And to protest that people are shaming the women who accuse him of sexual misconduct. And to protest that Yale law school has a track record for knowingly feeding female law students to judges who are known for sexual misconduct.

I wish I had somewhere to walk out of.

Read read everything. The horror of the Christine Blasey Ford’s decision to come forward. The insanity of defending drunk abusive teenaged boys as if it’s normal. Like so many women, I want to take action. I want to be seen and heard in Washington.

But with all the women protesting, there is something missing. The women who don’t work in an office and don’t go to school. We cannot protest in the halls of the Capitol. We are home with kids.

I thought of dragging my kids to DC. But my older son is taking physics in high school. Just writing that sentence feels ridiculous. We are at pivotal point in US history, and I’m writing about physics class.

If I took my son out of school for things I think are important, I am certain he could still get a high score on the AP test. But the teacher would not like it, and my son needs a recommendation from this teacher for his college application.

For me, this moment encapsulates everything that is difficult about hands-on parenting. I want to be part of something bigger, but I don’t want my kids left behind. And I want my son to have everything he needs for a college application, but I hate being under the thumb of some random school teacher.

Power is so complicated. I spent most of my career wrestling power from all-male leadership in a boardroom. And now, as a homeschooler, I find myself trying to carve out a way to feel powerful from the living room.

I don’t want to feel left out.

Today we will call the offices of Senators. I will show the kids how to do that. Not that I’ve ever done it before, but we can learn together. And on Thursday, we will watch the Senate hearings live. And my son will take a break to go to physics. And I will be part of the larger movement of parents raising children to feel responsible for protecting women’s rights.

32 replies
  1. Stacy
    Stacy says:

    Well I truly hope no one ever fingers your boys for sexual assault because you’ll HAVE to believe the women. I worked as an asst prosecutor for 4 years before switching professions. I wouldn’t touch either case with a ten foot pole and I’m not sympathetic because in America we have presumption of innocence. About a zillion “reasonable doubts” have been raised. You can’t prove she’s lying unless she admits it or tells someone she was lying. The second says she isn’t sure it was Kavanaugh and asked her friends to confirm none of whom did. The first can’t even label a place. Both are very far left and in today’s world it is a motive. But I don’t need a motive. The cases are Horifically flimsy. I don’t want Jim Crow for white guys. This is not restitution. It’s bigotry. Raising this generation not to honor presumption of innocence will bite you back. So Penelope what would you do if I now accused one of your boys of sexual harassment. You’d say when where how. Because THAT IS THE PROCESS. you can’t just ruin people’s lives even if you are a victim.

    • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
      YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

      “you can’t just ruin people’s lives even if you are a victim.”

      Wait…what? Says who? This makes no sense.

      Looks like Bill Cosby got the rest of his life “ruined” by his victims.

        • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
          YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

          All I know is that I believe her. I have a similar story to Ms. Ford which I’ve kept with me all these years. I know exactly how she feels.

          She passed a lie detector test. Let’s give Kavanaugh one, that would clear things up really quick wouldn’t it? Why is his who was in the room hiding away somewhere? What does Renate Alumnus mean?

        • Mary
          Mary says:

          In response to your cheeky comment about Hillary Clinton… yes why not, let’s give crooked Hillary another shot at bringing the country down! And THIS TIME, instead of using her personal email account to send top-secret American classified information, maybe she can just be a Supreme Court justice using her Facebook Account to see how many “likes” her opinions get for making crucial decisions! The woman belongs in prison, with no parole. She’s evil.

      • Mary Kay
        Mary Kay says:

        I agreed with Stacy. If the evidence is clear by all means sex offenders should be implicated and dealt with through the legal system but if the recollection is scanty and decades old we should not just give anyone the benefit of the doubt.
        I wonder why people weren’t more up iin arms when Bill Clinton’s illicit sexual predator behavior surfaced before his first election. Jennifer Flowers came forth with much more detailed evidence than this and the democrats turned a blind eye. Were any of you even born then? You Yale law students should do your research.

        • Heather
          Heather says:

          Ah, the old Bill Clinton deflection technique. The Yale Law students were only babies back then, so you are correct. They don’t remember. Does this mean Kavanaugh gets a pass? That nobody should have consequences for their actions? This is also about a confirmation for the Supreme Court, so don’t conflate it with criminal charges. Kavanaugh will continue to lead a privileged life whether he makes the Supreme Court or not, so please don’t cry for him and his lost potential (Brock Turner ring a bell? Were you born yet?).

          • MARY
            MARY says:

            The Point here is that the evidence HERE in this case is incredibly sketchy. That is what Stacy is saying and everyone agreeing with her is agreeing with-did you even read her post? No one is advocating sexual predators like Bill Cosby get away with it but I am saying STOP using false scenarios to further political agendas. Bill Clinton had a MOUNTAIN of evidence against him and it was ignored. This is clearly a power play for a political motive.

          • Heather
            Heather says:

            Mary, this is about character. Again, it’s not a criminal trial. I work with pre-med students. One underage beer in a residence hall at age 18 or an accidentally incorrect citing on a paper written during an all-nighter can keep a kid out of medical school. Med schools see this as evidence of poor character and decision-making. I don’t think, based on all the evidence (did you read Penelope’s two posts and the ample links provided?) that Kavanaugh has the CHARACTER to be on the Supreme Court.

            I used to work with sexual assault survivors, and if you could be bothered looking at the stats you’d find there is no vendetta against white men. Survivors’ lives are wrecked if they pursue justice. As far as false reporting, stats are similar to false reports about other crimes. The difference is that men who are mugged aren’t told they were asking for it, questioned about whether the mugger was drunk, aren’t they worried he will lose his job etc.

            Be better, women.

          • Don't doxx me bro
            Don't doxx me bro says:

            “Ah, the old Bill Clinton deflection technique” – every day I wake up knowing his rape enabler wife is not in the White House today. America is truly blessed.

          • Joan
            Joan says:

            NEXT Democrats will accuse Brett Cavanaugh of drinking so heavily he drove off a bridge with a young woman in the front seat, fled the scene, -leaving her to drown, then later finding out she suffocated to death inside.

            Millennials, Yale Law Students being indoctrinated to the Liberal Agenda… GET IT???

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      @Stacy you are totally right. We start from a presumption of innocence, and the prosecution has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It is scary what is happening today, and the lynch mobs we are seeing. All it takes to ruin a man’s life is an accusation. A flimsy, unsubstantiated, most likely politically motivated hit will probably derail the confirmation of an eminently qualified judge … all because people will grasp at any straw to stop someone they don’t agree with.

      • Mary Jane
        Mary Jane says:

        Joy, do you truly believe someone will voluntarily come forward with a false accusation just to bring someone down? Do you not see how she is being lynched and ridiculed right now? How for the rest of her life she will have people accusing her of making false accusations, and be known for what’s happening today, rather than knowing her for her professional achievemnets first. (There is a great scene in the new season of Bojack Horseman where an actress who was done wrong makes that point: I will not prusue this as I want to be known for my acting, not as your victim).

        Whistle blowers never benefit from standing up and caling out abusers or law breakers. Look up how many people have sacrificed their own privacy, their achievements, their carreers and their reputations by calling out injustice. Why would anywone come with a ‘flimsy accusation’ if they have so much to lose and so little to gain personally from it?

        You really think a woman with great carreer would risk that all if not for justice?

        • Joy
          Joy says:

          Do I truly believe someone will voluntarily come forward with a false accusation just to bring someone down?


          Look up the Duke Lacrosse team. Tawana Bradley.

          Do a search for “false rape accusations examples.”

          Read “The Truth behind Legal Dominance Feminism’s
          Two Percent False Rape Claim Figure.”

          Check out this database: – this is an international timeline of false rape allegations from 1674-2015.

          Christine Blasey Ford is missing essential parts of her story, and has been caught lying about her fear of flying. All of the witness names she has given have denied that this party even happened. There isn’t enough evidence for any prosecutor to take this to trial (always assuming that the statute of limitations hasn’t run out, which is has in this case).

          There really isn’t a downside for her to coming forward with her allegations unless she is found to have committed perjury. Leftists love her, she will have no problem getting jobs, she is now the “voice” of women everywhere, and she’ll get a nice Go-Fund account or two (currently sitting at $566,000ish). Anita Hill certainly made out well after the Clarence Thomas hearings.

          The Democrats said (even before the hearings) that they would NEVER vote to confirm Kavanaugh. This has always been about stopping another Conservative appointment to the Supreme Court.

          This LOOKS like a politically motivated hit. Feinstein holding onto the evidence until the 11th hour LOOKS politically motivated. And it will have at least two massive unintended consequences. 1) Our men – our husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons – can just be accused of rape and their lives will be forever ruined. 2) Real victims are much less likely to be believed.

          Being a woman doesn’t mean you should automatically be believed. I was sexually assaulted when I was a child, by a stranger at a public park. I remember everything about that day in excruciating detail. I was 9. Ford was 15, maybe, she’s not sure. She doesn’t remember where the party took place, how she got home, and more. She’s simply not credible without corroborating evidence, and there is none!

          I could go on, but there’s no point, you will not change your mind. If you’re a Democrat, stopping Kavanaugh at all costs is acceptable. And completely despicable. And I only hope it comes back to bite leftists in the butt, because God help us if they manage to take control of this country ever again.

  2. Jen B
    Jen B says:

    Thank you and don’t worry, Penelope. With your reach as a blogger, these two posts will have a much bigger impact than any walk-out you could do.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      That’s nice. Thanks. I read about how people are the most unhappy at age 18-22 and 35-50. Middle age is really hard. Then there’s an uptick. I am finding in my post-50 self that I care a lot more about contributing to the general good in some way. And I think it might be that urge — that urge to protest with the law students — that creates the upswing after middle age.


    • Mary
      Mary says:

      This reply is meant for Heather. I’m curious to know what you and fellow Democrats thought about Arne Duncan’s character? It sure looked like it should’ve been a concern when the photos of him from a high school dance surfaced: completely drunk and passed out on the floor. What a terrific role model for American students! He proved to lack character as his former self Indicated he would but again for the leftist agenda it was passed over. Let’s label what’s going on for what it is A nasty political battle.

      • Heather
        Heather says:

        Interesting how you are equating getting drunk with sexually assaulting someone, but okay. The Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment, which requires the highest scrutiny. Nobody is saying anyone else should get a pass. That’s why it’s not political. Your argument is based solely on your presumption that other people (from a different political party) were not punished harshly enough in the past so everyone should give Kavanaugh a free pass to make up for it. You are being hypocritical by acting like this isn’t about politics on YOUR end. The American people deserve an investigation into Kavanaugh’s history. If he’s clean, then the evidence will back that up.

        • Mary
          Mary says:

          Equating getting drunk with sexually assaulting someone?
          You are ignoring the facts. The accusations are merely that, there is insufficient evidence to prove that anyone was sexually assaulted. And am I equating hearsay with the non-crime of Arne Duncan getting drunk? Arne Duncan wasn’t just drunk, a relative term. He was passed out, blacked out, eyes closed, tongue hanging out of his drooling mouth, his body slung half on a couch and half on the floor. He was incapacitated. I wonder how his date’s parents would have felt about him driving their daughter to the dance that night? Or better yet, driving her home. I wonder what happened to her? How did she get home? I’d say anyone serving at the level of Secretary of Education should be under more scrutiny than he was. And the point here is we have a photo of Arne Duncan in that state. We have evidence. We don’t have any evidence of Kavanaugh sexually mistreating anyone. Maybe Trump should consider Hilary Clinton as a Supreme Court Nominee, she’s not only sexually neutered apparently but she’s extremely sympathetic to sexual predators like her husband whom she forgave again and again and again and again!

          • Heather
            Heather says:

            Hillary Clinton would be an excellent Supreme Court justice, most logical thing you’ve said in this chat! You can’t punish her for her husband’s misdeeds, and there’s nobody who has been vetted more thoroughly than she.

            I don’t know how you say there is no evidence against Kavanaugh. Multiple women have come forward. We have a duty to look into the accusations. You seem obsessed with Duncan. I hope that you protested the hell out of him at the time since you can’t seem to get over him being drunk in high school. I hope you are also protesting Trump. He was caught bragging about “grabbing ’em by the pussy” on tape. He’s committed adultery and paid off escorts. Let’s not even get into the racism. Poor character and one could argue worse than being drunk in high school if we’re doing a scale here, but is it okay because he’s a Republican?

            This is my last reply to you. You will be pro-Kavanaugh in spite of anything, and you’ve already decided that you don’t care who are what is uncovered. You have shown no ability to critically analyze situations, and there’s no sense in continuing to try to convince you to care about other people. I hope that you are restricting your rants to this blog because you could be re-traumatizing friends of yours who’ve been sexually assaulted or harassed.

  3. Aquinas Heard
    Aquinas Heard says:

    “So because something like this was probably done by someone like Kavanaugh, then it must have been him.

    I have no doubt that this kind of alleged sexual assault actually did happen to girls at drunken parties with entitled rich kids back in the 80s (and not just with the rich kids, and not just in the 80s). Maybe Kavanaugh was that kind of guy. But the general possibility of such a crime is not evidence in a specific case. It never is.

    Brett Kavanaugh is not an archetype of the Generic White Male. Justice is not social but individual, and he deserves to be judged, not as a “representative” or a “vessel” of some collective, but as an individual.” – Robert Tracinski, The Tracinski Letter

    • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
      YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

      If he did do it, then he has been a liar which makes him unqualified and unfit for the supreme court.

    • Mary
      Mary says:

      What’s most pathetic is how the left is clawing for anything and resorting to any means to push their agenda. Such a morally corrupt approach. Destroying people’s character to maintain their agenda.

  4. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    It seems as if everyone believes that it was different in the past. That women were more tolerant of sexual assault, that men didn’t know better, that boys will be boys.

    Except that 35 years ago in the mid-1980s when I was 15 in the UK in a completely innocent romantic relationship with a guy in the air force, (certainly as far as I was concerned it was just kissing), he was hauled in front of his commanding officer and told to “lay off” because I was underage. So people did know about it.. Some authorities did something about it. It wasn’t that different.

    There is a pattern of not wishing to ruin the “future potential” of a rapist by dredging up the “past” of an accuser to point her out as a liar making a false accusation. In short, men are believed and women are trashed.

    Penelope is right that there are no words for the emotions that women go through because men write our narratives. The words we use are “shame” and “embarrassment” because those are the words that men put in our heads, whether we are sexually assaulted or whether we enjoy healthy, happy consensual sex in the privacy of our homes.

    I am so angry that any man would dare laugh off these allegations, that any other man would defend a man facing these allegations. Surely if you have such a character that three women are alleging you are an abuser, you have to stand down. Surely other men will say, “no smoke without fire”. Surely you would be ashamed and embarrassed that any woman would allege you treated her badly. Surely.

    Except men aren’t, and men in general are staying silent or defending him because then they don’t have to look at themselves and their behaviour.

    As for Bill Clinton, I’m listening to a great podcast series called “Slow Burn”, and he behaved appallingly to Monica Lewinsky. It was all about his pleasure and sex drive and not about her. Even he admitted that his phrase “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” was a response to a question from Tripp’s lawyers that meant that he didn’t intend to or did give her any pleasure.

    When do we stop letting men get away with such contempt for women?

  5. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    It’s horrific that sexual predators and rapists, even when convicted, are slapped on the wrist instead of spending many decades behind bars. I don’t think it’s aceeptable that we tolerate sexual assault in the way that we do, by giving men like Bill Cosby a few short years in prison.

    I think it’s a mistake to protest here, in this case, in the sentiment of #metoo, using Kavanaugh as the archetypal of oppressive male rapist who has gotten away with slimy behavior and the abuse of power for many years. The evidence that he has assaulted someone is *so* far from clear. As I write this, I see reports that 4 women have come forward with stories of sexual assault. Dr Ford, whose story most clearly accuses Kavanaugh specifically of assault, *believes* that he *intended* to rape her. If we take her seriously and believe everything that she says, there is still room for interpretation, even within her own story. The media and your commenters are calling him a rapist and saying that he assaulted multiple women, when that is far from obvious. Your willingness, and the willingness of others, to jump on this as an opportunity for (much needed) catharsis demonstrates how fickle human beings are. Most of us want to believe that we are good, fair people, who easily see the truth and are always courageous enough to act on it. The reality is that people are sheep and easily led by emotion and the zeitgeist, and that’s why we have heuristics like “innocent until proven guilty,” because we’re poor judges. You know this. Your blog is interesting because you have thoughts and ideas that diverge from the packaged narratives readily pushed by the media, education establishments, and institutions around us. I’m surprised that you haven’t been more skeptical of the press in this case, with their headlines (ex “Third Woman Comes Forward Against Kavanaugh for Gang Rape”) being so much more decisive and extreme than the content supports. This is not proper journalism. If they wanted me to be more comfortable taking these women at their word (and I would like to do that), they would report with clear facts and analysis instead of packaging a narrative in the form of propaganda.

    I can make up my own mind about Kavanaugh. And I will do it using specific facts and data available, and in light of the political and cultural zeitgeist surrounding this “trial”, which must be taken into account. Fair people ask “what is an alternative explanation for this?” And they keep that question in the front of their minds.

  6. Susan Arnold
    Susan Arnold says:

    I find it hard to believe that someone with two sons and who thinks outside the box so much doesn’t realize the ramifications of this for all males. It has always been “innocent until proven guilty”, and now you have abandoned all of your outside the box thinking to follow like sheep the left that is doing this for political reasons only. If they were truly doing this for women, where is the outrage over Kieth Ellison and the abuse charges that he has been leveled with (documented, and with medical records).

    Sure looks like they pick and choose who to prosecute.

  7. Erin McJ
    Erin McJ says:

    It was always obvious that Democrats were going to get someone they don’t like on the Supreme Court, after Trump won. What has my stomach in knots is not the composition of the court, it’s the way this circus has laid bare that in our society, women are not people.

    I managed to get a long way into adulthood without realizing I wasn’t a person. Looking back I now think that I must have internalized a lot of misogyny, in order not to notice this. I keep thinking, my parents must be really ghastly people to have raised me this way… and they are totally ordinary.

Comments are closed.