There were about 125.9 million adult women in the United States in 2014. The number of men was 119.4 million. At age 85 and older, there were almost twice as many women as men (4 million vs. 2.1 million). Women, in other words, comprise over half the population of the United States. Now, let’s look at Congress.
- Of the 435 members of the House of Representatives, 84 are women, or 19.3%
- Of the 100 members of the Senate, 23 are women … 23%
So, women comprise approximately 51.3% of the nation’s population, yet only a mere 20% of our main governing body. Does anybody besides me see anything wrong with this picture??? And interestingly, of the 107 women in Congress, 78 are democrats and only 29 are republicans, a ratio of nearly 3:1. And this, in spite of the fact that the republicans hold a majority in both chambers of Congress!But, there is something wrong with the title of this post. Yes, it is still, as the above statistics show, very much a man’s world. But what about this …
- Of the 435 members of the House of Representatives, 48 are African American, or 11%
- Of the 100 members of the Senate, 3 are African-American, or 3%
African-Americans, in other words make up only 9.5% of our main governing body, even though they comprise 12.6% of the population. A little closer than women, but still not equitable representation.The point being that the U.S. Congress is largely comprised of white males. And so, is it any wonder that when it comes time to confirm a potential Supreme Court justice, and the nominee is one who is likely, given the chance, to trample all over women’s rights, we are not represented? When said nominee is also accused of having sexually assaulted women in his past, it doesn’t matter, for those who will judge him are white males, many of whom have likely done the same themselves. They share a wink-wink and say, “Ahhh … the good ol’ days, eh? But that’s long ago, and he shouldn’t have to pay for what he did 30+ years ago, right?” And once again, we are not represented. If you doubt that there is the pervasive attitude among some, but certainly not all men, that women are put on earth for their (men’s) pleasure, just look at how many men have been brought low in the past two years by the #MeToo movement. Look at Bill Cosby, Matt Lauer, Mel Gibson, Charlie Rose, Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, and the list would take the next 15 pages or more, but you get the idea.
Remember Brock Turner, the former Stanford University swimmer who received naught more than a slap on the wrist for raping an unconscious woman on campus after a party? Even though he was found guilty on three felony counts, he got off lightly because a) his daddy had money, and b) well … boys will be boys, right — wink, wink? The judge said he saw no reason to ruin young Turner’s life and sentenced him to only six months. Turner served 90 days in prison.
The Senate Judiciary Committee that heard the testimony of both Dr. Christine Ford and Brett Kavanaugh is comprised of 21 members: 11 republicans and 10 democrats. The next day, Friday, a vote was held, and predictably 11 members voted to move Kavanaugh’s confirmation out of committee and to the full senate for a vote. 10 voted against. Can you guess who voted how? There are four women on the committee … all four are democrats.After the vote, retiring Senator Jeff Flake called for an investigation by the FBI prior to the full senate vote. A noble gesture for which he is being lauded. However, the fact is that he voted “Aye” in the committee vote speaks louder. Another, Senator Lisa Murkowski, also called for an investigation prior to the full senate vote, leaving Donald Trump with no choice but to order the investigation. However, he ordered a ‘limited’ investigation on Friday evening, giving the bureau only until next Friday to present their results. I see this as paying lip-service, an attempt to appease those of us who believe that Brett Kavanaugh is not who or what he purports to be and is not qualified to sit on the highest court in the land.
All else aside, Brett Kavanaugh has shown us an ugly side this week, vacillating between fury and whining. Even if he hadn’t lied under oath and if he didn’t sexually molest Dr. Ford, his emotional instability and his lack of respect should disqualify him. The behaviours he has exhibited this week would have disqualified any woman who had been facing a confirmation hearing.
My best guess is that either a) the FBI investigation will be so limited in scope and time that it will turn up nothing to disqualify Mr. Kavanaugh, or b) no matter what the investigation reveals, Kavanaugh will be confirmed anyway by the mostly male senate. I hope I’m wrong. I also hope that Brett Kavanaugh is not confirmed to the Supreme Court, for he is very much a partisan, and I fear will not ever be capable of being fair and impartial. We shall see.