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The College of Arts Sciences

Open your ears -- and your mind -- to Christine Blasey Ford

By: Kate Manne,  CNN Online
September 23, 2018

Kate Manne, assistant professor of philosophy, wrote an opinion piece for CNN Online surrounding issues of gender and power in politics. In the piece, Manne draws parallels between the current controversy over Blasey Ford's accusations of sexual harassment against Brett Kavanaugh and Anita Hill's testimony against Justice Clarence Thomas nearly 25 years ago. Using these two examples, Manne discusses the imbalance of control in situations of sexual assault and gender-based harrassment, with the party in power rarely rallying behind the victim, instead asking why the women did not come forward sooner or fail to report the inappropriate action. 

"And so it goes: a woman speaks out against a privileged boy or powerful man only to face willful denial, moral indifference, and seething rage from many sources," Manne writes. "She will be subject to stonewalling, gaslighting, and the impugning of her character, her motives, and her history. (Also, what was she wearing? Can she even remember?) Meanwhile, he remains a robust 'good guy' figure in the minds of many people, who feel sorry for him, given what he's going through. She becomes a pariah; he gets what I call 'himpathy.'' "

Read the full op-ed on the CNN website.