So-called Senate Confirmation Hearings;The Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas Days; Thoughts on Betrayal; Ending With Uppity Uterus

It does seem prudent to comment upon the Kavanaugh mess because today is the day that  votes will be cast. I have no illusions about the outcome. David Brooks, a favourite author and pundit, made his prediction and I am going along with it. He is a great deal smarter and more informed than I am so I am a believer. I suppose pundit can be the word of the day. Pundit, a noun, 1 an expert in a particular subject or field who is frequently called on to give opinions about it to the public: a globe-trotting financial pundit. David Brooks opined on last night’s PBS Newshour that the issue will not rise above petty politics and all will retreat to their” tribal corners” with Democrats voting against confirmation and Republicans voting for Kavanaugh. He finds the entire fiasco to be a depressing commentary on politics He astutely comments that Americans (and the Constitution) ask the Supreme Court to act as grownups and Kavanaugh has simply not done so. He still acts like a virginal adolescent with his wife at his side. Now that is cruel – she should have been allowed to stay home, it is probably not her idea of a good time, almost a strange form of date rape. I oppose Kavanaugh not only for the reasons stated above but also on his record. Any form of human rights will not be protected by his voice – he is all for big business, and racism. He is anti-labor, anti-abortion, anti free speech. However, when I return to the USA I shall be safe. I am too old to need an abortion, my retirements benefits are safe, my medical care not in jeopardy.and taxes will remain far lower than those found n Canada. Sometimes it pays to be old.

I have not been glued to the television but I did witness some of Christine Biasey Ford’s testimony and was extremely impressed by her but also by the respect shown by her interrogators. Another great advantage to being old is that one has something to compare and I could see a vast improvement over the tenor shown at the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. We actually have come a long way baby. Anita Hill testified in 1991 – there was an FBI investigation at that time as well. FBI investigations are not worth shit, I do know something about them. It is a case of sound and fury signifying nothing. But my memory of the Clarence Thomas hearings are most poignant and without the present circumstances I might have forgotten a sad chapter in my life. 

In 1991 I was glued to the television. I was between marriages (second and third) living in my home in West Marin, California, employed as an attorney for Marin County Counsel’s Office. I was about to experience my first ‘date’ with a man who would become Husband #3. He had been a member of a Friday luncheon group ‘hosted’ by an accountant but he somewhat mistakenly thought I was interested in him. He arrived and I was riveted to the TV – he said nothing to indicate that he was anything but sympathetic to Anita Hill. I was absolutely outraged at the treatment she was afforded and the final vote. I honestly fantasized assassinating Justice Thomas.  As you may have noticed, I did not but he went on to be as bad as everyone thought he would be. But there was good news as he was outnumbered by reasonable and rational justices. This unfortunately is about to end if Kavanaugh’s Republicans have their way. 

But here, for me, was the real tragedy. As time went on Husband #3 showed his real stripes. He was an avid fan of Clarence Thomas and those of his ilk, he was a tried and true Republican incapable of independent thought and action. I had been fooled, I had been betrayed. I did eventually divorce him – this was one of the three strikes and you are out factors. Betrayal has played a huge role in my life. HUGE. The wonderful Vancouver Public Library supped me with a relevant book, Aviahai Margalit’s On Betrayal. This from the book jacket:”Adultery, treason and Apostate no longer carry the weight they once did. Yet we constantly see and hear stories of betrayal, and many people have personally experienced a destructive breach of loyalty. Aviahai Margalit argues that the tension between the ubiquity of betrayal and the loosening of it hold is a sign of the strain between ethics and morality, between thick and thin human relations. On Betrayal offers a philosophical account of thick human relations—relationships with friends, family and core communities—through their pathology, betrayal.” On page 111 he asks this question: Can an Act done with No Intention of Harming the Victim Be Called An Act of Betrayal? He answers: “The answer is yes. Acts of betrayal in personal relations are rarely acts that are deliberately done with the intention of harming the betrayed. The result harms the betrayed, but that is rarely the primary intention of the betrayer. The issue in betrayal is not the intention to harm but the indifference to the victim, the lack of concern. The true insult in betrayal is the discovery by the betrayed that he wasn’t at all on the mind of the betrayer. Indeed, what was done was not directed toward him but instead was done with utter disregard for him. The maddening indifference is what hurts. Betrayal gives the betrayed a glimpse of not being important in the eyes of the betrayer. It is not the betrayed interests that are ignored. He. is ignored. The shocking discovery in betrayal is the recognition of the betrayer’s lack of concern; the issue is not one’s interests but one’s significance. The betrayed realizes that he is not the significant other and not special. “ 

My viewpoint and my values were utterly unimportant to Husband #3. He wanted a woman of independent means who could cheer him up. He got it for some time. I escaped, the prenuptial agreement lessened the harm as I was able to keep intact my resources and my retirement. The years with him were a waste but it does enable me to appreciate my independence and the care  and concern of others in my life in far greater fashion as I have known cruel indifference. 

I suppose you deserve some frivolity. These signs are plastered on the windows of the Contemporary Art Gallery just around the corner of my apartment. I suppose Uppity Uterus could describe the content of this blog. I plan to visit the exhibit and see what it is all about later in the day. Then new friends coming to dinner. What a fine time we shall have! 

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