Imagine if a male United States Senator declared that women just need to “shut up.” It would be a grossly sexist and disturbing statement that lead to calls for censure. However, there apparently is no such concern in the inverse. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) told men to “shut up and step up” when asked about the allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Hirono further insists that accused Dr. Christine Blasey Ford “need to be believed” and not just heard.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): I think we all know when something is not fair, when something smells. This is so patently not fair to her and what really bothers me and gets me so angry that the White House is victimizing this person. Why don’t we get that out there? Why should we participate in the victimization of someone who has the courage to come forward? And she is under no obligation to participate in a smearing of her and her family. That is why I am very clear about what needs to happen. But at the same time if the Republicans go forward with their plan to railroad this fast-track as they have so many other nominations, I expect the members of the press to talk about how unfair that is. I don’t think that is editorializing, that is laying out the facts. I expect that from you guys…
HIRONO: I expect the men in this country and the men in this committee because we all signed on to this letter to demand an FBI investigation. But really guess who is perpetuating all of these kinds of actions? It’s the men in this country. And I just want to say to the men in this country: just shut up and step up, do the right thing for a change.
Hirono is clearly right that Ford must be treated fairly and not punished for coming forward with her allegation. That includes not having to testify next to Kavanaugh, as her counsel suggested was the plan for Monday. However, the calling of the hearing is not a form of victimization. Her allegation was made shortly before the vote on Kavanaugh and the vote has been delayed. A hearing has been scheduled for Monday but Ford is now saying that she will not testify unless the FBI launched an investigation.
On the issue of believing Ford, do you believe that she has a right to be believed or to be heard?