Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another. Baby Suggs, in Toni Morrison's Beloved
He's a gentleman among gentlemen. With wealth and prestige, he's highly respected and highly regarded by family, friends, and neighbors. His young nephews look up to him, recognizing in his genius, let's say, a mentor, instructing the boys, who will grow up to be men of the world, in the important things of life, significantly the rudiments of sketching the human anatomy. Porn before the porn industry.
The nephews are drawing when he stops to take a look. Which one today? Sethe, the boys say.
"That's not the way. I told you to put her human characteristics on the left; her animal ones on the right. And don't forget to line them up."
Doubtful the woman being depicted in the drawings would recognize herself. Yet, it has to be a reality for the gentleman if he is to recognize himself as different by gender and race and, therefore, social standing. He passes on to his nephews his interpretation. It's the way this world works, interpreting the irrational as normal. Women, subhuman, second class. A lasting cultural commodity. Toni Morrison's intervention would have the reader of Beloved know that Sethe, nonetheless, wouldn't have recognized herself in the minds of these three males, or their relatives, friends, neighbors. But Schoolteacher and his nephews didn't ask for her opinion on the matter.
Since Fox News serves as instructor, in the vein of Schoolteacher, naturally Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh appears there, with his wife at his side. He reaches back to another cultural refers, the Shakespearean aside, to assure the King, the great dictator, a/la Charlie Chaplin, the Big Man, the Dear Leader, that all is well. He's in charge. He's the man of the hour. Men of America have nothing to fear. I guess that makes Fox News the court jester.
It's a narrative that has undergone some tweaking: Sethe isn't so visible. There's another woman present, however, with a history. There's an accommodating woman interviewer. With history, too. But Brett, back to Brett, describing himself as a good boy back in high school. A normal boy. An all-American boy who couldn't have sexually assaulted anyone because he didn't have sex until sometime late in college. And Brett Kavanaugh barely drank alcohol.
Brett, the teenage boy, described by Brett, the judge, eyeing what he knows to be his entitlement, is studious and religious in high school. Kept his nose in the books, unless he was in the gym or at church. Brett the good, Brett not bad! I'm one with the #1! I'm one among the boys! Georgetown Preparatory! Georgetown Preparatory!
And here's an aside: six FBI background investigations conducted on Brett Kavanaugh and not acknowledged, publicly. It would seem that some folks at the FBI "pinned" down that Yale yearbook!
And now in 2018, here is psychology professor, Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, the first woman to accuse Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when she was 15 years old, referring to a seriously inebriated 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh, in addition to his entry in the Yale yearbook referencing the pornographic: "Devil's Triangle," conquered women. And, too, there's the "boofing," along with another goal for Brett to achieve: the consumption of a "100 kegs" of beer "or Bust"! At 17 years old, mind you! Not the legal age to drink.
Boys just being boys, on the way to being men entitled to power.
And then the women appear.
Dr. Blasey-Ford within the chamber walls and her supporters, protesting in the halls of the US Senate, and suddenly the old white men are seeing and hearing trouble ahead.
I try to scream, but Brett puts a hand over her mouth. "I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me."
The real Brett Kavanaugh must perform now--as Schoolteacher!
Powerful American men learned from the Anita Hill testimony some 27 years ago. More specifically, they didn't give a damn about Dr. Hill then, before or subsequently. Dr. Hill had proven herself to not be a team player, refusing to step aside when Big Man Clarence Thomas come through. Refusing to giggle silly at his lewd jokes. That Dr. Hill felt uncomfortable is of no concern to one granted by his fellow male colleagues a higher and consequential status. Dr. Hill is to stay in the position of subservience to Thomas Clarence and other male colleagues.
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