“What is going on in your country?” - A Question with a Complicated Answer in Light of Kavanaugh

“So where are you from?”

 

“I am from Montana. It’s, eh, a state in America”

 

“OH AMERICA! What do you think about DONALD TRUMP?”

 

I absolutely hate this question. I didn’t come to Germany to spend my time talking about Donald Trump. But here I am…My answer is always: “I don’t like him”. I say it in a way that make it hard for there to be follow up questions. Again, I didn’t come to Germany to spend my time thinking or talking about Donald Trump. 

 

I left America on the 29th of September. Two days after Dr.Ford took the stand to testify against Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee. I was on the plane when SNL aired it’s cold open with Matt Damon playing Brett Kavanaugh (which is a weird choice of actor to portray Brett Kavanaugh considering Matt Damon’s problematic comments on sexual assault but maybe ultimately the best choice considering Matt Damon is a problematic man just like Kavanaugh). While my country was producing think pieces and responding to Kavanaugh’s job interview/Dr.Ford’s allegations I was in the plane watching American Vandal season 2 (who is the poop burglar?!). When I finally landed, finally moved into my dorm, and finally got settled in Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court. 

 

What the fuck happened?

 

I wish I fucking knew. 

 

I’ve received many questions regarding Kavanaugh: “What’s with this weird Kavanaugh man?” “Why does this man cry?” “What is going on in your country?”. 

 

That’s a great question…because I have no idea what’s happening. I do know however what it’s like to be a survivor and to watch this all go down. It’s one of the most heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, breath stealing events to witness. A man accused of sexual assault just took one of the highest positions of authority in my country. 

 

Before Dr. Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee a hashtag #WhyIDidntReport started to circulate the internet. I posted my own which you can read below: 

 

"I’ve typed this all out only to delete it several times…

#whyididntreport Here’s the thing…I DID REPORT and nothing happened.

I reported my assault to the Montana Department of Labor to file a sexual harassment claim. I relived and relayed all of my trauma to a woman on the phone for over four hours only to be told my last assault happened OVER 180 days before my filing and therefore I couldn’t pursue anything with them.

I filed for a restraining order because my abuser was stalking me. My restraining order was denied because according to the woman on the phone my abuser “loves” me, and I should allow him to love me.

I called a lawyer and discussed the outcome of a case if I were to go to the police. After again reliving and relaying my trauma the lawyer told me the likelihood of my abuser being charged was slim. According to the lawyer, my abuser had influence in the city, and money and well…I had neither. Nobody would believe me according to the lawyer.

This is why I never went to the police. Because I knew NOTHING would happen because NOTHING was happening.

I did the best thing I knew I could do…which was talk. I’ve yelled, I’ve cried, I’ve spoken sharply about my abuser. I’ve been told to watch what I say. I haven’t. I’ve been called a whore. I don’t care. Because I was silent for two years during my abuse doesn’t mean I lost my voice.

I created art. The “Things You Once Told Me” series was my response to assault and trauma. I stitched every single awful abusive thing said to me on fabric he once owned.

I spoke during a Reading of Her Own and talked about how I regained even the smallest about of strength.

What I’ve realized now, a year after the start of the #metoo movement, is that unfortunately our justice system has let many victims down and will continue to do so. But our lack of justice will not stifle my voice. I plan on continuing to be loud even if I am only yelling at a wall…I will not shut up.

I believe Christine Blasey Ford. 
I believe Deborah Ramirez.
I believe Anita Hill.

And it’s about fucking time we start believing women as a whole.”

While my story was met with overwhelmingly positive response it was however viewed on Instagram by the wife and friends of the man who assaulted me. The man who assaulted me has power in my community back home and more importantly money (although, it’s not his…it’s his in-laws). I cannot image though, how it would feel to see my abuser take a seat on the supreme court. I’ve never publicly stated my abusers name because of fear of being sued/attacked let alone have my abuser be the authority over laws for the whole of the US. 

Being in Germany has granted me a reprieve from not only my abuser but from American politics on the whole. It’s not that I don’t care, but it’s that I can no longer give pieces of myself to care. It’s unhealthy especially when you see a woman who was brave enough to speak out in front of all of the US being attacked for her story. All of us survivors, men and women, are Dr. Ford. When she gets called a “cunt” or a “bitch” or a “whore” you are calling all of us those words. Just because the females in your life haven’t told you they’ve also been assaulted doesn’t mean they haven’t. So next time you are so quick to call Dr. Ford a whore, be careful, because you could be calling on of the most important women in your life a whore as well. 

A little over a year ago I participated in a “Reading of Her Own” event in Billings. I read my story of how true crime, and podcasts “saved me” in the most unlikely ways from my sexual assault. Fresh off of the #metoo movement I felt like maybe, just maybe, things would be looking up for women in America. I didn’t realize a year later would a man accused of sexual assault/misconduct be one of next supreme court justices. 

I wish I could say "this won’t stop me! I feel more passion to fight now than ever!” but the thing is I am so goddamn fucking tired. I’m tired of having to fight against my abuser. I’m tired of hearing think pieces by men explaining assault to me. I’m tired of my country supporting abusers. I’m tired of attacks on women being used as political gains. I’M JUST REALLY FUCKING TIRED. Yes, I won’t stop being a voice for the voiceless (including my voiceless self during my assaults). Yes, I won’t stop fighting. I’m just really tired. 

It is a little odd to be in a country run my one of the most powerful females on the planet, while my home country is run by a literal giant baby. I really am on the outside looking in. What I see is too much to break down in a blog post, but it’s enough for me to be truly upset with my country. 

 

—The art for this post does not belong to me and I was unable to find the creator. If you know the creator please let me know and I will give them credit—

Ellen KuntzComment