Why don’t more women speak up?

I managed to miss most of the Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford hearing today, but caught the end of it. I knew going into it that not much would likely sway in public opinion — you either hate change and want to maintain your Christian values, or you believe women by default and want them to have a voice.

One of the common arguments coming from the Christian/Conservative perspective is a misunderstanding of why women don’t report issues. As this case will likely also result in how abortions will be in the US legally moving forward, this is a highly political case that also strikes to the faith of Christians and Conservatives across the USA.

Frustrated by the outcome, I decided to go and grab a late lunch after the hearing. As I came out with my take-out foot, there was a man, clearly high, bent over and banging metal sticks on the ground. A women who was in front of me, clearly in a hurry, didn’t walk the long way around, but cut between him and a wall where there was about a 10′ gap. As he heard her walk by, he turned, startled, showing evidence of his drug use as he started to pursue her with sticks raised, yelling every terrible profanity one can call a woman. She didn’t turn back, but kept walking, as to avoid confrontation which she clearly didn’t want in the first place. He then spit as hard as he could to the back of her, yelling more profanities and daring her to turn around. As he raised his sticks towards her again as if to either scare her he was going to hit her, or actually hit her, I made a loud enough noise as to distract him, and it worked. He chose me as his new target. I stood still and faced him for a second hoping a calm eye might work, but it did not. He charged at me with sticks raised.

I decided reluctantly to call the police as he was clearly ready to threaten every passer by in a heavy pedestrian traffic area. Eventually the police came. Who knows what was said between he and the police officer, but of course he was told to move on, likely to go threaten, or worse, elsewhere.

As I was in my elevator a woman who was in with me said “Thanks! I had to avoid him when I was going out earlier”, which means she also must have witnessed me on the phone with the police, but more relevant, he had been threatening people for some time, who knows how many.

It was then that it hit home yet again. How many women were impacted by the threats of this man? I would challenge any man who witnessed this man threaten these women, “But why didn’t they do something or say something?” not dissimilar to the Dr. Ford issue in international news today in that no women impacted by this man today were willing to speak out.

Why not? It takes extreme courage, due to the unknown threat and risk of legally charging an attacker. It takes privilege, in that the repercussions of taking action are not seen as likely to affect your health, safety, and livelihood, and third, it takes the time & energy to think doing so will have any satisfactory repercussions.