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Kavanaugh confirmation upsetting, says women's studies prof

Last Updated Oct 7, 2018 at 1:20 pm CST

Activists chant as they are arrested by Capitol Hill Police officers after occupying the steps on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol as they protest the confirmation vote of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – After weeks of drama and a fierce partisan fight, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in as Supreme Court Justice, possibly re-shaping the U.S. high court for decades to come.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says the battle over Kavanaugh’s confirmation turned their base on fire, disappointing news to a University of Calgary women’s studies professor.

Doctor Rebecca Sullivan said that it was upsetting to watch American leaders ignore the stories of women who were speaking their truth as they cast their vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

“I felt so much rage and sadness watching the nation’s leaders ignore the voices of women being forced to relive their trauma…in the desperate hope–in the vain hope as it turned out–that maybe this time they’ll be listened to and they’ll be believed,” said Sullivan.

She added it’s upsetting that politicians voted to confirm Kavanaugh even after hearing the horrific testimonies.

WATCH: Senate confirms Kavanaugh to U.S. Supreme court

“We’re still not there yet. We’re still living in a society that is more concerned with protecting [the accused] than believing their victims.”

Sullivan is thankful for “gifts” like the #MeToo movement that continue to push the fight forward. “I really do believe that history will tell the story of these women as heroes, as freedom defenders, as women fighting for the rights to be heard against a government that wants to remove these women from the public sphere, that wants to deny them rights over their bodies, and wants to not hear them and wants to discredit them.”

She calls the protesters that disrupted the confirmation vote Saturday as “leaders of the movement” adding that sexual violence is a never-ending problem.

“Sexual violence is an every-day reality for women around the globe and we will not accept it as our reality,” she said. “We never did and we never will.”

WATCH: Women galvanized by Kavanaugh vote

Small victories in a hard fight

In the era of #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, more cases of sexual violence are coming forward and charges are being laid in both old and new cases, “small victories” according to Sullivan.

Should women take these small victories or only accept bigger success stories? Sullivan doesn’t see much of a choice.

“Unfortunately we only get the small victories so we do need to take them so we can move forward,” she said, admitting some small victories are overshadowed by the fact that still not everyone will be believed.


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“What concerns me is that…we are more likely to listen to white women than women of colour. We are more likely to listen to straight women than queer or trans women. We need to listen better and do better within our own communities and fight for everyone’s right to live free of sexual violence.”

She said if women acknowledged their own privilege(s) and support all victims, people will be believed “if the worst happens” and someone is attacked.

“We need to do better always and everywhere–there’s so much work to be done!” she said.

“Let’s take the small victories because we need to feel like we’re making progress. This is a very, very hard fight and a very heavy fight just to be heard, just to be believed, just to live free of sexual violence.”