Opinion: Guilt should not be tied to gender

Kaitlyn Buss
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, September 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

I’m about to have a baby and its gender remains a surprise. But that hasn’t stopped almost everyone I know from asking me what I want it to be.

Aside from the total lack of control I have over that outcome, it seems somewhat inconsiderate to this new life. I want the baby to be what it already is, and I want it to grow into the best version of a person it can be, whether a man or woman.

But how is this question still tossed about in society today, where creating a gender-blind, almost genderless utopia of equality and fairness has become all-consuming?

Ask Brett Kavanaugh.

His gender has become the very reason many believe he should be denied an appointment to the Supreme Court—or, as many politicians have taken to saying, the reason he shouldn’t get this particular “job promotion.”

As Christine Blasey Ford testified before Congress about her alleged sexual assault at the hands of Kavanaugh 36 years ago, the country couldn’t express enough support for her. But with zero corroborating evidence and no corroborating witnesses to her story—and nothing new produced during her sworn testimony except emotion and a few contradictions—there’s only one reason for the support she’s enjoyed: she is a woman.

No one is hiding the reasoning.

“We believe women,” “We believe her,” and variations of that theme have dominated the airwaves and the internet for the past two weeks as she and Kavanaugh have been reduced to little more than their biological parts.

This isn’t equality. This isn’t progress. This is a travesty. Our politics and way of life haven’t become gender-blind; they’ve become precisely the opposite.

Christine Blasey Ford, with lawyer Debra S. Katz, left, answers questions at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, September 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill.

Presuming to believe that Kavanaugh assaulted her necessarily means not believing Kavanaugh’s denial, and vice versa.

Today Ford is to be believed for no other reason than that she’s a woman. Women apparently don’t lie, misremember events or make wrong decisions.

Kavanaugh is not to be believed strictly because he is a man. Men don’t care about women, they lie, and they deserve different treatment and standards simply because they are what they are.

These standards aren’t fair to today’s boys who face a whole new world of bias. And they stifle the individualism so critical to a well-ordered soul and society.

Sure, there was bound to be some pendulum swing effect. Women have suffered in various ways throughout history, and this is the moment of revenge. I am proud of what women have accomplished despite hardships, myself included.

And I’m no stranger to sexual assault. I’ve been a victim several times in several different ways throughout my life, as many women have been.

But more important than historical bias, my physical parts or my past experiences is my mind. The development of all our minds, our ability to reason and judge life fairly should be the pursuit of every person, regardless of gender.

I know not all men are evil. I know this because I interact with them every day. I know far more good men than bad. And I won’t let the few who’ve soured days of my life define how I judge every situation from here to the grave.

Similarly, I refuse to let the narrative that women must be angry about something to be included in the female gender class define my approach to the sexes. I don’t need to be told to succumb to groupthink to earn my right to femininity.

After listening to both Kavanaugh and Ford, I don’t know more about the events of 1982 than anyone else does.

But neither should be believed or presumed guilty based solely on their sex. If we haven’t evolved to that basic standard of fairness, we’re no better off than cave people.

Kaitlyn Buss is a freelance writer in metro Detroit and a former member of The Detroit News editorial board.