• Wayne Perkins

The Kavanaugh Trial

I have been watching the Brett Kavanaugh trial in America with interest.

Brett, who was nominated by Donald Trump to become a US Supreme Court Judge, has been accused by three women of, what at best could be described as “sexually inappropriate behaviour” and at worst “attempted rape”.

Like many of these situations, the attempt to find out the truth has descended into a sordid “he said, she said” mess with few options to find out what really happened.

Personally, I have no idea who is telling the truth or who is lying, because, in my experience, both men and women are as capable as each other of telling lies and embellishments, especially when the stakes are high.

It is a proven fact of life that some men are predators who, through force and manipulation, rape and abuse women for their own sexual gratification.

It is also a proven fact of life that some women, no less manipulative or forceful, for multiple and varied reasons, falsely accuse men of rape or sexual impropriety.

Both are despicable acts of barbarism, deeply offensive, immoral, unjust, and cruel. They show the worst of humanity in its most unpalatable guise and have long-lasting psychological and physical consequences for the victims.

But just because both acts are reprehensible doesn’t give any insight into who should be believed and this is where I question some of what I heard and saw.

Many of the women who were protesting against Kavanaugh, were seen with signs that said: “We believe all survivors”.

Now I’m cautious to criticise anyone here because who am I to say how others should think or feel but it does seem a dangerous attitude to unquestioningly believe what someone says.

It seems even more dangerous to categorise people into groups and then claim one group is more believable than another group, especially when each group accounts for roughly fifty percent of the population.

Our whole judicial system, rightly or wrongly, is built on the precept of “innocent until proven guilty” and while it is not perfect, it is the best that has been come up with so far.

It at least offers some protection for those falsely accused but if there is a better fairer way then please let me know.

The brother of a good friend of mine was falsely accused of rape many years ago and I saw the hell that it put him and his family through. Everyone involved knew it was nonsense and it was thrown out of court but I have often thought that the women who made the claim not only ruined a young guys life but also did a great disservice to the many genuine victims of abuse who do need people to believe them.

Yes, of course we need to support and believe the survivors of sexual abuse, that’s a given but the Kavanaugh trial in America has shown we are no closer to answering the age-old question.

Who’s telling the truth?

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