The Daily Aztec

College of Arts and Letters holds discussion forum on Kavanaugh confirmation

Newly-appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Wiki Commons

Newly-appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

by Ronald Penh, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






San Diego State’s College of Arts and Letters held an event on Oct. 18 to discuss the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Nearly every news media outlet broadcasted the testimony of Palo Alto University Professor Christine Blasey-Ford against Kavanaugh, who had accused him of sexual harassment while they were both in high school in Maryland.

Despite Blasey-Ford’s testimony, Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed by the U.S. Senate, making him the second justice appointed during the Trump administration. But his confirmation has sparked a national debate on sexual assault, something SDSU officials say they are taking seriously due to an increase of sexual assault reportings on campus.

“Since the beginning of this fall semester, there has been a 52 percent increase in the number of SDSU students reporting sexual assault,” Counseling and Psychological Services representative Michelle Feinberg said during the event.

The event was aimed at not only highlighting sexual assault survivor resources on campus, but to address students’ concerns on the implications of the hearing’s results.

Women’s studies professor Dr. Doreen Mattingly broke down the testimony hearings, analyzing the differences in composure between Blasey-Ford and Kavanaugh.

“(Blasey-Ford) was earnest and doing everything she could to control her display of emotions – whether it was holding back tears or other feelings,” Mattingly said. “(Kavanaugh), on the other hand, had a free reign to express or overexpress … emotions of anger, of rage really, of crying, that he had a much broader emotional range.”

Mattingly added the lack of emotional display by Blasey-Ford highlighted a cultural norm of men being able to more freely express their emotions.

“Who gets to be angry? Who gets to express emotions in public? And what are the consequences for people with different kinds of bodies with different kinds of identities when they do express emotions in public,” Mattingly said.

Associate professor in the SDSU Communications Department Luke Winslow explained how power and privilege could have potentially influenced the hearings.

“When you’re a rich, white, powerful, cisgender, straight male you have been socialized to think that the world owes you something,” Winslow said. “You do what you want and then your dad and your coach and your lawyers and your henchmen they clean up behind you. You do what you want and you let other people take care of your consequences.”

Music and communications senior Sam Nguyen was disappointed in the lack of male attendance in the audience.

“As a cisgender man, I think it’s tragic how few men there were in that room. And I think that in a lot of ways the people who needed to hear this or needed to talk about this stuff, weren’t in there,” Nguyen said.

Talia Kieu, a junior year public health student, spoke about the optimism she felt after attending the event.

“After leaving that event I feel hopeful. It’s always a cycle of angry, hopeful, then action. And now that I’m feeling hopeful I just want to act more,” Kieu said.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
1 Comment

One Response to “College of Arts and Letters holds discussion forum on Kavanaugh confirmation”

  1. Frank Davis on October 28th, 2018 1:13 pm

    Obviously this event with skewed towards believing Blazy forward. Are you going to hold an alternate event talking about how false allegations of sexual misconduct can’t hurt a career? Please he forwards demeanor was that of a psychopath, cool calm collected and rehearsed. None of the people she names who could prove her case support her story. But don’t let that get in the way of your ideology and agenda. Cavanagh reacted as I would if I were falsely accused of a crime that is totally out of the blue with no substantiation.

Commenting on our site is a privilege. We want our readers to add their point of view to every story but ask that they keep their comments relevant to the topic at hand. We will remove comments and possibly ban users who do the following: (1) Use vulgar or racist language, (2) Threaten harm of any sort to staff, commenters or the subject of an article, and (3) Leave spam in their comment. If you have questions about these rules, please contact our Editor in Chief at: editor@thedailyaztec.com

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.