Tuesday, October 02, 2018
Why is Brett Kavanaugh so upset? It's a question few ask because so many already think they know the answer. The most common explanation, the hot take- so hot it melted the conventional wisdom and forged a new concrete group think, is that Kavanaugh was so angry because he represents White Male Entitlement and as such, he is by definition wrong because that is his assigned role.
I do not deny that Brett Kavanaugh believes he is entitled to certain things. But couldn't a plausible explanation be that he feels entitled to the job because, by all accounts, he is one of most qualified judges in America and has spent a dozen years on the second-highest court in the country? Could he not also feel entitled to some measure of fair play?
And yet we're supposed to believe his anger derives not from uncorroborated accusations of sexual assault and gang rape but from some abstract idea of white male powerlessness?
Never mind that there were times in America when "believe all white women" was the rule. When they made allegations against black men, it led to some unspeakable evils. "To Kill A Mockingbird" is in many ways a modern allegory about those times.
I am not trying to say that Brett Kavanaugh is a contemporary, real-life Tom Robinson, the black man falsely accused of rape in that book. I am trying to say that Kavanaugh is an actual human being.
Appeals to historical grievances, highbrow theories of the male psyche and pent-up resentments -- as interesting or as emotionally powerful as they may be -- are not all that relevant here. This isn't an allegory. It's the real world.
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