This Is the Most Important Takeaway from the Brett Kavanaugh Debacle

Like Brett Cavanaugh, I too went to high school and college in the 1980s. Like Cavanaugh, I too attended a Catholic prep school. And like most of my contemporaries, I went to parties and drank beer. (For the record, I smoked, too. Shocking!) ‘Keggers,’ as we called them then, were indeed common—in both high school and in college.

Were there things that went on at these parties I’d be embarrassed to admit today? Absolutely. Good thing I have no plans to become a politician.

And good thing I’m not a man.

The plot—and make no mistake: it’s a plot—to destroy Brett Kavanaugh speaks volumes about how far this nation has fallen. At no other time in history would we have thought it acceptable to smear a man’s reputation based on something he did in his youth. A major transgression? Perhaps. A pattern of immoral or unlawful behavior? Yes.

But Brett Kavanaugh is not that man. Not only have sixty-five—65!—women who knew Kavanaugh in high school vouched for his character (including a woman he dated), the man has an unblemished record and has undergone six FBI background investigations during his career.

Yet in the age of #Metoo, none of it matters.

From cradle to grave, no male is allowed to think or joke about, let alone attempt, anything even remotely sexual with a woman without facing life-altering consequences. If a woman says a man said or did something sexual that was unwelcome, rather than her having to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, the man is forced to prove his innocence. That means proving a negative, which is impossible to do. Ergo, the man is screwed.

And so, regardless of what happens this week at the Senate hearing, one thing is certain: Americans will never look at Brett Kavanaugh the same way again. His reputation has been permanently damaged.

While most writers and pundits are discussing the details of this entire debacle—whether or not it really happened, who’s telling the truth and who’s not, what it means for Republicans and Democrats—to me the most important takeaway is about something else entirely.

It’s about alcohol.

Alcohol is poison. Mix it with sex, and the possibilities are endless. Yet we discuss these sexual claims without mentioning the alcohol.

Am I saying people aren’t responsible for what they do when they’re drunk? Not at all. Nor am I suggesting Kavanaugh did what Blasey-Ford claims he did. What I’m saying this:

Without the presence of alcohol, we wouldn’t be having a conversation about Brett Kavanaugh at all. Unless we’re suggesting Kavanaugh is a drunk—which we’re not—and unless he behaves as a sober man the way Blasey-Ford claims he did as a “stumbling drunk” teen—which he doesn’t—there’s no story here.

The way a person acts in an inebriated state is neither a fair nor an accurate measure of who that person is sober. Unless the person in question has a pattern of destructive behavior, or unless he or she did something truly egregious while under the influence, we should give the person the benefit of the doubt. Particularly if he or she is young.

Alcohol makes people do things they otherwise wouldn’t. This is true of both men and women. Indeed, alcohol is the reason so many college girls say yes to sex when they want to say no.

When you think about it, it’s shocking to think how many of these stories about sexual transgressions, real or otherwise, would cease to exist if alcohol wasn’t involved. Hell, alcohol is reason Blasey-Ford herself can’t keep her story straight.

So are we going to acknowledge this fact? Or are we going to continue to give women, even those who imbibe just as much as the men, carte blanche to ruin men’s lives?

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Suzanne Venker

Suzanne Venker is an author, speaker and cultural critic known as “The Feminist Fixer.” She has authored several books to help women win with men in life and in love. Her most recent, The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage, was published in February 2017.

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Comments

  1. Does alcohol play a role in these situations ? Unfortunately, yes.

    It’s always the same story. She says he did it. He vehemently denies it. Perhaps I’m extremely naive but I don’t believe a woman would upend her life, derail her career and put her personal safety and the safety of her family at risk just to be a part of this media circus. I also don’t believe she’d put herself at risk of being charged with a felony for lying under oath. Is there any amount of money or notoriety to be gained when she has so much to lose? That said, I tend to believe her.

    I think this whole saga could have unfolded differently had Mr. Kavanaugh chosen to do what no other accused person has done. Admit it. Instead of denying it and going on tv saying he was a virgin in high school, an athlete and a studious bookworm who eschewed partying (when his high school year book proves otherwise) he could have simply said, “In high school I did a really f***ed up thing. I regret it and I wish I could take it back. I’ve done a lot of soul searching since my alcohol fueled high school and college years and I’ve done a lot of work to be a man of faith and integrity for the past 40 years. I’m sorry for the damage I have caused to Ms. Ford. “ Who could argue with that?

    • I would never argue with that. I witnessed and was a participant in this type of behavior in the 70’s and 80’s. Alcohol and drugs are to blame. The actual number of women assaulted or worse has got to be staggering. New laws need to be written to protect people from being accused of crimes committed in high school and college 50 or 40 or even 30 years ago. These laws should compliment today’s new moral standards and would be complimentary to the #metoo movement which is the most important social movement that I have witnessed in my life. As far as Kavanaugh is concerned, does he still drink now ??

  2. Of all the people in an uproar over this confirmation, I wonder if there might be just a wee bit of hypocrisy when they look back at their own indiscretions (both teenage through present time). It’s fascinating what behavior folks will look the other way on among their own and what behavior they suddenly won’t tolerate from those “outside their camp.”

  3. Suzanne
    Issues you have brought up are sadly true: the Me-too movement, female victimhood, male (especially white male) bashing, males guilty until you prove yourself innocent, and alclohol.
    These are all, except alcohol, directly related to feminism gone bad.
    With a broader brush you could also include the liberalism movement.
    Liberals have been indoctrinated for almost 50 years now from childhood with certain beliefs.
    They do not know the difference between right and wrong.
    They do not know the difference good and bad.
    They have totally lost their morality.
    They have lost their spirituality.
    They will do ANYTHING to achieve an end goal.
    God help this country.
    Rick

  4. this article makes perfect sense. alcohol makes people do stupid things. another pattern I found is that 2 of the accusers have psychology degrees. So they are academically trained to manipulate people.

    One thing is for certain, this whole scenario sends a bad message to young boys and men. It says to them that women are dangerous and you should only interact with them on a professional yet limited basis or if they are your hairdresser. this way you avoid false allegations. I do process serving for a living. That is what I do. I don’t interact with females otherwise because I don’t want false allegations filed against me. It’s a safety measure I have to take it todays culture.

  5. Hit the nail on the head again, nicely done!

    Although, I’m not sure that, “Alcohol makes people do things they otherwise wouldn’t.” I find alcohol is a great scapegoat to allow baser selves to emerge … guilt free. Alcohol cannot change our personalities into different versions of ourselves; but rather, thins the social filters to allow out what is so deftly hidden by our otherwise better sense of right and wrong.

    It boils down to the same old excuse for feminists: I want to do what I want; when I want; however I want. And I refuse to be responsible for any of the consequences and you cannot make me be accountable.

  6. The issue is that women get harassed by men with the intention of sex and it’s often blamed on the woman.
    You have no idea how this incident may have affected the victim’s life. It seems like you care about the man’s.
    I agree with the first comment, he should have owned it and said what he has done to make it a never again.
    This is classic victim shaming, unfortunately, it’s women who bear the brunt of most of it.
    I am sure your page will blow up, so I guess it’s gonna benefit you.

    I am all for men being treated fairly and agree that there’s a ton of women who bash men and supress masculinity, but Cmon, she was held against her will.
    Saying it was the fault of alcohol is a poor excuse.

    • “You have no idea how this incident may have affected the victim’s life. It seems like you care about the man’s.” BOTH lives should be cared about, but that’s just it: we rush to believe women just bc of her sex. And the man is left in the dust, his life ruined—even if he didn’t do it.

    • Clearly, Danielle has no idea what she is talking about.
      Unless, she works for a law firm, hospital or police dept.
      Has she counselled women who were victims of extreme violence and rape?

      But, according to the self-appointed victim, it is acceptable to destroy
      a man’s entire life for some stupid, teenaged indiscretions, which,
      as any of us elders know(who were once teens), unless great ruination
      of mind, health, life occurred(which would have certainly put any offender in a
      correctional facility of some sort), teenagers eventually grow up,
      and forget high school and college nonsense, usually precipitated by alcohol,
      drugs, and hormones.

  7. I too did some things in HS I would not like spread out in the media. I was never a bad kid and seemingly odd today, but I never drank, did drugs or smoked cigarettes. Although I could often be found where these and other inappropriate activities were going on.

    I went to HS in the late 70s in So. Cal. where the ideals of a free sex society, the disco drug era, and liberal tendencies were well in play in school as well as in our community. And the standards were very different. It was no big deal then for both male and female teachers to be known to have sexual relationships with students. It was still taboo but it was very common where I went to school and somewhat open.

    I’m grateful no one will ever be able to accuse me of being too drunk or stoned to know what I was doing. Sadly, that does not mean some political activist couldn’t lie and fall on their sword for the cause. The liberal ideology has shifted to make all things ok, nothing to debased when trashing an opponent, no accusation or lie is too low or out of bounds. Heck we have political liberal leaders calling for violence, lying and cheating to destroy their conservative enemies at all costs. Backed by a liberal media has left far too many people who believe all this nonsense as true.

    There should be no wonder that people are willing to make a claim for sexual harassment and liberals will believe it if the victim is left leaning while deny it if the victim is right leaning.

    We have dehumanized the enemy in doing this. The Taliban teaches its ok to keep sex slaves, burn people alive, or torture because their enemy is not human. The Palestinians do this against Israel, The Nazis against Jews then later the Russians. Now we have American socialists and liberals dehumanizing fellow Americans and openly proclaiming their sub-human prejudices to allow them to do such evil. There is no reason to treat conservatives well, honestly or even debate them. Shout them down, lie, cheat and defame its all ok because they have decided we are not even humans and no human rights and standards apply.

    Conservatives really have not figured it out but we are already at war. We have long passed the point of disagreement with civil discussion. Our Congressional leaders lie, manipulate, fight dirty and cheat. Our media backs them up and lives are being destroyed. When will we wake up and realize we are giving our nation away with this, making our nation vulnerable, devising weakens us all and the created hate leads to real pain and hate that will become more violent. I fear for our future.

  8. Marijuana (cannabis) is the ‘new’ alcohol for this generation. But it’s ‘just marijuana,’ right? WRONG. Its use alone,….or in combination with alcohol, is a nightmare scenario belittled by the advocates of the marijuana industry. Facts. All ‘medical’ marijuana (cannabis) usage across the USA has been declared ILLEGAL by the Federal Food and Drug Association (FDA) and the (federal) Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) since 1970. A recent, single exception involves the authorized use of a component of marijuana (a cannabinoid but one that is THC free) for treatment for one, specific rare type of pediatric seizure disorder. States that have ‘legalized’ marijuana (cannabis), beyond that one cannabinoid exception, are …violating ….federal law. Classified as a Schedule I narcotic \ controlled substance (the most restricted category), marijuana (cannabis) is in the same category as LSD, peyote, heroin, ecstasy, and methaqualone (Quaalude). There are five different Schedules of controlled substances, numbered I–V. Schedule I is considered the most problematic / dangerous with the least approved uses. The CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) considers drugs / agents in Schedule I to have a high potential for abuse / mental and physical dependency / addiction. Approximately 9% of chronic marijuana (cannabis) users become addicted; this number increases among those who start young, to about 17%, and among people who use marijuana daily, to about 25-50%. Chronic use of marijuana (cannabis) beginning in the school years is associated with, on average, a documented loss of IQ on average of 8 points which may be permanent. Marijuana use is also associated with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, personality disturbances, and lack of motivation. There is a positive link between chronic marijuana use and the development of psychosis and schizophrenia. Marijuana has been documented to negatively impact perception, mood, learning, memory, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. The use of marijuana more than doubles a drivers’ risk of being in an automobile accident. The combination use of alcohol and marijuana is worse than either substance alone with respect to driving impairment. Marijuana use is associated with a higher likelihood of dropping out of school, increased absences, tardiness, accidents and job turnover. Today’s marijuana (cannabis) has a far higher concentration (30-45% or more) of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psycho-active component) than just a couple of decades ago (2-3%). And today’s marijuana (cannabis) edibles contain even MUCH greater concentrations of the THC than 45%. Stats from 2014 book, Going to Pot, by Wm. F. Bennett, with 273 references, including excerpts from the marijuana meta survey review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, by Nora Volkov, M.D. et al, of the NIH). Also, data is from ww.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana Steven W. Newell, M.D. Lone Tree, Colorado

  9. Thank you, thank you Suzanne for having some sense above a sixth grade reading level to state(and with fortitude I might add) what this Cavanaugh charade really is!! I am nausea for Dr. Ford, for Mr. Cavanaugh and his family and for our country as it stands today. What is currently being played out in the Senate is a disgrace and the females involved are not of any example I would ever hope for in my own girls.
    What has happened to us?
    I have never felt such anger for our country. A country now widely seen abroad as a soap opera. Why have we continued to fall prey to our politicians who continue to dumb us down more so today than ever before?
    Do we really believe our politicians and the media of sorts to be honest; looking out for the countries best interest?? Maybe it’s because for a brief stint in my life I personally experienced the ruthlessness, cheating and deceitful world of politics. Although I realize this is very uncommon, to personally live, dine and converse in a world with politicians, I continue to remain stunned to hear or read comments such as those on this post of other women and men (God love ya men) remaining greatly naive to the essence of politics at it’s best. Shame on us for downgrading our country while tolerating this ruthless lunacy! It is a form of destruction that has no good ending.

    Shortly after my nephew completed his master program in International Finance/Economics last Spring, he traveled to Russia with the intent to completely immerse himself into the Russian culture. After spending the majority of his summer there discussing politics and the people, including the control of the people in power, he learned how little of a difference there is between our politics and theirs. The difference is ‘we Russians know our government is corrupt. So, what is chosen by them of what is to be seen and heard by the media is not payed the least amount of attention to, it is understood it is lies. America’s politics is just as corrupt. Your people just haven’t yet come to see the corruption that exist, just like ours, you Americans still believe what is reported to you is truth.’

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