9 takeaways from the Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh Senate testimonies

Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, one day before the Senate is set to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court.

  • Ford maintained she's sure it was Kavanaugh who sexually assaulted her, while Kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegations.
  • Democrats want an FBI investigation, and even asked Kavanaugh to request one from the president, though Kavanaugh refused to do so.
  • As of Thursday afternoon, the Senate is still set to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation on Friday morning.
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What do we do with notorious sex offenders who make beloved art?

How do we reconcile American culture when an increasing amount of it is made by sex offenders? It's not a new phenomenon. Actress, author, and whistleblower Rose McGowan is here to tell you that American culture has been screwed up for a long, long time.

Actress, author, and whistleblower Rose McGowan is here to tell you that American culture has been screwed up for a long, long time. She wonders how our society can defend a culture that embraces sexual deviants (see: Woody Allen, Louis C.K.) and clearly racist imagery (see: the Washington Redskins name and logo). She muses, too, on why American culture seems to be so bent on putting complex and thoughtful women second place to the likes of, as she puts it, a "slovenly slob" like Adam Sandler. Women deserve better, she posits. And we're absolutely inclined to agree. Rose McGowan's new book is aptly titled BRAVE.

If we're going to confront sexual abuse, we must confront abusers

Feminist, author, and whistle-blower Rose McGowan joins us for a wide-ranging talk about the myths behind sexual abuse and why it's never O.K. to label someone with loaded words.

It's hard to put a bio of Rose McGowan into one sentence. She is one of the whistle-blowers behind the anti-sexual-harassment movement sweeping the nation, and she is also one of the most visible voices of the #METOO / #TIMESUP movements. Rose McGowan is part people's champion, part feminist orator, and, in our wide-ranging interview with her (of which is this part 1 of several), she is part cool-aunt that gives you incredibly solid life advice. Here, she talks with us about the myths behind sexual abuse. It's not just a women's issue, she says, it's a people issue. And certain kinds of people seem to propagate the idea that it's somehow O.K. to put other people into boxes. She posits this is part of the abusive cycle, and that it doesn't have to be that way. Her marvelous new book is appropriately titled BRAVE.

Sex and power: How an old relationship is changing—Anita Hill to Harvey Weinstein

What's changed since Anita Hill took on Clarence Thomas in 1991? The power of the accuser.

In 1991, U.S. attorney Anita Hill testified against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas for sexual harassment, and nevertheless, the United States Senate confirmed Thomas to the Supreme Court. In 2017, after many women broke the silence on Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein with a horrifying number of allegations of sexual abuse, Weinstein was fired from his own company. Actor Kevin Spacey was fired from various productions after allegations of his transgressions surfaced. The same for comedian Louis C.K. And so on and so on in this monumental landslide. So what's changed between 1991 and 2017? Why are institutions no longer protecting accused abusers? Psychotherapist Esther Perel believes it's not the accused who have changed over time—they are not worse today or more prevalent than they were then—but rather it's the accuser who has changed. In the past women did not speak out against sexual abuse because of the fear that they would not be believed. It was "part of the deal" of life as a woman, says Perel. Women today, however, finally have enough social power to withstand the forces of denial. "And so the system, for the first time, has to reckon and has to act with consequence to the allegations that are being made," says Perel. The old dynamic between men and women is shifting, and there is rising proof that women will no longer tolerate having to ignore or manage sexually violent or unwarranted interactions. So where do we go from here? Perel champions increased understanding between men and women, rather than demonization, and recommends a shift in gender socialization that begins in childhood—meaning no more pink for girls and blue for boys. No more divisive constructs that make men and women feel as though they are from different planets. Esther Perel is the author of The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. See more at estherperel.com.