When Women Connect, We’re Powerful Together: Christine Blasey Ford

“The system can often work in ways that make [women] feel divided and makes us feel negatively towards each other. But when we actually connect, we’re really powerful together.” – Christine Blasey Ford

Episode 5

In this emotionally charged last episode in our For the Love of the Matriarchy series, Jen shares an intimate and profound conversation with Christine Blasey Ford, who came into the public eye when she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27th, 2018, while it was considering the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court; describing an alleged sexual assault by the Supreme Court nominee that took place at a high school party in the 80s. Christine, with brave vulnerability, opens up about her harrowing experience in the aftermath of her testimony and the tsunami of public scrutiny she faced. Through her story, we’re reminded of the incredible power of women when we come together, support one another, and find our collective voice against injustices. This episode is not just a dialogue; it’s a clarion call to all women to connect, share, and empower each other in a world that often seeks to silence us.

Christine shares with Jen:

the moment she heard that Brett Kavanaugh was on a short list of Supreme Court justice nominees and the immediate reaction that she needed those in power to know the truth
the emotional toll the aftermath of the experience took on Christine and her family, and the safety measures they had to employ because of constant death threats
why she decided to write a book, One Way Back, to tell the story now, citing what she learned through the experience and what she knows now about the many other women in history who have also spoken their truth about sexual harassment and assault
the incredible amount of support she received from women and sexual assault survivors in the form of letters, which carried her through some of the most difficult moments

Jen and Christine’s conversation underscores a crucial message: when women connect, we’re not just powerful together; we’re unstoppable.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Christine’s Senate Judiciary Committee Testimony

One Way Back: A Memoir by Christine Blasey Ford 

Washington Post Article featuring Christine Blasey Ford 

Episode Transcript

Hey, everybody, Jen Hatmaker here, your host of the For the Love Podcast. Welcome to the show. Today, we’re about to wrap up our Matriarchy series, and I have been so grateful for our guests and the topics that have come up, as we have been discussing here; what it means to build a strong, robust, generous, independent, and good for everyone matriarchy in our world today. Which often looks like pushing back against the patriarchal rule that’s been in place for so long and still is. In a ton of ways it feels like we’ve come leaps and bounds in some areas of equality, and there are things to celebrate for sure. However, often something happens and we are snapped back into the reality that there is still a fight in regards to who is in control of us as women, who is in control of our bodies, our opportunities, our voices, and our choices. This patriarchal attitude has prevailed to convince women forever, but certainly in recent history, especially in the area of sexual consent, that women are to be held responsible for non-consensual experiences, sometimes simply because they ended up alone with a man.

Women were taught if a man had power and respect, and they assaulted or violated them, the only way to not bring shame upon herself was to keep it a secret. We know how this goes in the public eye. The men’s version is often considered the truth, and the women’s version is considered hysterical or beyond repair. This quote from NPR correspondent Janice Smith writing about this subject. She says, “Women today are militantly fed up with the premise that the shame of non-consensual sexual encounters is still so disproportionately theirs to bear.” I don’t have to tell anybody that women have classically been held responsible for the bad behavior of men.

Our guest this week has been a fairly recent voice who said loudly, clearly, and on a global stage; this is not okay and there was never a time it was okay. She was brave enough to come forward at a high personal cost. We have Christine Blasey Ford today. You will remember that Christine testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27th, 2018, while it was considering the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, and she described an alleged sexual assault by the Supreme Court nominee that took place at a high school party in the 80s.

I remember every bit of this, every minute we were all watching, holding our breath. She has now written a book that just came out called One Way Back, and she decided to tell her own story, in her own words and on her terms and it’s all in there. She recounts the months that she spent trying to get information into the right hands, without exposing herself and her family to the dangerous backlash they then experienced and how ultimately she decided to take the stand.

Christine Blasey Ford is a research psychologist. She’s a professor. She is a devotee of surfing. She leans pretty heavily on the sport as a metaphor, not just for the whole ordeal, but also for her book. So, if you don’t remember or if it’s in the fog of those years, in her testimony, Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of being drunk at a party when she was 15 and he was 17 and that she experienced sexual assault. When she said at the confirmation hearing that testifying terrified her, she had reason to be terrified. The death threats against her and her children forced her family to hide out in hotels and other places with literally a 24-hour security detail and she still needs security in 2024.

The story behind the headlines is a very complex memoir of a woman, a mother, a scientist, and an unlikely whistleblower. Her experience shows that a single voice coming forward to shine a light on an imbalance of power provides a platform for so many other voices in what she hopefully terms as a “ripple that might one day become a wave.” It was an honor to speak to her today, and I respect her and admire her so much. I think this conversation is going to be so enlightening for you. So please enjoy this candid conversation with the courageous Christine Blasey Ford.

CONNECT WITH Christine Blasey Ford
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