This week, Green Mountain College began offering a new ½ credit Pop Up course titled “Brett Kavanaugh: “Boys Will Be Boys.”
Christine Blasey Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while they were both teenagers her years ago at a high school party. He is not the first political figure to face allegations of sexual misconduct. In 1991, Anita Hill testified about sexual harassment she endured while working for current Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, during his confirmation hearing. Sexual assault allegations were also levied against former President Bill Clinton during that same time in history. Judge Thomas and President Clinton ascended to the highest positions of power. Brett Kavanaugh’s outcome is less certain.
In this Pop Up course, we will look at the landscape surrounding sexual assault and misconduct claims across these key moments in history and compare it to what we are seeing right now. What about our political climate is similar, and what has changed? What cues or information do we use when evaluating the integrity of accusers? How do we evaluate the memories of survivors of sexual violence and those who may have been intoxicated? And if it is true that Brett Kavanaugh committed this alleged assault as a minor, should it affect his current bid for a seat on the Supreme Court? We will also take a close look at campus culture. While some argue that “hook up culture” is empowering, might it actually encourage sexual assault?
This is a unique opportunity for students to tackle these and related questions and create the space to have important, but difficult conversations.