Christine Blasey Ford: One Woman Rising

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United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Last month on November 10th, Christine Blasey Ford made a
rare appearance at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) SoCal’s Annual Bill of Rights Awards Dinner to be granted the Courage award.

“It’s funny, I was inspired by Anita Hill when I was deciding whether to testify, but it didn’t occur to me at the time that I would be inspiring anyone
else,” Blasey Ford said of Hill who in 1991 testified before the Supreme Court. Yet Blasey Ford explained she had heard from 200K+ women offering
support, and saying that they found strength and subsequent healing because of her bravery.

I believe that Blasey Ford, pardon my language, is a badass! As we know, a little over a year ago, she testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about
sexual abuse while they were both in high school. When Blasey Ford entered the Dirksen Senate Office Building I saw her as a woman who looked like any other person on the street. Walking in and sitting down, she appeared intimidated by the process, but she felt an obligation to share her story; and she did it with a strength I’m not sure many of us could muster.

I was struck by a few things that day. One, Blasey Ford’s grace during the four hour testimony was admirable. Women are often thought of as
“emotional” and “high-strung.” However Blasey Ford calmly – and poignantly – shared her testimony and was consistent during her deposition. While her accuser defended himself erratically, visibly angry and throwing his arms about, Blasey Ford looked completely self-controlled by comparison.

And when asked “why now?” by the press, she replied, “I simply thought that it was my duty as a citizen and that anyone in my position would do
the same thing.”

Blasey Ford encapsulates #WomenRising. There are many ways to describe what #WomenRising means, however my perspective is a feeling of a metamorphosis. She was victimized years ago and obviously it was a darkness that she kept close to her heart. During her opening statement, Blasey Ford said before the Senate Committee that “I am here today not
because I want to be. I am terrified.”

That hit me right in the gut because already we were seeing the horrendous treatment she was receiving by so many. The hashtag #BelieveSurvivors
catapulted across the globe as women like me just wanted to protect her and scream ‘we believe you!’ in every form possible. Blasey Ford had to revisit that dark place in a very public arena and although it was not pretty, she rose above it all and became a hero to female fortitude and to grace.

If you need help in San Diego please contact Center for Community Solutions Rape Crisis Center at (858)272-5777. Their 24-hour hotline provides crisis counseling to victims of assault, rape, and domestic
violence, including hospital accompaniment services for rape victims and prevention and education to the community. In addition, the National Sexual Assault Hotline is 800.656.HOPE (4673)

Originally published in Women’s March San Diego #StrongerTogether. Re-published with permission.

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Marcy L. Shugert is a political consultant, loves strong coffee in the morning, and instantly smiles with the mention of Pinot Noir. Some of her adventures include a hotline for domestic abuse victims, a marketing plan for ways to combat HIV/AIDS in international market all while overseas and a marathon to raise $ for leukemia and lymphoma. She has consulted in marketing a religious sect in the Yunnan district of China, worked at a USAID funded project called BASICS (a child and maternal healthcare organization) and was a Communications Director for a current Carlsbad City Council member. Shugert has been the Marketing Director of the Women’s March for what is going on three years, and the theme for this year’s march is #PowerInUnity, and in that includes equity and inspiration of Women Rising. You might find her tucked away in a bookstore, playing with her chocolate lab Phoenix, or sitting back with some good jazz, a glass of wine, and dreaming (and plotting) of what is next.

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