It’s often been said that #MeToo is the product of listening to women—but this morning’s hearings began with a man interrupting the very first woman to open her mouth.
In Washington DC today (Sept. 27), Christine Blasey Ford, a clinical psychology professor, testified about Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the man she accuses of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers in 1982. Before she spoke, and after Senate judiciary committee chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, made his opening remarks, senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the committee, tried to introduce Ford.
Over the course of many minutes, Grassley had taken great pains to complain that Feinstein had not released confidential information Ford relayed to her about the allegations. He didn’t get around to introducing Ford, who sat taciturn at the witness table. So Feinstein tried to introduce Ford herself—before Grassley cut in and interrupted her.
He “would do that,” he said of the introduction, but was going to do so before Ford was “about to speak” and deliver her own opening statement.
A moment’s silence—and then Feinstein resumed her introduction, in the earliest moments of a hearing which many will see as a referendum on whether America really is giving women the space to speak, after all.