After Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s heart-wrenching and credible testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, pundits wondered whether Brett Kavanaugh would adopt a gentler tone during his own appearance.
He did not. Instead, he leaned in to being angry.
He spoke in a near-constant loud monotone. At times, he yelled. At other points, his face scrunched up with rage, appearing nearly vicious. Unlike Ford, who was sympathetic, measured, and vulnerable, Kavanaugh was aggressive. Unabashedly emotional. Self-righteously angry even when he began to cry.
Many people on Twitter were quick to point out what should go without saying: Ford (and any woman in her position) does not have the luxury of appearing angry.
If she had, commenters pointed out, she would have been branded as shrill, dramatic, or difficult to trust.
This is the shouting patron saint of every handsy, drunken dude bro I’ve known through high school, college and in the workplace.
— Leah Sottile (@Leah_Sottile) September 27, 2018
Dr. Ford asked for a cup of coffee after she delivered her testimony. Judge Kavanaugh had about four shots of espresso before delivering his.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) September 27, 2018
Just to be completely clear: This kind of tone and behavior would never have been acceptable for a woman in this situation.
— Hannah Benjamin (@hannahbenj) September 27, 2018
Imagine for one second if Dr Ford had come in yelling like this.
— Liz Plank (@feministabulous) September 27, 2018
Dr. Ford: *crying* I was assaulted
Kavanaugh: *crying* I kept calendars
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) September 27, 2018
The thing that guts me about Dr. Blasey’s “niceness” is that she has no choice. If she, for one second, betrays that she dislikes the men who tried to rape her or the men trying to defend them, SHE will be cast as the abusive, violent party in the exchange.
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) September 27, 2018
Behold entitled white male rage.
— Anna Holmes (@AnnaHolmes) September 27, 2018
“You say Dr. Ford seemed likable, calm, and credible? Well, I HAVE A DIFFERENT STRATEGY.”
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) September 27, 2018
KAVANAUGH: ok whats the strategy today
AIDE: maybe try to come across contrite
KAVANAUGH: ok i will scream and get very red like the angry maniac i’ve been accused of being
KAVANAUGH: [walking out] let’s do this
— Bob Vulfov (@bobvulfov) September 27, 2018
Since Ford made her accusations in a to Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, which was subsequently leaked to the press, have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Kavanaugh has all allegations.
Additional reporting by Marcus Gilmer