Twitter is not having it.
“I am here today not because I want to be,” Christine Blasey Ford began, addressing a packed hearing room in Capitol Hill. “I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.”
What followed was the account of the 51-year-old university professor’s testimony about her recollection of assault at the hands of Kavanaugh, then a nominee for the Supreme Court, when they were in high school.
Donald Trump mocked Ford after her testimony and, ultimately, Kavanaugh was appointed to the position of Supreme Court Justice. But Ford’s words rang loud and clear. She was hailed as a hero on social media and her testimony was graffitied onto the walls of Yale Law School, where Kavanaugh had studied law.
No wonder she was named as an ‘Icon’ in Time magazine’s annual most influential people list. Singing her praises in the magazine was Senator Kamala Harris, who said that Ford’s words “shook Washington and the country”.
“Christine Blasey Ford’s ambition wasn’t to become a household name or make it onto this list,” she added. “She had a good life and a successful career, and risked everything to send a warning in a moment of grave consequence.”
Ford is more than worthy of her place on Time magazine’s most influential people list. If only she didn’t share the list with the man she has accused of assaulting her.
Yes, Kavanaugh was also named to Time’s list in the ‘Leader’ category, which also includes Jacinda Ardern, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and, um, Donald Trump. Singing Kavanaugh’s particular praises in the magazine Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell, who described Kavanaugh as one of the “most qualified Supreme Court nominees in modern history.”
In the face of what McConnell describes as “unhinged partisanship and special interests”, Kavanaugh remained firm. “The country saw his resilience and commitment to public service. We saw his loyal devotion to family and friends. We saw his undeterred reverence for the law, for precedents and for our nation’s highest traditions.”
But not everyone is as happy as McConnell that Kavanaugh made the list. News that Ford would be sharing her accolade with Kavanaugh – even potentially attending the same event as him to launch the issue – shocked social media and caused outrage on Twitter.
Jessica Chastain was at the vanguard of the backlash, tweeting her disappointment to her hundreds of thousands of followers.
On the whole, Time’s list was a strong one, a diverse representation of voices that comprised more than 50% women. Stylist favourites including Sandra Oh, chef Samin Nosrat, tennis player Naomi Osaka and cover star Brie Larson all made the list.
It was a powerful moment for women and sexual assault survivors everywhere to see Ford’s name recognised in the magazine, and to read the words of support that Harris shared in praise of Ford’s courage.
But forcing Ford to share the same list as Kavanaugh takes away from some of that power.