Ms. Hirshman starts her book in the 1970’s, when women began to talk to each other and organize against men who took advantage of their female subordinates. She then moves forward in time highlighting a number of accusations of rape and/or sexual harassment against prominent men and the women who were brave enough to go public with the accusations. The list includes the 1991 Clarence Thomas Hearings and the accusations by Anita Hill, the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton Scandal, and the multiple women claimed that Harvey Weinstein took advantage of them sexually.
Reckoning is a perfect title for this book. While telling the story of these brave and bold women, Ms. Hirshman inspires the reader to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. She also pulls no punches, calling out politicians on both sides of the aisle, women who stay silent and men who continue to perpetuate this heinous act.
Throughout much of human history, women have been second class. Seen only as submissive help meets to the men in their lives, they had no rights and were often viewed as property. Part of being viewed as property or second class was being forced into an unwanted sexual act that very often left the woman in an emotionally and physically traumatized state.
Thankfully, things are starting to change. One of the women who is helping with this change is Christine Blasey Ford, a high school acquaintance of Judge Brett Kavanaugh who accused him of forcing himself on her when they were teenagers.
Below are the reasons why Dr. Ford should be believed:
Her testimony will have a way in determining if Judge Kavanaugh is ultimately confirmed to join SCOTUS and possibly change the course of American history for the better.
Her testimony will undo the damage that was done to Anita Hill testified about her own sexual assault experience at the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing 27 years ago.
Her testimony will prove once and for all that the time doesn’t matter. Those who force themselves sexually on another person will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of whether it is 36 hours or 36 years since the attack.
It will encourage past and future victims of rape, sexual violence and sexual assault to come forward and be public in their accusations.
It will make those who are thinking of committing such acts think twice, knowing the repercussions of this kind of offense.
As of today, Dr. Ford is scheduled to testify on Thursday. Until then, we can only wait and maybe speculate as to what Dr. Ford may or may not say.