Regarding Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court, sexual assault, and false accusations

Like many of you, I have been watching the coverage of the Brett Kavanaugh nomination-turned-fiasco. I have read the particular accusations against him and the many, varied responses to them. I read this coverage with a slight partisan perspective as someone who believes in Constitutional originalism and as someone who has concerns about a society that permits the killing of its young, and yet…I’m troubled.

I am concerned by the very serious accusations against Kavanaugh, and I am distressed by the responses to them.

I believe that there is more at stake in this moment than the nomination of an individual to the Supreme Court, no matter how important that is. How we handle sexual assault allegations, how we speak about women, what we expect of young men, and how we handle investigations into accusations of years-ago crimes that by their nature delay reporting of them—all of these questions are in play. We would do well to slow down, listen closely, and think deeply.

Toward that end, I commend this article: Between Brock Turner and Brett Kavanaugh, When do Girls Matter? Two warnings before you click on it, though. To all my readers who have been sexually assaulted or abused, this article may  trigger renewed trauma in you. Please click carefully, if at all.

To everyone else: I find the author’s logic to be very sound…and deeply painful. This is not an easy read. It is worth our contemplation, nonetheless.

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I have noticed that some of my friends with sons have a different reaction to the Kavanaugh allegations than I do, as a mom of daughters. Several times in the last week, I have heard the issue of false accusations raised. This may seem easy for me to say, but I think our societal fear of false accusations may be a red herring.

Yes, if your son were to be falsely accused of a sexual crime, it would be devastating and life-altering. I get that. The incidence of false accusations, though, is quite small.  Regarding that question, I found this article well-researched and helpfully detailed: What Kind of Person Makes False Rape Accusations.

Please do not allow the bogey-man of false accusations to stand in the way of you supporting investigation of sexual crimes and caring for victims. In my personal friend circle, I see a prevalence of sexual assault that matches or even exceeds the reported percentages. The numbers are real and shockingly high. In contrast, I do not believe a single one of my friends has ever been falsely accused of sexual assault.

The numbers of false accusations do not remotely compare to the number of actual sexual assaults. We must not put off grappling with something that happens often by an overblown fear of something that does not.

 

©Laura Goetsch and Thinking about Such Things, 2018.

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What in the world happened to Laura Goetsch?

Is she still thinking about such things? Has she given up veering wildly from the weighty to the frivolous?

My faithful readers may be wondering this since it has been 42 days since I published a post. And that was a short, frothy one.

Rest calmly, dear ones. I am still frolicking in the frivolous and seeking wisdom for the weighty. Truthfully, my days are bulging with both laughter and lament. As I imagine yours are, too.

I have needed to devote most of my words, imagination, and hours to church leading and to parenting this fall.  That’s where my best wisdom and deepest prayers are most needed right now. It has been hard but satisfying work.

So, for the foreseeable future, this blog will remain a bit quieter, though not entirely silent, I hope.

If you find yourself craving my quips, tales of imaginative children, or lackluster fair-to-middling dazzling photos, your best bet is to follow me on Instagram. I post photos and short paragraphs there several times a week. I realize that many of you, dear readers, are not on Instagram, but I’d like to gently whisper that perhaps it’s time to join the cool kids.

For now, I’d like to leave you with proof of one of my personal convictions, namely: Orange cats are the best cats. Meet Max, the cat who lost the library but won the internet.

And a few pics from life in Goetschland:

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Current favorite “sport”
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When we tried to decorate for Christmas
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My life in one picture

©Laura Goetsch and Thinking About Such Things, 2017.

Things I’ve learned in 15 years of marriage

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Rick and I celebrated our 15th anniversary last week.

Here’s what it looked like: the dog and I were driving home from dropping the kids off at school when I spotted a familiar figure walking down the street. Remembering the date, I pulled over and wished him a Happy Anniversary. He came over to the driver-side window and gave me a kiss. Then I went home and re-financed the mortgage.

Fifteen years is a long time in a life and in the world. When we were married in 2002, wedding invitations were always white or cream, George W. Bush was president, and no one had ever heard the terms “social media” or ISIS. Half the country still had landlines. Everyone else had flip phones.

We ourselves have changed, too, in these years. Here are a few things I’ve learned:

  • Goetsch is not, in fact, a lateral move from Carlson.

Continue reading “Things I’ve learned in 15 years of marriage”

Summer: a tale of goals achieved and goals failed

The summer has staggered to a sweaty, tear-stained end. Good-bye to popsicles, lightning bugs, and the pool.  Hello to homework, early waking, and school supplies.

Let’s examine my summer through the lens of goals—those that were achieved and those that were…not.

Summer 2017 Goals, A Retrospective

√ Upping our selfie game.  Nailed it.

 

√ Beginning every day with a review of math facts and sight words. Succeeded through mid-July. Somebody pat me on the back—five weeks ain’t nothin’ to sniff at! Continue reading “Summer: a tale of goals achieved and goals failed”

Summer break: my personal doom

We have reached the end of the season I like to call Death by a Thousand Sign-up Geniuses. Teacher appreciation week, the ice cream social, and zoo field trips are behind us. For ten weeks, we will be free from requests to bring, buy, chaperone, and chip in.

And now I must face my weightiest choice: whether to let my kids spend the summer in front of screens or to let them destroy my house and yard. Do I let them kill brain cells on Netflix or do I allow them to conscript every item we own into “creative” endeavors?

Long experience has shown me that, at least for my children, these are the only two options. If there is no screen, they will not play in a pleasant or organized way. They will proceed immediately to enact outlandish, fantastical scenarios in my previously orderly home.

Continue reading “Summer break: my personal doom”

Why we brought our kids to their grandmother’s deathbed

May began with a funeral and ended with a wedding. We let our kids do both.

Allowing them to participate in the wedding was a no-brainer. Of course they would take the opportunity to be flower girls and a junior bridesmaid for a close family friend. It was an honor and a joy.

Truthfully, we gave no greater thought to the question of whether they would visit their grandmother on her deathbed than we did to whether they would stand up in the wedding. Of course they would.

Continue reading “Why we brought our kids to their grandmother’s deathbed”

Becoming Mrs. Goetsch

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My husband’s parents were married in 1964. Over fifty two years, they built a family—three sons and eventually five grandchildren. And they built a life—a home on six acres, leadership in 4H and the literacy council, church involvement, neighborhood friendships, holiday traditions, ways of doing things.

One chapter of their book closed with my mother-in-law’s death on April 26th. Neighbors, friends, and relatives came to honor that long chapter at her funeral.

As they did so, I watched a new chapter open. My widowed father-in-law silently invited his sons and daughters-in-law to become leaders in the family. The change was palpable. We were now among the grown-ups; expectations were set accordingly.

Continue reading “Becoming Mrs. Goetsch”