Christine Blasey Ford's Inclusion On The 'TIME' 100 List Represents So Much Change
California professor Christine Blasey Ford came forward with sexual misconduct claims against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in late 2018, and her testimony that October shook the world. (Kavanaugh strongly denied her accusations, and his representatives did not return Elite Daily's previous requests for comment on the matter.) In the months since, Ford has become a symbol for women and survivors all over. Her advocacy in speaking up for sexual assault survivors earned her an honor on TIME's 100 list and, as you can probably guess, the tweets about Christine Blasey Ford on the TIME 100 list are a reminder of how proud and inspired everyone is.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) penned Ford's profile, writing that the professor, who recounted her allegations in a raw testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September of 2018, "risked everything to send a warning in a moment of grave consequence."
"Her story, spoken while holding back tears, shook Washington and the country. Her courage, in the face of those who wished to silence her, galvanized Americans. And her unfathomable sacrifice, out of a sense of civic duty, shined a spotlight on the way we treat survivors of sexual violence," Harris wrote.
Ford's inclusion on the list is major — for one thing, it drives home that sexual misconduct is no longer something that can be swept under the rug. Though Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed to the Supreme Court seat and was not charged with any crime, Ford's bravery in taking her allegations public renewed the conversation about sexual misconduct by powerful men and affirmed it as something to be taken seriously. Now, many are celebrating her courage.
However, in print, Ford had to once again face her alleged abuser. Some are upset that Ford was featured alongside Kavanaugh himself, and critical of the appearance of equating her courage in coming forward to his appointment to the Supreme Court. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) paid homage to Kavanaugh, praising the judge for his "resilience" throughout Kavanaugh's confirmation battle, per The Washington Examiner.
Twitter has a lot to say about the features, but the comments about Ford herself were all about what she represents to survivors.
"Your actions have given courage to thousands of women who were afraid to speak out and come forward," one Twitter user wrote. "You are a hero, and will always be remembered for one, long after those who tried to trash your name are forgotten."
Ford went public with her claims back in 2018, claiming that Kavanaugh had pushed her onto a bed and tried to disrobe her at a party in the 1980s. The judge categorically denied the accusations at the time, saying in a statement obtained by CNBC, "This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or anyone." Elite Daily reached out to his representatives for further comment at the time, but did not hear back.
After the alleged attack, Ford said she suffered from anxiety and post-traumatic stress symptoms, and had trouble forming friendships, especially with boys, per The Guardian. When she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that September, she claimed that she was still "terrified."
"My greatest fears have been realized, and the reality has been far worse than what I expected. My family and I have been the target of constant harassment and death threats. I have been called the most vile and hateful names imaginable," she said in her testimony.
The hearing where Ford testified drew comparisons to the 1991 testimony of Anita Hill, who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation to the Supreme Court. Thomas, who publicly denied the allegations, was confirmed to the court. Both Hill and Ford were publicly mocked and even threatened, but the acknowledgment of Ford's influence on the TIME 100 list — which didn't even exist in 1991 — shows that they didn't come forward for nothing.
Ford has also received an outpouring of love, with many people sending her supportive letters and kind words.
If you'd like to get in on that, here's how you can send Ford a letter, too, because kind words go a long way.