Judge Kavanaugh’s opening statement Thursday was loud, emotional, and angry. It was essentially a love letter to Trump and his supporters and a warning to the rest of us who see him for who he truly is.
His behavior during the questioning remained odd. He was erratic, disrespectful, avoidant, and just plain cruel. It may seem out of the ordinary, but information from a Georgia State University study really puts his anger in perspective.
For “A Qualitative Analysis of Offenders’ Emotional Responses to Perpetrating Sexual Assault,” researchers studied the confessions of sexual assailants online and found four main responses to committing assault: shame, guilt, depression, and anger.
The researchers found that assailants got angry when they hold a hostility to women and are denying responsibility for their actions. Considering that Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record alone is hostile to women, it is pretty reasonable to see how he fits the bill.
— NARAL (@NARAL) September 27, 2018
The study looked at the public confessions of sexual assailants and analyzed them for emotional themes. Then they dug into these themes to highlight the underlying thoughts connected to the assailants’ emotions.
Assailants get angry when they deny culpability
“...[R]espondents who expressed anger denied responsibility and blamed external factors, which could be evidence of an attempt to reduce shame,” the authors wrote. “Cognitive distortions, such as victim blame, may prevent the perpetrator from taking steps to correct his behavior, or may reinforce attitudes that are hostile toward women, thereby contributing to repeat perpetration.”
Kavanaugh likely has been abusing women for most of his life. If he isn’t assaulting someone, he’s muttering about Hillary Clinton being a bitch. If he isn’t hating on a Clinton, he’s working on taking women’s legal rights to their bodies away. His hatred of women hasn’t just been tolerated—it’s been rewarded his whole life. It’s no wonder he has no idea how to handle this level of scrutiny.
This isn’t to say that Kavanaugh behavior yesterday proves that he did it because of this study. However, knowledge is power. Many people may assume that Kavanaugh’s anger is righteous since he barely showed any emotion before, but what if we considered that the angry, indignant men are yelling to obscure their shame—and the truth?