In the Age of #MeToo, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina Is a Model of Women Supporting Women
Dang, Patriarchy’s pathetic sometimes. And no, I'm not talking about the shriveled specter of former Spartacus star, Kirk Douglas at the Golden Globe ceremony. (Although that did explain why so many billionaires are spending mad money on anti-aging research.) No, I'm talking about the age-old routine of laying on a catfight. The bread and circus distraction white male capital uses to fend off feminist threats.
It’s routine stuff. In the months since the Harvey Weinstein allegations broke, a steady drip of anti-accuser women has come forth to say not me too but me-not. Women like Catherine Deneuve, Donna Karan, Brigitte Bardot. I don’t happen to give a fig what Brigitte Bardot thinks about anything—she’s pro Le Pen, probably pro-Nazi too. But it’s long past time we got wise to this stuff. Votes for women? Voila, a National Association of American Women Opposed to Women’s Suffrage. Anita Hill? An itty bitty group was made up by the Right to come out in favor of Clarence Thomas.
As soon as white male capital gets queasy, too many critics rocking the boat, there’s always spotlight time for women who’ll take on other women and throw oil on troubled waters.
Which is why I want to celebrate a very different scene this week. The scene in Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s court. Judge Aquilina presided over the sentencing of Larry Nasser, the former US gymnastics team doctor and child sex abuser. For a week, she forced creep Nasser to hear the women and girls he abused talk. And let’s be clear, as young as six and seven, his victims weren’t women, they were kids.
If anyone at the networks had any sense - or less loyalty to the status quo perhaps- this is the hearing that should have played out live, like the OJ trial. Judge Ito - eat your heart out - Judge Aquilina rocked. She invited, she listened, and after every statement, she addressed the speaker, usually to commend a young girl’s courage or to remind everyone who needed reminding that the guilty one was in the dock.
I don't know about you, but I have absolutely no need for Deneuve when we’ve got this judge. She’s just as well coiffed and makes infinitely more sense. She’s also modeling a new sort of justice. You want cross-generational, cross-class solidarity, due process, a multiracial army of women change-makers. Don’t watch the catfight. Watch Aquilina’s court.
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