What Teenagers Think Of The Accusations Against Brett Kavanaugh

Sep 26, 2018

With Meghna Chakrabarti

Teens and the Kavanaugh hearings. What do they think about how Washington is handling this moment? What lessons are they learning? We’ll ask teenagers from around the country.

Guests

Layla Bagwell, 15-year-old sophomore at Riverstone International School in Boise, Idaho. Co-author of an open letter posted on Change.org titled “We are fifteen-year-old girls. We are with you Christine Blasey Ford, PhD.”

Anjali Berdia, 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jack Torres, 16-year-old junior at Somerville High School in Somerville, Massachusetts. (@JackTorres00)

Debra Hauser, president of Advocates for Youth, a nonprofit that develops programs, learning materials and curricula for schools on youth sexuality and reproductive health.

From The Reading List

The New York Times: What Teenagers Think About the Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh — “Defenders of Mr. Kavanaugh have argued that events dating from so long ago are irrelevant and should have no impact on his confirmation. Mr. Kavanaugh, who is 53, has also denied the allegations. But teenagers across the country said in interviews that they were disturbed to see so many adults dismissing the accusations against Mr. Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford. Much of the story felt familiar to them.

They recognized the scenario outlined in Dr. Blasey’s allegation — a drunk teenage boy taking advantage of a girl at a house party. And in the backlash against Dr. Blasey, a research psychologist in California, the teens saw the way girls are often criticized for calling out mistreatment.”

Vox: Why The Kavanaugh Accusations Matter So Much To Teen Girls Like Me — “I’m 18 years old, only six months older than Brett Kavanaugh was when he allegedly sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl. (Kavanaugh denies the allegations.) I know boys that matched the descriptions of him and his friends — belligerent, abusive, and entitled — because they can be. They know they are destined for high places in society simply because they were born into privilege. Now that I’ve been in college for a few weeks, I’m getting the sense these kinds of boys are here too.

Most high school girls know these boys. At parties, we learn to be vigilant when they’re around. In college, we’re taught how to distract potential attackers. We learn to keep an eye on our friends and intervene in situations that seem dangerous.”

Adults have had a lot to say about the Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations.

But what about today’s teenagers? They’re the social media savvy, #metoo generation that’s also steeped in hook up culture. What lessons are they learning from how the nation is handling this moment? This hour, On Point: Teenagers speak out on the Kavanaugh hearings. –Meghna Chakrabarti.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.