NYTimes: Kavanaugh’s Yearbook Page Is ‘Horrible, Hurtful’

This is something so American that I will never understand it. Fifty-plus-year-old people angrily refute allegations that they might have kissed each other on the cheek 40 years ago. High school yearbooks that have yellowed with age are found to be “extremely hurtful.”

If it’s ok to write in the NYTIMES that you are “horribly hurt” and “sickened” by a yearbook from 1982, then it’s definitely fine to be devastated by the absence of horseback lessons today.

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20 thoughts on “NYTimes: Kavanaugh’s Yearbook Page Is ‘Horrible, Hurtful’”

  1. It’s not the kissing, which according to Renate Schroeder Dolphin was innocent and consensual. The hurtful thing is that multiple boys listed themselves as something like “Alumnus Renatae” (I’m correcting their bad Latin) in their yearbook entries, implying that they were all “schooled” by Renate in sexual matters. One of them includes a more explicit rhyme that implies that Renate would date anyone, and grant sexual favors to her dates. So now she feels betrayed that a boy she liked and trusted was boasting about having had sex with her.

    It’s true that there is a whole subtext here specific not only to American high schools but to the world of private high schools catering to rich kids. I went to public school on the other side of the country, but I knew a few kids who went to that sort of school, and it was a whole different world from mine. When I looked up some of the terms Kavanaugh and his friends were using on their yearbook entries, I was shocked. At my school, you could only list official activities like the school paper, orchestra, plays you’d been in, and future career goals, not thinly disguised boasting about binge drinking and preying on girls.
    (I tried before with this comment and it wouldn’t post, so I hope I don’t wind up with two versions of the comment. Please delete the duplicate if necessary.)

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    1. Honestly, how can anybody be upset that 40 years ago somebody hinted they had sex with them? Forty years ago! If I discovered somebody boasted about having sex with me in high school, I’d chuckle. I can kind of understand thinking that sex is dirty at 17 but by the age of fifty people usually figure out it is actually quite enjoyable. 🙂

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      1. They’re not boasting about having sex but about having been in a position to use someone for sex in a degrading way. Recently rumors were passed about a student here, and yes this was harassment of her & intended as such. To have had an experience like Ford’s or worse, and now to discover that there was not only that, there was the school laughing about it. I don’t believe you don’t get this

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        1. There was a moment when my whole school laughed at me. I was at the center of every rumor. It was quite unpleasant. But for me to feel upset about that now? I would have had to lead a very sheltered life for the past 25 years to feel anything about it.

          I can’t even begin to comprehend how one can be upset that some teenagers might have laughed about one 36 years ago.

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          1. You keep talking about trauma, the effects of trauma, yet you think that sexual trauma doesn’t count and imply it should have been enjoyed. I think you’re just saying these things to get blog traffic, it feels manipulative

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            1. Finding out that somebody left a suggestive comment on a yearbook 36 years ago doesnt constitute sexual trauma. I don’t think anybody is claiming it does.

              As for blog traffic, what would increase it would be the exact opposite of what I’ve been saying.

              There was an article in NYT by Padma Lakshmi yesterday. What she describes is horrible sexual trauma. Seeing a yearbook comment decades later might be mildly annoying. But it’s not sexual trauma, it’s not “horrible and wounding.” You just can’t place what somebody like Padma experienced on the same plane as this.

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              1. I have the distinct impression that these aren’t just “suggestive comments” but references to gang rapes, things like that, and are being recognized as such. And it may be one thing to have that in your past, but to realize that that person is now a candidate for this office, is another.

                Re your other questions, revocation of tenure for writing something silly in a yearbook, that’s not why people are questioning his suitability for this job, and he’s not having his existing tenure in current job revoked

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              2. “I have the distinct impression that these aren’t just “suggestive comments” but references to gang rapes, things like that, and are being recognized as such.”

                • I begin to have a feeling we are talking about different things. I’m talking about the linked article that discusses the Renate comments. Obviously, Renate wasn’t raped. She didn’t even know about the comments.

                “Re your other questions, revocation of tenure for writing something silly in a yearbook, that’s not why people are questioning his suitability for this job, and he’s not having his existing tenure in current job revoked”

                • It’s not his tenure I was asking about.

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              3. Well, for a supreme court nomination I’d expect all aspects of the past to be looked at. Again, they do this for security clearances, I know people who’ve had their character in elementary school investigated! On Renate, it sounds to me as though she was used and it still hurts when she’s faced with it. Embarrassment, you get over, sure, but the people I know who are still bothered by things from high school have had something happen to them, even if it appears it should be trivial

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              4. That’s precisely what I’m saying: people are exhibiting utterly disproportionate reactions to trivial things. Like the lady who was devastated because horseback lessons weren’t immediately available. It’s a very American thing, and you notice it immediately if you are from elsewhere. People don’t know how to range problems according to the degree of their importance.

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  2. Renate Schroeder Dolphin attached her name to a letter as a character witness for Kavanaugh based on her experiences in high school with him. To discover this guy and his friends were implying she was the Georgetown Prep football team slut in their yearbook is distressing. He was using her then to appear sexually experienced and he was using her now to look like an upstanding moral guy. Actually, implying someone is a slut is defamation pro se (for which damages are assumed and do not have to be proven, not that she would ever sue because those cases are hard to win.)

    Apart from the sexual nonsense, it would distress me to find out that someone I thought of as a friend held me in contempt the entire time we knew each other.

    And now Kavanaugh’s going around claiming he was a virgin as some kind of refutation of the allegations. He also let Whelan go around libeling another classmate [he was posting some twitter nonsense with google maps, zillow, old addresses and side by side yearbook pictures] , claiming that he was the one who attempted to assault Ford. The guy is a middle school teacher. Renate and this guy are private citizens which means proving defamation is not as hard as it would be for a public figure, like Kavanaugh.

    It is all absurd but this guy keeps going on about his good name and reputation and has no care for anyone else’s. And to think this was the best candidate they could come up with for a SCOTUS vacancy.

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    1. “To discover this guy and his friends were implying she was the Georgetown Prep football team slut in their yearbook is distressing. He was using her then to appear sexually experienced and he was using her now to look like an upstanding moral guy.”

      • “Slut” is the word you are using to refer to sexually experienced women. If you don’t think there is anything wrong with being a sexually active woman, then there wouldn’t be anything wrong or distressing in being discussed as such a woman.

      “Apart from the sexual nonsense, it would distress me to find out that someone I thought of as a friend held me in contempt the entire time we knew each other.”

      • But see, you are the one who is equating sex and contempt.

      “And now Kavanaugh’s going around claiming he was a virgin as some kind of refutation of the allegations. ”

      • At that age, I was hopelessly virgin but would drop dead of shame if anybody discovered that. So I invented a series of utterly non-existent conquests. As did all the girls in my class. I’ve gotten over this since then and can tell the truth now. I’m not sure what that tells us about me other than I was a typical teenager who wanted to look all grown up and sophisticated. We also lied to each other about having a ton of experience with alcohol. And we made lists of boys where we rated them on sex appeal. I recently read in the NYTimes that this is also supposed to be some sort of a horrible misdeed.

      I don’t know, am I the only teenager who did all that? Why is everybody acting like it’s the most unusual thing in the world? Where was everybody else raised? A convent? I’m from such a patriarchal family that my father once almost fainted when he heard the word “condom” on TV and my parents berated me for sullying the family honor by being seen in public with a boy. I had to get married at 19 to protect said family honor. Yet I somehow figured out by the age of 12 that they were old prudish fusspots and sex – which I was definitely not having – had to be great.

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      1. \ So I invented a series of utterly non-existent conquests. As did all the girls in my class. .. We also lied to each other about having a ton of experience with alcohol. And we made lists of boys where we rated them on sex appeal.

        May be, that was the norm in FSU? Haven’t seen such in Israel, at least not among my acquaintances.

        \ But see, you are the one who is equating sex and contempt.

        Surely you understand he knew it was insulting for her, as did his friends.

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        1. “Surely you understand he knew it was insulting for her, as did his friends.”

          • Insulting for her at 17 or at 52? What I can’t understand is how anybody in their fifties can see this as anything but funny. If a 17-year-old discovered these yearbooks and got upset, I’d get it, even though I’m obviously very different. But at fifty-fucking-two? It’s upsetting that somebody might have maybe hinted almost 40 years ago that they had some sort of a liaison with you?

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  3. I am shocked – a new excuse for mass drugging may have been found:

    LOVE DRUG Westerners are kinder to migrants when given the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin and put under peer pressure, scientists find
    Academics note that people tend to be more ‘altruistic to family and friends than to perfect strangers’ – but think they know how to change this.

    “The combined enhancement of oxytocin and peer influence could diminish selfish motives,” said Professor Rene Hurlemann from the department of psychiatry.

    “Given the right circumstances, oxytocin may help promote the acceptance and integration of migrants into Western cultures.”

    The suggestion that Westerners should be given drugs to make them more welcoming to foreigners is likely to be hugely controversial.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/4246768/western-people-become-kinder-to-migrants-when-fed-the-human-love-hormone-oxytocin-and-exposed-to-peer-pressure-german-scientists-say/

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      1. Wow, breaking news: a psychiatrist has “discovered” that you if dope people up, they become more docile. I like the old idea from the 1960s to just put LSD in the nation’s water supply better.

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