I think of Dr. Ford sitting across from all those white men, who have the power to judge her credibility — which they will attack. So let’s imagine a tenure case in which senior white males send in secret poison letters, fearful of junior faculty who have already demonstrated they will speak out about professorial sexual misconduct. These men have long considered sexual access to students as part of their compensation package — and they are determined to be rid of a junior colleague who does not go along to get along. She is not a dutiful daughter, and would never counsel another woman to be one either. These men have far too much power to determine a woman’s fate, be it in the courtroom, the boardroom, the hallowed halls of the Ivy Leagues, or on the Supreme Court.
Kimberly Theidon is a medical anthropologist focusing on Latin America. Her research interests include critical theory applied to medicine, psychology and anthropology, domestic, structural and political violence, transitional justice, reconciliation, and the politics of post-war reparations. She is the author of Entre Prójimos: El conflicto armado interno y la política de la reconciliación en el Perú (Instituto de Estudios Peruanos. first edition 2004) and Intimate Enemies: Violence and Reconciliation in Peru (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012). She is currently involved in two research projects. She is completing research on “Pasts Imperfect: Working with Former Combatants in Colombia,” in which she works with former combatants from the paramilitaries, the FARC and the ELN. In Peru, she is conducting “Speaking of Silences: Sexual Violence and Redress in Peru,” an ethnographically grounded study of reparations, gender and justice. Dr. Theidon is an associate professor of anthropology at Harvard University, and the director of Praxis Institute for Social Justice.