After being nominated for an appointment to the United States Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was accused by multiple women of alleged sexual misconduct. In September, one of them — psychology professor and researcher Dr. Christine Blasey Ford — came forward and testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers, and though he continues to deny all claims, it quickly reignited the debate over sexual assault allegations, and how to handle them. Ford continues to face criticism from those who doubt her claims, but in an interview with Stephen Colbert Thursday, Lady Gaga shared powerful words about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony, and made an incredibly moving argument about why sexual assault survivors deserve to be believed, even if they don't remember all of the details.
Lady Gaga was technically on Colbert's show as part of the media rounds for her new film, A Star Is Born. But during their chat, the late-night host asked the singer and actress about her thoughts on the Kavanaugh hearing. Colbert seemed a bit unsure at first how she might respond, but by the end, he seemed blown away by her incredible statement.
After taking a moment to collect her thoughts, Gaga told Colbert that the news coverage of Kavanaugh's hearings has been "one of the most upsetting things [she has] ever witnessed," and proceeded to confidently and eloquently explain why the skepticism over Ford's testimony by some GOP members — including most notably President Donald Trump, who recently mocked Ford's story at a Mississippi rally — is unfair, and frankly, straight-up wrong.
I am a sexual assault survivor. And the truth is, Trump the other day was speaking at a rally, and he said, 'She has no memory of how she got the party, should we trust that she remembers the assault?' And the answer is, yes.
But, lest anyone think Lady Gaga wasn't fully prepared to expertly defend her position, well, she definitely brought receipts:
I'll tell you exactly why ... If someone is assaulted, or experiences trauma, there is science, and scientific proof — it's biology — that people change. The brain changes. And literally what it does is it takes the trauma and it puts it in a box, and it files it away and shuts it, so that we can survive the pain.
She then went on to explain the reality of trauma that is so often glossed over: that it's not simply about the assault itself, it's about the lingering psychological and physical effects survivors have to find a way to live with long after the incident occurred. And, in many cases, that naturally involves trying (either consciously or subconsciously) to forget what happened as much as possible.
What's more though is that, while naysayers like the president might believe that her imperfect recollection is evidence that she's lying (Trump actually told the crowd that, thanks to Ford, "a man's life is in tatters"), the reality is so much different. She said,
What I believe that I have seen, is that when this woman saw that Judge Kavanaugh was going to be possibly put in the highest position of power in the judicial system of this country, she was triggered. And that box opened. And when that box opened, she was brave enough to share it with the world to protect this country.
On social media, Twitter users were seriously impressed by Lady Gaga's strong statement, and many thanked her for sharing a message that can't possibly be shared enough. But her powerful statement is also far from being the first time she's spoken out about sexual assault. For one, at the 2016 Oscars Lady Gaga performed "Til It Happens to You," a song she co-wrote with Diane Warren, and which was nominated for an award. During her performance, she was joined on stage by 52 sexual assault survivors, according to Buzzfeed, and on the red carpet, she explained why the moment felt so significant. She said,
It's something that is deeply connected to my heart. I am myself a survivor; Diane Warren is herself a survivor of sexual violence. We're here tonight very grateful to the Academy for giving us this world stage to reward survivors for being brave and coming forward.
Thanks to the Senate's vote Friday morning, Kavanaugh is one big step closer to being confirmed as a SCOTUS judge — the final vote is expected to take place Saturday — and, well, the odds certainly appear to be in his favor. But regardless of the outcome, anyone who is uneasy about the idea of believing women who come forward definitely need to watch this video and hear what Lady Gaga has to say.