Justice Kavanaugh vehemently denied ever assaulting anyone, and he was confirmed and sworn in as a Supreme Court justice earlier this month. At Georgetown Prep’s annual reunion weekend, he was hailed as a conquering hero.
.. Tobin Finizio, a radiologist who was the quarterback on Justice Kavanaugh’s football team, was there. So were Bernard M. McCarthy Jr., now a managing director at a Washington real-estate company; Michael Bidwill, the president of the Arizona Cardinals; and Tim Gaudette, a consultant in Colorado. The three friends were among those drawn into the controversy after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexual assault at a 1982 house party at which there was heavy drinking.
.. Mark Judge — an author and filmmaker who, according to Dr. Blasey, witnessed the alleged assault — was a no-show. So was Christopher Garrett, otherwise known by his high school nickname “Squi.” Mr. Judge and Mr. Garrett were so closely associated with the young Justice Kavanaugh — appearing regularly in entries in his personal calendar in the summer of 1982 — that they became part of a “Saturday Night Live” skit about the Senate confirmation hearings.
.. At one point during the football game, Justice Kavanaugh prepared to pose for a picture with former classmates. First, though, he instructed everyone to put down their beers, according to a person who witnessed the exchange. (Justice Kavanaugh didn’t appear to be drinking.)
.. Justice Kavanaugh skipped the evening event — but his presence loomed large. Addressing the crowd, Georgetown Prep’s recently appointed president, the Rev. James R. Van Dyke, noted how the firestorm around the nomination had united the Class of 1983 and the entire school.
.. Again his voice was drowned out by a chorus of whooping and cheering, as the crowd screamed some of those names: “Squi!” “P.J.!” That would be Patrick J. Smyth, another classmate whom Dr. Blasey said was at the party where she was assaulted. Mr. Smyth was at the Pinstripes event.
9/6/18: Sen. Kennedy (R-La.) question Kavanaugh about “getting into trouble” at Georgetown Prep, eliciting nervous laughter from Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh tells Sen. Kennedy (R-La.) that at Georgetown Prep “I had a lot of friends, I’ve talked a lot about my friends. And they’ve been here. So it was very formative.”
When Kennedy presses his question about “trouble,” Kavanaugh replies, “That’s encompassed by the friends, I think.”
Kennedy concludes by saying he’s decided to not ask Kavanaugh whether his underage friends were “sneaking a few beers past Jesus.” Kavanaugh shakes his head, says “Hey,” and giggles again.
Cornyn takes the mike, saying, “I for one am grateful for the senator’s self-restraint.” close
“We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect,” read the letter, from women who attended schools including Visitation, Stone Ridge and Holton-Arms.
.. “It was just a horrible culture,” she said. “I never married, I don’t have kids, and I trace it all back to those parties.”
All of the women interviewed for this story took pains to point out that not all of the students at the all-boys schools took part in this culture. But the problem was widespread and toxic, they said.
“There were lots of teenage boys I knew at Prep and Gonzaga who were not sexually assaulting girls, but they were in an environment where that was seen as acceptable,”
.. “The story that Dr. Ford told, that doesn’t surprise me at all.”
.. A 1980 Visitation graduate recalls politely asking a Georgetown Prep football player and his friends to leave a party that had ended at her friend’s house. The boys didn’t want to go and said so, asking the woman how she was going to make them leave. One took a step in her direction. She cracked the Heineken bottle from which she had been drinking against the wall and pointed the jagged edge at him. The boy walked away, muttering obscenities. They weren’t friends before, and certainly not after. The woman watched as the man steadily became a pillar of society. She doubts he remembers.
.. “The boys were really unable to regard young women as intellectual, social equals, and it was really infuriating to me. It’s so jarring to feel like you’re a competent, confident person, and then boys can’t treat you like a human.”
Several Georgetown Prep graduates interviewed for this story who attended during the 1980s say they have fond memories of the school and the lifetime friendships they forged there. But they also corroborate the impression that alcohol was an integral part of the school’s identity at the time and that heavy drinking and disregard or mistreatment of women were widely accepted.
I went to an elite high school down the road from his. Here’s what I saw... Ford had attended Holton-Arms, Landon’s sister school.. I do remember plenty about the culture of these same-sex programs, not all of it good. I began reaching out to old friends from Landon and Prep to see if they recalled the same misogynistic culture that I did... In my memory, we tested and terrorized the female teachers with petty acts of harassment, such as collectively staring at an eighth-grade earth science teacher’s breasts or dropping our pencils in unison at a specific time in the middle of her class (a feat we did not repeat for any male instructors)... The reason I can recall only the names of my male teachers from that period is because the women usually didn’t stay long... “We definitely were terrible to the female teachers,” said Patrick Breen, a lifelong friend who is now a history professor at Providence College in Rhode Island. He remembered the middle-school Spanish teacher who felt angry and harassed when someone from my class put a jock strap on her dog, which she brought to school... A few of the male teachers contributed to this culture. One U.S. history teacher introduced us to women’s suffrage by calling on a student who was often unprepared for class and asking him to tell us all he knew about the movement. The student stuttered and stammered for a few seconds. “That’s enough,” the teacher declared with finality, in a way that made clear he was dispensing with the subject, not the student.
.. Friday morning announcements, usually delivered by a high school senior. “After the [football] game, there will be a mixer. Girls from Holy Cross, Holy Child and Visitation . . . will . . . be . . . available,” he remembered the announcer saying lasciviously. The joke, my friend said, was a part of daily life, accepted by teachers and students.
.. 1,000 Holton alumnae signed a letter in support of Ford. Her account of being attacked was “all too consistent with stories we heard and lived while attending Holton,” their letter said.
.. She recalled being shoved off the bleachers at a football game by one Landon student and thrown, fully clothed, into a swimming pool by another.
.. Several of her friends in recent days remembered Landon students driving past the Holton campus and screaming “beaver” from their car. “I hated it,” she told me by email, “but thought it was just normal.”
.. whether the culture of casual misogyny and heavy drinkingthat existed in the 1980s matters today.
.. One way for Kavanaugh to handle the accusations against him would be to admit some boorish behavior decades ago, and then use the rest of his life as an example to prove that he has risen above the toxic sexism and misogyny of his youth.
.. (This, of course, runs counter to President Trump’s advice, as recounted in Bob Woodward’s book “Fear,” about how to deal with such allegations. “You’ve got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women,” he is quoted as telling a friend. “If you admit to anything and any culpability, then you’re dead.”)
.. “I loved Landon but looking at it retrospectively through the lens of the father of two daughters, I would not consider sending my son there,” wrote Steve Pokorny
.. It erases the specific details of Christine Blasey Ford’s stated recollections with the soggy mop of generalized male entitlement.”
.. Ideas that we consider anachronistic today — about women, male entitlement, even what we now call rape culture — were not just common views of that era. They thrived at places like Georgetown Prep, which Kavanaugh, in his confirmation hearing, called “very formative.”
Three years ago, Kavanaugh jokingly said in a speech that “what happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep. That’s been a good thing for all of us.” Today a better accounting of what went on at places like Georgetown Prep might help us all see our flaws more clearly.