Christine Blasey Ford does not want to be here. She said as much at the beginning of her testimony—that she feels it is her duty, to her country and to the people in it, and that is why she's here. "I am terrified," Dr. Ford admitted, her voice breaking as she began to speak about what she says happened to her at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh, the man President Trump nominated to the Supreme Court. (Kavanaugh denies Dr. Ford's claims.) Watching Dr. Ford force herself to confront a past trauma, in full view of the entire world and an army of men who have already said they don't believe her, is unspeakably hard.
Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor brought on by Republicans to question Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh, took a moment to acknowledge Dr. Ford's terror. “The first thing that struck me from your statement this morning was that you are terrified. And I just wanted to let you know I’m very sorry," Mitchell said. "That’s not right.”
Even a cursory glance at Twitter during Dr. Ford's brave testimony revealed that women and survivors—many of whom say they're forcing themselves to watch it to honor Dr. Ford and her courage—are finding it exceedingly difficult to behold. How could it not be? Watching someone relive one of the worst moments of their life, knowing that she won't be believed, knowing that the men watching her are actively trying not to engage with her pain—it's impossible not to feel profound empathy.
A number of Democratic politicians also shared their support for Dr. Ford and her bravery during the hearing.