The Trump presidency has allowed for a constant state of spectacle and amusement in the political sphere; these political spectacles have shed light on many issues, including the treatment of women in politics.
Two women who have had a huge impact on female representation and female empowerment were Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Ford’s testimony in 2018 gave courage to more women to speak up about their sexual assault experiences. Yovanovitch’s testimony was one of the major highlights of the impeachment hearings on Friday, Nov. 15.
Yovanovitch was removed from office a few weeks prior to Trump’s allegedly incriminating phone call. The speculation around Yovanovitch’s removal from her post in Ukraine was because she would not cooperate with the unconstitutional requests between the two countries that would help Trump’s chances of winning the 2020 elections.
Her testimony reinforces the power of women in politics and high levels of competency and professionalism. The same cannot be said about Trump’s rhetoric through his about Yovanovitch , which were labelled “intimidating” by Adam Schiff Chair of the house intelligence committee.
Yovanovitch’s highly respected testimony echoes the same composed and professional decorum that Ford had when she testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, during the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. Kavanaugh was under investigation just like Trump, albeit for different allegations. He also conveyed anger and hate through his demeanor and words.
The connection between Ford and Ambassador Yovanovitch is important to pay attention to because of their public positions against powerful men. Trump and Kavanaugh had their political power questioned by these women. Yovanovitch and Ford did not attack these men or their reputations; these women only spoke with facts and honest recounts.
It is important to draw this correlation between Trump and Kavanaugh, not just because of the ideologies they’ve expressed, but because of their public rhetoric and behaviour towards women. They both symbolize female oppression through public displays of aggression, whether it was verbal or indirect.
Yovanovitch had her reputation and career publicly attacked by the president. Ford was the target of death threats and public shaming after her testimony. Yet, both stood in public televised hearings to speak up for justice. It is essential to highlight their endurance and courage despite the attacks because they can be considered symbols of female power in the political sphere.
Graphic by Victoria Blair