Tracker Pixel for Entry

An open thank you note to Senator Heitkamp

Editorial | October 10th, 2018

Hornung-editorial-ambrotype by Shane Balkowitsch Recalling Klimt

Dear Heidi,

I thought about writing a personal thank you on your vote against Judge Kavanaugh but found that my sentiments echoed and resonated much louder than a simple letter. This thank you extends beyond just my pen -- or rather keyboard. You openly acknowledged that this vote was a risky political move but you were right in following your conscience. I’m finding out more and more that a politician with a conscience in this day and age is a rare but beautiful bird.

I was listening to excerpts from Kavanaugh’s hearing on NPR while driving to my hometown in central North Dakota and the tension was stifling. I felt like I couldn’t breathe at times and when I got out of the car I felt shaky and I felt helpless. I still feel helpless because there’s a lot at stake here.

I understand Susan Collins’ moderate Republican stance. As a North Dakotan I respect a moderate -- full disclosure -- they may be my favorite kind of Republican. Nothing is a black and white issue but from her perspective as a woman and as a pro-choice advocate I would really like to know what swayed her vote on the individual that could quite possibly overturn Roe v. Wade?

In Collins’ interview with CBS she made a point that there was a lack of evidence to support Ford’s allegations but after how many years Collins is right. It is his word against hers, but who do you believe? A woman who’s clearly shaken but can still muster clear, eloquent, cooperative words or a grown man throwing a tantrum and throwing shade at those questioning him, the one who clearly knows how you’re supposed to conduct yourself in a courtroom -- but doesn’t. What kind of evidence could one source other than an empty bottle and ripped undergarments? Also, as far as evidence goes, who keeps a calendar from the early ‘80s and how is that legit? I surely didn’t write my party schedule in my planner in college… I was too busy uhhh… “networking.”

I was proud of the way the women reacted in that courtroom. The way Judge Kavanaugh responded to Senator Klobuchar was disrespectful and unsettling. If he were a woman he could have even been called hysterical.

I know Kevin Cramer was quoted in saying that #MeToo is a “Movement toward victimization,” but I find it highly ironic how Kavanaugh did his best to play victim on the stand. Claiming everyone from the Clintons to the liberals were out to get him. Playing victim in front of a victim while being half-heartedly held accountable for your actions or accusations is low class. Unfortunately in this day and age the only victimhood that is being acknowledged applies only to those wielding power with skeletons in their closets. Or do those who downplay #MeToo finally fear the repercussion of “No means yes” culture? Maybe we’ll just call theirs #Meto, just so they feel like they have something.

That hearing felt like more of a charade than anything. A burlesque or poorly drawn caricature on justice if you will. There’s a reason women don’t openly share these stories. They’re worried no one will believe them. That it’s one word against the other. As women we know that and many of us have experienced that. Those experiences do affect you for the rest of your life. It affects the way you form relationships. It affects how you value yourself, how you trust, etc. Again as women… we know that and we live that.

Relating to others through their #MeToo stories reminds us that we’re not alone in our struggle.

We all know Kevin Cramer is notorious for his foot in mouth syndrome. He made mention that the women in his life can’t wrap their heads around the #MeToo movement. There are two sides to that coin. If they haven’t had a #MeToo moment, bully for them. If they had, he would be the LAST person I would share that experience with. He followed that comment with the idea that they were “pioneers of the prairie. These are tough people whose grandparents were tough and great-grandparents were tough.” Yeah. Mine were too and still are. You had to be tough or else you didn’t make it. We’d probably try to reach his office for comment but he won’t return our calls. I wonder why?

In the early days of statehood you could trade a woman for a team of horses. If you were a man you could also tell your wife as she went into labor, to go out to the barn and give birth among the animals. Those are true accounts of pioneer life. Can you imagine pioneer era #MeToo stories? They probably remained silent because the “rule of thumb” was still in effect making it legal for men to beat their wives with an object as long as it wasn’t thicker than your thumb. Women could not exist in the public sphere without a chaperone to keep their reputation intact and that extended halfway through the 20th century. Who knows, there’s probably an entire subsection of MAGA that involves women being seen and not heard.

Senator Heitkamp, you embody the true pioneer ideal. You blaze your own trail, think for yourself and lead with your heart. Women have come a long way in the past 100 years. We can own property, we can show our ankles in public, and we can vote and even run for office if we have the gumption. You’re an inspiration Ms. Heitkamp. Keep up the good work. I’m sure you’re inspiring a whole generation of women who aim to be “stronger than battery acid.”

Thanks for taking a stand and standing up for us.

RECENTLY IN

Editorial

Tracker Pixel for Entry HumanFamily2021B Tracker Pixel for Entry HighPlainsFairHousingAUG Tracker Pixel for Entry BismarckAUG2021 Tracker Pixel for Entry FargoVFW Tracker Pixel for Entry MidwestRoadTripAdventures Tracker Pixel for Entry WurstWest2021

Recently in:

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comThat old adage no longer applies: There is now such a thing as a free lunch, and it is here to stay. With help from a willing community, the founders of Lunch Aid North Dakota are continuing their…

By Michael M. Miller michael.miller@ndsu.eduLarry Kruckenberg of Cheyenne, WY, a native of Hazen, ND, has authored a new book, “Big Bend Country: A Journey of Good Times, Hard Times, and Hope,” available from GRHC.Kruckenberg…

Sons of Norway, Kringen Lodge #4-25, is a fraternal organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Norwegian culture.Sentrum på 722 2nd Ave N, FargoKringen Kafe er åpen for Kaffe og Bakverk mandag-fredag 9.00 til…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comIs Texas Senate Bill 8 only the beginning?If it wasn’t so insulting to primates, it looks as if some of the most vocal anti-abortion lawmakers in North Dakota wish to adapt a monkey see monkey do…

By Ed Raymond  fargogadly@gmail.comIt’s Time to Elect Electricians Instead of LawyersLawyers have been screwing the American people for over a century. Currently we have 214 lawyers and only one electrician in Congress. It’s…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021With Grand Forks being a hop skip and a cruise away from Fargo-Moorhead, our neighbors to the north have some great dining options. Whether you’re planning on spending a weekend or…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021“We have a guy that's been involved with the show for many years as a landlord and knew what it was like in the heydays. So he knows where he wants to take it.” says WE Fest General…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comTing Poo and Leo Scott may be the directors of record, but “Val” unfolds almost purely as the kaleidoscopic personal diary of subject and writer Val Kilmer, the mercurial one-time superstar…

By  Sabrina Hornung sabrina@hpr1.com2021 marks the 18th annual FMVA Studio Crawl, the Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists’ largest event. This year 38…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Theresa L. Goodrichsubmit@hpr1.comIt was day ten of our epic southwest road trip and we’d made it to Arizona. After camping in Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and New Mexico, we were exhausted, but fortunately our night in…

by Annie Prafckesubmit@hpr1.com17 June 2021On June 19th, from 12pm to 7pm, nonprofit Faith4Hope Scholarship Fund is hosting their first ever Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It is free and open to the…