A glimpse of the teenage years

Ok that’s it. From the Times:

Brett Kavanaugh’s page in his high school yearbook offers a glimpse of the teenage years of the man who is now President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee: lots of football, plenty of drinking, parties at the beach. Among the reminiscences about sports and booze is a mysterious entry: “Renate Alumnius.”

The word “Renate” appears at least 14 times in Georgetown Preparatory School’s 1983 yearbook, on individuals’ pages and in a group photo of nine football players, including Judge Kavanaugh, who were described as the “Renate Alumni.” It is a reference to Renate [last name], then a student at a nearby Catholic girls’ school.

The Times gives her last name, but I was alerted to this news by a suitably angry post from Lindsay Beyerstein pointing out that the Times redacts people’s names all the time for the flimsiest of reasons but didn’t see fit to redact this one, and that’s infuriating. Yes it is.

But the story itself…that is fucking disgusting. That man must not be on the Supreme Court. Boys don’t say that kind of thing out of affection or gratitude; it’s slut-shaming. Boys importune girls for sex and call them sluts in the same breath.

Two of Judge Kavanaugh’s classmates say the mentions of Renate were part of the football players’ unsubstantiated boasting about their conquests.

“They were very disrespectful, at least verbally, with Renate,” said Sean Hagan, a Georgetown Prep student at the time, referring to Judge Kavanaugh and his teammates. “I can’t express how disgusted I am with them, then and now.”

So that’s who he was in high school. He was a cruel entitled bullying pig who joined with other cruel entitled bullying pigs to leave a permanent slut-taunt at a high school girl in their yearbook. That’s who he is.

(Now, scrolling down on the Times story, I see a headline “Pigs All the Way Down” – yes, exactly.)

Ironically, Renate X is one of the 65 women who signed a letter saying how awesome Kavanaugh is. She wasn’t aware of the yearbook item then.

“I learned about these yearbook pages only a few days ago,” Ms. X said in a statement to The New York Times. “I don’t know what ‘Renate Alumnus’ actually means. I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way. I will have no further comment.”

Oh, we all know what it means. The meaning is hideously obvious.

Alexandra Walsh, a lawyer for Judge Kavanaugh, said in a statement: “Judge Kavanaugh was friends with Renate [X] in high school. He admired her very much then, and he admires her to this day.

“Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. [X] attended one high school event together and shared a brief kiss good night following that event,” the statement continued. “They had no other such encounter. The language from Judge Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook refers to the fact that he and Ms. [X] attended that one high school event together and nothing else.”

Bull shit.

Some of Judge Kavanaugh’s high school peers said there was a widespread culture at the time of objectifying women.

“People claiming that they had sex with other people was not terribly unusual, and it was not terribly believable,” said William Fishburne, who was in Judge Kavanaugh’s graduating class and was a manager for the football team. “Not just Brett Kavanaugh and his particular group, but all the classmates in general. People would claim things they hadn’t done to sort of seem bigger than they were, older than they were.”

“People.” It was an all-boys school. It wasn’t “people,” it was boys.

Bill Barbot, who was a freshman at Georgetown Prep when Judge Kavanaugh was a senior, said Judge Kavanaugh and his clique were part of the school’s “fratty” culture. “There was a lot of talk and presumably a lot of action about sexual conquest with girls,” Mr. Barbot said.

“Sexual conquest,” aka rape. If it’s conquest, then it’s rape.

Ms. Dolphin was a subject of that braggadocio, according to Mr. Hagan and another classmate, who requested anonymity because he fears retribution. They said Judge Kavanaugh and his friends were seeking to memorialize their supposed conquests with the “Renate” yearbook references.

“She should be offended,” Mr. Hagan said of Ms. Dolphin. “I was completely astounded when I saw she signed that letter” on Judge Kavanaugh’s behalf.

Others say it was just what everybody did, no big deal, lighten up, boys will be boys, yadda yadda.

Michael Walsh, another Georgetown Prep alumnus, also listed himself on his personal yearbook page as a “Renate Alumnus.” Alongside some song lyrics, he included a short poem: “You need a date / and it’s getting late / so don’t hesitate / to call Renate.”

[That’s how it’s pronounced? Weird.]

Mr. Walsh, a bank executive in Virginia, was one of scores of Georgetown Prep alumni who signed a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee leaders vouching for Judge Kavanaugh’s “sharp intellectual ability, affable nature, and a practical and fair approach devoid of partisan purpose.” He did not respond to requests for comment.

Ms. Dolphin was aware that members of Judge Kavanaugh’s clique were reciting that poem, according to a person familiar with her thinking. She told the football players that she found it offensive, believing it made her seem like a cheap date, and she asked them to stop.

A cheap date, a desperate date, a will say yes to anyone date – aka a slut. The poem is a slut-shame poem.

That man should never be on the Supreme Court.

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