That's what we feel.
I wish I could find a photo of my eighteen year old self, the innocent self that attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who pledged a sorority, who attended fraternity parties, who got drunk only a few times, but one time in particular at a party and afterward when a boy whose family name emblazoned a dormitory took me back to his dorm room and when I felt woozy (I had never been drunk) and said so, he told me to sit down on the bed lie down you'll feel better and then with lie simultaneously put his very large hand at the top of my stomach, just below my chest I think it's called the solar plexus and pushed me backward but I knew in that moment, I knew his hand, and even as I looked up into his nostrils so wide, so long I knew what was happening and my head cleared and I struggled up his hand there and sat up and stood up and walked out the door and ran down the stairs and out of the dorm and on to mine. I don't remember if I told anyone about that, then. I was a little bit drunk. Maybe he really wanted to help me.
I went to college with lots of Kavanaughs. 1981-1985. The parties, the garbage cans filled with Hawaiian Punch and grain alcohol. The ancient black man who tended bar, at the "cocktail" parties and called every girl Miss and her date's last name, his voice soft as he handed out gin and tonics. The rumor of girls pulling trains. Girls who woke up and had forgotten what happened the night before. The smell of piss and stale beer in the hallways of the fraternity houses in the morning. The boys in one fraternity who hung tampons from their Christmas tree in the entrance of their "house," just at the bottom of the winding staircase where girls and boys far wilder than I disappeared. The secret societies where the most privileged boys belonged, along with professors and alumni, the Castle and the Lodge, their arcane rituals. The parties there where lines of cocaine were sniffed up with dollar bills, where girls' boyfriends had nicknames like "The Doctor," the wink wink of dealers, the wall-crawling thumping of music and ecstasy-fueled camaraderie. The teeth grinding afterward. I knew all of it, participated in little of it, was usually sober, my own boyfriend and his friends drinkers but never all that. There are always choices to be made. I watched it. All rich. All white. The Daddies. The privilege. The entitlement. The racism. Yes, the racism. Antebellum parties with blackface. The laughter. No integration in the sororities and fraternities despite attempts. My grandmama would never pay for my membership if we let black girls in, I read on a slip of paper when we canvassed for reactions. I could never live in the same room with a black girl, another.
I don't think the men on either side really get it, do they. And the women on one side, yes there are sides, yes there are tribes and that is not the real danger. The women on that side who just don't can't won't get it. So much hurt and darkness and once they were little boys and yet, still.
As much as we've been taught otherwise, I say burn the whole thing down.