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Did He Kav Her?

David Berger

Or is he being Borked?


To Kav: verb, meaning to physically assault a woman with the intention of rape, but be too drunk to rise to the occasion and complete the task. This term has entered the entitled frat boy vernacular this week along with ski (short for “brewski”), Renate Alumni, Devil’s Triangle and other hateful misogynistic references.


Full disclosure: I am a white college-educated male. I went to school on a number of scholarships (awarded based on my intelligence and musical talent), worked summer day jobs and played gigs at night year-round. I went to public schools and had no relatives or family friends to help me gain entrance to any institutions. Success in my career, like most every artist I know, has been due to my hard work and faith in myself. I’m not very different from most of the people I know. I’ve never considered myself special or deserving of special treatment.


In my relationships with women, I do remember seducing more than a few in my youth. My technique was to be nice to them, make them laugh and basically create a relaxed, private situation where they would want to have sex with me because I appealed to them. If the feeling wasn’t mutual, for any reason, I was not interested. Sometimes we had a few drinks or smoked pot, but never have I used physical force. Honestly, that never occurred to me. Maybe I’m naïve, but for me the pleasure in sex is the mutual enjoyment of each other. Everything else is about power, not sex.


I once watched a movie where a lonely guy’s friends hire a beautiful hooker for him as a birthday present. He has no idea about her profession (actually, he was her first trick ever) when he meets her, and thinks that she is as attracted to him as he is to her (which she was). When he finds out later that she had sex with him for money, he gets very upset. In the meantime, the two of them fell in love, and this becomes an obstacle for him to overcome. Trust raises its ugly head. My point is: Why would you want to have sex with someone who doesn’t want you? There’s some kind of self-hatred at work here.


So many issues have surfaced this week on my TV screen and screens across America. Foremost is Anita Hill Redux. It’s been 19 years since the Senate (then almost totally white men) had a reflex action of taking the word of an angry man over the calm, detailed testimony of an educated, articulate, humble woman. The result has been 19 years of possibly the worst Supreme Court Justice in modern history. He has only spoken a few times in all these years, and his decisions have always been along party lines, showing no insight. I don’t say this because he is a Conservative. I rarely agreed with Justice Scalia, but I never doubted his intelligence or honesty.


Just in case anyone thinks that race has anything to do with my assessment of Justice Thomas, I’ll be honest; it has. He is a Black man. I expect more from him. All my Black friends have told me that growing up they were told that they had to be better than white folks to be given the things that white folks get.


Thomas has shown himself not to be especially intelligent, so he must have been a hard worker. Even if this is true, that is not what I call Supreme Court material. I want my Justices to be the most brilliant and fair-minded Americans. They, of course will have political opinions, but they need to be able to put those aside when wearing their robes. That is the qualification for any judge, but in spades for the Supreme Court.


Now we are faced with a former prep school and Eli product of white privilege forcefully denying claims that he was a belligerent drunk in high school as well as at Yale and assaulted at least one woman and exposed himself to another. He denied all three claims, even saying that Bill and Hillary Clinton were behind these accusations. Many of his classmates have come forward to call him a liar. They all knew him to be a belligerent drunk who frequently drank enough to vomit and pass out. So far, no one has come forward to say that they witnessed the two misogynistic and criminal events at issue.


Although there were others present, they are too embarrassed to speak about it, and have claimed to not remember the incidents. (I can understand that they don’t want to bring this chaos into their lives. Look at the punishment Dr. Ford is getting from her fellow citizens.) Perhaps the FBI will be able to jog their memories. But let’s put all this aside. After watching Thursday’s testimony (which I had to turn off several times, because it was so upsetting for a number of reasons), I texted my son asking him if he watched the hearings. His response was:


“Yeah, I didn’t even have to watch the woman (Dr. Ford). Five minutes of this guy, and it’s clear he shouldn’t be judge of a pie eating contest.”


As usual, Caleb cut through all the noise and hit the nail on the head. This guy is out of control. As my buddy Matt Hong posted on Facebook, Matt knew plenty of entitled white frat boys during his college days at Harvard. They get through life never having to face consequences and being given everything. Then when they are confronted with their bad behavior, they deny it and act like the spoiled brats they are.


A while back I read a book entitled Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them by Susan Forward. It detailed the abusive men’s behavior patterns. They go from being the ultimate lover (flowers, compliments, expensive dinners and gifts, etc.) to verbal and physical violence, which is then followed with denials and accusing their spouse of being the abuser. If that doesn’t work, they apologize (often resorting to weeping and other manipulative behavior) and promise never to do it again. Sometimes alcohol and/or drugs are involved, but not always. They think nothing of cheating and lying. Of course, they are incapable of keeping their promise, and this becomes a pattern of abuse (textbook Narcissistic Personality Disorder).


Much if not most of this behavior was on display in the Senate hearing room and on our TVs Thursday. Like my son, I recognized it right away and am amazed that everyone in America didn’t, and that the Senators didn’t address it directly when Kavanaugh went into his tirades.


This man is a flagrant misogynist. If you have any doubts, I direct you to watch his exchange with Senator Amy Klobuchar. She very matter-of-factly asked him if he had ever blacked out when he drank. The logic here is that maybe he had so much to drink, that he doesn’t remember what he did that night in high school. His response to her was, “Have you?”


Let’s keep in mind that this is a job interview. Say you want to hire a person for any position, maybe a security guard, or a teacher, or a vice president for your company. In the course of your interview, you ask them if they ever committed a crime, or abused drugs or alcohol, and their response is, “Have you?” In my world, this exposes seething anger and aggressive behavioral tendencies, and this person would immediately be shown the door. I think it is no coincidence that Kavanaugh saved this hostile, aggressive response for a woman questioner. Hours later, he apologized. Do you see the pattern?


The big question is: Do we want a proven liar and misogynist on the Supreme Court where he will make decisions that will directly or indirectly affect 159 million women and girls in our country? I’ve seen enough of this guy. Let’s move on to the next candidate. If Trump selects him, I won’t like his politics, but I’m sure we can do much better than this drunk. By the way, I’ve known a lot of former alcoholics and drug addicts. They don’t lie about their past. They are proud that they licked it, and we are proud of them. The only ones who lie about their past substance abuse are still abusers. How many times did he say, “I like beer”? He said it, not me. Your honor, I rest my case.

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  • Marilyn Harris on

    BRAVO!! And your son Caleb is absolutely correct! XOXO – M

  • Gary Orfield on

    Your son was right. The many men who see this clearly have to stand the women of this country who have seen virtually an entire political party dismiss the devastating consequences of sexual violence and even attack a truthful and courageous victim.

  • Hans Jacobs on

    I thought this was a brilliant essay. Thank you for writing it.

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