In an open letter to Dr. Blasey on Wednesday, #MeToo activists called her a “hero” and promised that her words would have a lasting impact.
In the end, the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford delayed — but did not derail — the confirmation of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
But the leaders of the #MeToo movement want her to know that her “sacrifice was not made in vain.” In an open letter to Dr. Blasey on Wednesday, they called her a “hero” and promised that her words would have a lasting impact.
“The result of your testimony runs deeper and wider than who sits on that court seat,” the letter said. “You showed a world of discounted people what courage looks like.”
The letter was signed by Tarana Burke, who founded the #MeToo movement over a decade ago; Amanda de Cadenet, the founder and chief executive of Girlgaze, a digital network to promote female photographers, directors and other creators; Glennon Doyle, an activist, philanthropist and author of “ Love Warrior ”; and Tracee Ellis Ross and America Ferrera, actresses and activists who have been vocal about the #MeToo movement and related causes.
The letter, which was provided to The New York Times, published on the movement’s website Wednesday morning. It is only the latest step in an effort that began when Ms. Burke founded the movement over a decade ago.
“After #MeToo went viral, there should have been a massive step back to say, ‘How did we get here?’” Ms. Burke said in an interview on Tuesday. “How did we get to the place where you have millions of people who identify as survivors of sexual violence in this country and around the world? What allowed this to happen, and what do these people need?”
Dr. Blasey, a psychology professor from California who also goes by her married name, Ford, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month and accused Judge Kavanaugh, at the time still just President Trump’s nominee to the court, of pinning her on a bed, groping her and covering her mouth to keep her from screaming when they were teenagers. Dr. Blasey has received “unending” threats since she spoke up and has not been able to live at home, her lawyers told MSNBC.
Judge Kavanaugh denied her allegation. The Senate voted on Saturday to confirm his nomination to the Supreme Court, and he was sworn in hours later. At a White House ceremony, President Trump apologized to him “for the terrible pain and suffering” he had endured ahead of the confirmation vote.
Ms. de Cadenet said that she watched the Senate vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh on Saturday while on a flight from New York to Los Angeles, and that it made her and other women on the flight weep. She said she immediately wanted to show her support for Dr. Blasey.
“I was just overwhelmed by this feeling that we all have so much respect and gratitude for her,” Ms. de Cadenet said. “We need to let her know that her testimony was not in vain.”
She added that she wants to collect signatures from other supporters of Dr. Blasey and eventually compile them in a physical copy of the letter, to be delivered to her.
In the letter, the women described how they prepared to watch Dr. Blasey testify, remembering their own traumas and the times they had been doubted or disparaged.
“We were afraid for you,” the letter said. “Because we remembered.”
But then, “we witnessed you show up for duty not as a superhero but as a fully human woman. You showed us that the new hero — the kind of heroism called for in this moment — is a woman facing the patriarchy with no weapons other than her voice, her body, and the truth.”
The letter commended Dr. Blasey for her steadiness and vulnerability, her willingness to say “I don’t know,” and her poignant description of what she said she can never forget about the attack.
“When you said ‘indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter,’ our spines straightened and we remembered that while our stories are different, our battle is the same,” the letter said. “We are at war with that kind of laughter.”
Ms. Burke said that Dr. Blasey’s testimony brought back strong memories of the testimony Anita Hill gave in 1991, when she accused Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation process.
Things have gotten better since then, Ms. Burke said — culturally, if not always politically. “Me Too gives us a different framework for even talking about it,” she said. “As much as our government has not, we have certainly moved forward.”
She said she has been working to curate more — and more localized — resources for survivors of sexual harassment and abuse on the #MeToo movement’s website, which is also meant to be a hub for people who want to work, organize or donate in support of survivors.
On social media, the women are framing their tribute to Dr. Blasey as a love letter. But it’s also a promise, and a message of resolve.
“Like you did, we will continue to show up for ourselves and each other,” they wrote. “We will bring all of ourselves — our pain, fear, and anger — and we will stand in front of power and we will tell the truth.
“Even if we shake: We will tell our stories.”