The law professor and author of the controversial book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother publicly endorsed Kavanaugh as a "mentor to women" after he was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Donald Trump. But privately, Chua apparently advised a female student to dress in an "outgoing" way for her interview with Kavanaugh, and even asked her to send photos of herself in different outfits before the interview. (The student did not do this.)
Students were so uncomfortable with Chua's statements that, at least in one case, a student decided not to pursue a clerkship with Kavanaugh because of the Tiger Mom's comments. Jed Rubenfeld, Chua’s husband and fellow Yale professor, also reportedly told a student that Kavanaugh "hires women with a certain look."
In a statement to Refinery29, Chua said: "For the more than 10 years I’ve known him, Judge Kavanaugh’s first and only litmus test in hiring has been excellence. He hires only the most qualified clerks, and they have been diverse as well as exceptionally talented and capable. ... As I wrote in the Wall Street Journal, he has also been an exceptional mentor to his female clerks and a champion of their careers."
Kavanaugh's reported problematic views on women don't stop there. Yale Daily News reported that during his time at Yale, Kavanaugh joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity — the same one that in 2011 was banned for five years after videos showed recruits chanting, "No means yes, yes means anal" in front of the University Women's Center. While he was a member, some of his fellow fraternity brothers made a flag from women's underwear and marched across campus.
Trump's nominee had already faced opposition over his record on abortion rights, workers' rights, and more. But it's the sexual assault accusation, eerily reminiscent of the allegations Anita Hill brought against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the early 1990s, that tells us the most about Kavanaugh's moral character.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).