Singer and activist Janelle Monáe took the opportunity while performing on a world stage Saturday to address Christine Blasey Ford and all survivors of sexual violence.
"I dedicate this to Dr. Ford, I dedicate this to Anita Hill, I dedicate this to anyone who is trying to make this place a better world," the singer said during her set at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, an MSNBC-televised music event that highlights education, poverty and preventable diseases.
Her words of support for Ford and Anita Hill, women who said they were victims of illegal sexual behavior by men nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court, came as the nation ended a week of strife over Ford's testimony that Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her when they were teenagers — an allegation he denies.
The Senate Judiciary Committee Friday endorsed Kavanaugh to the full Senate, with a caveat that the FBI gets one week to conduct a supplemental background check of Ford's allegations before a confirmation vote. That last-minute White House concession seemed to acknowledge GOP Sen. Jeff Flake's argument that quick approval would send the wrong message to "assault survivors."
"This past week was a brutal, brutal week for a lot of us women," Monáe said. " ... It was an especially hard week for survivors of sexual violence."
Even with an extra week of deliberation, legions of American women expressed outrage over the Republican-controlled committee's attempt to move on swiftly. The committee's Sen. Jeff Flake insisted on the FBI inquiry after he was confronted in an elevator after Friday's hearing on Kavanaugh.
"Don't look away from me!" sexual assault survivor Ana Maria Archila, 39, told the Republican from Arizona. "Look at me and tell me that it doesn't matter what happened to me, that you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land."
Monáe seemed to tap that energy Saturday in Central Park as she put on an African kufi cap and performed with several women dancers.
"I hear you, I see you, and I believe you," she said between songs, urging the crowd to repeat those words.
"It means that when survivors of sexual violence come forward we have got to listen and believe them," the performer said, adding that men must support women and "let her know that you have go her back."