“You’re not a victim for sharing your story. You are a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth. And you never know who needs your light, your warmth, and raging courage.” ~ Alex Elle
Cue the music. Dim the lights. Set free the lions.
No we have not come to the Big Top. No we are not watching the greatest show on Earth. This is not the circus, although at times it seems that is exactly what we are watching. No, we are here to see the viscous, carnivorous, unrelenting beasts that are the men who hold power. We sit and watch the persecution of not the predator who roars to intimidate others, but the already wounded prey who must recount the attack. And as the prey opens up to show their scars, the lions sitting high on their rocks of power attack the prey once again saying the original attack never happened, or that the prey wanted the attack to happen and is now the one attacking their fellow innocent lion.
Does this sound familiar? It is the scene that plays out over and over again. It is the scene that has played out in the most important Supreme Court Justice appointment we have seen in decades. And whether you are Conservative or Liberal, Republican or Democrat, the scene we saw yesterday should have left you with a look on your face much like that of the women in the room as Judge Kavanaugh recounted, or failed to, the happenings of his early life. Just by taking the eye test, everyone should get out their red marker and place a big F at the top of the page.
I don’t want to break down the whole hearing but let’s just take a look at a few things that should raise red flags across the board:
- “Devil’s Triangle” and “Boofing” – Let’s face it, the guy knowingly and clearly lied about the meaning of these two terms which were referenced on his 36-year-old calendars (more on these in a moment). It’s like he forgot that we are in an age where in seconds you can go to the internet to look up whatever your heart desires, like the definition of certain slang. If you aren’t offended by his assumption that we are all idiots then you are just that, an idiot.
- The Calendars – He kept calendars which are as old as I am! We have heard it over and over again, sexual predators like to keep something to remind them of their “conquests.” Why would anyone keep 36-year-old calendars unless they want to have record and reminders of their shady experiences? It’s not like he kept it in a journal. These are calendars! Everyone should be saying, C’mon Man!
- The Yelling – The most obvious defense mechanism of a liar is to get loud and bang your fists to distract and intimidate the accuser. Add to that the playing themselves off as the victim, and it turns into a game of “smoke and mirrors” where it is easy to lose sight in what you believe. And that is all a liar needs, a sliver of doubt in what the true facts are. A liar can take that sliver of doubt and insert their own “facts” to confuse and distract, and that is just what we saw.
We could go on and on about this but that is not what I wanted this to be about. I just wanted to bring it to light to show that we are in a fucked up world where predators can be seen as victims, and victims can be seen as vengeful and vindictive. A world where some men because of their status, position, or power feel they have a right to make any woman their next conquest. A world where women have to be ultra-aware of every single choice they make from their actions, to the way they dress, to the way they carry themselves just to give them a better chance of keeping themselves safe and not being attacked physically, verbally, mentally, or emotionally.
It’s scary to think about having to raise a young girl in this environment. Giving her all the skills, precautions, and confidence to not be afraid to tell a man no. Helping her see that her self-worth is not determined by the “love” or opinion of a man. Assisting her in finding her own true self so that she not only carries herself in a manner she can be proud of but also in being an advocate for the women who are victimized by a society that sees them as a sexual object. To all of you parents of young women and girls, I’m with you.
But it’s not only scary trying to raise bright, confident women. It is just as scary trying to raise a boy/young man who won’t grow up to be an ass hole who preys on women, or sees them as objects instead of an individual who offers more than just a good time between the sheets. As parents of young men we have just as much responsibility, if not more, in teaching them to respect and advocate for the just treatment that every woman deserves. To all of you parents of young men and boys, I’m with you.
This brings me to my final thought. I am not ashamed to say that I have only been with two women in my life. Both were loving, long-term relationships. I don’t feel like I ever pressured either to do anything they did not want to do, but if I did I am deeply sorry. For any woman who I may have offended or made to feel uncomfortable by a look, a remark, or simply by my presence, I truly apologize.
To every woman: You are all more than what others can see. You are the strength of this world. The strength that even through the fear that this world can bring, goes out each day to make it a better place. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Don’t be afraid to fight back. Don’t be afraid to say NO! And never forget, I HEAR YOU, I’M WITH YOU.
Be Good. Do Good.