Now that #metoo happened and Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are going down. And that one comedian is going down too, and even he admits it…I mean, where to start?
9/10 women I know have been assaulted. 1/10 men I know, at least. When I worked in the social field I was required to report whenever an individual brought up a case of sexual abuse, and I did, only to be told on one occasion, “Oh yeah, she always says that but she’s lying.”
Is she? I mean why would she lie about something like that? The girl was so psychologically traumatized by the event she couldn’t escape it. She punched mirrors, and then was reprimanded for it. She spent hours in the bathroom crying. “She’s just trying to get attention,” my superiors told me.
Well for fuck’s sake, let’s give it to her.
What I didn’t say was: I punched mirrors too.
What I didn’t say was: you keep crying. You let it all out. It’s totally, 100% okay to be sad, and angry. It’s normal and healthy to feel that way and I’m glad your dealing with it. Oh yeah, and, FUCCCK HIMMM.
Regardless, the girl was hard to get through to. But I believed her. Why the hell not? What is the goddamn harm? Something’s hurting her, it’s clear. What really angered me was the way the counselors shut her down–no matter what did or didn’t happen. You don’t do that. YOU don’t KNOW that.
Uma Thurman, just this morning, was quoted on NPR. Angry, she said.
She had always been afraid of revealing her anger and rage toward men. Those were her primary emotions.
Uma Thurman, coincidentally, is the actress who stars in Kill Bill and assumes revenge on a team of assassins, wielding a sword.
I have three essays on the topic that NPR is keeping, gracefully and rightfully, in the forefront. One essay I submitted two or three months ago, before #metoo, but it was declined. “Too short,” the editor told me. “It felt like it needed more of an ending,” she said.
I have read enough stories about publishing to know by now that I could potentially resubmit the same essay, new ending or not, and it would be more likely to be published. Timing. It’s half, or more, about the timing.
But I was smoking in the essay and I’m not smoking now so if I use that essay I would have to make that clear (take it out) and if I were already doing that, well I might as well change the ending.
But boy was I angry in that story.
Another story is called Stench. I wrote it in an attempt to just State The Facts and not skirt around the issue like I do in my poetry and in a good portion of my other writings. Sadly, the essay is far too revealing for my tastes.
I’d only publish it if someone paid me for it. Not much. Candy even.
In the final essay I braid one of my experiences with the experience of a girlfriend who was assaulted while travelling abroad and staying in a hostel. I also want to add to the story of another friend of mine who was flat out assaulted when some “friends” of hers drove around the block again and again refusing to drop her off until she performed a sexual act on one of them.
These were stories mentioned to me in passing. Nobody called me up and said “You’re not going to believe what happened to me!” No. Ha. That’s not the kind of world we live in. These stories are commonplace. Not that they should be. They are eventually told over tea and whispered in coffee shops and are rarely mentioned when men are in the house.
And they are just these sad little stories that took us women farther and farther from our bodies in a world where these very bodies are used against us in nearly every mainstream advertisement. “He won’t want to abuse you if you don’t look like this,” the world seems to tell us. Not fair. Not fair all around.
And they are not just sad little stories.
No, they are LARGE and ANGERED stories. Sword wielding stories, if we were to act like like barbaric men in the matter. But we only do that while playing dress-up and acting. Because for the lot of history, we women have been civil.
And they are not just sad little stories just like Weinstein and Trump (!!) are not just dirty old men.
That’s what I was always told growing up: “Oh he’s just a dirty old man.”
I think we can all agree, it’s time to take “just” out of the sentence.
Oh, he’s a dirty old man.
Stay away from him.
Lock him up.
There is no synonym for pedophile.