Category Archives: Sex

Silent No More

“In practice, the standard for what constitutes rape is set not at the level of a women’s experience of violation but just above the level of coercion acceptable to men.”
                                                                     Judith Lewis Herman

It seems I can’t listen to a news broadcast or read a newspaper the last couple of months with seeing another article or story relating to a powerful non-female harassing or abusing women. (Sorry, but I refuse to use the word man when referring to these individuals). Almost everyday there is another woman, or group of women, describing, in detail, the degradation they endured while working or attempting to find employment in the field where these sub humans wielded the power to destroy a career or make their lives so miserable they would suffer humiliation and fear rather than speak up. Children were also part of this disgusting behavior, as evidenced by the more than 100 children, (now women), who were abused during their gymnastics careers by a renowned team physician. Producers, actors, doctors, clergy, journalists, politicians, CEO’s, studio heads; the list of those individuals abusing power for their own satisfaction is endless.

In many cases years have gone by since these incidents took place and yet I don’t question a woman’s reasons for not coming forward sooner. Unless any one of us is in that position, how can we ever try to understand their thought process. Fear and intimidation are powerful weapons being used by powerful people. Circumstance is not ours to judge, especially in a society that continues to view women differently than non-females. A society that has failed to mature and grow up to the standards each of us deserves.

In these cases, the more powerful the abuser is, the greater his ability to define and arrange his arguments. Power is always wielded against the most vulnerable amongst us.

What angers me as much as the abusers are all those who knew about the actions of these individuals and did nothing about it. They share equal responsibility. They swept the complaints under the carpet, created non disclosure agreements, ignored the repeated problems that continued to be voiced and generally maintained the good old boys club be kept intact. They turned away. All these powerful and outwardly respectable sub humans didn’t think the voices that were raised were worth the words that were spoken.

How sad is that?

My guess is we’re in the infancy stage of this story, though I do question whether the press will ever reveal the true extent. Too many friends in high places, too much money to be lost by revealing the truth. But we’ll see,
Equally important is what happens now. How we move forward from this. There are more layers to this problem than what’s been revealed. While where we’ve been should never be forgotten, where were go from here is a question each of us must answer in his or her own way.

The responsibility is ours.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” 
                                                                                              Abraham LIncoln

Raped Twice

Statistics tell us that one in five women in the United States have been raped in their lifetime.

One in five women.

The next time you’re in a room filled with people, take a look around at the women in that room and think about those numbers. Disturbingly, since rape is underreported in this country, that number is higher than statistics indicate.

When I started this blog I wanted it to be a place I could go to and just write what was on my mind. Whether it was funny or serious, it was going to be my place to vent. The Stanford swimmer’s rape trial and verdict that has been in the news recently is so disgustingly obscene that even though I wanted to write something, I couldn’t find my way here to rationally articulate any reasonable thoughts. But I have to say something.

A young unconscious girl was assaulted and raped in January 2015 by a drunk student named Brock Turner who happened to be a swimmer. He comes from a privileged family and lives in Oakwood, Ohio, a neighborhood known for a higher standard of living with good schools and a low crime rate. The median household income in $100,724, more than double the average in Ohio.

Brock’s father lamented that his son’s life is pretty much ruined and that it was a steep price to pay for “20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”  Anyone who wonders if Brock has any respect at all for women should look no further than the insensitive ignorance coming from his father’s mouth. It’s possible the father is a bigger waste of human DNA than his son.

Brock’s mother pleaded with the judge for no jail time, saying that any time behind bars would be a “death sentence.” She felt he wouldn’t survive jail, that he’s be “damaged goods” and a major target being a “Stanford boy.” She claims that Brock is a “shattered and broken shell of the person he used to be. My once happy and vibrant boy is distraught, deeply depressed, terribly wounded and filled with despair.”

She also claims that he has never been in any trouble and his dreams have been shattered. “No NCAA championships, no Stanford degree, no swimming in the Olympics, no medical school, no becoming an Orthopedic surgeon.”

Neither Brock’s mother or father ever mention the trauma endured by the young lady he raped. Not once.

It should also be mentioned that the clean-cut image of Brock that his mother describes doesn’t include his drug use in high school. Why is that important? Because Brock’s explanation for why he made a bad decision is the drug and drinking culture he was exposed to in college and feels that culture is responsible for his uncharacteristic actions. Only he was using before college.

Why are we not surprised that a young college aged man refuses to accept responsibility for his actions and chooses to shift the blame to someone or something else. As if he didn’t know better. As if he didn’t have the ability to make the right choices.  However, after listening to his parents speak, it really isn’t surprising at all. This is a family of self absorbed, clueless individuals with no regard for anyone but themselves and their place in society.

Then there’s the judge in this case. After being found guilty in March, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, could have sentenced Brock  to fourteen years in jail. Prosecutors asked for six years. Persky sentenced him to six months. He’ll be out in three. Why? Persky doesn’t think Brock is a threat and won’t repeat his actions again.

Really? So that’s the new basis for sentencing? If we don’t think someone who has killed or maimed someone because he/she was driving while intoxicated, will be a menace to society again, we can simply set them free? If someone who doesn’t have a record kills their spouse by mistake in a fit of anger but the judge is confident he/she won’t do it again, they can walk with a slap on the wrist? That’s how we’re going to serve out justice going forward? Or is that just how they do it in Santa Clara.

Rape is something you carry with you for the rest of your life. It alters and affects almost every aspect of how you live, who you trust, where you go, what you think and who you are. Society, in their distorted sense of rationale, sometimes places more blame, scrutiny and stigma on the victim rather than the individual who committed the crime.

A person who has already been a victim of this heinous crime shouldn’t have to feel like they were raped again by a judge who shows more compassion, concern and justice for the criminal than the victim.

One in five women.