Now that I yelled that out…We found out this weekend that a boy forced himself on our daughter while at a party where there had been drinking. My child will not under any circumstances tell me the name of this spineless, worthless, good for nothing, shithead, douchebag, scumbag, loser dressed in boys’ clothing because she is just so ashamed and fearful. Ashamed that it happened to her and she couldn’t stop it and fearful that by calling him out she would jeopardize any amount of privacy, dignity, social life, and decency she has. And this is the world that we’ve set up for our girls. It is a world that many of us women have lived in for far too long and know far too much about and it is disgusting. And you may be asking yourselves, well why doesn’t she just tell you his name if this really happened? And my answer will be “Watch the news and then you’ll know why”.
When we watch the news and see grown men defending the actions of an obvious sexual predator, that is why women don’t talk. When we watch the names of the victims dragged mercilessly through the mud, that is why women don’t talk,. When men say things like, well that’s just a guy thing or guy talk, that’s why women don’t talk. When we hear men say things like “I mean have you seen her? That would never happen” that’s why women don’t talk. When other women come forward and say, “Well it’s just her word against his and we shouldn’t just believe her”, that’s why women don’t talk. When 9 women at least come forward and accuse the same person of abuse and it just poof goes away and we talk instead about a woman’s emails, that is why women don’t talk. When people we love the most turn against us because we dared to speak out and say this is not right, that is why women don’t talk.
As a mother, as a woman, I am trying to get my child to talk. I am telling her everyday that she is not disgusting but that what this monster did to her was disgusting. I’m trying to tell her that the shame she holds in the pit of her stomach does not belong to her but belongs to him and she can feel free to give it back to him anytime she wants. As a mother and as a woman I also understand that her talking could cost her friendships, a reputation, and her self-esteem and she’s already so fragile that how do I begin to make her go there. I am walking very treacherous and tenuous ground here with very little in the way of a map or guidance. I am caught between what I know is right and what I know is right for my child in this moment. I want to take this boy and shake him till he understands that NONE OF WHAT HE DID WAS OKAY. I want to call his parents and scream at the top of my lungs to them about how they raised a weak, cowardly, loser of a person instead of a young man. I want to hug my daughter close and make all of her pain go away. Well, I can do the last at least. And there’s one more thing I can do and that is to not vote for a monster November 8th nor throw away my vote to potentially put a monster in office. I repeat, none of this is acceptable or OK and we need to start showing our girls and our children this.