Are you safe?

Years ago a young man I knew asked me how he should treat his prom date. I told him to think about how he would want his sister to be treated. I meant protect.

This admonition came back to haunt me as I learned about many, many people who did not protect family members and strangers in situations of sexual vulnerability.

I asked myself what advice do you give?

Protect is a powerful word. It means if you are the older person, the person in authority, the soberer person, the bystander, it is your job to treat the child, the older person, the person who is not able to consent, or the person who is in your power as off limits sexually. It is your job to keep that person safe, no exceptions.

If you are the kind of person prone to sexual aggression, all this may seem toothless. But I don’t believe it is. I believe that you (whoever you are) really need to assume there is an interventionist God. One who makes no excuses for rape.

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#me too…

I am grateful women are willing to come forward on social media and identify as sexual assault or harassment survivors. The effort is better than silence but not enough.

Not enough because we need to talk about prevention and recovery and limiting or stopping the offenders

Not enough because it still marginalizes male survivors. No one is immune from sexual assault and harassment. Victims of sexual aggression can be young or old and can be male, female, straight, same-sex oriented, bi, trans. Sexual predation can happen to anyone.

If we define #me too only along narrow gender lines, we leave half the victims without a voice. We need to figure out a way to protect all of us from sexual predation.

#me too needs to be a voice for all survivors of sexual predation. All victims deserve to be heard.

We need to make sure #me too makes room for #we too.

Harvey

on the door of the high school my daughters do not attend the poster has been affixed Harvey…Jimmy Stewart-6-foot-rabbit-Harvey

Not hurricane Harvey

Not Hollywood crap Harvey

Flooding of one kind or another 

Reminds-me-of-all-our-befores-and-afters-Harvey

All the quiet people who always knew but not only said nothing but also, let’s face it-

Went along.

Going along will make a girl get mighty quiet

Or something.

Something close to a literal hell.

Could have been a song

I told myself pretend it is music after all the women’s voices are poignant, the story they tell is haunting-haunting the way a song might haunt you words very simple, sung to a child go to sleep, child, go to sleep, miles and years and day away from the moment you will remember for the rest of your life-a knock on the door-changing everything.

Prettier than me

When I met Tara she was prettier than me, younger than me, and in most ways far more disenfranchised than me.  In fact there was just one area of our briefly conjoined Venn diagram connectedness where the power was ostensibly hers and definitely not mine: she was the real mom to a baby I loved very much.  In that (I had been told by at least 2 lawyers) she had the legal edge.  She should have been able to designate a capable guardian for her children.  The law favored the biological mother.  And at that time, at the end of 1998, it gave no credence to the foster mother.

A fact I can accept now, after most of the unbearable losing of Tara’s beautiful child has scarred over.

What I can’t accept is losing Tara 

because…

jeop•ard•y

orgin: Old French, ieu parti (evenly) divided game

ME- iuparti

The term was originally used in chess or other games to denote a problem, or position in which the chances of winning or losing were evenly balanced, hence-

“A dangerous situation”

From “jeu”-a game which derived from Latin “jest” see “joke” and “divide”

Taboos

200. What common crime against children is universally under-reported?

400. What is the FBI definition for rape?

600. What is Planned Parenthood’s policy on rape and incest victims?

800. What constitutes “consent?”

1000. What happens to fetal remains in rape and incest situations?

Famous Rape Survivors

200.  Who is Jane Fonda?

400.  Who is Oprah Winfrey?

600. Who is Tim Roth?

800.  Who is Queen Latifa?

1000. Who is Lady Gaga?

Rape Victims in History

200. Who was Joan of Arc?

400. Who was Elizabeth I?

600. Who was Virginia Woolf?

800. Who was Lawrence of Arabia?

1000. Who is Maya Angelou?

Feminism and abortion

200. What country has the highest number of gender-selective abortions?

400.  What cultural biases enable gender-selective abortion?

600.  What medical device is used to determine the gender of fetuses?

800. When is the gender of an unborn child visible?

1000. What are some common social problems associated with sex-selective abortion?

Current Events

200. What famous NYC newspaper reported on a 10 year old incest victim in India?

400. What famous British news agency reported on an Indian rape victim seeking a late-term abortion?

600. What is the common redress for incest survivors in India?

800. What state did the 10 year old incest and rape survivor hail from in northern India?

1000. What survivor counseling, services, and support can a 10 year old Indian rape victim expect from local and national governments?

Final Jeopardy

What are common stereotypes, misconceptions, and prejudices perpetuated in general which hinder the prosecution of sexual predators and marginalize their victims?