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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Slap


When my middle kid started Jr. High, she came home one day and said, “Mom, the principal might call you.” Sigh. “What happened?”

“Yesterday, this guy, I hate him, came up to me and said (something sexual and really inappropriate) and I asked him to stop and he wouldn't so I slapped him.”

“Then today, he came up to me and said, ‘You’re a bitch and I hate you.’ so I slapped him again.”




A post on why it would be beneficial to remove public officials who believe Pat Robertson is an expert on women, marriage, sex or rape. 



Trust me, he is NOT an expert on any of those topics. 



In my sophomore year at high school, there was a senior who had a traumatic brain injury from a car wreck. A group of boys his age would encourage him to touch girls' breasts in the hallway at school while they nudged each other and snickered. 



I have no idea if the administration or any parents knew about it (I certainly didn't say anything) but he ended up sexual assaulting a young girl. 


"The supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. ‘sexual assault. . . they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate." 
George Will Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist.
The popular wisdom was ignore that kind of thing so they would get bored and explore other "boys will be boys" behavior. 



(In response to Universities attempting to prevent rape)
“I think it’s a good thing for the good girls, to be told stay home, be safe. The other bad girls are the ones who like to be naughty, might go out and play and get hurt.”
- Stacey Dash, Fox News
That was also the time of the "Preppy Murder". Robert Chambers had attended a series of East Coast prep schools on scholarships and at 20, he continued to hang out with groups of high school preppies. He met an 18 year old student, sexually assaulted her and strangled her in Central Park



Unfortunately, that scenario was nothing new. What was new was Chamber's appearance at the next preppy party.  A partygoer filmed while Chambers, using a Barbie doll, happily acted out what had happened. 




A man threatened to mutilate the face and genitals of his former girlfriend with a heated screwdriver. He beat her, made threats of further violence and raped her. The victim reported the criminal threats the following day, but did not report the rape until 17 days later.

“I'm not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something, if someone doesn't want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down.” “That tells me that the victim in this case, although she wasn't necessarily willing, she didn't put up a fight. And to treat this case like the rape cases that we all hear about is an insult to victims of rape. I think it's an insult. I think it trivializes a rape.''
- Judge Derek Johnson
Until the news started broadcasting the party video, Chambers had a fair amount of public support. He was charming and attractive while she had been wearing a short skirt and had voluntarily left the party with him. The social opinion was obvious. 



A few years later, a nephew of JFK was tried for sexual assault. That was memorable because one of the prospective jurors discussed the case with another prospective juror in an area with several unmanned but active microphones. The juror concluded that the Kennedy Boys were known for fooling around and while they may have taken things too far, the girls should have realized the risk. 





“The percentage of pregnancies due to rape is small because it’s an act of violence, because the body is traumatized.” 
- California GOP assembly President Celeste Greig
A group of Lakewood High School students formed a "Spur Posse" where they competed with each other in a game of sexual assault points.  "You can only get one point per girl.  If you have sex with a girl twice, it doesn't count." Several girls age 10 to 16 reported being assaulted. 


With the recent scrutiny on college policies for dealing with sexual assault, a conservative "news" organization did a story about the response of male students. The focus was a small group of unhappy boys who believed it was impossible to assess consent and that the restrictions would unfairly curtail their opportunities to "hook up."



Unfortunately it gets worse (much, much worse). Two recent cases of young girls, 11 and 12 years old, who were gang raped went viral. Like Chambers, the rapists were happy to publicly display their deeds. Social media provided plenty of Slut-Shaming and accolades for the self named "Rape Crew".



“She [a 14-year old girl] was as much in control of the situation as the defendant [her 54-year old high-school teacher].” 
“She looked older than her chronological age.” 
“Well, you know, this wasn’t this forcible, beat-up type rape.” 
Sentenced the rapist to 30 days in prison. The victim couldn't testify because she killed herself.
— Todd Baugh, Montana Judge
While that level of depravity is disgusting and becoming all too common, I did learn a new term. 



"Rape-Splaining" is a subtle way of disregarding a sexual assault by excusing the rapists, blaming the victim or questioning the seriousness of the act. Not a new phenomenon but a particularly nasty one. 



As I am sure, as an enlightened individual, you are aware of the consequences but let me drag out my social-work-y skills and justifiable outrage.  




Responding to criticism over sentencing a confessed rapist of a 14-year old girl to 45 days in jail, based on the judge’s assessment that the victim was promiscuous and did not cry during the rape. 

“There are rape cases that deserve life. There are rape cases that deserve 20 years. Every now and then you have one of those that deserve probation. This is one of those and I stand by it.” 
-Texas District Judge Jeanine Howard

Disregarding a situation, any reprehensible situation, allows generally reasonable people to act like moronic asses. Not my problem, don't need to get involved because it will never be my problem, much too busy, now I must go purchased unnecessary items for my home. 




“If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman?” “At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.” 
- Maine state Rep. Lawrence Lockman
Obviously there are enough voters in the "moronic asses" category that we keep getting these female anatomy geniuses in office. 




“Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth and it happens every few minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there.”  
- Kurt Cobain 
So, back to my daughter, we had a discussion about managing the little turds of junior high, starting with methods not involving potential jail time for my daughter for assault. However, if it comes to it, do whatever it is you need to do.



BUT wouldn't it be great if political standards, social expectations and judicial policy was shaped by people who have a clue? 




“When you enter into a marriage, you enter into a contract for all sorts of different things with your spouse. Why should we take it to a Class 2 felony and put a husband away who’s been a good husband for however many years … based off of something that was OK in a marriage up until that point?”
-Arizona State Rep. Warde Nichols, equating spousal rape to consensual sex
People who aren't moronic asses, please, please, please vote!




“It looks to me now like sex with an unconscious person is by definition rape.” “(An) individual has sex with their wife while she is unconscious . . . a prosecutor could then charge that spouse with rape.” 
- Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove
This rant was triggered from a story my sister posted. Apparently there is some question if it is an actual event. Snopes concludes:  

"(W)e'll concede that somewhere at some school at some time some girl hit some boy after some boy snapped some girl's bra. Possibly." 




Responding to the rape and murder of 18-year old Jennifer Moore. 
“She was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. 
Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at two in the morning” 
- Bill O'Reilly
I agree that the story may not true and it is probably embellished but I guarantee it is more than possible that boys snap bras and that some girl take matters into their own hands.  




“What Todd Akin is talking about is when you’ve got a real, genuine rape. A case of forcible rape, a case of assault, where a woman has been violated against her will through the use of physical force where it is physically traumatic for her, under those circumstances, the woman’s body, because of the trauma that has been inflicted on her, it may interfere with the normal function processes of her body that lead to conception and pregnancy.” 
- AFA’s Bryan Fischer
Regardless, being one of five female siblings who went to school and having three girls who are in school, I would say the points are valid. 




“In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out.” 
-Texas State Senator Jodie Laubenberg, claiming that rape kits are used to abort a pregnancy.
What do you think? 

(I'm an A and E nurse. We're not allowed [to keep] our phones on us; they're to be kept in our lockers. A call comes into hospital reception on a private line for me.) 

Phone: "This is [Teacher] from [School]. There's been an incident involving [Daughter]. We need you to come in." 

Me: "Is she ill or injured? Can it wait until my shift is over in two hours?" 

Phone: "[Daughter] has struck another pupil. We've been trying to call you for 45 minutes. It really is very serious." 



(I go to the school and am ushered into the head's office. I see my daughter, her head of year, a male teacher, the headmaster, a boy with blood around his nose and a red face, and his parents.) 

Head: "Mrs. [My Name], how kind of you to FINALLY join us!" 

Me: "Yeah, things get busy in A and E. I've spent the last hour administering over 40 stitches to a seven-year-old who was beaten by his mother with a metal ladle and then I had to deal with the police regarding the matter. Sorry for the inconvenience." 

(After watching him try to not act embarrassed, he tells me what has happened. The boy had twanged my daughter's bra and she had punched him in the face twice. I got the impression they were more angry with my daughter than the boy.)

Me: "Oh. And you want to know if I'm going to press charges against him for sexually assaulting my daughter and against the school for allowing him to do it?" 

(They all get jittery when I mention sexual assault and start speaking at once.) 

Teacher: "I don't think it was that serious." 

Head Of Year: "Let's not over-react." 

Head: "I think you're missing the point." 

(The boy's mother then starts crying. I turn to my daughter to find out what happened.) 

Daughter: "He kept pinging my bra. I asked him to stop but he didn't, so I told Mr. [Teacher]. He told me to 'ignore it.' [Boy] did it again and undid my bra so I hit him. Then he stopped." 

(I turn to the teacher.) 

Me: "You let him do this? Why didn't you stop him? Come over here and let me touch the front of your trousers." 

Teacher: "What?! No!" 

Me: "Does that seem inappropriate to you? Why don't you go and pull on Mrs. [Head Of Year]'s bra right now. See how fun it is for her. Or on that boy's mum's bra. Or mine. You think just because they're kids it's fun?"

Head: "Mrs. [My Name]. With all due respect, [Daughter] still beat another child." 

Me: "No. She defended herself against a sexual attack from another pupil. Look at them; he's nearly 6 feet and 11 or 12 stone. She's 5 feet and 6 stone. He's a foot taller than her and twice as heavy. How many times should she have let him touch her? If the person who was supposed to help and protect her in a classroom couldn't be bothered what should she have done? He pulled her bra so hard it came undone." 

(The boy's mum is still crying and his dad looks both angry and embarrassed. The teacher won't make eye contact with me. I look at the headmaster.) 

Me: "I'm taking her home. I think the boy has learnt his lesson. And I hope nothing like this ever happens again, not only to [Daughter], but to any other girl at this school. You wouldn't let him do it to a member of staff so what makes you think he can do it to a girl of 15 is beyond me. I will be reporting this to the governors. And if you--" *turning to the boy* "--EVER touch my daughter again I WILL have you arrested for sexual assault. Do you understand me?" 

(I was so angry I gathered my daughter's things and left. I reported it to the Board of Governors, several of whom I know from Church (it's a Catholic school), and was assured it would be strongly dealt with. I also reported it to OFSTED (Government-run school monitoring) and they were equally as horrified and assured me they would contact the school. My daughter was put into a different class for that subject, away from the teacher and the boy.)


2 comments :

Thrash said...

Excellent piece, and good for you 'Momma Bear!" Reading through your blog post, got my stomach in knots. As a mother of a daughter I was right there with you about inappropriate and unwanted sexual remarks, advances made toward her, my daughter or any daughter, young or elderly woman. What's so hard to understand that our bodies belong to US? Our bodies are our sole possession, and it's a CRIME for anyone to behave this way toward any woman otherwise! These ignorant patriarchal beliefs need to be squashed! What's even more disturbing are women who are okay with another woman being assaulted! I'm glad I'm not a violent person.....

Each time I read something like this I am reminded of a handful of sexual assaults upon my mind, body, and soul, including rape by a friend, an abusive boyfriend, and my ex husband. I feel nothing but grief, and anger. There is a sense of being filthy for no better word at this time. I've brushed these episodes under the carpet, as if "it doesn't matter," especially since I was discouraged from pressing charges against the abusive boyfriend. I was warned at the time by a policeman, "all your dirty laundry will be brought forward, and they'll try to make it look like your fault." Ouch!

I've found that the older I become the more potent these memories are, and how easily they surface. "Un-finished" business?" Yep! I'm tired. I don't life in "victim" mentality, but as a middle age woman who is angry and grieving that I didn't have the courage or a "Momma Bear" or an advocate to help me persecute or process this shame.

I'm not a prude, but I have a hard time having a normal sexual relationship with my spouse. I don't think that's "normal" or fair to either of us. It's never, ever, ever okay. I've been dealt my far share of challenges, and I've overcome my own demons, like an onion I wonder if this is just another layer to heal? I'm sick of therapy, I don't want to talk about stuff anymore. I just want to live a good life, and accomplish a few more goals. I don't dwell in my past for the most part, but this keeps surfacing from time to time. It refuses to stay under the carpet! Perhaps I can do something constructive with this. Thank you for being a strong woman and mother who is passing this information on to your daughter. It's not a joke, it's a crime and the invisible scars are REAL.

Alex Bishop said...

Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts! We need more women and men to say this double standard isn't acceptable, it isn't just silly behavior. It is especially disheartening how many women decide to blame the victim. In grad school, we had a lecturer from the court victim advocacy department. She did a fantastic job explaining why there was such a discrepancy in in standards and why people (particularly women) are so hostile and derogatory about victims.

Since I work with medically fragile, geriatric patients living in poverty, I see a very similar situation. It is easier to ignore or blame them than to address the issues.

Thank you for reading my post! I think it is an important topic.