I believe Dr. Ford: Why women don’t come forward

I believe Dr. Ford. I believe her because I was her.

When I was 19 yeard old I was sexually assualted, in front of mutliple witnesses who relunctatly (and that part comes in to the story later) were willing to tell the truth.

This is important to the story because I was lucky. There were witnesses. Most cases are a a he said, she said.

This was two drunken boys who fucked up publicly over the course of a few hours and the question was now  how much word they be punished.

I was lucky in that my school reacted quickly. The boys had been acting out, nakedly entering young women’s apartments and refusing to leave. These women had reported it to campus security however, none of them would sign a sworn statement as they were too afraid of how the campus community would act.

I had pretty much made up my mind at that point to press charges, however hearing the stories sent my mind in stone.  I made my report to the police (campus and local).

In a matter of weeks, both boys lost their scholarships, were kicked out of the campus apartments, kicked out of school and permanetly banned.

And that’s when hell broke out.

It was March I believe when this happened though it was over ten years ago, and I don’t remember the exact date. (I do however still vividly remember the details of what occured). I understand how Dr. Ford forgot some facts but still remembers the incident. Trust me, most of us wish we could forget.

I first heard that I was ruining their lives! How could I? They were my friends and now because of what I did, they would lose their scholarships and get kicked out of school.

This was reiterated so much to me, that I started to believe it and question my own sanity.

Then came the death and rape threats. People would stop by my apartment to see if I was there and threaten to fight me, or show me what it was like to be raped. These were people I knew. People that until that week, I hung out with.  They were my friends.  And they wanted to harm me, over something I didn’t do. Over something that was a known fact.

Everyone there was my friend. It was a small campus apartment building about 60 people. The boys who assualted my friend and I were my friends, they were people I trusted. We hung out with them most weekends. I’d crashed at their place.

Girls, even ones who had expereienced the boys inappropriate behavior, barred me from their apartments. Even my best friend, who witnessed everything told me not to come to his apartment as his other roommates (one who was mad solely because he may have to come back to testify to what he say) were too pissed.

I had food thrown at me, as well as every name in the book.

Most nights I hide. That was when my classmates would start drinking and usually when the threats started up.  I hid in the laundry room with the local pot dealer. He was perphaps the only person hated on this campus more than me and was one of the few people who took my side. And it was a ridiculous friendship as I had never done a drug a day but at least I was safe.

I transfered out at the end of that year, but even when I came back to visit a friend, almost a year later I recieved the same treatment.

Sitting on a park bench, talking with Dan, a group of boys threw food out their thrid story window at me and yelled how I ruined the campus. I had ruined their fun.

I think sometimes how my life may have been different. I remember my mom saying that she didn’t know how hurt I was but she knew I was broken because after it all happened, I couldn’t take the silence. Woke up, head set in. Music blaring. Showering, music on. Sometime twenty four seven to keep the silence away. To keep me away from my thoughts.

I think of what I went through, when the facts weren’t disputed and wonder what hell it is like for women who aren’t as lucky as I was.

I believe Dr. Ford because I am her. So are you friends, your wives, your sisters and daughters.

 

 

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A plea to Ted Nugent (and all the other demagogues of the world)

Dear Ted Nugent,

I’ll admit it. I grew up admiring you. You were a drug-free artist who came from a small town and was thought of as crazy. I was a drug free artist who was thought of as creepily smart, possibly on drugs (for my odd behavior) and as an  “odd one”.1545098_10151929481037297_351251612_n

Besides you had long hair, which is my Achilles heal and you were in one of my favorite bands, Damn Yankees.

What’s not to love?

Mind you, this was before the age of widespread Googling and I became aware of your political beliefs (diametrically opposed to mine) and your past with women and girls.

But that’s not what this is about today. It isn’t about Obama. It isn’t about gun control. It isn’t about the questionable past-times of you or I or anyone else.

It’s about what you say, how you say it, and why it so desperately matters.

You see, language shapes our world-views. If you really want a crash course in this, I suggest you check out this crazy cat named Derrida.

I’ll give you a quick crash course. For example, using he in a text when it referring to both a male and female inherently devalues the female. She is relegated as not as important as the male counterpart. The more widespread this becomes, the more inherent the thought that the female is second becomes, so much so that we don’t recognize it as an opinion but a truth and as that becomes a truth it bleeds into other parts of our lives.

But maybe this is too abstract. Let me illustrate from your own words how language can shape people.

You recently called the President and various politicians as well as their supporters (via facebook), subhuman mongrels.

Sub-human, really?

What Teddy has just done here is labeled the President, most politicians, and well myself (as well as other Democrats supporters and gun-rights control advocates) as “the other,” inherently inferior and by definition less than human.

But why does this matter?

Because simply you are creating a system where by people see themselves as superior to other people. As our history has shown, when one group tends to think of another as not as good, not as human, not entitled to the same rights, violence, enslavement and bigotry ensues. In short, you are by you words, making a schema where it is ok to disenfranchise others. It is ok to hate others. It is ok to believe that certian human beings are not as good as you and not worthy of the sames things that you deserve.

What someone doesn’t believe what I believe!

Well they simply aren’t a good/human as I am, so what does their belief matter?

What you are doing is hurting America.

You have almost 2 million followers on facebook. Instead of engaging them in debate, perhaps trying to find the solution to our problems, or a compromise, or at least providing evidence to why your solution may be betters than others, you instead polarize your fracture, making them resistant to debate, compromise or change; all the while, you fill them with hate towards anyone who thinks differently than you.

I’m tempted to call you out on the hypocrisy of trying to uphold American ideals of freedoms while demeaning and shaming all those who think differently than you.

Ok I just did it.

And for those who think I’m cherry picking a quote, I invite you to follow his facebook page, or check out some of the other awesome quotes he has had throughout the years.

Ok one more link, there are just too many.

The worst part, is, though you aren’t the only one.

Pundits on both side who have millions of viewers, millions of people who’s world view are partly shaped by their words and interpretation of the world, continue to act in a devious  manner, skewing and sometimes just plan making up facts to fit their own political agenda. All the while these pundits bash and trash the other side. Instead of having a rational factual debate. They label anyone who opposes them as “the other“, the enemy.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protest. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dissent. But there is a helpful way to do it, one that works towards a solution to our problems, and there is one that comes at a cost to all mankind.

I’m going leave you with a quote from one of my favorite TV shows, LOST:

If we can’t live together, then we’re going to die alone.

We all have a choice in the words we use. And there are consequences to them.

A former fan (fine I still really like Damn Yankees),

Rach