Friday, July 17, 2015

the rape conversation

Wow. The world is changing and it is amazing. First the women who were drugged by Bill Cosby started coming forward, then people started listening to them and believing them and now Jackie Fuchs (Fox) is telling her story about being raped by Kim Fowley, when she was in the Runaways. There is so much dialogue going on about rape, and the bystander effect, and remaining silent, and the issue of powerful personalities. And there is a movement to call out those who practice the sexist dismissing and blaming of the person who was raped. It is about time and it is brilliant to see such progress. The hideous crime persists but the way it is dealt with is slowly and radically shifting. Things do indeed change.

What I wanted to add to the conversation was first to validate the part of many people’s story where young people do not tell anyone, or just tell other young friends. For so many reasons we do not tell our parents,  mainly because it is so scary: scary to say it to an adult; scary what their reaction might be; scared that it might make them feel disappointed in us; scared it might hurt them, overwhelm them, make them sad, mad, scared like us; scared they might do something about it; scared they might not; scared they will believe us; scared they won’t; scared they will confirm our worst fear, that it was our fault; scared we will get in trouble; scared we did something wrong. Terrifying to tell, so we keep it in.

I did not tell my parents but  I told my teenage friend at the time when I was 16 and my boss drugged me with quaaludes and alcohol (pretty coincidental, these guys all use that same formula) . I passed out as he lay on top of me and came to with him splashing water in my face.

He got panicky and tried to revive me. I was so small, just 90 lbs and the drugs were too much. I will never know how far he went, even though I was still dressed when I came to. Did he jerk off on me? Use my body parts? And I will never know why he stopped and got scared. Did my eyes roll to the back of my head? Was I limper than the last girl?

Telling my teenage friend gave me mild relief but ultimately she was no help on terms of giving me empathy or steering me in the direction of proper help. She was just a kid with no clue, just like me.

My girl friend also spared her parents but told her teenage friends when a boy raped her. Their teenage brains figured out that she should try to become his girlfriend to fix it. That is how teenage brains work.

Kids are not good at fixing grown up problems. When does someone have the capacity to handle such overwhelming feelings? 8 years old, 13 years old, 16 year old, 18? 21? 25? I couldn’t even look what had happened to me until I was almost 30, and it took much longer to start to heal.

God bless all the young people who hold this stuff in, deal with it by themselves. Can we have PSA’s about how to get help, how to speak up, can we start believing women and figure out a protocol to have empathetic responders. Lets keep this change moving in the right direction. Thank you to all the brave women and men who are speaking up, no matter how much time has passed. Tell someone, get help, love yourself.

"I hope that by coming out, I somehow give a voice to people who still don't feel safe telling their stories, if vicariously they can feel like they've spoken out. And by other people who have emailed saying, "You've given me the courage to tell people what happened to me." That's the part that makes it worth enduring the haters.
I'm focusing on the supporters, because there are thousands of them. And for a lot of people, it's a relief to hear other people talking about rape in such an open fashion, because there are a lot of silent victims. It's just the more people that are willing to talk about it, the easier it will get for victims of rape to speak up and to speak up earlier." Jackie Fuchs in the Los Angeles Times

I have a little more to say so till tomorrow…. To be continued

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