Everything I read about starting a blog and getting it noticed says that in order to be read you need direction and a clear focus..two things I lack. There are 31 unfinished posts in queue here ..some are topics that lingered in my thoughts ..others insomnia fueled rants that lack coherency along with lacking vision or polish. I struggle often to find the courage to express the inner thoughts and feelings about all the subjects I find important. Just like every “good” girl ..I worry that my opinions will offend those whom I love and admire as well as those I do not know..I also worry about putting myself “out there” for the world to see and judge. The subject matter here on my site ..while I can get kind of deep …ok maybe not deep but a place hovering between profound and shallow ..remains somewhat guarded ..not too many politics ..until now.
Every day I log on to the world as I know it..Facebook, Instagram ..local news and the status of my country and the world is there for all to see..and along with that status is someone’s opinion regarding the ever changing hot topic of the minute. I sit back and observe how people I know and have known for years view the world ..and at times it is rather unsettling to see how no one can see beyond their echo chamber these days. Not many are interested to hear that there are multiple sides to everything and what is being presented to all of us is being skewed by powerful sources whose goal is to divide and conquer..and they are succeeding. Whatever your stance, I want to tell you all that it’s ok to debate ..it’s actually healthy to debate ..but don’t dig your heels in so deep that you can only hear and not actually listen to what others are trying to say to you. Another thing.. everyone stop resorting to the childish name calling, sometimes, someone with an opposite belief than yours can actually have a valid point and is not a “libtard” or “trumpturd” or a snowflake etc..
Now that we have that out of the way..I have something to say..for every woman defending the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh and dismissing Dr Ford because ..let me list the reasons I have seen….there is no proof, she is trying to ruin his reputation, she is a hired gun of the liberal snowflakes, she is doing this for money… people arguing what about him …I ask you what about her? WHY do you automatically assume he is innocent? Is he more important simply because he is a man? Is he more important because he is a republican and his appointment to the court comes with the possibility of overturning ROE? Ask yourselves ..what about her…what about every woman who has lived through the years and years of not being believed, of having to go to work, to school..to go home to a man or men who assault her sexually. what about the women and men who have suffered sexual assault and live with its trauma in silence for years? why is sexual assault an underreported crime..because everyone says she is a liar, she brought this on herself, she wants to ruin his reputation etc..the burden of proof is upon the victim and the victim is often treated like the perpetrator. Is it alright that men can put their hands wherever they want on a woman because she is dressed a certain way or she is well endowed? Is it alright that we as women put up with unwanted advances and are threatened with the security of our jobs, our relationships and our self worth after a man harasses us sexually all because the possibility of speaking out will ruin his reputation and disturb his family? I would hope that in this day and age the answer is no.
What about him? “Him” can be any man or woman we know…think about how well you really know even your closest friends. A person can be wonderful at their job and the darling of everyone’s eye ..and yet behind closed doors he/she could abuse their spouse, be an addict , beat their children, be a child porn addict, you do not know ..just because someone portrays an image to the world ..it does not mean we know them …just because they share your political beliefs,..it does not mean they are right for the country…just because someone says they did not do a bad thing does not mean they are innocent ..but nor does it mean they are guilty. Sexual assault can not be blown off as a boys will be boys..there are two sides to every story and how the person on the receiving end of your actions perceives what happened often times varies greatly from the story you keep. I have 2 examples ..
The summer before I started high school, I hung around with 2 friends of mine from my neighborhood. I was not a boy crazy girl, I was not disinterested in boys…but I was definitely not ready for anything more than the occasional slow dance at the church dances with a couple of mean old nuns as chaperones looking on . Just before we went back to school, I was talking with my friends and 2 brothers whom we all knew since we were young and as I was walking home everyone took off and 1 of the brothers was behind..I really did not think much of him, he was just there ..he was nice and I was friendly but that was about all I was interested in. He stopped to talk to me and before I could make my way around him..his tongue was down my throat and I was horrified…my first kiss was gross and with someone I had zero interest in other than to say hi. I found myself apologizing and making excuses to make him feel better ..WTAF? Inside I felt gross and I felt violated..he took away my choice, he took away my control of when my first kiss experience would be..while not sexual assault in any way shape or form..when I told my friend she said I had nothing to complain about ..I was there alone with him on a sidewalk..somehow it was my fault for simply being there..that attitude is prevalent to this day and that makes me sick. The young man thankfully realized I was not interested and I never heard him say anything awful about me..but I got a reputation as one of those ICNAB girls (Irish Catholic no action broad) something I am proud of now..but then I did not understand it was a good thing..but also bad because the boys when I became a little more interested were not about me.
My mother was caught up in the sexual politics of her time..her relationship with my father was something more of nightmares and horror stories vs fairy tales and romance…and she too worried about a man’s reputation vs her own worth.
I met my father once that I can recall. To hear my mother speak of him when she was alive..he was satan on earth..to read the stories left on the tribute page of his obituary ..he was a good man who happened to be flawed, funny, loyal and brilliant..to me he is all those things. To his family he was a husband, a father and a provider..he was a friend, a son and a brilliant attorney ..he harbored a secret and until very recently ..my mother had no proof, there was no way to prove I was his daughter or he even had a relationship with my mother..she was just a woman in the eyes of many looking to destroy a family and take a man’s reputation away from him just to be cruel. I was 45 years old before I could take a DNA test that eventually proved he is my father ..too late to meet him as an adult since he passed away..but the satisfaction of proving (finally) the truth was bittersweet ..I still carry the stigma of their sin and the burden of proof was always upon me to be right.
My mother discovered she was pregnant with me about 50 years ago around this time .. I don’t know how he took the news (she often mentioned he wanted her to abort the pregnancy ..it was illegal at the time) nor do I know how she took the news..she never talked much about that ..but one of my aunts told me that my mother considered calling and telling my father’s wife about my impending arrival and explained they talked my mother out of that ..because if she called Carol and informed her that I was on the way, my mother would ruin his life. Ruin HIS life..I just can’t with this..at that point it was no longer about them ..it was about me and instead they had no problem with making my life difficult to save him from a little embarrassing situation (that he was responsible for as equally as my mother was)
Think about that for a minute..yes I know things were different in those days..but isn’t all the work that women have done in the days since then supposed to have brought us to a place where we say it’s NOT OK to use and abuse women? Are we not supposed to be at a place where we as women and men can say NO and it means NO? If a man is assaulted we never question his motives My father willingly went outside of his marriage to seek sex and who knows what else..in the process he created chaos in his life ..however the prevailing attitude was my mother got what she deserved for being with someone she had no business being with ..but what about my father? He got off scot free, he got to go back to his life, have a wonderful career, be the boastful father to my sister (at least publicly I did not know them personally) the husband to his wife (my stepmother?) his reputation remained in tact and I remained the dirty little secret ..what choice did my mother or I have?
we have a man to be confirmed to the Supreme Court for a life long term who has to ability to be the swing vote on issues that affect all of our lives for years to come. This man was not on trial but at a job interview ..he works for all of us, not just the republicans, not just the evangelical Christians, not against the democrats (for whom he showed utter disdain for while under questioning) not just for the president ..he works for ALL of us and if we are supporting a man and rallying against his accuser because it will soil his reputation ..think again. You don’t want someone in one of the most prominent positions of power in this country rushed through the nomination process simply because he echoes your beliefs..he should be there because he is the right man, with the right temperament for the job..someone who will work for all of us and someone who gets to decide upon cases such as women’s rights, healthcare, voting issues, immigration and any other hot topic you can think of should not be in that life long position of power simply because he will work for a fraction of the country ..he is supposed to be in a position to check and balance not only the congress but also the president whether that president is a friend of his or not. My father was a lawyer ..I am glad he was never a judge
In the end I have decided I do not care if I have offended anyone with this post..I am horrified as a woman that so many women I know can’t see that what is going on right now is scary ..that women don’t have to support policies they do not agree with on many levels …but you should support women’s rights..you should support all sides of a story being investigated, you shouldn’t support someone who could limit your daughters or granddaughters from receiving the same advantages you have enjoyed as a woman because the women who come before us worked so hard to obtain for us. we deserve equal pay for equal work, we deserve the freedom to make our own choices for our own lives and not have men limit our access to healthcare, bank accounts etc..