Monday, May 21, 2007

the fucked up truth

this is an act of public purging. if you don't want to think about a disturbing truth, please don't read any further.

yesterday, I was awoken from a dead sleep at 4:49 a.m. to the sound of a girl screaming, pleading for her attacker to stop anally raping her. I won't repeat her exact words, but suffice it to say that I heard each and every desperate word she cried out. I shouted out my window. I called campus security, who sent the police. I couldn't tell which room this was happening in. I couldn't make him stop. At one point the offending male shouted back at her, clearly irritated that she was messing up his game, saying, "I'm having some fucking fun!" Her anguished cries continued for at least two minutes. I learned that I was the ONLY person to call the incident in.

This fact, that so many fellow students, neighbors, ostensibly decent human beings, would sit back and passively let this happen is possibly what disturbs me most. No one knocked down her door. No one else even bothered to call the police. It has been twenty years since I was raped; it saddens me to no end that the world has changed so little since then. It pains me to know there was nothing I could to do stop it, to protect her, to help her clean up the mess. I did the only thing I could do, which was to report it and to give my statement, and that is only useful if she decides to report it, which most women do not. I can corroborate her story. I can try to put positive energy in the universe. I can choose to never let myself be a victim and to help others learn to own their power and to not foster victim mentality and the kind of toxic culture that permits things such as rape to be so commonplace. I am tired of having this in common with others.

As it turns out, this is the FIFTH rape in less than one month in the building behind mine. No action seems to be taking place to do something about it. Part of it (and I hate to play to sterotypes but here it is) is that this is a building largely populated with athletes. There are fights that break out in the parking lot, some quite vicious, every weekend. There are girls being raped, three in one night three weeks ago. This is athlete culture. This is our toxic American culture.

So, here is my request. Please tell the men in your life, the good, kind, respectful, thoughtful considerate quality human males in your life that they are recognized and appreciated for who and what they are. It does not go unnoticed. Ben-- this means you. Thank you so so much for talking me through yesterday morning. Christopher, this means you too. Heather will surely let you know. There are others: Frank, Riley, Rylan, Dave B., Andi, Dave W., Joshua, Wilson, Chris, Antoine, Jeff, Alan, Brian... There are fathers that are raising sons. There are others. You know who you are and I love you all. I admire your strength and your willingness to be both strong and gentle in equal measure. The world needs your compassion. Women like me, and my fabulous women friends, need to know you are in the world and are unafraid to be all that you are independent of what our culture seems to think 'being a man' is all about. Don't forget.