Tag Archive: rape


In this current climate when each Southern state feels the need to come up with a crueler-than-the-one-before legislation regarding abortion and women’s health, I keep seeing this meme.

 

Meme sex birth control

 

My initial visceral reaction is to scream “Fuck You! Are you fucking nuts!?!”

But that is not how I respond. I say something along the line of how cruel this statement is to women who are raped, who are unwilling partners, girls who are raped by family members. women who are in abusive situations and cannot afford to leave.

In my head, this statement says we always have a choice when the truth is we don’t. The truth is someone we know or don’t know will force us into something we don’t want. And should we complain, tell, or file a report our word will be questioned every step of the way.

All of these new laws carry dangerous ends for women. Some of them want to force a woman to report a miscarriage to the local police. Some want to imprison women if their miscarriage is found to be an attempted abortion. So the mother will be at fault if something goes wrong, depending on how the judge and jury finds her liability. So does that mean women with hostile wombs will be in jail a lot? I hope it isn’t because her partner hit her in the stomach on purpose because we all know what will happen. His jail term will be much shorter than hers.

Some of these laws will make a woman guilty of filing a false report of rape if the case goes to trial and the man is found not guilty. Considering only 2 in 10 rapes make it to trial and 1 in 10 get a jail sentence. Even then there is no guarantee the judge will give a justified sentence as we saw in the Brock Turner case.

Do we really want this for our daughters or granddaughters? Do we want to judge them all so harshly?

Considering birth control isn’t always covered by insurance (but viagra still is), considering that there are many options that may not be available to a person, I am not sure there are affordable options, let alone those free options are that the meme talks about.

But more importantly, in an age when the birthrate is the lowest it has ever been in America, this meme slut shames every victim who couldn’t fend off a relative or a religious person or a serial rapist or a person they thought was a friend or a true love. I don’t care that you think this  meme is speaking the truth. What you are really saying to these women is “Fuck You! Too bad you couldn’t get your happily ever after. I got mine and I don’t give a shit about you.”

I wouldn’t say or imply that too loudly because you never know when the laws set forth by these Christian Sharias will turn on you and take away your rights as well.

Three Billboards

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Lately the boys have been watching horror movies. They keep watching horror movies from the 70s and 80s.

I am not a big fan of horror movies.

Monster movies don’t thrill me either. I know that there are real monsters in this world that are frightening more than any movie. When I saw the video of the father who went after the doctor who sexually abused so many female gymnasts, I can’t say that I found him completely wrong. I understood his emotions.

Three BillboardsIt is those same emotions that are on display in the Oscar TM nominated Three Billboards outside Ebbings, Missouri. The story is about a woman who rents three billboards outside of her small town. The bright red billboards question why the sheriff has not found a killer.

The killer that Mildred (Frances McDormand) wants brought to justice raped and killed her teenage daughter. And she feels that Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) is not doing his job. The Chief wants to find the killer. But he is dealing with many other issues, including a deputy (Sam Rockwell) who is accused of police brutality.

There’s more, as there is always more with a story like this. There are many blind alleys and unexpected happening.

I am not going to tell you about them.

To do so at this time would ruin the movie for you as it is still so new in the theaters. But I will say that this movie took me to places I did not expect. Just when I thought I understood what was happening, a curve would be thrown, a mystical element appeared, bitterness could not be denied.

Director Martin McDonagh also wrote the original screenplay. He stated that during a bus ride across America he saw three billboards asking questions about a crime. He wanted to explore how a person could come to a point that they needed to do this and that is how he came up with the character of Mildred.

Three Billboards 2

 theatlantic.com

From the commercials, I thought the movie would be more of a black comedy. But as it went on, I felt is was more of a slice of life movie through the eyes of a person living through deep grief. I believe that this is one of those movies for adults dealing with the adult topic of grief on various levels. The swearing alone would put off some people, especially the scene in which Mildred tells off the priest.

It’s a role that only a fearless actress could portray and McDormand is certainly that. She allows Mildred’s grief and anger and fear to take over, showing the extremes a mother might go to to find the killer of her daughter despite their rocky relationship.

Other cast members put in solid performances that don’t let you down during an onslaught of tension and continuous storytelling. The nominations for various awards are all deserved.

There are no easy answers, no simple solutions to this movie. That is why it will reap many Oscars come March 4th.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

It has been over two weeks since the video of Trump was released to the public.

We heard a reality TV star, the one now running for president, state that he can grab pussy whenever he likes because he is famous and women will let him get away with doing that.

trump-videoBut every time I hear that phrase or hear people defend his words, I get uncontrollably angry.  I know there is someone freaking out and reliving a memory she doesn’t want to remember of someone grabbing her because they had to power and ability to ride over her objections.

I am not sure what is worse, him saying it, even if it was ten years ago, or people defending it.  They say it is boy talk or locker room talk or what men say all of the time when women are not around.

I have heard men blow it off, relegate it to the trash. And then there are other men who state that in their locker rooms, this is not how they talk.

That doesn’t stop Trump, his wife, and other men say it was nothing and this is how men speak.

It leaves me wondering about every man I know. Does he speak this way with other men? Does he realize that participating in this talk upholds rape culture? Does this mean the men I know who quietly condone this talk also quietly condone behavior that is rape?

And then I realize that if they do quietly condone rape, if they never speak out against this type of talk, that I cannot trust them. If this is OK in their eyes when speaking with other men, is it okay to act out on those words? Is discussion about rape normal for all men or most men or only some men?

I don’t know and that scares me. It scares me not just for my own sake but for my daughter and her friends and any woman. Who knew that making America great again meant putting women in their place as sexual objects for men like this?

Trump isn’t talking about what he would like to do or what he wishes he could do to women he finds attractive. He is talking about past action. That he kissed beautiful women, that he grabbed pussy. That he violated a woman’s personal private area.

I could be paranoid or crazy. Except I know I am not. Women know what he meant by that phrase. We know from our daily experiences of guys trying to get a quick feel, or tell us to smile or say hello, or cat-calling vulgarities in our direction that a stranger’s propriety behavior over our bodies is not going away..

It works on our sense of safety, our sense of comfort. When we see our males friends agreeing with that statement of locker room talk, that sense of safety shrinks a little more. It makes me feel scared, it makes me feel like crawling up in a corner and hiding from the world, it makes me mad as hell and not wanting to take it anymore.

I and other women are not your toy, your plaything, your sexual release – especially if permission was not given.

What do these men care? All that Mr. Trump, and men who agree with his ‘locker room talk,’ want to do is grab pussy and to hell with it being permitted.

That’s just not okay. To talk about it like that is not normal because rape is not normal. Grabbing pussy without permission is not normal. When men engage in ‘locker room talk’ and condone it, they condone the behavior that is not normal.

How many times do we have to say this behavior, this speech is not normal?

We say it until people finally understand that rape is never a crime of passion or lust. Rape is a crime of overpowering someone to do your will in the most intimate ways possible.

That is most offensive of all.

 

 

 

 

Image from Facebook

Image from Facebook

 

I saw this meme on Facebook this morning. So nice, so nostalgic.

But I am trying to figure out which America this person is missing because there are parts of America that I never want to see again.

Which ones you ask?

Well, there is that part that thought it was OK for women to not be educated, to only run a house, raise kids, and take care of the husband. Women were not expected to have money, jobs, credit ratings, mortgages, or enough education to have a job/career to pay for all of the above in case the husband died or ran off.

Which leads to my other favorite part of America. The one that said it was OK to beat the crap out of your wife and/or children. Police, neighbors, friends, and family would look the other way if they knew that a woman was getting beat up on a regular basis. After all, she just fell down the stairs or ran into a door or something like that.

Now that makes me thing about the shame of sexual abuse. If a family member or friend or priest was abusing your kids, it was a shameful secret for the victim. It would take years of education for our society to realize that rape – no matter what – is wrong. Even so, we still like to think it is the victim’s fault.

Another old part of America I do not miss? Racism that lead to lynching and beat downs of black men who did something wrong such as look at a white woman, speak out against racism, become a little bit more than what was expected. Combine that with the mean and hateful behavior of separate schools, water fountains, and inability to sit at a luncheon counter. This was a happy place to live?

Am I saying our country is perfect now?

No way because we have some serious problems. There are shootings all over the place that are killing innocent kids. Maybe that doesn’t matter to you because it is not happening in your neighborhood or city but it is happening. Who needs car bombing in the market square when there are shootings every week?

We have veterans not getting the medical care or assistance from various programs by the government for no other reason than our politicians voted against them in Washington. Must be nice to be able to say ‘thank you for your service’ right before denying the VA more money to give healthcare to those vets. Could that be the reason why there are waiting lists at VA hospitals across the country?

We need some public works programs to get people back to work. Bridges and roads and public buildings need repair. Find that money to do  rebuilding because these projects will help the country more than anything else. Guys working on a new bridge bring that money home to their families which then get spent at stores and gas stations and on mortgages.

So now, look at that picture once again. Write in the comment section what parts of America do you miss and what you would change about now because we have a lot of fixing to do, some of it is left over baggage. I wonder if each of us picked a project to get a group of friends to work on, what would get accomplished?

Image from Facebook

Image from Facebook

 

 

Living in the Face of Evil

I began writing this post last week. I wanted time to think about every word, time to say things that would later be deleted. But I wanted to know at some point it would be posted, that I wrote how I felt about an evil situation while trying to understand. I am nowhere near to understanding, I might be farther away than I was last week. But this is where I am at this moment on this topic. 

 

Last week, we found out just how horribly a person can operate under the guise of running a charity meant to help kids.

 

Jerry Sandusky, former linebacker coach at Penn State, was indicted by the Grand Jury for 40 counts of alleged sexual child abuse. I need to say ‘alleged’ because he has only been charged so far and not convicted. As we learn more and more about the charges, when you read the actual report, it is sickening.

 

Thanks to Sandusky, every single one of us who work with youth in any capacity are being given a second look because he seemed like a great guy. Here was someone who was well liked and trusted by people. And yet he was a monster that people had seen doing horrible things.

 

Over the weekend, I read columns blaming the coaches, the parents, and those who purposely went after a group of children in a poor socio-economic group – figuring that this group would not make a fuss. The truth is that is only somewhat correct. Not all parents sat back, some reported what happened. A high school staff member made the mandated call. People made reports as they were required. That it took the Grand Jury three years to investigate might mean they had to make sure they had all of the facts right before they stepped into the world controlled by this man and Joe Paterno, aka JoePa.

 

Various Penn State staff members reported what they saw. Fear of losing their jobs might have made them reluctant to talk to more than their supervisor. One person who testified reported seeing Sandusky drive by the building several times, up until 2 in the morning, on a night he was seen doing wrong as if searching for the person who saw him.

 

After listening to a recent This American Life episode called “Petty Tyrant” about Steve Raucci in Schenectady, New York, I feel as if I understand some of the fear the Penn State employees would feel, knowing they would have to go against JoePa’s friend. Not that the lack of action is justified. But it does point out the atmosphere of fear and what it does to people.

 

I have known not one but two child abusers. The first was a security guard at my alma mater. A year after I left school, it was discovered he was raping both of his daughters. His wife was aware of it but did nothing to stop the behavior. Only because one of his daughters bravely reported the abuse did it stop with his arrest.

 

The other abuser was a neighbor. He was charming and friendly, approachable. He and his family were grounded Christians. We were not close friends but our families had a meal or two together. I never suspected, the radar didn’t go off. Then I saw a story in our local newspaper that he has been arrested.

 

He was acquitted. A year or so later they moved away. A year or two after that, he shares pictures through the internet with someone in another state. Now he is arrested by the feds because he crossed one line too many. The feds break into his house with a battering ram. After another year, his wife makes the decision to divorce him, change her last name and the kids’ to her maiden name and move back to her parents’ home in another state.

 

Abusers work to gain the trust and then separate their victims so that they can take advantage. The security guard isolated his girls. Our neighbor held sleepovers at his house like Sandusky did. Unlike Sandusky, our neighbor did not have friends in high places that could protect him.

 

Expect this case to get worse. More victims have come forward, the last total I heard being 17. Questions are going to be asked about a missing DA who disappeared in 2005; they found his empty car, and his laptop with notes on the case was at the bottom of a river. We are going to find out more sickening details as time goes on.

 

In the end, the best case scenario is that this will be one of the worst examples of the 1% taking advantage of their power and money to victimize members of the 99%. But if the rumors of grooming kids for donors are true, the worst could be a human trafficking case involving a top echelon university and a charity whose mission was to help kids at risk.

 

I wonder what I would have done in the face of evil. I hope the right thing and that I would do it without a second thought. After I threw up.

Getting Stirred Up

This past week I have felt myself get hot and bothered over a number of things that just piss me off royally. I can feel compassion for the people who have been hit by a tornado or other natural disaster. These things happen and there is no control over them.

Picture by Cohdra

People purposefully acting stupid, cruel and plain evil get to me. Some I want to spit at, others I want to slap and some, some I wish could find out what waterboarding is all about because I think they deserve that kind of torture to even out what they gave to their victims. I might want to be a pacifist but I am not very good at it, still.

So let me share a few.

I learned that the First Responders Bill, the legislation forcing our government to help out those people who came to ground zero to help clean-up after 911, has been hi-jacked by idiotic politicians who sought to tack all sorts of amendments on to this bill. If you apply for the health care relief you might need because you are dying of cancer and do not want to leave your family in debt, first you have to prove you are not a terrorist.

While that is a long term plan at best – living in this country, helping with a terror plot and then applying for medical aid to the government you sought to destroy ten years earlier – I bet there are some terrorists jumping for joy at being able to destroy our country by getting money from it. Thanks for that goes to Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida.

Picture by Grafixer

Then there was the whole Donald Trump congratulating himself for getting the truth about Obama’s birth certificate out of the way. Now let’s look at his academic records, Trump says. Really?

You want to investigate the college records of a Harvard Law School graduate? A man who was the editor of the Havard Law Review which only goes to a top student? A man who worked as a professor at a law school? You want to pick a fight with a man who is that much smarter than you?

Hey, Donald? Can we look at the books for your businesses? I hear stories about you losing money for your investors. Perhaps we need to check that out. You know where there is smoke, there is sometimes a blazing hot inferno.

Which leads me to the Birthers and Tea Party members. Where were you guys when we wanted to know if President Bush had really served in the National Guard as he stated? Few pictures or records tell the story on this one. Your dogged determination should have set the record straight on that mystery.

Hey, where were you guys as this war with Iraq went on and on, long after President Bush declared “Mission Accomplished?” Billions have gone from the treasury to pay for this war. We even learned we were lied to about there being weapons of mass destruction. Not a peep out of you people about that or the first round of stimulus money given to the banking industry with no way to track it during the final days of President Bush’s term.

I am not even sure I have heard you people complain about the bombing of Libya all that much. Just the bombs alone covered  NPR ‘s annual budget at least three times. So let’s be honest – do you really want responsible spending OR do you just want to get President Obama out of office?

Now the next thing had me going all day yesterday. Really hot and angry. The news on Sunday reported that a man raped a six-year-old little girl while her brother watched, terrified. This man was a friend of their father’s. He comes into the room and rapes a six-year-old girl.

There are a few choice words for a person who does such a thing. SCUM comes to mind. I could go off on a torrent of swearing. But the one I hope describes him best is DEAD MAN WALKING. It won’t be me who does it. But I hope his life is living hell from now until the moment he does meet our maker. I know Jesus saves but this is going to be tough.

I haven’t told the saddest part of the story yet. This “shitbird,” as one blogger called him, had been turning his life around, making things better. Now he is in jail and his five children are in protective service. All seven of these children need our prayers.

Jane Austen, enhanced portrait by Cassandra Austin, source unknown

Now, remind me again why I prefer to work in my garden and read Jane Austen novels? Why I would rather spend my days quilting or making a fabulous meal or having fun with the kids? Why I would rather stick my head in the sand than listen to this stuff on any given day?