Tuesday, October 2, 2018

There is no 'War on Men'

Here is some information for you tonight. There is no 'war on men'. Maybe a war on predators, but not men. I will tell you I have been groped, harassed, insulted and had my share of drunken encounters I wish I could take back, but only ONE man raped me. One. Women in general don't want to accuse every man that has crossed the line with them sexually. It's a small percentage of reported rapes that end up being false accusations. With most of them, the charges end up being dropped quickly and they never go to trial. I also know women who were raped that reported their case and were told it was 'her word against his' or that the prosecutor didn't feel there was enough evidence for them to 'win', which I find to be such a poor choice of words, as if anyone wins in a rape case. If you are a man that has never sexually assaulted a woman in any way, I have confidence that you have nothing to worry about. If you are worrying right now, maybe you just need to dig up your old high school calenders and refresh your memory on the things you've done in the past.


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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

It's not just men harassing women

I'm sure this has been addressed already, but there are surely a lot of women in positions of power, using it to sexually abuse people, too.

This isn't just a 'male' issue, just as it isn't a "Hollywood" issue. This happens EVERYWHERE, in every industry and it has to stop.

I'm sure there is going to be a generation of men out there, who are afraid to talk or act a certain way towards women out of PURE FEAR.

I remember an incident at work that I feel terrible about to this day.

Once after a laser treatment, I patted a male patient on his butt and said "ok, you're all set!" I cringed almost immediately after.

I didn't intend for it to be sexually suggestive and I don't think he was even aware of what I did, but it was wrong.

What if it was reversed and a male tech did it to a female patient. Would she feel it was harassment? Would she say something?
I am sure I've done it before to a female patient as well and that isn't right, either.
I know one thing. I'm definitely more aware of where I put my hands and what I say. He could have easily been offended and just kept quiet.
We must all be aware of what our actions are and try to do better.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Violated all Over Again

With all the recent talk about sex abuse and being able to talk more about my own experience, I remembered an incident that happened about 10 or so years ago.

This is the first time I'm telling anyone about this incident.
It was around the time I finally got the courage to call RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) and discuss my rape. I was starting to be comfortable talking about it and knew that I was not to blame for my assault.
 I was in a chat room for survivors and people supporting them. There was a young guy taking and he had said someone close to him (girlfriend, I think) was sexually abused by a family member. He said he was writing a book about sexual assault and was looking to talk to anyone willing to discuss their feelings and how it had affected them. He said he needed the POV of a survivor.
I was happy to help him and we spoke a little bit about my assault. Just some basic things like my age at the time, the circumstances, where I was, etc. Nothing too personal. He asked me if I would be comfortable talking on the phone, and offered to give me his number.
So a day or so later, he contacted me via the chat and asked me if it was a good time to call him. I did and he was very nice and comforting. He told me about his friend and his empathy for her. He told me he wished he could better understand what she was feeling so he could help her heal. I told him that in my opinion he should give her time and just be there. When she was comfortable talking, she would. It was then that he turned the conversation back to me. He started asking me about my assault. He wanted more details. I started to question his motives for wanting to know. He had not told me he would be wanting to hear specifics. I then realized that he was actually enjoying hearing me talk about it and possibly was going to get off on it. I then realized that there probably was no book and possibly no friend that was a survivor. I felt really stupid but more so, I felt violated all over again. Can you imagine how vile and disgusting a person you have to be to actually put a sexual assault survivor through something like that?  Then I thought about all the other girls in the chat and wondered how many fell for his story. Many of the girls I had been talking to were much younger than me. If he fooled me, I can only imagine what he did to them. I broke contact with him and immediately reported him to a moderator for the group.
Just another reason it is so very hard to open up to people. I'm usually much smarter than that.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Me Too.

Seeing the #MeToo hashtag go viral this weekend has prompted me to write this blog post. It isn't the first time I've considered writing about my assault, it isn't even the first time I've started writing it, but it is the first time I've actually published it.

 I have had 2 major instances which stand out for me. Both happened when I was under 18.

The first one happened when I was in my early teens. I was at a pool party with friends. It was later, after dark and most of the party attendants had left. I was sitting beside the pool and a few of the boys (boys I called friends) decided it would be fun to chase me around, trying to see my boobs.
This continued, with me fighting them off for a few minutes, until I was pushed to the ground, the boys groping and grabbing at me. There was a point where one of my breasts was pulled out. They put a towel over my head, so I "couldn't see who was touching me and  where". I cried, I pushed, and yelled "stop". They laughed and continued, until they no longer found any thrill to it.
I told my friend, who had been in the pool at the time. She yelled at the boys and we called my parents to come get us.
I told my parents what happened and it was reported to police. The detective in charge of my case treated me like a nuisance and as if I should just move on. After all, wasn't I flirting with the boys, earlier? Wasn't I maybe enjoying it even? I started to question and second guess myself and my own actions.
Then I ended up dropping the charges (my parents left the decision to me) because I was becoming to feel more and more ashamed and told that these were young boys, whose future I would be hurting (never mind MY future or what I had already endured).
 In the end, it didn't seem worth it anymore.

The 2nd event was more brutal. I was raped by a 25 year old when I was 17 at a friend's house. He first went after my friend, who poked him in the eye and left the room. Then he took his chance with me. I wasn't as lucky. He tried to force me to give him oral sex and when I refused, saying no many times, he pinned me down, did the job himself and ejaculated all over my face. I ran, crying to the bathroom. The next morning, I awoke to him inside me. Raping me, as I slept. I didn't report it. I was a minor, who had been drinking at a party, surrounded by others who heard my protests and did nothing. How would I possibly convince anyone that I was raped again my will? I wasn't even sure I wasn't somewhat to blame. At that time 'date rape' wasn't something that was widely talked about. So I stayed silent. That doesn't mean that I didn't think about it. The doesn't mean it didn't live in the back of my mind all my life. Years later, I was watching a TV movie about date rape. It was then I realized that what happened to me WAS wrong. It wasn't my fault. I was able to forgive myself for feeling ashamed. I was able to accept that I wasn't to blame. I spoke to counselors at Rinna (The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)  and talking helped. I made it a mission of mine to spread support and awareness to others. I spoke out. I healed. In some ways, I'm still healing. Everyday gets better.


RAINN - https://www.rainn.org/

Sunday, October 9, 2016

It's Not Always Our Words, But How We Choose To Use Them

In the past 2 days, I have been reading a lot (and also commenting) on the recently uncovered "Trump Tape" recording from 2005 of Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump and interviewer, Billy Bush dicussing Trump's opinion on how he can use his "celebrity status" to get women to do pretty much anything he wants.

Some comments I have seen and received have been:

" All guys talk like that."
"It's just locker room banter."
"His opinion of my gender doesn't matter to me."

and my favorite:

"If that talk offends you, you should just become a lesbian."

Now, I know Trump has issued an apology for what he said, but was he sorry he said it? Or just sorry we had to hear it? Trump obviously knew he was being recorded , as he was asked to take off his mic by Bush at the end and he is heard responding "Oh, are we done here?", which kind of rules out "Locker room banter" because he knew he was in a sort of interview situation with a person from the public media.
It obviously didn't bother him (or a laughing Bush) that what he was saying could possibly be released at some point, which kind of begs the question of why hasn't it? Did it get edited out because it obviosly does not paint him in a good light? Of course, he was not running for any office at that time, but I am sure anyone who heard that at any point would agree it is not becoming of a man in the spotlight.

I'm going to take a minute to consider how also in the past 2 days our current President, Barack Obame, who nobody can deny DOES in fact hold women (and all genders) in a high regard, just signed the Sexual Assault Survivor's Rights Act into law.

Now think for a bit of any such bill would have even been considered if Trump was our president? I highly doubt it, At the very least, it certainly would not be a priority on his "to do" list.

Now back to "All guys talk like that."  Like what? Like brag about how they can "grab them by the pussy"? It's funny, because when I think of ANY man talking like that, the first person to come to mind, is Brock Turner, the convicted rapist that had he not been caught mid-assault of an unconscious woman, would possible have been making similar claims in HIS locker room the next day or so.
What I am saying is that is not the kind of talk you hear from "every guy", I'm sorry. I'm just not buying that line of garbage excuses.

How about "His opininion of my gender doesn't affect me."
Really? Well , actually I do believe that how a man views and talks about women will definitely be reflected in how he operates in office. It's how he will decide on bills to sign off on, laws that are brought forward or considered and who he decides to appoint to the Supreme Court. Don't think it doesn't matter because it absolutely does and will. A person doesn't change the way they feel deep down inside and let's face it, this audio tape only comfirms what most of us already know: Donald Trump is a misogynist and always was. Why would he change now? This recording could have been made in 2005, but it may as well been yesterday. He still talks down to and about women.

Lastly, I will adress the remark that "If you are offended by this, you might as well become a lesbian because all me talk like this."

Well I will say first, that if you think the word "PUSSY" offends me then you don't know me at all. I have heard and said worse, myself. It's not always your words, but how you choose to use them.

Secondly, I do not feel sexually orientation is a choice I can make or change and even if it were, if any of the assholes I have dated or had sex with didn't make me want to become a lesbian, I do not think anything will.

But what do I know? I'm just a woman. A voter. I not only have a vagina, but I have a voice and a vote. I have already used both in this election, I'm not going to stop now.

Redheads may not ALWAYS Know Best, we our opinions should count.

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Return To Covington Cove: My Review of ALL OF ME by Kelly Moran

All Of Me is the second book in the Covington Cove series by Kelly Moran, which began with book one: Return to Me.

Though characters from book one are a big part of All Of Me, it centers on two new people not in Return To Me,  Alec, who is a best-selling writer of horror fiction stuck with a bad case of writer's block, and Faith, a young woman starting a new beginning for herself, away from her home.

Alec is strong, but sensitive, a quality I very much appreciate seeing in a lead male.
Faith is sweet, shy and a bit vulnerable.  I admit at first I was not sure I could see these two as a couple.

Both Alec and Faith have come to Covington Cove in Wilmington, NC for their own reasons. Alec, for his brother's wedding and Faith to take on a position as a care giver for Mia Covington's younger sister.

Mia was the heroine of Return to Me and it was nice to see her and Cole again and know their story continues to be a happy one.

Now back to Alec and Faith. Both of these people have some heavy emotional baggage.
Alec has been through a rough past which has caused him to withdraw from any real emotional connection with a woman. Faith has never felt loved by anyone, including her own parents.

The connection between the two of them starts out slow, but builds as the story moves forward.

I'm glad Kelly Moran knows how to write a realistic story and write it well, NO two people like Alec and Faith would come together in real life without some obstacles in their way and Ms Moran shows this in a way that is believable.

I felt Faith's insecurities as if they were my own and I sympathized with Alec's plight.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet story about letting go of the past, moving on and letting your heart be your guide.

You can find it here on Amazon in Kindle and paperback http://www.amazon.com/All-Me-Covington-Cove-Novel-ebook/dp/B00SI0B6HU/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1444062698&sr=8-1

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

It's Not The Getting Older, It's Getting Older Alone.

I recently celebrated my 45th birthday. Yes, I said CELEBRATED. I still celebrate birthdays and I do it as if I was still a little kid. I admit it. I look forward to my birthday. I always have.

I don't have any real problems with getting older. I never was bothered about it. Maybe because I truly believe you are as young as you feel and I certainly feel younger than I am. Maybe it's because I am still single and have no kids, so I still am living the same life I was at 35 (which is about the same age I currently feel).

Now one thing that DOES bother me about getting older? It's not the "getting older" part, it's getting older alone. As if dating wasn't hard enough in my thirties, it's now even harder.  The amount of men that are single, available, reasonably attractive and in my age range to me gets smaller and smaller as I get older.

Years ago, this wasn't a big problem. When you are young, there are more people that are single in your age range . I also always went for the younger guys, which was easier when I was younger, as well. Now, I a lot of younger guys seem like kids. But yet, I'm still not attracted to many men my age or older.

One big problem is that I really hate first dates. It's the whole process of being with someone that knows nothing about you. You have to supply each other with any information and I don't like to ask too much or tell too much straight off.  Quite honestly I always feel like I'm on a job interview. (yeah, I hate those, too).

I still find it hard to believe I'm going to be 50 in 5 years. I'm not afraid of it. I'm just hoping by them I'll find a date for my party.