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Thread: The sexual assault / abuse / harassment catch-all thread

  1. #1
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    The sexual assault / abuse / harassment catch-all thread

    We've got the Weinstein thread, which started to veer into general discussion. We've got the Manson thread that jumped off the rails and then even split into another thread about Jeordie. And we'll probably have more to come.

    Let's give this subject its own thread, because frankly it's an important issue to talk about - and sadly, it happens so frequently that I'm sure there will be no shortage of things to discuss.

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    We apparently need a place to discuss this topic since so many on our board think it's their job to question the motives of victims who come forward. Please note that if you participate in victim blaming in this thread, you will be called out by me and other users.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweeterthan View Post
    We apparently need a place to discuss this topic since so many on our board think it's their job to question the motives of victims who come forward. Please note that if you participate in victim blaming in this thread, you will be called out by me and other users.
    I am "other users".

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    Well, I'll start.

    When I was 14 years old, back in the beginning of the 80s, I was doing a lot of babysitting to earn money. And I mean a lot. All my nights and weekends were booked 2-3 weeks in advance. Kids loved me and I was very responsible so I was popular.

    One night, I was being driven back home by the father of the 3 kids I had babysat. He was intoxicated (not such an unusual thing at the time). The family lived a bit outside of town so we had a bit of lonely road to do. So instead of keeping on driving, he parked on the side of the road, I was wondering what was going on so I looked at him. He just smiled and reached out to grab by breasts and said "you have a great rack" (the French equivalent, mind you). I remember pushing his hand away. I don't think I said anything; I was just stunned. He resumed driving. I remember telling myself that it was funny that I wasn't afraid but looking back, I was scared to death. Once I got home, he gave me much more than I was due and I wanted to give him his change back but he told me to keep it. So I got out of the car and ran home.

    I never went back there even though the mother wanted me to. She said her kids loved me and that she felt they were safe with me. I kept telling her I was already booked when I wasn't. She eventually stopped calling. My mom was pissed because she thought I was refusing to make money and I told her that I did not like to be groped. So she agreed that I was right not to go back and that he was a pig. And that was it.

    At the time (and before you start blaming my mom which I won't tolerate) it never occurred to me to go to the cops with that story. At the time, we (women) were raised to think that there were pigs out there who would do that stuff but that just the way things were. At school, we girls all knew about the math teacher with grabby hands but the most we did about it was to warn each other about him. Because that's how it was: you had to stay away from the creeps. If someone had told us to go to the cops, we would have said no because it would have seem silly to us.

    But it wasn't silly. I was left damaged by that one single experience. For starters: I never wore the shirt I was wearing that night because the shirt was somehow "contaminated". And I was a very busty girl so it clinged a bit and maybe that's why this happened. I loved that shirt. And while I was a always a plum girl, I really started putting on serious weight after that. A few years later, because I really was a busty girl with osteoarthritis in the back, I had a breast reduction surgery. But deep down, I was just glad to get rid of "them".

    And it was only about 5 years ago that I was able to call what had happened to me "sexual assault". It's still feel strange to me to call it that and that goes to show how deeply us women are brainwashed about "stuff like that". Last week I posted the #metoo on Facebook and I called this experience "banal". Even though I can see how deeply it has affected me through the years. I talked about it to my mom and she doesn't even remember any of it; burying it was her way to cope. She kept asking me his name and I don't even remember! But I do remember the smell of the car, being parked by the side of the road and the feel of his hand on me.

    But it is liberating to talk about it. I know it wasn't my fault. I just wish I could silence once and for all that stupid little voice at the back of my head that keeps telling me "but..."

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    I'll try to keep this brief, both because I don't feel like typing out a big long thing right now (it's late and I'm tired) but also because I don't feel like going through every part of this awful experience again in detail.

    I was sexually assaulted at a transgender support group a couple of months ago. I reported the assault to the president of the organization (who also happens to be the leader of the group, it's a small outfit) and she told me she would let the board know and get back to me. A month later I still hadn't heard anything. I found out that the person who assaulted me was not kicked out of the group. I wrote said president (who, once upon a time not that long ago, was an actual friend) and told her how shitty I thought it was that someone can commit sexual assault and still be welcomed back into the group.

    She didn't like my harsh words. An argument ensued. It was nasty. She told me that what happened to me wasn't really sexual assault (because there was no malice involved, and apparently in her mind as long as the person didn't MEAN to hurt you it doesn't count, I guess), after which I seriously took off the gloves. She bristled at the idea that I called her out for perpetuating rape culture by trying to deny that an assault occurred, by trying to downplay my feelings as a victim, and she cursed me out. She went on to insult me for not being full time yet (which is, you know, lovely for the leader of a transgender support group to do), told me that I was a "bitch" who thought the world revolved around me, and even tried to imply that I was a racist for making a big deal out of this because the person who attacked me happened to be black (I hadn't ever mentioned race once our entire conversation, and it literally doesn't matter to me what their race is). She then tried to "talk some sense into me one last time" and tried to get me to understand where the person was coming from, that they didn't mean anything by it, that they were "trying to help." It was seriously disgusting.

    I took screenshots of our entire conversation and sent it to the board. Not a single one of them ever e-mailed me back. The person who assaulted me is still in the group (to the best of my knowledge). The president manned the booth at a local LGBT festival this weekend, so she is still very much involved in the group. Apparently the people who head my support group are ok with sexual assault and have no problem with the way the president of the organization handled herself, at least not enough to kick either of them out.

    It's been infuriating. I cannot tell you how much it hurt to have someone think it was ok to touch an intimate part of my body without consent. I cannot tell you how horrible it feels to have someone blatantly try to downplay what you went through, deny your assault, try to make you into a crazy person, try to get you to "sit down and have a talk" with the person that did it to hash things out. They actually wanted me to sit down with the person that assaulted me and have a nice cup of tea and chat. Are you fucking kidding me?!

    Anyway, needless to say I will never, ever step foot in that group again. I told my therapist about it and she said she used to send clients there all the time, but would not be doing that anymore. So at least I have that. There were no other repercussions, though. The person who assaulted me got to stay. The president of the org got to stay. I got to leave.

    Fuck this culture where shit like this is deemed ok. This was not ok. None of this is ok.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marodi View Post
    And I was a very busty girl so it clinged a bit and maybe that's why this happened.
    The drunk dude was a sexual predator. You did acknowledge that you know it's not your fault, but then I when I see someone write "maybe it's because I wore this," it is putting a small portion of responsibility on the victim - and that's absolutely not the case. You and your shirt had nothing to do with it. Predators are predators. I'd wager my life savings that if he thought you had a "nice rack", you could've been wearing a damn potato sack and he still would've tried to cop a feel.

    Quote Originally Posted by marodi View Post
    At the time (and before you start blaming my mom which I won't tolerate) it never occurred to me to go to the cops with that story. At the time, we (women) were raised to think that there were pigs out there who would do that stuff but that just the way things were. At school, we girls all knew about the math teacher with grabby hands but the most we did about it was to warn each other about him. Because that's how it was: you had to stay away from the creeps. If someone had told us to go to the cops, we would have said no because it would have seem silly to us.
    Sadly, I understand that sentiment completely. Growing up in the States in the 90s it was the same way (as it was in college in the 00s). Pigs were "just a part of life" and you just tried to avoid them instead of reporting them and making a real effort to raise public awareness and change the way people think. I'm so encouraged by what I've seen the last couple of years in terms of public outrage and persistent pushes for major societal and cultural reform, but unfortunately I know we have a long way to go. I think it's a much more promising start than anything I saw in my youth, though.

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    So the reactions to this investigation (warning: graphic descriptions) have been, sadly yet predictably, awful. My friend is fond of saying that people tend to excuse men who rape women that are paid to have sex, but they'd never excuse a boxer being mugged "because they get punched for a living so they must have enjoyed it".

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    There are so many accusations coming out, it might be helpful to have a big list of all the people who have been accused.

    Kevin Spacey surprised me.

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    It's rough to hear your stories, @marodi and @theruiner . It really brings this subject a lot closer to home. I am so sorry that you went through these things and I'm proud of you both for being brave enough to talk about it.

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    I think this is right. Our discourse around this issue has been crippled by weasely reliance on all the redundant/misleading usages of the verb 'to allege'. She alleged, he is alleged to have, there are allegations... that's all simpering legalspeak. Where is the allegiance in 'allegedly'? It's not with the victim.
    Last edited by botley; 11-01-2017 at 05:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by botley View Post
    I think this is right. Our discourse around this issue has been crippled by weasely reliance on all the redundant/misleading usages of the verb 'to allege'. She alleged, he is alleged to have, there are allegations... that's all simpering legalspeak. Where is the allegiance in 'allegedly'? It's not with the victim.
    Journalists are taught to use "alleged" to avoid being sued for libel. It's pretty much required, now, to avoid it. http://www.entcounsel.com/blog/defamation-and-libel

    If you're not a journalist and you're using it in personal conversation or under an anon pseudo on a message board then, yeah, it's not necessary and not sending the right message.
    Last edited by allegro; 11-01-2017 at 10:17 PM.

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    I think the piece I linked lays out pretty clearly why even that media-specific use is an unnecessary practice, and point 9 of that guide you posted seems to back this up... but I'm not up on the legal precedents of American cases. Interesting that it also mentions the press coverage of Mayor Ford as an example of something too lurid and to be avoided; as I understand it, our local Toronto reporting on his antics needed to be up to a HIGHER standard of veracity than American laws would require, as we have even tougher libel laws here in Canada.

    He was also an abuser, though never convicted of it, and I guess in some American states that statement could be considered libelous even though he's dead.

    We've also already been through a gruelling and traumatic national discussion of powerful men like Ford facing multiple accusations of sexual assault, from slimeball Canadian "celebrities" like Jian Ghomeshi to our Olympic Committee organizer bigwig John Furlong. In the courts, they win, but in the court of public opinion, we all know what they did.

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    The press here uses “allegedly” ALWAYS, or at least “is charged with” or “charges have been filed against” or whatever language is the least definitive. It’s just standard practice, no matter the incident or crime. And it’s most likely due to the cost and time related to defending too many frivolous libel lawsuits, rather than case law that actually supports it. And we KNOW that’s why the media here uses it, so we don’t use it as a sign of innocence. I mean, the media here uses that language for friggin serial killers.

    The link I provided is a Canadian Law link, yeah. I don’t know if you have as many frivolous suits as we have, here. Actual cases are easier to prove and win but frivolous cases waste time and money (which is usually the point).

    DJ Trump sued an author for stating (in the author’s book) that Trump’s net worth was lower than what Trump said it was.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.49b66b1e3a66

    The Judge threw it out, of course.

    I’m not sure about libeling dead people, unless it involved a lucrative business with that person’s name on it; like, there has to be some kind of financial or branding loss suffered.

    Anyway ...

    The underlying problem is more about attitudes and what is accepted as okay? Outside of the media constantly covering its ass.

    The media covering its collective ass is why nobody would print anything about Harvey Weinstein for decades. We are a really litigious society. The NY Times and the New Yorker accumulated SO MANY victim accounts, I assume their lawyers gave them the go-ahead, having a preponderance of winesses and evidence (and that audio recording).

    This article (linked in your link) is really interesting but is better discussed in a different thread, I guess.
    Last edited by allegro; 11-02-2017 at 11:25 AM.

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    You bring up a good point, though: in an anonymous or pseudo-friend environment where we know very very little about others, assumptions are pretty stupid and can be really hurtful. Also, females aren’t the only ones who are sexually assaulted, and pretending that’s true doesn’t help anybody.

    I’ve known a few guys who were sexually molested as children. One was my best friend.

    I agree that disturbing depictions of sexual assaults on TV and in movies doesn’t seem “eroticized,” to me. But, it does seem to be GRATUITOUS to me.

    Edit: here’s an interesting article:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertai...olence/396191/
    Last edited by allegro; 11-02-2017 at 08:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    I agree that disturbing depictions of sexual assaults on TV and in movies doesn’t seem “eroticized,” to me. But, it does seem to be GRATUITOUS to me.
    That was the discussion I wanted to have... I didn't feel comfortable sharing personal stories (and, for record, nobody bashing me was personally sharing either), but I was asking questions about how people feel. One woman (the one who said I needed to adjust my moral compass) said that it should NEVER be depicted in media, and when it is, it's because the creator of that media is a sexual deviant enjoying a fantasy. I asked if that was the case in something like The Accused...

    Shortly after that point I realized that I really should just walk away.

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    It’s for ratings and attention and money. How people REACT to it is not relevant. What IS relevant is whether or not the scene or nudity or sexual torture storyline was NECESSARY TO THE STORY LINE.

    Yes, lots of people - men and women, for a whole bunch of reasons - are “entertained” by this stuff. But if movies and TV do it PRIMARILY (solely??) for quick cash and ratings, then who and why people love it or hate it is beside the point. We need to force Hollywood to stop relying on this shit (and most other violence) and get more creative.

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    I hate how pervasive this kind of thing is. I didn't even realize how common place it was until I left my marriage and got out into the dating world.

    So many women I met who told me they had been assaulted and raped. And my friend gave me some tapes on how to act in the dating world, and all of it was basically just instructions on staying in control, making women feel like you were superior to them.

    That's not right. And it's so ingrained in our culture too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eskimo View Post
    I hate how pervasive this kind of thing is. I didn't even realize how common place it was until I left my marriage and got out into the dating world.

    So many women I met who told me they had been assaulted and raped. And my friend gave me some tapes on how to act in the dating world, and all of it was basically just instructions on staying in control, making women feel like you were superior to them.

    That's not right. And it's so ingrained in our culture too.

    I read that book The Game by Neil Strauss... interesting in a fly-on-the-wall sort of way... it's also incredibly unsettling.

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    @Jinsai I have had the same feelings about GoT (I have seen a lot of fiction that addresses this topic and it hasn't disturbed me the way this has). Also even though over the years I have posted things on ETS that I haven't anywhere else, I wrote out and deleted my contribution to this thread last week, so I can empathise.

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    I also wrote my assault out and deleted it. I donít need the judgement. I support anyone who does share here and will defend anyone who posts in this thread about their experience.

    In the Harvey Weinstein thread I talked about GoT and how I almost didnít watch it because of rape in the first episode. My husband said it would get better. It is my favorite show now. I still have a problem with rape being shoved in my face. A main characterís rape in season 6 turned out to be a good thing for me because a ton of people expressed their outrage. Iíve never seen that kind of response before and it gave me hope. Hope that things really are changing for humanity...maybe?

    I couldnít watch true detective after the first episode. Bates motel, I watched for minutes before screaming and crying to turn it off. Iíve never watched the girl with the dragon tattoo because Reznor reference the rape scene in interviews. Im not interested at all if I know this will happened.

    I get it. Itís art but I donít want to see it. Ever again. That wonít happen, I know.


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    Wow this is a POWERFUL essay by Diana Nyad about her being sexually assaulted by her swim coach, TWICE.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/o...l-assault.html

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    A FB friend posted that Louis CK isnít as bad as Harvey Weinstein because he didnít force himself on anyone. Heís basically saying that masturbating in front of someone uninvited isnít as bad as rape so we can still like Louis Ck. All I can think is really dude, you donít get it? Thereís still force involved. Like why even quantify it publicly? It just makes you look bad.



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    Would HE do what LCK did??

    These people are findings excuses because they don’t want to admit that the guy is a disgusting creepy pervert asshole.

    Legal terminology doesn’t eliminate his being a disgusting person who did something REALLY DISGUSTING AND DISTURBING. How does one UNDO some fucked up shit like that in your head? It doesn’t matter if it’s as “bad” as rape or murder or robbery or whatever ... if he did that at a school playground, he’d be issuing his apology from prison.

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    Look, I'm not saying Charles Manson didn't do some bad things, but you have to admit that he's nowhere near as bad as Hitler.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    These people are findings excuses because they don’t want to admit that the guy is a disgusting creepy pervert asshole.
    I'm honestly surprised nobody on ETS carried the same flag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalChaos View Post
    I'm honestly surprised nobody on ETS carried the same flag.
    They are, they're just staying quiet about it and imagining that they're the oppressed silent majority.

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    If my musical heros could stop being pieces of shit that would be great.

    Jesse Lacey of Brand New has been accused of some creepy shit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tony.parente View Post
    If my musical heros could stop being pieces of shit that would be great.

    Jesse Lacey of Brand New has been accused of some creepy shit.

    And here’s his shitty statement on the issue.

    https://www.facebook.com/BrandNew/po...55923794753023

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