Tuesday, November 21, 2017

What Is Going On?


 I try to stay away from topics in the news. On purpose. It is not my job to report on news items that I am not fully educated about. And my opinions belong to me. You have your own.

But now there is something happening that I must speak about. I am seeing on television and all over the web. It is much too important to ignore.

There are many people, so far only men, who are being accused of sexual assault and improprieties.
It is all over the news. Every day brings new allegations. Some people have one accuser; others have many.

The accused are men in powerful circumstances. They are performers, medical professionals, athletes,clergymen, politicians, members of the media, leaders of industry, military members,and people behind the scenes particularly in the entertainment industry. Unmentioned are people in everyday life like us.

Some of the accusers are also "big" names.  Members of the media, politicians, performers, members of the armed forces. Sexual abuse is the big news item right now.

The thing is that so many people are affected. Men, women, and children. And those are only the ones who have been abused. The people around them (both victims and abusers) are also hurt.

In 1977 Roman Polanski was accused and CONVICTED of "rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child" who was 13 years old. Polanski was a film director who used his position to take advantage of a child. He fled to Europe to escape prison where he has been living and directing movies ever since.

In the UK Jimmy Savile was accused of sexually abusing women and children. Mr Savile was dead before allegations of abuse were widespread. His victims ranged in age from 5 years old to 75 years old. Of the children he abused, both boys and girls were victims. He was known to visit hospitals and mortuaries looking to find his victims. In the children's hospitals the children were told to pretend to be asleep during his visits in hopes he would leave them alone. People knew and did nothing. He died while many of the accusations were still being investigated.

Rolf Harris of Australia was convicted of sexually assaulting at least 12 minors. He was a well-known entertainer, musician, and artist. He wrote some of my favorite songs. He molested children. He was recently released from prison.

For years and years Corey Feldman has been trying to tell people that he and other child actors were sexually assaulted all over the emtertainment industry. People said it was because of his drug abuse that he said those things. Now some of those claims are being corroborated by others. After all these years.

Politicians are now being and have been in the past accused of indecencies ranging from lewd comments, groping and touching, all the way to rape. Some of the victims were male, some female, and some were children.

Churches where everyone should be safe from all harm have been guilty of harboring sex offenders. In most cases of abuse the offendeer is simply transferred; problem solved. Schools do the same thing.

I am not going to go through the whole list of names being accused today. The only reason is that it is too long. Some have admitted to doing wrong and apologized. I do not think apologies are sufficient but that is not my decision. However it is a start. Some swear they did nothing wrong. Some say that it is only "boys being boys" or "locker room" antics.

Often the accusers are being blamed. They dressed provocatively. I have seen few 80-90 year old women who dress in a way that shows their feminine wiles. They seduced me. A two year old does not seduce. A teenager in school is too young to decide whether sex is a good thing for him/her. A woman hurrying home from shopping to pick up the kids at school and get dinner fixed so she can do the laundry before bed is not being seductive.

Sexual abuse is not about desire; it is about power. It is strictly to exert dominance over the victim. If you desire a person you will do everything you can to make the person feel safe. An abuser does everything he can to make the victim submit to his power. It is a way to make the abuser feel more powerful in his own eyes. They know it is wrong so they keep it hidden. They use direct and indirect threats to keep the victim from letting someone else know.

One of the most often repeated phrases I hear today is, "why didn't he/she come forward sooner?" There are a variety of answers.

We have been raised to believe that it is our fault if something like this happens to us. So instead we hold the thoughts inside to keep others from knowing that we were a part of a terrible act.

To have physical proof requires a medical examination. That alone is invasive and humiliating. Then there are questions by professionals. Some can be extremely personal. It takes a special kind of person to submit themselves to that. If there is a trial after all that the victim has to relive everything that happened. Then be called a liar by the accused. Demeaning.

It is embarrassing to allow other people to know what has happened to you and your body. Why put yourself through that?

Now people (mostly men) are trying to put us in our places by letting us know that we have made them feel uncomfortable to even look at someone else. To that I say that we all like beauty. It is a form of art. If we look at an attractive person it is like viewing a lovely painting. The lascivious drooling looks are what is offensive.

I hope that because of the bravery of the people who have said something now it will be easier for people to speak out sooner. Maybe we can stop the perverts andd pedophiles before there are dozens of victims. Better yet maybe the abuses will stop.

I am however a realist. Things like this have happened before. Maybe not on quite this large a scale but they have happened. Each time we hope the problem will finally be fixed. Each time we are disappointed. I want this to be the last one. So everyone must stand up and say "THIS STOPS NOW."

22 comments:

  1. I believe the train of abuse is slowing dramatically, Emma. I also believe it will take a long time to sort through the exposed villainy.

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    1. As long as the villainy is addressed I can wait.

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  2. Powerful piece, Emma! I'm on my feet!

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  3. "Churches where everyone should be safe from all harm have been guilty of harboring sex offenders"

    The "Freedom from Religion Foundation" has a monthly newspaper which features three full-sized pages (in small font entitled" "Black Collar Crimes." Nearly all of the crimes were committed in America, most involve sex, and many involve a non-repentant minister, in some cases a minister whose parishioners stand behind him. Christianity is about forgiveness, they claim. They even say this about Roy Moore although he denies that he harmed all of those people. To evangelical Christians, forgiveness means never having to say you're sorry. You can't imagine how much I despite their religion. I hated it before; I'm consumed by my hatred now.

    "Often the accusers are being blamed."

    The uncle of one of the recent perverts featured in Freethought Today said of the fourteen year old victim, "Who knows what the little slut did to tempt him?"

    "One of the most often repeated phrases I hear today is, "why didn't he/she come forward sooner?"

    I think that such people don't want to admit there's a problem, especially when the predator is someone they care about. I heard Roy Moore's wife say that he's the kindest man she had ever known. This is a woman who would swim the ocean before she would admit that she has been married for over thirty years to a man she never knew.

    "It is embarrassing to allow other people to know what has happened to you and your body. Why put yourself through that?"

    Right. Remember what happened to Peggy. For example being asked by the school board what she had done to make the three boys think it was okay to assault her.

    "So everyone must stand up and say "THIS STOPS NOW.'"

    I'm floored by your optimism. It hasn't happened that way with war, and, just today, I heard a radio program about slave markets in Libya. In my view, predators will always, always, always exist, and while the problem might be lessened, it will never go away.

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    1. By nature I am an optimist. I can see the ugly and choose to hope for beauty. While I am choosing I keep my eyes open and watch for ugly to rear its head. Your post about this subject has stayed in my mind since I read it. I should have written this sooner.

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  4. Very well written and thoughtful post.
    That Jimmy Saville character, I cannot tell you how shocking that was to me, he was so very well known in England and mostly for the children's hospitals! Now we know why he spent so much time with them, it sickens me beyond words.
    When I volunteered as a Boy Scout leader and also as a Sunday School teacher, we were told that there are men (and women) who try for those positions simply in order to abuse children. That thought also sickens me.

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    1. Unfortunately some people who apply to be foster parents do the same thing. It has to stop.

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  5. Excellent post, Emma. I was fortunately not interfered with as a child, but I know some people who were. It doesn't leave them, not ever.

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    1. Thank you. The "dirty" feeling never does leave. No one should have to have those feelings.

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  6. There is a judge in Alabama whose been accused of molesting a 14 year old girl. He's running for the U.S. Senate and a lot of local "church people" are supporting him. I'm embarrassed for my state.
    I'm not sure what the answers are but all these accounts are disheartening.

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    1. It is another sad case. Apparently he first saw his wife when she was in a dance recital at the age of 15. Disturbing.

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    2. "There is a judge in Alabama whose been accused of molesting a 14 year old girl."

      If you mean Roy Moore, his story is daily news across the nation. Last I heard, he was up from one girl to eight girls.

      "I'm embarrassed for my state."

      It's not just an Alabama problem but a Republican problem because although the national leadership has condemned Moore, Trump is behind him, and his story could be happening in any conservative state that places politics over ethics. The Democrats did the same with Clinton, but that doesn't excuse the Republicans from doing it now. I just wonder how far they would go. I mean, really, if they're willing to stand behind a pedophile, who wouldn't they be willing to stand behind? By the way, my father's parents were from Bridgeport, Alabama (they moved to Mississippi in 1908), which as you might know is way up in the northeast corner of the state.

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    3. Thank you for your comments. I am happy that these things are being brought to light finally. I am sad that they happened.

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  7. A very powerful post dear Emma!

    among all you mentioned Jimmy sound most horrible accuser who looked for his victims how dangerous as otherwise we think that people do this mostly in their so called weak moments or else

    I agree and i hope that people will not hide such ugly facts and will speak boldly to give the accusers their punishments .

    I agree that women don't have to seduce men for this kind of shameful act ,all need is men's low way of thinking which mostly comes from poor upbringing

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