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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/copaken-kavanaugh...


The Kavanaugh allegations led me to reach out to the man who had assaulted me decades before.

Let me tell you what life was like as a girl in Montgomery County, Maryland, in the early 1980s. I am a year older than Christine Blasey Ford and a year younger than Brett Kavanaugh. I grew up in Potomac, Maryland, a few miles from both Holton Arms, Ford’s school, and Georgetown Prep, which Kavanaugh attended, but I went to my local public high school, Churchill. Never mind that any girl who was in high school in Potomac during that era knew, through the whisper network, not to go to a Georgetown Prep party alone. That was a given. What was also a given is that “date rape,” as a term, was in its infancy. Most of us thought getting our bodies groped at a high-school party—or anywhere—was the unfortunate price we paid for having them, not something we would ever go to the police to report.
Even in junior high school, this was true. I have a vivid memory of my friend Marcia having her skirt ripped off her body in the middle of a bar mitzvah dance floor. It had snaps down the middle. I actually heard one boy say, as she was weeping in a corner, trying to refasten her skirt, “I mean, duh. If you’re going to wear snaps on your skirt, what do you think will happen?” I made a mental note: Never wear snaps to a dance party.
Luckily, I survived high school without getting more than ickily groped now and then, but my luck ran out in college. I fell victim to a number of random assaults by strangers, including two robberies at gunpoint, all of which then became fodder for my senior thesis, but I wasn’t actually date raped until the night before my graduation, in June of 1988. Or maybe it was May. I don’t actually...……………...

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Mrs.B wrote: "...molested by a family member but when I told mother I got yelled at for making it up."

This reminded me that some years ago I read of a sociologist's saying children are marginal and become real people only when they reach adulthood.

The story annoyed me a lot. In high school I became real to a city when a police officer arrested me for setting off fireworks inside city limits and I was fined ten dollars.

I didn't tell until quite sometime after the family member had moved on, so I had gotten a little older.

Men ask why women are so pissed off. Even guys with wives and daughters.

Jackson Katz, a prominent social researcher, illustrates why. He's done it with hundreds of audiences.


"I draw a line down the middle of a chalkboard, sketching a male symbol on one side and a female symbol on the other.


Then I ask just the men: What steps do you guys take, on a daily basis, to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted?


At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they've been asked a trick question.

The silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter. Occasionally, a young a guy will raise his hand and say, 'I stay out of prison.'

This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, 'Nothing. I don't think about it.'


Then I ask the women the same question. What steps do you take on a daily basis to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted?


Women throughout the audience immediately start raising their hands.

As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine.


Hold my keys as a potential weapon.

Look in the back seat of the car before getting in.

Carry a cell phone.

Don't go jogging at night.

Lock all the windows when I sleep, even on hot summer nights.

Be careful not to drink too much.

Don't put my drink down and come back to it; make sure I see it being poured.

Own a big dog.

Carry Mace or pepper spray.

Have an unlisted phone number.

Have a man's voice on my answering machine.

Park in well-lit areas.

Don't use parking garages.

Don't get on elevators with only one man, or with a group of men.

Vary my route home from work.

Watch what I wear.

Don't use highway rest areas.

Use a home alarm system.

Don't wear headphones when jogging.

Avoid forests or wooded areas, even in the daytime.

Don't take a first-floor apartment.

Go out in groups.

Own a firearm.

Meet men on first dates in public places.

Make sure to have a car or cab fare.

Don't make eye contact with men on the street.

Make assertive eye contact with men on the street.”


― Jackson Katz, The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help
(The first man to minor in women's studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, holds a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in cultural studies and education from UCLA.)

It's a minefield and you could do all of these things and still be told why it's your fault, or more to the point why it will never be his fault. Men assault each other more than we know too but the vast majority of sufferers are women and children.

Yes, its grim......even in this ''modern'' age.

In my union we men were forced to go to a woman's safety meeting(We men all grumbled about having to attend) Many of us men came away from the meeting with our eyes opened about the ways we men treated our fellow co workers. I had hoped that mine was the last generation that had to be tought to treat women in a proper manner, sadly I was wrong.

Men like you, my husband, his brothers, & my father-in-law, are few & far between.

The Navy had a day long stand down all hands meeting after the Tail Hook scandal

That didn't help women who worked for the Air Force, or Army.

A song writer said say purchased a car for his 16-17 y.o. daughter so when going out on a date she had her own car. He told her to meet the date at a commonplace with others around - if his daughter didn't feel comfortable she had her own car to retreat to and leave.

A guy I worked with unconsciously did the same for his daughters. Though he didn't know it he was protecting his daughters the same way.

Nix the firearm.

Abusive partners are more likely to use a fire arm against the abused than the other way.  My understand is that when abused use a fire arm the abused end up in prison.

Florida Woman Whose ‘Stand Your Ground’ Defense Was Rejected Is Rel...

The culture of the high school Kavanaugh went to apparently was different than the culture of the high school I attended.  I never saw any evidence of sexual, or other abuse with the group I hung out with in high school.  We kept each other in check.  Perhaps the school Kavanaugh went to were Christian Catholic white privileged boys  that 'suffered' with the 'condition known as  Affuenza.

Ethan Couch, ‘Affluenza Teen’ Who Killed 4 While Driving Drunk, Is ...

Affuenza is an entirely different culture than anything I knew about or grew up around.  Affluenza apparently now with a guy as president who lives in the modern guilded age  with gold plated toilets has become acceptable - even welcome by many.

Donald Trump and many others supported Roy Moore who was accused of sexual contact with a 14 year old girl. I probably could have provided a better link about the P.O.S. Roy Moore that the one above. 

None of that matters. 

W.T.F. is wrong with the electorate in the U.S. when they vote for and support such behavior and apparently encourage affuenza?

Interesting comment about being stared at.

https://www.quora.com/What-does-it-mean-when-you-catch-a-group-of-g...

Cheryl Smith
Cheryl Smith, MBA from Master of Business Administration Degrees

People stare for many reasons. They could be looking at you based on your beauty and wishing they had the nerve to talk to you. It could be because they heard you do well in certain classes and they’d like to ask you some questions about the subject. They could also be looking at you because you’re popular and just want to meet you.

There are so many “what ifs” in this scenario, but I will tell you this. Don’t let anyone intimidate you. Be confident in yourself and know that you have value and you are an amazing person. In fact, everyone should be staring at you, right? (smile).

Boys sometimes just want to meet a girl and don’t know what to say and how to approach her. So they sit there and try and figure it out with their friends. On the flip side, some boys are mischievous and up to no good. If you feel uneasy about being around them, always make sure you’re with one or two of your friends so you’re not by yourself. They won’t feel so at ease in staring you down.

Also, you can stay out of the general area where you know they hang out. Find a new spot equally appealing. Chances are, they won’t follow. And, if they do, and you’re still uncomfortable, talk to one of the school aides about your feelings of uncertainty. Make them aware. Generally, the school aide will talk to the boys and let them know to back off.

I was told by security officers that the third floor of an apartment, or hotel is the safest. The third floor is high enough that a bomb on the street will be dissipated. It's high enough to see what's going on in the street blow  and low enough to jump out of of if required without being terribly injured.

Safety officers say don't stay above the seventh floor because that the maximum reach of a hook and ladder fire truck ladder will reach - if you are living in a city with that equipment.

Don't let fear control your life.  Cable and local news promotes fear.  The best thing one can do to reduce depression is stop watching cable and network news - that includes 'local' TV news.

When was the last time your local TV news station had an in depth piece about something on a ballot measure?   It's unlikely that your local news station had a five second segment about one. I think they are lazy.  Corporations running the TV knews as entertainment  is unfortunat3ely what many consumers are subjected to.

I've had it with commercial news especially on TV.  Cable TV news is the Donald Trump reality show.  Network 'national news is lazy.  In a half hour broadcast there may be  at my best guess is a minute of worthy information.  I'm going to time ABC, CBS, and NBC national news one of these days to measure what if any valuable information is provided - of course aside from a school bus accident somewhere that continues to promote fear.

One of the things the networks and GWB administration was great at was promoting FEAR.  The fear campaign worked.  Green, Orange, and Red Alerts were common and successful.

Now kids who were raised by mostly mothers with  "Baby on Board" signs on their cars - whoops Mini-Vans are afraid to let their kids walk to school, ride their bikes to school, or take a school bus.

Fear is an effective way to shut down school bus service. An elementary school about four blocks away from my house in a suburban neighborhood  is packed with parents picking up their "Babies on Board" when school lets out.  It's ridiculous. This is a safe neighborhood. The local elementary school probably serves students that live no more than a quarter of a mile away.  I see grandparents, more than likely serving as parents because the kids aren't responsible  walking third graders to elementary school.

The culture in this world at least here has an infection. 

The reality is that  the U.S. generally is safer today than anytime in the past.

Mrs. B the link you provided opens with a 404 error.

The Atlantic must have changed the link you referenced.

Here's an article Deborah Copaken wrote for the Alatlantic (Sept 21, 2018)

My Rapist Apologized.

This article is equivalent in the couple of paragraphs you have.

On Friday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that he has “no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.”

Let me tell you what life was like as a girl in Montgomery County, Maryland, in the early 1980s. I am a year older than Christine Blasey Ford and a year younger than Brett Kavanaugh. I grew up in Potomac, Maryland, a few miles from both Holton Arms, Ford’s school, and Georgetown Prep, which Kavanaugh attended, but I went to my local public high school, Churchill. Never mind that any girl who was in high school in Potomac during that era knew, through the whisper network, not to go to a Georgetown Prep party alone. That was a given. What was also a given is that “date rape,” as a term, was in its infancy. Most of us thought getting our bodies groped at a high-school party—or anywhere—was the unfortunate price we paid for having them, not something we would ever go to the police to report.

Even in junior high school, this was true. I have a vivid memory of my friend Marcia having her skirt ripped off her body in the middle of a bar mitzvah dance floor. It had snaps down the middle. I actually heard one boy say, as she was weeping in a corner, trying to refasten her skirt, “I mean, duh. If you’re going to wear snaps on your skirt, what do you think will happen?” I made a mental note: Never wear snaps to a dance party.




Luckily, I survived high school without getting more than ickily groped now and then, but my luck ran out in college. I fell victim to a number of random assaults by strangers, including two robberies at gunpoint, all of which then became fodder for my senior thesis, but I wasn’t actually date raped until the night before my graduation, in June of 1988. Or maybe it was May. I don’t actually remember which month I graduated from college, because it was so long ago, but that does not negate what I do remember—both the rape itself, and what happened in its aftermath. I woke up, put on my cap and gown, and fetched my diploma to the notes of “Pomp and Circumstance” in front of my unsuspecting parents, just like everyone else in my class. Afterward, I posed for photos with my parents and smiled. Then, between our photo session and lunch, I excused myself to take care of what I said was an administrative issue and went straight to University Health Services to report the rape.

I was told by the intake psychologist that I had two choices: I could report the rape to the police; stay in the Boston area for several months, to deal with the trial; hire lawyers to help me through it with money I did not have; and put off beginning my life in Paris, where I’d planned to move for work, while awaiting my turn on the witness stand, where my prior sex life would be put on trial, more than the boy who raped me. Or I could stay silent.

At lunch that day, did I tell my loving parents that I’d been raped the night before? Of course not. That boy had already stolen a valuable piece of my soul. I was not going to allow him to steal my graduation day from us, too. I’d worked hard to reach that day. So had my parents. This was our day, not his.

In fact, I never actually told my parents to their faces. Instead, 13 years after the rape in question, I sent them the manuscript for my first memoir, in which I described the rape, for the first time, in detail, making sure to put an ocean between us while they read. I didn’t want to see the pained expression on my dad’s face or hear my mother crying until they’d had enough time to process it. Several notable critics of the book, after it was published, took it upon themselves either to blame me for my assaults or to ask if I was worried I’d get called a slut.

The fact that Ford did not call the police or tell her loving parents after she escaped this young man’s scary clutches has no bearing on the truth of her story. Plus, let’s keep in mind: She was 15 years old. She couldn’t even drive herself home. That’s one of the images that haunts me—young Chrissy Blasey walking out of that house and facing the rest of her post-traumatic life, on foot.

But there has been an upside to the Kavanaugh circus and Trump’s presidency. For one, it has galvanized women and the men who love us. For another, like so many rape survivors in this country living through this particular moment in history, having to relive our assaults daily—even hourly—with every new allegation of rape, I have been so brought to my knees by this latest allegation that I, too, was inspired to speak out.




Directly. To my rapist.

I wrote him a letter, 30 years after the night in question, reminding him of what he’d done and how hard it has been to overcome.

And do you know what this man did, less than half an hour later? He called me on the phone and said, “Oh, Deb. Oh my god. I’m so sorry. I had no idea. I’m filled with shame.”

We spoke for a long time, maybe 20 minutes. He had no recollection of raping me, just of the party where we’d met. He’d blacked out that night from excessive drinking and soon thereafter entered Alcoholics Anonymous. But that, he said, was no excuse. The fact that he’d done this to me and that I’d been living with the resulting trauma for 30 years was horrifying to him. He was so sorry, he said. He just kept repeating those words, “I’m so sorry,” over and over.

Suddenly, 30 years of pain and grief fell out of me. I cried. And I cried. And I kept crying for the next several hours, as I prepared for Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday of forgiveness. And then, suddenly, I was cleansed. Reborn. The trauma was gone. All because of a belated apology.

My rapist promised to pay it forward, this horrible thing he’d just learned about himself. I have no doubt, judging by the admirable life he’s led, he will. And I will keep my promise to him never to reveal his name.

But you know what? If he were being confirmed for the Supreme Court; if his decision over what would happen to my daughter’s body, should she become inadvertently pregnant, would tip the scales away from Roe; if one of the key aspects of his job as a judge would be to show and to have shown good judgment over the course of his life, you better believe that I, like Ford, would come forward and tell the committee. Even if it meant going into hiding, as she’s had to do. Even if it meant getting death threats, as she’s received.

The life of my daughter is at stake. Her bodily autonomy is at stake. As a mother who grew up being groped at house parties in the ’80s, I want to make sure that whoever is passing judgment on the next generation has, at the very least, judgment to pass.


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