No Where Safe To Go
I was at a women’s spiritual retreat last Saturday, a day to get away from political strife and focus on contemplative prayer. Off the Grid. No cellphones. In the middle of the day someone popped into the room and announced, “Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed.” Sixty women stood up, yelled hurray and started clapping. I was shocked, immediately yelled, “Boo” as loud as I could and the two women on either side of me recoiled in surprise. I looked at the friend who had invited me and asked her, “Why?” and she said, “He told the truth.” I said, “He lied, even if you do not believe the allegations, those terms he used like “devils triangle” were sexual, not about other things.” We all sat down. For the next hour, I only half-listened to the speaker and thought of leaving as I looked around at these women. I sat stunned with a sharp awareness that I was surrounded by 60 women, most of whom, three-quarters at least, must have been sexually assaulted like the majority of us. To be in the center of them and see them believe a defensive, entitled, heavy drinker, who unconvincingly painted himself as a choirboy, over their credible sister was overwhelmingly disheartening to me. I understand all they want is for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade because they are Pro-Life. Everything else, even questionable behavior is secondary, tolerable, explainable, defensible or easily dismissed.
Somehow in their eyes the sexual assault victims became the perpetrators, an arm of the radical left deep state out to destroy the moral majority. That made crying Kavanaugh the victim in their eyes. So the protection of the perpetrating male over the rights of the female victim are somehow again on the winning side, despite the many brave women roaring forward to change the game with #TimesUp and #MeToo.
Victims are reluctant to come forward because they have traditionally not been believed or protected by the culture. In families the victim may get kicked out, while the perpetrator still gets to live at home. He still gets to live in America with no consequences, protected on a small scale by the family unit and on a large scale all the way to the (now) Supreme Court.
Here is a poem I wrote while in the throes of my re-triggered trauma vortex after Kavanaugh was confirmed.
No Where Safe To Go
Keep America Safe Again
For Boys and Men who Sexually Assault
Girls and Women
F*** Without Consent
Your God (right-wing religious)
And Your Supreme Court
Are ready to
Climb on top of you
Against Your will
Put Their Hand Over Your
And Muffle Your Screams.
You Turn Your Head to the Side
And Plead with Your Eyes for Help
From the Only Other Person In The Room.
But America observes ambivalently
Then Chooses Him Over You.
You Plead for the Soul of America
And You Lose.
POSTSCRIPT: There was one counterbalancing good thing the world did last week. A Congolese doctor who treats female victims of sexual abuse and a young female Iraqi, who was sold into sexual slavery enduring years of rape and torture, were both awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for tirelessly devoting their lives to decrying sexual violence as a weapon of war.