Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stung, by the New York Times

If eleven bee-stings make me vibrate, I'm not sure how to describe my reaction to the sting of this article by James C. McKinley Jr.  I'm pulsing.  Every nerve is tingling.  I imagine it's how one might feel before lifting a car to save a life--then smashing it on the head of another who deserves it.

The first line of the query I wrote for my novel said: "Sometimes it's when you do 'Speak' your troubles start." I imagine that eleven-year-old survivor understands this better than anyone, right now.  If you've read my bio you know that I speak from experience when I say I can't even begin to imagine that girl's agony.  I was raped by one person.  There was no weapon, no circulating video to extend the trauma--and yet, to this day it impacts my life.

Eighteen men raped this eleven-year-old.  EIGHTEEN! It was a joke to them--and to her school-mates, apparently. Her rapists didn't feel remorse. None of them were "living with it" as one commenter seemed so concerned they would.  It was all fun and games to them until their hands were slapped--with cuffs.

Before that they were all there to witness the aftermath. She saw the looks, heard the jokes--knew what they meant and suffered from them.  And when a hero finally went to the authorities on her behalf it still only dropped another bomb into her life.  It opened her up to the judgement of bozos everywhere.  Bozos like James C. McKinley Jr.

There is not one single thing that girl could have done, said, or worn that could have invited that treatment, but she'll still feel blamed.  She will, in fact, be blamed by some:

Why was she even there?-----Why is anyone anywhere?

Why did she accept that ride?-----Accepting a ride is just accepting a ride, not asking to be raped.

Why didn't she go straight to the police?----Is it apparent to no one that there is no "healthy" or "right" choice a survivor can make when it comes to reporting a rape?  Either decision, to tell or not, causes varying degrees of destruction in a survivor's life. That's the nature of rape in our society and it's unconscionable.

I hope that young girl is in a good place right now with supportive people around her. If I could I'd take everything I've learned as a survivor and give it to her--wrapped in silk with a fancy bow and a hug.  I wish I could help her see the great future she's capable of having.  I hope she's safe.  I'll be thinking of her.

I feel pretty helpless right now, but I did do one thing--I signed this petition. Please do the same.


  1. Oh, my goodness. I read the article and was mortified. I have so many peers that have been assaulted and the law wasn't on their side at all. They suffered from it but their perpetrators didn't and for this article to imply that the girl was at fault at all is just plain barbaric!

  2. It's keeping me up tonight, LM. Just really makes me crazy. Thanks so much for your comment. It's appreciated. :)


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