This wasn’t what I had planned

There will shortly be a blog about ambivalence and meditation.  But this morning’s firing of Matt Lauer made me change my plans.

Are rational men listening?  Are rational men amazed?  And do rational men realize why the mere existence of non-disclosure agreements imposed on victims of harassment should mute any giddy enthusiasm for supposed progress?  “Let it out; let it out now.”

I, for one, am skeptical about lasting progress.  And I want the women in my life, as well as the women who may read this whom I don’t know, to understand that I remain vigilant.  For them.  For my 6-year-old granddaughter.  For myself.

I’m certain that it feels good to finally express what, for many, is a decades-old murder of their soul.  What we need to see now, however, is a cessation of the behavior that caused these killings.  “No one knows me.  No one ever will.  If I don’t say something.  If I just lie still.”

How?  How do we do that in the culture which has an abuser in the White House, completely supported by Evangelical Christians?  Are they not complicit?  And if complicit, how do we change that behavior.

The brief dialog that begins Milck’s song brings up many forms of harassment.  Listen to it again.  Sexual harassment, to be certain, and probably most public right now.  And also the dismissal of contributions of women in the workplace.  I am intimately acquainted with being told to know my place; to shut up and smile.  As a retired pastoral minister in the Roman Catholic Church…well…there is no ceiling more impossible to break through than that of the Sistine Chapel.

And lest I fall into the Black Lives Matter/All Lives Matter trap, I will stop here.  Because I want my daughter and my dearest friend – both sexually abused – to know that their “Me, too” is not easily dismissed by being lumped into the category of “bad things that happen to women”.  It is their unique pain, and I stand with them.

“I Can’t Keep Quiet.”

4 thoughts on “This wasn’t what I had planned”

  1. That song did me in! I understand fully what it is staying and what you are saying..It is hard to let it out..literally. How about holding it in for over 30 years until one day a male named Clayton Williams came to town running for Governor of Texas against Miss Ann Richards, and he stood there with wifey beside him, and pronounced, “Ladies, no such things as rape, just spread and enjoy it”. He said more the next week..but the damage he did and the anguish he brought.. I taught high school and worked as at at-risk intervention person there. My memories were back and my students were coming in and the girls grabbed me and said the boys were giving them trouble.. The high school and college boys in Texas has basically been told, ‘go ahead’… My girls trusted me enough to say somethings..and before the discussion which was VERY DIFFERENT I basically lost it, and informed the boys that rape was rape, and that I had been raped over 30 years early, and had never talked…and I told them the damage lasts..and it affects everyone . That class, fortunately was a group of strong kids…they kind of scraped me together and we had a discussion. An earlier class in the day, the boys made some remark to some girls as they came in, and they got their hides nailed to the wall, but they did not hear ‘about me’. I had to work with so many girls (and some boys) who had been sexually abused and there was no where for them to turn. Often they were put in positions where either they complied or they would be ‘punished’..and the punishment could come in form of job loss, loss of a roof over their heads, loss of many things.. We were NOT ALLOWED to stand up and say NO, and HELL NO at many times..because we would be punished.

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