not language but a map

writer, reader, eater of bagels. cracking inappropriate jokes to cut tension since 1989.
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#tw: sexual assault

What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.

For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how often he would take me away from my mom, siblings and friends to be alone with him. I didn’t like it when he would stick his thumb in my mouth. I didn’t like it when I had to get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear. I didn’t like it when he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out. I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore.

When I asked my mother if her dad did to her what Woody Allen did to me, I honestly did not know the answer. I also didn’t know the firestorm it would trigger. I didn’t know that my father would use his sexual relationship with my sister to cover up the abuse he inflicted on me. I didn’t know that he would accuse my mother of planting the abuse in my head and call her a liar for defending me. I didn’t know that I would be made to recount my story over and over again, to doctor after doctor, pushed to see if I’d admit I was lying as part of a legal battle I couldn’t possibly understand. At one point, my mother sat me down and told me that I wouldn’t be in trouble if I was lying – that I could take it all back. I couldn’t. It was all true. But sexual abuse claims against the powerful stall more easily. There were experts willing attack my credibility. There were doctors willing to gaslight an abused child.

After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the “child victim.” Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself. That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, “who can say what happened,” to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face – on a poster, on a t-shirt, on television – I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.

Last week, Woody Allen was nominated for his latest Oscar. But this time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me – to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories – have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.

Today, I consider myself lucky. I am happily married. I have the support of my amazing brothers and sisters. I have a mother who found within herself a well of fortitude that saved us from the chaos a predator brought into our home.

But others are still scared, vulnerable, and struggling for the courage to tell the truth. The message that Hollywood sends matters for them.

What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?

Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.

Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?

An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow, The New York Times (via hemsywemsy)

ginnie-lee-r:

rebekahloves:

folkandfemme:

aynrandinaminiskirt:

Korean poster which has been making it’s way around
Translation:
Protesting sexual harassment and violence against women
ETIQUETTE FOR MEN AT NIGHT
Remember that your presence can be threatening to women walking alone at night
If a woman is walking in front of you alone at night, slow down. You walking quickly or speeding up can be and in most cases is threatening
If you’ve been drinking and are drunk, go straight home.
Do not pick a fight or aggravate women walking at night
Do not take off your clothes or publicly urinate
Be careful to make sure you do not touch or hit someone, even on accident.
If, late at night, you come to a situation in which you and a woman have to ride an elevator together, let her go up first and wait for the elevator to come back down.
If there’s a woman in a public restroom (There are Korean public restrooms with no gender or sex markings that are open to all people), wait for her to finish and come out first before using the restroom.
Report broken streetlights to the police
Tell other men about these rules and that they have a responsibility to not threaten women walking at night

reprinting, pasting around earth

in like 5th grade they need to start teaching this shit in the US, along with a class on “Girls Don’t Call each Other Sluts and Whores. It Just Makes it Okay For Guys to Call You Sluts and Whores.”  But no, really.

Why is a guy taking an elevator ride with you threatening? I have an issue with the “every time you are alone with a man, even for the five to thirty seconds you’re on the elevator, he is going to try to rape you” mentality. I think it breeds fear, rather than caution.
And, really, the main conversation had on elevators is, “What floor?” “Seven, thanks.”
And then you don’t even make eye-contact.
I like some of the other guidelines, but taking it to that extent, at least to me, just implies that men have absolutely no control over their need to have sex with women, even when they’re unwilling, even for the thirty seconds that they’re on the elevator.
I very much appreciate the fact that this flier gives the responsibility of preventing rape to people other than the potential victims, but that one point bothered me. Quite a bit, apparently.

Right, so, I thought it might be worth breaking this down and explaining why I, personally, think the elevator rule is a pretty great one! All the respect in the world for your viewpoint, and YMMV, obviously.
I’ve spent time in elevators with men late at night, both before and after I was raped. Beforehand, the experience would often make me jittery, uncomfortable, and sometimes panicky, especially if the man I was sharing the car with was significantly larger than me, silent, visibly checking me out, or verbal in an agressive/sexual way. The few times I’ve found myself in that situation since my rape, on the other hand, have been more or less torture. Five to thirty seconds feels a lot longer when you’re running through, in your head, every possible way the person in the car with you could take advantage of your being trapped with them in a tiny room with no exits, no ways for other people to see in, and no places to hide. Five to thirty seconds kind of feels like an eternity when you’re spending every one of them wondering when the person in the car with you is going to hit the alarm button, stop the car, and harm you. 
I agree with you that the idea that men are uncontrollable rape-machines is ridiculous, not because it’s insulting to men but because it takes responsibility for rape away from men who commit it (“Oh,” says Rape Culture knowingly, “well, you can’t blame him for that. Boys will be boys!”). However, the idea that stuff like this is breeding fear rather than caution is, er, kind of unfair and more than kind of wrong. This isn’t….fear that’s being bred? This is fear that exists already, because a whole shit ton of people are getting raped and assaulted on the extremely regular. Like. Seriously. Check this shit out. Google some stuff. Poke around for awhile, and keep in mind that the stuff you’ll find on that site I linked is just stuff from the States. There is a lot of rape and assault. Happening. A lot. All over the world. Right now! For real. 
I know a lot of stand-up, class-act, grade-A, quality dudes who genuinely don’t want to make women feel uncomfortable at night. Like, a whole fucking bunch of dudes like that, who both don’t want to rape anybody and don’t want to make anybody feel like they are in danger of being raped. And while the late-night elevator ride may not ping as a danger zone for you? It does for a lot of people. It does for enough people that it shows up on this widely-circulated, heavily-supported list. And arguing that we shouldn’t circulate information about that fear, to men who want to know how to avoid making women feel uncomfortable at night but don’t know how because we don’t teach it, and for the many many many many women (and others, because not only women get raped, and not only men rape) who already do feel that sharp bite of fear every time this stuff comes up, on the theory that it might increase the fear? Is kind of what’s gotten us into this mess to begin with. The whole, “Let’s not talk about rape because rape is horrible and scary!” thing has produced, er, rape culture. Where rape is something we dance around but don’t talk about honestly, where rape is something we encourage with our silence (by making it seem like something no one will care about), where blame is so often wrongly placed on the victim, not the perpetrator. 
So! My vote is always going to be for Plan More Signs/More Information/More Knowledge, rather than Plan Less Fear. Plan Less Fear doesn’t really work, you know? But informing the populace has a long track record of success, on other issues if not (yet) this one. Just my two cents. <3 

ginnie-lee-r:

rebekahloves:

folkandfemme:

aynrandinaminiskirt:

Korean poster which has been making it’s way around

Translation:

Protesting sexual harassment and violence against women

ETIQUETTE FOR MEN AT NIGHT

  1. Remember that your presence can be threatening to women walking alone at night
  2. If a woman is walking in front of you alone at night, slow down. You walking quickly or speeding up can be and in most cases is threatening
  3. If you’ve been drinking and are drunk, go straight home.
  4. Do not pick a fight or aggravate women walking at night
  5. Do not take off your clothes or publicly urinate
  6. Be careful to make sure you do not touch or hit someone, even on accident.
  7. If, late at night, you come to a situation in which you and a woman have to ride an elevator together, let her go up first and wait for the elevator to come back down.
  8. If there’s a woman in a public restroom (There are Korean public restrooms with no gender or sex markings that are open to all people), wait for her to finish and come out first before using the restroom.
  9. Report broken streetlights to the police
  10. Tell other men about these rules and that they have a responsibility to not threaten women walking at night

reprinting, pasting around earth

in like 5th grade they need to start teaching this shit in the US, along with a class on “Girls Don’t Call each Other Sluts and Whores. It Just Makes it Okay For Guys to Call You Sluts and Whores.”  But no, really.

Why is a guy taking an elevator ride with you threatening? I have an issue with the “every time you are alone with a man, even for the five to thirty seconds you’re on the elevator, he is going to try to rape you” mentality. I think it breeds fear, rather than caution.

And, really, the main conversation had on elevators is, “What floor?” “Seven, thanks.”

And then you don’t even make eye-contact.

I like some of the other guidelines, but taking it to that extent, at least to me, just implies that men have absolutely no control over their need to have sex with women, even when they’re unwilling, even for the thirty seconds that they’re on the elevator.

I very much appreciate the fact that this flier gives the responsibility of preventing rape to people other than the potential victims, but that one point bothered me. Quite a bit, apparently.

Right, so, I thought it might be worth breaking this down and explaining why I, personally, think the elevator rule is a pretty great one! All the respect in the world for your viewpoint, and YMMV, obviously.

  • I’ve spent time in elevators with men late at night, both before and after I was raped. Beforehand, the experience would often make me jittery, uncomfortable, and sometimes panicky, especially if the man I was sharing the car with was significantly larger than me, silent, visibly checking me out, or verbal in an agressive/sexual way. The few times I’ve found myself in that situation since my rape, on the other hand, have been more or less torture. Five to thirty seconds feels a lot longer when you’re running through, in your head, every possible way the person in the car with you could take advantage of your being trapped with them in a tiny room with no exits, no ways for other people to see in, and no places to hide. Five to thirty seconds kind of feels like an eternity when you’re spending every one of them wondering when the person in the car with you is going to hit the alarm button, stop the car, and harm you. 
  • I agree with you that the idea that men are uncontrollable rape-machines is ridiculous, not because it’s insulting to men but because it takes responsibility for rape away from men who commit it (“Oh,” says Rape Culture knowingly, “well, you can’t blame him for that. Boys will be boys!”). However, the idea that stuff like this is breeding fear rather than caution is, er, kind of unfair and more than kind of wrong. This isn’t….fear that’s being bred? This is fear that exists already, because a whole shit ton of people are getting raped and assaulted on the extremely regular. Like. Seriously. Check this shit out. Google some stuff. Poke around for awhile, and keep in mind that the stuff you’ll find on that site I linked is just stuff from the States. There is a lot of rape and assault. Happening. A lot. All over the world. Right now! For real. 
  • I know a lot of stand-up, class-act, grade-A, quality dudes who genuinely don’t want to make women feel uncomfortable at night. Like, a whole fucking bunch of dudes like that, who both don’t want to rape anybody and don’t want to make anybody feel like they are in danger of being raped. And while the late-night elevator ride may not ping as a danger zone for you? It does for a lot of people. It does for enough people that it shows up on this widely-circulated, heavily-supported list. And arguing that we shouldn’t circulate information about that fear, to men who want to know how to avoid making women feel uncomfortable at night but don’t know how because we don’t teach it, and for the many many many many women (and others, because not only women get raped, and not only men rape) who already do feel that sharp bite of fear every time this stuff comes up, on the theory that it might increase the fear? Is kind of what’s gotten us into this mess to begin with. The whole, “Let’s not talk about rape because rape is horrible and scary!” thing has produced, er, rape culture. Where rape is something we dance around but don’t talk about honestly, where rape is something we encourage with our silence (by making it seem like something no one will care about), where blame is so often wrongly placed on the victim, not the perpetrator. 

So! My vote is always going to be for Plan More Signs/More Information/More Knowledge, rather than Plan Less Fear. Plan Less Fear doesn’t really work, you know? But informing the populace has a long track record of success, on other issues if not (yet) this one. Just my two cents. <3 

like blood and barfights and her brother’s last goodbye:

gyzym: IN OTHER NEWS PEOPLE NEED TO STOP POSTING RULE63!DEREK STUFF BECAUSE I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT DEE/D/DEREKA HALE
nat: I CANNOT TAKE THE NAME DEREKA SERIOUSLY BUT DEE HALE
nat: GBFJDNKSLMA;
gyzym: WELL NEITHER CAN SHE; THAT’S THE PROBLEM
gyzym: HER PARENTS NAMED HER DEREKA AND SHE HAAAAATES IT
gyzym: SO FOR YEARS SHE’S BEEN GOING BY D
gyzym: LIKE EVEN BEFORE THE FIRE, SHE WENT BY D
gyzym: AND SHE THINKS OF IT AS JUST “D”
gyzym: THE LETTER
gyzym: BUT NO ONE ELSE WILL ACCEPT THAT AS HER NAME
gyzym: SO SHE’S STARTED ADDING THE “EE”
nat: I JUST ALWAYS THINK OF KEITHA FROM FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS
nat: IT’S KEITH BUT WITH AN A ON THE END
gyzym: no but like oh my god nat THINK ABOUT IT
nat: I can so, so see it
gyzym: like, derek’s whole vibe is fuck off, right?
gyzym: IMAGINE DEE HALE
gyzym: HER ENTIRE VIBE
gyzym: WOULD BE FUCK *YOU*

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