Most people don’t like to hear the truth. But I do.
I cannot fathom having to first experience, and then secondly, having to live with the experience that so many girls and boys have gone through as victims of sexual assault. It is not necessary for me to have met you physically to interpersonally find what you have experienced distressingly vexing. I don’t know if I could be as strong as you and the many others who have either found the will to persist or preferably succumb to the crushing psychological weight of this trauma.
I have no qualms with keeping our discussion going here and leaving it open to constructive dialogue for others to partake in. I am a male with certain privileges in an uneven society, rife with contradiction, consequence, and inconsistency with its faulty constructs of American society. I am completely aware of the deficits underpinning our cultural and societal mores and values that vitiate our humaneness — our interconnectedness, and our precariousness, in a universe that is both far beyond and far bigger than us.
I don’t quote Spinoza enough but I will here.
I want to point out the dynamic of our relationship here. Emphasis on how we relate to each other empathetically as male and female. Many men would contend that any further dialogue with you on this topic is unnecessary unless I possess some ill-intent to pursue a sexual relationship with you. This is part of our social conditioning that is pervasive in our society and is due in part to the introduction of this zero-sum thinking which portends that our interaction must result in one’s gain at the other’s loss. I disagree with this logic.
We both gain in our exchange to no small extent and it need not be sexual for us to relate on a conscientious level. Because of the ubiquitous misgiving of gender relations we continue to struggle with our own humanity. I am eager to read your upcoming essay in your role as a Rape Crisis Center Director. The toll on us all when we underestimate the trauma and overlook the various types of predator relationships amongst us should serve to enlighten.
Speaking of a type of predator, justice poured over like molasses on Bill Cosby yesterday, a celebrity figure that used a degree of racial etiquette to enhance his male standing as more than a testament to his race — performatively, but to receive and partake in the existential status of this wont of a patriarchy. This magnanimous error in judgement stems from attitudes and behaviors informed by misogynous contempt that enables this form of dehumanizing oppression to persist.
That justice was eventually served is not the dilemma here, however, that it has been delivered unequally with such a precedent now is. The racialized scapegoating of Cosby in the justice system in this instance stems from the vanity and insanity of whiteness when it ignores prior calls for justice of white male celebrities. It is truly remarkable in its institutional callousness and I won’t pretend that I did not see this coming.
If we take the necessary steps to simply start valuing each other more — by listening to each other more carefully, to take the moment to be cognizant and take care of each other more, and to take more responsive measures to discourage sexual assault or any other self-destructive forms of dehumanization…wow what a better place this world would be.