Thursday, August 23, 2012
Rape And The GOP
And that has happened. A fellow Texas blogger who calls herself humanbeing, over at the excellent blog Somervell County Salon, has written a powerful statement on the subject -- one that should be read by as many people as possible. In that interest, I share her words here with you:
On July 6 1984, an 18 year old male armed with a meat cleaver broke into my house and sexually assaulted me. I was raped. It was two days shy of my 37th birthday. After he had burst through the door and physically overwhelmed me, knocking over lamps and furniture in the process, he held the cleaver to my throat, and said he'd kill me if I didn't do what he told me to do. I did.
By some miracle, after about an hour of torture, he left my home. I had not been murdered nor cut to pieces. But it took me four years to recover some semblance of normal life, a life that had been completely destroyed by this pathetic person's psychopathy. The hundreds of sleepless nights, the anorexia, chronic anxiety and PTSD that I suffered probably shortened my lifespan by years.
Then there's the collateral damage a rape survivor must endure: the trip to the emergency room, the police investigation, the meeting with the District Attorney, testifying before the Grand Jury, the trial and the stigma that one carries after surviving this unspeakable experience. You can never go home or feel comfortable about your world again. One of the worst parts was the alienation from one's friends, family and society. It's just too ugly and uncomfortable for them. "You're safe now" they would say, "It's over." No, it wasn't over, not for me.
This happened a long time ago. Even though he only infected me with herpes, thankfully, I did not get pregnant. If I had gotten pregnant, I would have aborted the pregnancy immediately. Fortunately, in 1984, abortion was legal and I could have had that procedure safely and privately, without my legislators' consent, involvement or objection.
Politicians can pontificate all they want about their moral values. I respect their rights to have and exercise those values in their personal lives. But I absolutely will not support any agenda to deprive me or any other woman of their rights to choose what happens with our bodies. One thing is very clear to me as I listen to this self-righteous, pandering discourse from Paul Ryan, Todd Akin, Mitt Romney, Sid Miller, Rick Perry and the rest: These men have no understanding or experience of the realities they flagrantly pretend to have knowledge about.
I believe that the women in this country, and the men who support them, will not tolerate the kind of sexual fascism these people are offering. Women in America have been fighting for their rights for a long time and if we have to win those rights all over again, I can promise that we will do it.
Those are well written and powerful words. And there are other very good posts written by humanbeing and her cohorts over at Somervell County Salon. It's a very good blog and one of my regular reads. I urge you to go over and give it a try.