Presumption of Innocence
Have you seen what happens to victims? They're stalked and assaulted. They're pilloried in the public square, while the media bemoans the tragic loss to the life of the perpetrator. They have their houses burned to the ground. They get called sluts, liars, bitches, monsters.
For the rest of their lives they are burdened not only with the weight of what somebody did to them physically, but the emotional scars of the attacks of strangers, just for having been a victim.
Comments like, "Some girls rape easy," might be easy to shrug off because they're so common, but they shouldn't be. "Some girls rape easy," means "after you coerce somebody to have sex with you through alcohol, influence, threats, or constant nagging, some of them are willing to call that what it was in the morning- a lack of consent."
And that's good. It's good that more and more women are willing to "rape easy," which is to actually say the word RAPE.
And that is a fucking hard word to say. I know, I avoid saying it constantly.
And writing about rape? Talking about rape? That's kind of what I do. You'd be amazed how many months go by of organizing events, writing blog posts and letters, public speaking even, where I never use that word.
Typing the letters r-a-p-e makes my palms sweat and my heart race and my head swim. And I'm an advocate.
So no, I don't think I could have given that man a fair trial, by the rule of law. And no, I don't think Woody Allen is getting one now in the court of public opinion.
But that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if a trial is fair if the court is completely biased from the start.
So I'll keep my fingers crossed the Times comes to its senses and keeps a lid on Woody's apologies to nobody. A confession would be news. A letter attacking a victim and her mother for just being another couple of crazy, malicious bitches?
That's just more of what we see every day.
I have no doubt that Woody Allen believes he's innocent. Just as most sexual predators do. They believe they're innocent because they don't understand what "consent" really is, they don't understand or believe that women or children who don't scream or cry or beat them with their fists during an assault really think they were raped. They don't understand that their actions are predatory.
They think whatever they're doing is totally normal.
And the worst part is, they're right. It is normal.
That still doesn't make it okay.
My heart is with Dylan Farrow, with a little girl finally getting her day in court after four years, with every victim who's been accused of lying by somebody who thinks they're right.
Until we do something to change the way our culture treats victims of sexual violence, I expect that number to keep growing.
By about one, every two minutes.
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