The Snake in the Garden

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There is something insidious going on and the media isn’t making a connection. I don’t know if it’s deliberate or if they missed it or if they’re hoping everything will blow over. It’s been whispered on blogs and social media but nothing has been done about it.

The heart of the Catholic Church is rotten.

There. I said it. Let’s look at what’s been going on, starting with the most recent.

Covington Catholic High School

By now we’ve heard the story or seen the video, either the long or short version. Here’s the facts of the situation; boys from Covington decided they needed to stand off against Native Elder, Nathan Phillips.

Nick Sandmann says that he was merely trying to defuse the situation. I don’t buy it but let him have his say. He’s wearing a MAGA hat and, in other videos, his fellow classmates can be seen harassing other people that day.

Personally, I think the little shit is a racist asshole who got caught and now doesn’t want to face his responsibility in the situation. Once again the Native person gets painted as the villain while the poor little white boy talks about how scared he was.

Scared of an old man with a drum.

If he was scared, then why didn’t he get his teachers? Why didn’t they move away? Call the cops? Heck, hold out his hand to shake the Elder’s hand? He did nothing but stand there with a grin on his face. He enjoyed the confrontation because he was the centre of attention amid all his racist, white boy peers.

But this isn’t the only Catholic boys’ school to be caught in a scandal.

Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School

Remember this place? Yep. Brett Kavanaugh is an alumni. Women came forward with stories of keg parties and sexual assault. Of course, the media was quick to say they were “mistaken” and, gosh, didn’t we just feel so bad for them?

St. Michael’s College School

Another case of sexual assault and out of control behaviour in a Catholic boys’ school. I really shouldn’t be surprised but this one really did come out of the blue. It took the school eight days to report the incident and, after they did, it was quickly swept aside by the media. Trump did something else stupid.

These cases are the most recent but they speak to a much larger pattern going on. Have we forgotten the involvement of the Catholic Archdiocese in Boston with the coverup they did regarding their priests accused of sexual assault? I guess we have. What about the Mount Cashel Orphanage scandal in 1988 which brought to light the widespread abuses going on in Newfoundland, Canada? Most hideous are the stories coming out about the residential schools Indigenous people were subjected to in Canada.

Now, granted, the Pope has stated that the Church will never again cover up sexual abuses but is that just lip service? There is a deeper problem going on that no one seems to want to talk about and it will keep going on so long as the media refuses to make the connections.

Kids don’t confront people they’re afraid of wearing racist gear. Pedophiles don’t don priests’ garb unless they know they’re going to get away with it. Football players don’t mask their rape as “hazing” unless they think it’s going to make people look the other way.

I don’t care what excuses you want to make. Too much beer, he was scared, they didn’t mean it, he didn’t ejaculate… they don’t matter. There is a problem and it’s time we started talking about it.

Pound by Pound

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Today I got fat shamed by someone who didn’t like the fact that I called them out on their bullshit. They somehow thought that pointing out that I’m fat and laughing about it would make me slink away and shut up about their misogyny. They were wrong. They aren’t the first to try this tactic and they won’t be the last. I know who I am and I know my body. There is no shame in that. However, I’d like to show you where the shame in my obesity really lies.

Every time I was called stupid, there was a pound. Every time I was called lazy, there was a pound. Each time I heard ugly, freak, weirdo… there was a pound.

Whenever I realized I wasn’t good enough, there was a pound. Whenever I thought I wasn’t being enough, there was a pound. Every time I knew I wasn’t kind enough, considerate enough, polite enough… there was a pound.

Each time I wasn’t perfect when it was demanded, there was a pound. Each time I fell short of expectations, there was a pound. Each fail, fall, foundering… there was a pound.

Those times I was told I was unlovable, there was a pound. Those times I was told I was good enough to fuck but not to marry, there was a pound. Whenever I became nothing more than a trophy, a fuck toy, a thing… there was a pound.

Times when I was the odd shaped peg that couldn’t fit into the square hole, there was a pound. Times when I asked questions that people didn’t want to answer, there was a pound. When I was too curious, confused, disorganized… there was a pound.

When I laughed instead of cried because jokes hurt, there was a pound. When I agreed that I was too sensitive rather than admitting words can wound, there was a pound. Those many times when it was easier to say nothing, to agree, to mimic… there was a pound.

When I was sexually harassed because of my large tits, there was a pound. When I was grabbed and assaulted because I wore a short skirt to a bar, there was a pound. When I was raped with a hand around my throat ready to choke me, there was a pound.

I carried shame with each and every pound I put on like an albatross. I’ve carried that weight most of my life it’s only now after the diagnosis of diabetes and thyroid and anxiety and depression and polycystic ovarian syndrome and… It’s only now that you can see the manifestation of words and actions taken on me.

My fat makes you uncomfortable not because it makes me less of a person but because it reflects on you those abuses that you have been guilty of. I am a mirror of your worst behaviour, of those dark parts inside that you’d rather not see. I am your own shame made manifest.

I am learning to love my body as it is. I am learning to heal it slowly. I am learning to appreciate it as it is. If you think to shame me for that then you are sadly mistaken. This body is my pride, my beauty, my glory and you will not take that from me.

Wolf in Dad’s Clothing

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Bill CosbybI recently came across an article where Malcolm-Jamal Warner, the actor who played Cosby’s son on The Cosby Show, talks about his feelings on Cosby. He gives glowing praises and even calls Cosby his “mentor”. This is not a new sentiment. Many of Cosby’s former co-actors have come forward talking about what a great guy he was. The public is still shocked that the man who embodied what fatherhood in America meant is being accused of drugging and raping some 25 women. How could we not see this? There seems to be a disconnect happening somewhere and the public doesn’t know how to reconcile the loving man we watched on television with the predator he’s accused of being.

It doesn’t surprise me that Cosby has such a loving, caring persona yet is accused of multiple sexual assaults. Thanks to Hollywood, we have this idea that we know what a predator looks like. He acts like Hannibal Lecter or Norman Bates. A predator has razor tipped gloves like Freddy Kreuger, the most famous Freddy Kreugerpedophile of all, or a hockey mask like Jason. Predators are supposed to stand out. They’re supposed to give off some radar that lets the rest of us know they’re predators. Right?

The truth is more horrifying than anything Hollywood could ever dream up. Predators look and act like everyone else. The truth is that predators are charming. They’re witty, intelligent and likeable. Ted Bundy was so charming that he became friends with true crime novelist Ann Rule when they worked on a crisis hotline together. John Wayne Gacy was an entrepreneur and very active in his community. He was often described as a pillar of his community.

Predators are hunters and their prey is the rest of society. Hunters need to blend in to their environment and they can’t do that if they’re wearing razor tipped gloves. Cosby had a fatherly persona. He cultivated an image of the mentor whose quick wit amused the rest of us. There is not one person who can say they suspected Cosby of doing the things he’s accused of because he’s America’s dad. He’s a cultural icon. How could he have drugged and raped 25 women? The mind spins to think about it.

So how could no one have seen the sexual assault of 25 women? Cosby hid behind the All-American Dad persona and used his celebrity to keep them from talking. Yet, even in this piece I have to keep saying that he’s only ACCUSED of sexual assault because somehow the word of 25 victims isn’t enough to act as proof. So Cosby keeps hiding.

Predators are dangerous not because of the damage they cause but because they hide so successfully in plain sight while doing it. They’re able to cause so much damage because the rest of us are hiding from the man in the hockey mask and trusting the charmer. Is there anything we can do about it? I don’t know, honestly. However, let’s not blame 25 victims for not coming forward sooner because they didn’t think they’d be believed. Let’s blame the one accused of sexually assaulting them.

Sexual Assault is Never the Victim’s Fault.

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A woman walks in to her doctor’s office. She has bruises. Again. She complains to the doctor that her vagina hurts. The doctor asks what happened. She explains that her husband was a little rough last night. House rule; if she gets him excited in the least she has to have sex with him. There is no option. It’s easier to give in rather than say no.

A little girl huddles in her bed. Her daddy’s friend is babysitting her again. She doesn’t like him and refuses to call him “uncle”. The door to her bedroom opens and he walks in. She starts to cry and beg him not to play with her again. He removes his pants and starts cooing at her.

It’s late at the neighbourhood bar. She came with a group of her girlfriends. A girl’s night out and a chance to cut loose. They danced together, knowing how the guys all watched them. She loved the skin-tight red dress and spike heels she’s wearing. They make her feel sexy and in control of her own sexuality. Her friends have left and she’s waiting for the cab outside. That’s when they grabbed her and dragged her in to the alley.

It’s her third date with him and she’s dressed in her best jeans. A top that shows off just the tops of her breasts, some perfume and enough makeup to hide her flaws. She gets in the car and he puts his hand on her knee. She’s uncomfortable but she wants things to go well. They have dinner and he’s driving her home when he stops in a little used back street in the industrial area. She says she wants to go home. He says it’s time to move things forward and grabs her breast. She hits his hand and backs away. He backhands her and rips her shirt open. She tries to fight him but he backhands her again.

A man wakes up in a strange bedroom. He’s naked and his hands are tied. Frightened, he tries to free himself. He took a job as a male dancer to save up some money to go to university later. A woman walks in the room and smiles. She forces his mouth open and shoves a blue pill down his throat.

There is somehow a theory that a woman’s sexuality needs to be monitored and controlled. That a woman in control of her sexuality is a whore and a slut. The woman who revels in her sexuality is to be reviled and brings on her own shame. That’s what the media and society tells us. Slut shaming is a double edged sword. The media displays the female body like an object for masturbatory material then ridicules the woman who displays her own body.

It is this mentality that allows people like the 630CHED pollsters to ask questions like “It’s very controversial but do you think victims of sexual assaults share any blame for what happens?”

There is a name for questions like this; it’s called victim blaming and it plays into the rape culture that is so prevalent in our society. We all say “tsk, tsk” when we see it happening, yet behind our hands we giggle and nod. We don’t demand that 630 CHED be held accountable for this kind of idiocy. We don’t get enraged. The woman was dressed slutty. She drank too much. She kissed him. He was a stripper. It’s jail. There’s a thousand excuses to place blame on the victim but not one reason to stand and point the finger at the rapist. Are we too ashamed? Does standing up and being in control of our own sexuality count for so little in the face of towing the societal line about being a good girl or boy?

I am a libertine and believe firmly in the power of our own choices. However, there is NEVER a time when ANYONE chooses to be the victim of sexual assault. There is NEVER a time when it is the victim’s fault and 630 CHED does not get to ask questions like that. It is questions like this that buy in to the rape culture and victim shaming.

You want an answer to your question, 630CHED? Here it is; sexual assault is NEVER the victim’s fault and shame on you for implying that it ever could be.

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