On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

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On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Dave » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:44 pm

To put it mildly: it's been a painful week for many.

The hearings in the Senate, and the press coverage, have brought into stark visibility a painful subject: how very very common is sexual assault and abuse, and how much of a collective cover-up and "conspiracy of silence" our society has demanded.

I remember quite vividly the weeks when Paul tackled this topic a few years ago, through the back-stories of Monica and Georgette. Each had been raped. Each had borne her pain in secret, trying to be strong, but never really healing.

I remember reading Monica's words. "In all that time, I have never told any of my friends. Nobody. It was the one thing that I could control in my life." I remember letting out a wail of grief.

And I remember crying in relief: "But if opening up will help you, if I can let you know that you are not alone, I will help you walk through the darkness." Monica's act of courage and love here was, I think, the true beginning of their new relationship... it was the moment at which each of them could begin to truly heal.

http://wapsisquare.com/comic/not-alone/

The next morning, I checked Paul's eBay store site about every five minutes. As soon as he put the original art for this strip up for auction, I bought it. I think it's probably the most moving, and most important piece of work he's ever done.

This isn't just webcomic fiction. This sh*t happens. It happens a lot. This has to change... and maybe, now, enough of the conspiracy of silence and self-blame has been torn away to make that change possible. The news is saying that calls to support lines for survivors of sexual abuse tripled this week... that's a great beginning.

So... women (and girls, boys, and men)... if you've been sexually assaulted, please do not continue to suffer in silence. Please reach out... help and healing are out there for you.

https://www.rainn.org

You are not to blame for being assaulted or abused.

You are not alone.

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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Bookworm » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:54 pm

Not to denigrate rape victims - that would include me - but there's something that much of the press keep avoiding. I spent 7 years in theatre, and I'm in my late 40's now.

Since the 1920's, female actresses have KNOWN what was going on in the Hollywood casting couch. There's a reason it became a stereotype AND cliche. They had choices. They had the choice to _willingly_ go that route to get ahead, find another career, or try another way to get into the industry. The political world is just another Hollywood. Hell, 'sleeping with the boss' is another cliche.

What's going on isn't fixing a problem. It's a certain group of people trying to be even more greedy. Haven't you noticed that instead of campaigning against the practices, most of them are going after specific people, looking for more money? If anything, it's going to backfire on them.

Unfortunately, that ALSO has historical precedent. Fatty Arbuckle was accused of rape and murder by a woman, Bambina Maude Delmont. It destroyed his career, and cost him a ton of money (and probably friends). The reason for it? She wanted money.

So, when you hear of accusations, especially ones from people who are successful, of things that occurred decades ago - they MUST be taken with a grain of salt, and other reasons besides justice considered. If it was JUSTICE that they wanted, the press wouldn't be all over it. Much as I detest most police forces, they do not have a habit of discussing investigations with the press unless under pressure. Jumping into the middle of public debates to spew venom? That's a different desire entirely.

So - who do I blame? Everyone, and noone. The women, for waiting decades to say something, when the best chance of stopping someone is immediately afterwards. It's HARD - it took days for me - but it HAS TO BE DONE. The women who are coming forth strictly for greed (Cosby attacks) make everyone look bad. The Press, for instantly condemning someone who may not have been arrested, let alone charged with a crime. They want to sell newspapers/advertising, so to them, it's business as usual. Bad business, but still business.

The justice system - for those DA's who simply want their names out there so they can be considered for higher office, and don't care about whether or not what they're doing is just. The lawyers who will knowingly and greedily support anything that will get them money, even if it would fail a normal ethical standard. The jurors, who happily believe the absolute worst, because if they hadn't done SOMETHING, there wouldn't be so much talk about them, right?

Also - in some of these cases, the police for knuckling under to political pressure and not investigating the ones that were reported at the time. Note that I didn't say arresting, I said investigating.

It's not easy for a rape victim, especially if you're under age. However, the bulk of these old complaints are coming from _decades ago_ from women who were fully grown adults on their own at the time. Let's not even bring up the 'Me too!" isms that's going on.
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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Atomic » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:35 pm

I can add to this story -- from both sides, alas.

Our legal system is based not on what is said, but what can be proven. Absent proof, then character. Absent character, what?

Is it perfect? Of course not -- nothing man-made can be. But schoolyard name calling is no substitute for rational analysis and honest evaluation. Alas, few people want to bother with that, because vanity is soooo satisfying.

Meh.
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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Bookworm » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:42 pm

This evening, I'm going to move this to the Wapsi Pub, because it's not really directly germane to the Wapsi Universe. I have absolutely nothing wrong with the subject - just the location.
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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by TazManiac » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:09 pm

I used to be able to post on the Internet the simple phrase 'MeeToo" and purposely misspelled derivatives of the same, but that means something very specific now.

Suffice to say I pretty much agree with these three, to date, posters, w/ any minor quibble being due to personal interpretation, individual expression, etc.

(wow, am _I_ giving the ol' spell-check a work out...)

From time to time, and especially having just come off a short term contracting gig in San Francisco these last two weeks, I lament the conditions and history that has discouraged a social, congenial, even mildly flirty interaction with myself & the staff I'm supporting.

It's a drag to have to squelch and submerge otherwise benign responses because some really stupid stuff took place, painting the whole lot with a broad brush and making everybody on every side very skittish and even trigger-happy. Metaphorically speaking.

I'm not really recalling some Rose Colored Glasses, Better Times- But people let me down a lot.

I've seen it work well sometimes too.

Let us not be dispirited...

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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Alkarii » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:23 am

I find it rather odd that pointing out that there's a distinct difference between "taking an allegation seriously" (which we should) and "believing her" pisses off a lot of people.

The former means that it gets investigated, if possible. The second means deciding he's guilty before any evidence or testimony is put forward. That isn't how the American justice system works, and there's a reason for that. It's to prevent people's lives from being ruined by false accusations, and to prevent someone being wrongfully punished.

I also think it's rather callous to say Kavanaugh is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court based on his emotional reaction. This man is being made to prove his innocence without much evidence, though the fact that all four eyewitnesses named by the plaintiff have all said that it never happened at any party they'd been to. Let's not forget the death and rape threats against his wife and kids.

A cousin's wife, who is foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Trump, thinks that the guy is guilty, and has from the moment he was nominated. Notice that I didn't say "accused." She then gets all celebratory because the FBI is given a week to investigate him. I have my doubts that they'll turn up anything, given how they've been investigating the president for more than a year, and haven't yet turned up enough evidence for an indictment. I won't be surprised when she and others say the investigation was rigged, or Trump pulled some strings.

And that's where the country's going to keep going, if we aren't careful: An accusation against someone will be seen as enough to remove someone from office, and then later elections become pointless, because one candidate will be accused by some random person who supports their opponent, and that candidate will be forced to drop out of the race.

I won't be surprised if Kavanaugh votes against whatever the Democrats want on every decision that makes it to the Supreme Court.
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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by ShirouZhiwu » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:02 am

There was a time when a simple accusation of witchcraft was enough for an automatic conviction. Your options were to plead innocents and be be tortured or tested to death until you were either proven to be a witch or died, or confess and hope you were tortured less. It's why the term "witch hunt" is such a derogatory thing. It's why we have the innocent until proven guilty in our system.

While I understand someone may not choose to report sexual assault, every choice has consequences. When those consequences are added to a choice to follow a suspicious pattern dating back to Clarence Thomas, it really undermines a person's credibility and undermines the credibility of genuine victims. It's the natural consequence of that chain of decisions. People really need to take the measure of all the consequences of their decisions before making them.

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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Atomic » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:44 pm

Where there's smoke, there's smoke. There's plenty of ways to generate smoke. Fire, you say? Show me the flames, the embers, or the ashes.
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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Bookworm » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:54 pm

Atomic wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:44 pm
Where there's smoke, there's smoke. There's plenty of ways to generate smoke. Fire, you say? Show me the flames, the embers, or the ashes.
I'd say that justice and america are getting along like a house on fire.

Lots of smoke, screaming, and running around.
I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by DinkyInky » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:17 am

Why should I bother telling anyone? I wasn't believed then, I won't be now.

I'm female, so I clearly did it for attention. I obviously asked for it, dressed the way I was(in teenaged baggy unrevealing clothes with Crystal Gayle length hair mostly covering my face). I'm also ("other"), so I cannot possibly understand what my petty little words are doing to ruin this poor guys life. Run along now.

Let the damned sick perverted creature walk again and again and assault so many underaged girls. Because clearly he's been misjudged.

Parents of all of his young victims say what a nice guy he is, believing him over their own daughters.

He's a monster, and even if I'm just an attention-gathering hysterical woman, I'll never stop telling his victims and their parents what a monster he is. A monster with a pretty face and pretty words.

So no, we don't all have a choice.

Reporting it meant nothing when they all decided I was a liar, and decided that they didn't need to save my paperwork. No record means it didn't happen, right?
Years and years of repeating it trying to create a paper trail and who has the power? The monster with money.

That's what I've lived with for nearly three decades.
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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by jwhouk » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:39 pm

Amen x 1,000,000, Dinky.
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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Bookworm » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:21 pm

That's why I said what I did about investigation. I was believed - but I know that's not always the case.

Oh - and I'm male. I've had a few people try to pull the "You're a man, what would YOU know about it!?" play on me. I shut that one down fast.
I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Bookworm » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:26 pm

DinkyInky wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:17 am
Why should I bother telling anyone? I wasn't believed then, I won't be now.

I'm female, so I clearly did it for attention. I obviously asked for it, dressed the way I was(in teenaged baggy unrevealing clothes with Crystal Gayle length hair mostly covering my face). I'm also ("other"), so I cannot possibly understand what my petty little words are doing to ruin this poor guys life. Run along now.

Let the damned sick perverted creature walk again and again and assault so many underaged girls. Because clearly he's been misjudged.

Parents of all of his young victims say what a nice guy he is, believing him over their own daughters.

He's a monster, and even if I'm just an attention-gathering hysterical woman, I'll never stop telling his victims and their parents what a monster he is. A monster with a pretty face and pretty words.

So no, we don't all have a choice.

Reporting it meant nothing when they all decided I was a liar, and decided that they didn't need to save my paperwork. No record means it didn't happen, right?
Years and years of repeating it trying to create a paper trail and who has the power? The monster with money.

That's what I've lived with for nearly three decades.
One HUGE thing that separates you from the screaming moneygrubbers? It sounds as though you tried to get action immediately, and there _are_ people that would attest to that. I'll admit I haven't read a lot into the various attacks, because they piss me off so much, but I never saw that many (any?) of the folks accusing Cosby _ever_ did so at the time.

+1k to you for not hiding it, at the time, or now.
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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by GlytchMeister » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:37 pm

Many people tried to talk to those they trusted, first, before going straight to the cops. And they were met with the bullshit that shuts them down and further traumatizes them.

Many made attempts the first time, and nothing came of it, and didn’t bother the next time or the next.

And many did go to the cops and the cops didn’t actually know how to handle a traumatized woman. In any other case where a victim is traumatized, everybody doesn’t really become immediately suspicious if the victim can’t remember details because that’s how trauma often works. But the moment it’s a woman reporting a man for sexual assault, rape, or harassment? Oh, she can’t keep her story straight, she’s full of shit.

False accusations, according to data collected and analyzed, are vanishingly rare.

Also, in cases outside of criminal law - innocent until proven guilty does not necessarily apply. In job interviews or in the process of choosing or evaluating friends, it’s often better to be cautious and to place more weight on the words of the woman than the man due to the patriarchal social norms and male privilege that permeates our society.

Also, that many women cannot possibly all be that good at lying.

But it’s fine, if nothing else, my generation just has to wait for the previous ones to die while we raise our kids to a higher standard to affect change in the next generation, same as with just about every single other issue where one thing is indicated by the scientific community and is completely ignored or rejected by those currently in power.

As for the whole “I’m afraid to talk a certain way around women” thing: that’s kind of the point.

If a gay man started flirting with you out of the blue, would that make you uncomfortable?

Homophobia is the fear that another man will treat you like you treat women.

And because I know it’s gonna be brought up, political correctness is not out of control. It’s called being polite and decent and considerate.

The workplace is not the venue for flirtation. You can be friendly and sociable with women without being flirty, and you can still be productive, too.

If men didn’t want things to come to this, maybe they shouldn’t have built a society in which women are afraid to go out for a walk at night, regardless of location, or a society in which women have to treat going out drinking with their friends like a freaking black ops mission with code words and periodic check-ins and having backup on call, or a society in which they don’t have to take multiple precautions every single day to reduce their chances of being harassed, assaulted, or raped.

Re: It’s crap that Kavanaugh might not make it to the Supreme Court because of this or because of his emotional response:

This is a job interview. I don’t care what was being said, the man is being interviewed for a spot on the highest court in the land. If he cries and spews about how much he loves beer, he’s not fit for the job.

Also, Justices are supposed to put the integrity of the constitution and the law above party affiliations. If it’s obvious he can’t do that, he’s not fit for the job.

He couldn’t land MY job with an interview response like that and 4 allegations of sexual assault.

He couldn’t land my job even if all of those allegations were fully and completely proven false.

I’m a garbage man.

The idea that women are only coming after the money or after the jobs now is, frankly, pretty abhorrent to me. We are finally seeing a change in society where women are finding some political power and being paid the attention and being given the voice they deserve, and it’s being put in massive jeopardy by admittant sexual harassers being (questionably) elected to the most powerful position in the free world and another man with four allegations of sexual assault of some stripe being nominated to the Supreme Court. I don’t know about you, but that’s when I’d start banding together to try to be heard loud and clear, so that no one may ever dare to forget, too.

Frankly, more than a little disgusted and appalled. I’ll happily risk a banhammer or being ostracized because I cannot in good conscience keep quiet on this... especially here, a forum for WAPSI SQUARE.

I expected far, far better. Now, I’m close to being ashamed to have my username here.
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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Typeminer » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:48 pm

Well said, Glytch.
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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Dave » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:34 pm

DinkyInky wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:17 am
So no, we don't all have a choice.

Reporting it meant nothing when they all decided I was a liar, and decided that they didn't need to save my paperwork. No record means it didn't happen, right?
Years and years of repeating it trying to create a paper trail and who has the power? The monster with money.

That's what I've lived with for nearly three decades.
You, and so very many others. :(

And that, indeed, is one of the things I think our society most needs to change. We need it to be possible for the abused to report their abuse, safely, and have the facts acted upon honestly and reliably. Today, for so many people, that is not the case. Those who report abuse, face shaming and blame ("it's your fault", "you must have invited it"), rejection ("he's a big figure in the community, everyone knows him and says he's a good guy, so you must be lying", "he's a man of God, and priests/pastors/deacons wouldn't do that!") and pressure of all sorts ("don't shame our family by dragging this into the public eye").

And, in the cases where they do report an assault promptly, and are taken seriously (at least at first), and they agree to undergo the additional trauma of having physical evidence collected from their persons... what happens? All too often, nothing. Current estimates are that there are probably hundreds of thousands of "rape kits" languishing in police-department evidence storage lockers across the country that have never been analyzed... they've just been stored, often for years. Perps walk around free, because the funding to pursue the cases properly is so far from adequate... and because to those in control, it just doesn't matter very much.

It's no wonder so many women don't report rape or other abuse. They know they can tell the 100% gospel truth, and it'll end up hurting them more than it hurts the abuser because the abusers so often have the power. So, they remain silent, and carry around the pain and trauma... and they never receive justice.

So, for me, the whole "she didn't report it promptly, so we have to assume it's a lie" excuse just doesn't work.

Neither does the "they're just doing it for money" line... that's simply a Catch-22 excuse. Why do women file civil suits against their abusers? So often, it's because the criminal justice system refuses to act on their behalf (see above) and because private citizens do not have the legal right to prosecute crimes (only the government does).

The civil courts become a woman's only other court of recourse (literally)... and civil courts deal only with torts (harm done, as measured in terms of money). Therefore, due to the very nature of the American legal system, an injured victim has to sue the defendant for money if they want to sue at all. So, claiming that "it's all about the money" is disingenuous... it's just another form of victim-blaming.

Do some women, then, choose to accept a settlement from the abuser, rather than have to go through another round of trauma in court and be open to an attack on their entire life and history by the defendant and his lawyers? Yes, it happens. Given the cost of having to re-live the original trauma in open court (so often, treated as if they were the guilty party rather than the victim) I'm not surprised.

Some of you have made analogies about smoke and fire. I think there's a good reason there's so much smoke-and-fire about this issue now. Consider this: why have forest fires become so devastating in recent years? There are a bunch of reasons, but a big one is this: for a century now, the U.S. hasn't wanted to have forest fires. We've had a policy of suppressing every little fire that breaks out in the forest. That meant that most people never had to deal with the consequences of forest fires.

But, the causes of the fires didn't go away. Forests filled up with trees, and brush, and dead wood.

Now, when a fire starts, it's devastating. All that built-up refuse is burning, and burning hot.

That's what's tearing the Catholic church apart. The Church had a de facto policy of covering up abuse and protecting the abusers... which didn't stop the abuse, just facilitated it. When enough people spoke up, the conspiracy of silence and the cover-up were torn apart, the true magnitude of the problem was revealed, and all hell broke loose. The bill has come due.

And, I think, that's why things have blown up so strongly and suddenly with the #MeToo movement. Decades of sweeping the problem "under the rug" hasn't gotten rid of the problem... it's just left us with a horrendous number of people carrying around the burden of having been abused. That bill, also, is coming due.

Don't like to have to pay that price? Then, we have to fix the system, and it's not going to be simple or easy to do it. Glytch is right - part of it is simply going to wait for a new generation to grow up, who have been raised with more respect for one another than many of our generations were taught.
GlytchMeister wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:37 pm
Frankly, more than a little disgusted and appalled. I’ll happily risk a banhammer or being ostracized because I cannot in good conscience keep quiet on this... especially here, a forum for WAPSI SQUARE.

I expected far, far better. Now, I’m close to being ashamed to have my username here.
I share your disappointment.

I'm married to a lady who's been through that sort of hell... molested, date-raped, faced with the sort of "casting couch" pressure Bookworm alluded to (she kept her integrity, said "no", and maybe it cost her the best shot at success in the music business). Over and over, she saw those SOBs get away with it... nobody would believe, nobody would protect the innocent and vulnerable, nobody would act, and she knows she wasn't their only victim. I'm lucky she saw something different in me, and decided to give relationships one more try.

This sh*t is real, people. That's the truth. And, I think (and hope), the whole schtick of pretending that it isn't, just isn't going to work any longer. The truth is coming into view, and yes it's ugly... and accepting that it's there is the first necessary step to fixing it and healing ourselves.

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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by TazManiac » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:44 pm

re: the part GM responds to my previous post:

I've been around a long time now, been places where the Women feel safe and secure in the workplace and initiate the jokes & comradery.

Been other places where people had to be reported and it took a damn near mutiny to get the higher ups to pay attention.

Seen the Pendulum swing back and forth in both directions and stand by my earlier statements.

It's not about some rosy good ol boy past, I've seen both good and bad and I want more of the Good. I'm going to go on encouraging that.

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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by ShneekeyTheLost » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:48 am

Couple of things before I leave the forum.

1) I don't particularly think it was appropriate to start this topic in the first place. The topic is a highly politicized case involving a very ugly topic which needs to be taken seriously instead of sensationally. This is a person's life being dramatically changed, and the defense against these charges, and considering the defenses are reactive and affirmative instead of negative (i.e. attacking the prosecution instead of the charges, the legal version of an ad hominem attack), I find it highly suspicious.

2) Of course, that's WHY we have a court of law... to sift the guilty from the innocent from the guilty. And I feel that the media should be crucified for blowing up this case instead of treating it with the respect it deserves. And any speculation before a verdict is rendered is not only pointless but actively detrimental to the case itself as it would then contaminate any future jury arraigned in the event of mistrial. In other words, the media circus has a negative impact on the trial itself.

3) By the course of this thread, it has done nothing but opening up old wounds from some of us and further charge the empty noise and BS that has engulfed social media as a whole. I go to these forums to avoid that kind of crap. Now I shall have to find elsewhere to go.

4) I particularly find the actions of Bookworm to be highly improper. Instead of locking down the thread immediately to prevent this kind of sh*tstorm, as was the responsibility of the moderator, Bookworm instead fanned the flames and incited the thread into spiraling further out of control. On this matter, it doesn't matter *WHAT* topic it was about, this was not how a moderator of a forum should comport themselves. Period.

I'm done here. I'm absolutely disgusted that this sort of debate can even happen on this forum. Peace out.

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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Bookworm » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:46 am

Let's get some things straight here.

1) It's a forum. I moved the thread OUT of the Wapsi discussion into the Pub room because it wasn't appropriate for there.
2) Nobody is getting banhammered. I have seen no name calling, no obscenities, and no reason that anyone should be getting excessively upset.
3) I am a rape victim. I speak from my personal experiences and personal observations, as well as discussions with individuals of various persuasions.
4) If you don't like the thread - just don't read it. I'll even change the subject of the thread to notate a hot button issue.

I am NOT a moderator that will pretend I'm better than everyone else, and keep everything in a straight line. I'm a person, just like everyone else. I offend some people, I have other people like me, but the one thing I won't do is _back down_. I do NOT apologize for my words themselves. I may apologize for causing pain, but not for speaking. I'm a firm believer in the right to free speech, and that means _anyone_. You can scream at me and call me all sorts of names, and you'll STILL be welcome here, because a monoculture is a dying group, and my skin is thicker than that.

It's sad when people can talk about any issue out there, unless it offends someone else - and people threaten all sorts of actions if they don't get their way. Not just on this issue, there are hundreds I've seen over the years. On some forums, you'll even get banned if you discuss a different forum that might be seen as a 'competitor'.

For ShneekeyTheLost - I hope that you'll reconsider leaving (if you see this).
I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

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Atomic
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Re: On current events... (Hot button topic - Kavanaugh Confirmations)

Post by Atomic » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:07 pm

Hear, hear!

If nothing else, whatever the topic or comfort level, the members here have always been courteous, civil, and restrained. There are and will continue to be differences of opinion, and being able to discuss things, pro, con, or other, is valuable.

Condolences to ShneekeyTheLost. Pointing no fingers and agreeing that this topic is very much a Pub item for those who wish to engage.
Don't let other peoples limitations become your constraints!

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