Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Why Accusations of Rape are Always True


I cannot - cannot - stand hearing or reading one more person defending a rapist. I don't care how nice the person was to you. I don't care how good of a parent they were. THEY RAPED SOMEONE.

Rape is the worst crime a human being can commit against another. Defending a rapist is therefore worse than defending a murderer. Why? No one died, you might say. There are many reasons why rape is worse than murder.

No one blames a murder victim. People are willing to talk about murder. They're willing to openly commiserate with surviving family members. They are willing to condemn the murderer's actions. Obviously, murder is a horrible crime that leaves a terrible hole in a community. Of course, someone who commits such an act needs to face justice. But people heal. People and communities are allowed to heal.

But rape? What happens with rape?

No one talks about it.

No one.

And when someone does... that person is shunned. They are shamed. They are adamantly disbelieved. They are blamed for bringing the violation on themselves. They are told they put themselves in a vulnerable place, you know, by trusting someone they knew to treat them with respect (like normal people do all the time!!!). Because of course, most rapists are people known by the victim.

Then, when an accusation is made, which without DNA evidence is damn hard to PROVE IN COURT, society at large decides she is lying (I say she because most rape victims are female), because, of course, the victim is trying to tarnish this good man's name (most rapists are male) by putting this on a record somewhere.

And then the community rushes in to defend this scum who thought it was acceptable to put his penis in someone's vagina or anus or mouth without their consent.

That is what we're talking about here. Not only are we talking about defending someone who is putting a person at risk for physical trauma such as tissue damage, unwanted pregnancy, and virulent diseases, but also the much more painful and long lasting trauma of total distrust. How can someone ever trust anyone again? When you have been raped by a friend, family member, colleague, or partner how is it possible to trust a person? To have healthy relationships with other people?

This violation continues to impact every single person a rape victim comes into contact with because it necessarily shapes how they view other people. It necessarily impacts communities much more than murder because it continues to impact people throughout the life of the victim. Rape therefore, is absolutely worse than murder because the wound continues, may be reopened, and may fester.

A rape victim has nothing to gain by breaking their silence for a public accusation. If they are lucky they will find legal justice. And that is if they have DNA evidence and or witnesses. Breaking silence is a painful, difficult thing for a victim because society tends to disbelieve and blame rape victims.

So what does that mean? It means that absolutely, every single time a person makes an accusation of rape, it happened. Maybe it didn't happen exactly how it is portrayed, through a combination of PTSD, drugs, or alcohol, but it did happen.

Rape is not something the mind makes up. It is not easy to talk about in a culture where women are devalued, objectified, and used. It is not easy to come forward and break silence. So, the next time you read about someone being raped, defend them. They are more brave than you can possibly imagine. They are more powerful than we give them credit for, because they did one thing that society hates.

They told the truth.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Projects, Next Steps, and the Right Track

Now that applications are done (submission number two will be Monday) and presents are finished (a little wrapping left but...not much) I'm focusing on some other things that need to happen.

Since I've been doing self-hypnosis and focusing hardcore on my goals, I had some divinely inspired projects come to mind. As such, they are definitely on the docket for completion. In fact, one of the books is already in the rewriting/review phase. I started it like two weeks ago. I know. Crazy huh?It is rather short, so being done so quickly isn't a terrible surprise...

NaNoWriMo came late huh? Well, it's not a novel so it wouldn't qualify. I promise to say more about it in a separate post. However, I do need a little help with the book cover. I'm looking for a photographer to do a professional photoshoot of me (and possibly a stylist). It would need to be someone looking to develop the portfolio as well as credit. If you know anyone in the SB area who fits that bill, send them my way.

As part of the aforementioned, I want to develop some related talks and pitch them to various organizations. This would help me achieve a two things at once - one to get some paid speaking engagements, and two, promote the book.

The second project is a little less involved, though I do need to make some decisions about formatting etc because that will change the nature of the book significantly. I guess I need to meditate on that to determine what the best course would be (i.e. what would the proposed demographics prefer?).

This could likewise have some associated talks, and may, though I'm not sure what direction I want this to take.

Finally, if I am accepted into the doctoral programs, I have another problem. I need to finish my 2 beloved series. At least, I definitely need to finish Khloe and the Andrew manuscript, if not Freddy and Charlie too for Rollins. I had a major psychological breakthrough as to the goals of my fiction writing, and it requires some serious reconsidering of the Khloe's development as a character.

In short, I want her to be a bit more of a bad ass. That said, doing that in such a way as to allow it naturally, and balance it with her vulnerabilities is a delicate process. It takes careful handling, and that requires a great deal of thought as I rework some of the earlier writing and finish the book. Presently I'm about 80k. I have about 40k more to finish the book...sooo...she could get pretty amazing by the end.

As to Andrew, I need to go back and make sure I have James consistent with his own story, as well as Jeremiah being consistent with his own. I think I need to consider writing these a little longer and bring them up to 90k or more. James and Jeremiah were on the shorter side, but it seems as though the average ebook consumer prefers a longer book.

I go back and forth about these kinds of things however, asking myself questions like: Is this pandering? Do I need to question this? Am I being true to the story? In the end, I'll probably just go with what feels good at the time and let things go where they must.

Along with those projects requiring completion, I have a few tangential ideas that may be worth developing (like associated teaching or book club materials). In my quest for self-realization, I've been reading a lot about being bigger than your life allows. If you act bigger, then your life tends to expand. I'm working on getting comfortable with this. I do catch myself sometimes getting back down in a small setting, and then I just shake myself off and push myself into that bigger space.

I'm getting good at it.

I intend to not only pull these things off, but do them exceptionally well. It's making me antsy...bubbling in my skin I'm so excited to work on these things.

I think that's how you know you're on the right track. That's what has me smiling.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Optimism Maintenance

Negativity is a cancer - crowding out all the good in life. It is leprosy. It will eat you up until there is nothing left. It can turn the bright sun into the dullest overcast cloud cover.

I know. It does that to me. It took me a while to figure out how to manage the negative tendencies in my environment, but I did it and you can too.

So what can we do to bring back the sun? What can we do to keep the good things in life?

There are a few things.

First, there is thankfulness. For anything and everything. This makes you feel positively about everything in your life.

Second is your words. Complaining makes you stupider (really) and focuses on the bad things in life. Instead, talk about the things that are good or talk about ways to improve situations you don't like.

Third is your activity. When you sit in front of a screen all day filled with violent or negative images, it affects your thinking. Exercise and movement release endorphins. Dance releases serotonin. Moving around should be a part of the majority of your day. Think: take the stairs.

Fourth, eat good food. It sounds strange that such a thing would impact your mood, but it does. Bad food makes you feel bad. Sometimes it makes you physically sick. Being hungry makes you angry or lethargic. Good food really makes a difference in your optimism.

Fifth, good sleep cannot be underestimated. When you wake up refreshed, you are better able to tackle whatever comes your way with an optimistic attitude.

Sixth, laugh. It really is the best medicine. People have laughed themselves well. Certainly this can keep the dementors away.

These are so simple and yet for many people, they are next to impossible. However, when you start to do one, it is much easier to do more. Like negativity, positivity can take on a life of its own.

Yes, sometimes a negative thought may intrude. Sometimes bad things will happen. But you can always return to the comfort of your positive habits. You can always find something to be grateful for. There is always something to laugh about. Tomorrow is always another day. How great is that? We always get another chance. I'm definitely grateful for that.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Most Powerful Force

Love.

This is the thing that holds us together and sets us apart. This is the thing that makes us scale mountains and cross oceans.

Love.

More powerful than greed or apathy or fear - love can turn an enemy to a friend. Love can turn an object into a real human being. Love is the most powerful force - more powerful than gravity. It is the ultimate variable - more important than time.

It is the ultimate choice - transcending Schrodinger's cat, particles and rays, life and death.

Love.

And what comes from this ultimate power? This force before all forces? When we use this, when we allow this force to direct our hearts and minds, only the best things come into being. Only our best dreams are realized at the hands of love. Only our best intentions are made manifest - made into only, exactly, the best thing needed at that exact time.

Anger, jealousy, sadness...these are products of the broken heart. They are symptoms of love lost, or betrayed. Do not allow such things to direct your actions. Twisted plants grow from seeds sown with these hands.

Instead, turn your heart toward love. Turn it to forgiveness and let go those broken things. Let your heart be healed through the creative, restorative power of love. Focus instead on new tomorrows, better days filled with peace, friendship, hope, and joy. These are the fruits of a vibrant heart focused on love. These are our yearnings. Let us set our sights on them.

This is my earnest wish for all - that your hearts be filled with love.