I have a ton of anger due to my own assault. I will go to my grave knowing that the boy had drugged me. Someone had. Who if not him. I have no recall, no bar tab to support my supposed drinking binge and who paid for all the alcohol that I had? Or when I was found with a positive test for benzo's in my system that night? The hospital claimed that test was positive because they gave me the drugs but if they did they did so without a prior blood test to ensure I was not over medicated and in turn medicated correctly? The way to to see if this was true was to allow me to perform a comprehensive blood test that would have enabled one to analyze my blood to see exactly the specific percent of drugs versus the dosage given would be needed. That was a right I was never given by Seattle Courts nor my Lawyers who did not fight long enough hard enough nor clearly were paid enough to do so. Again ask Kevin Trombold or Ted Vosk why? Or why they asked to me to take a lie detector and re-enact my last memories of that night in order to believe me?
Perhaps Jennifer Miller the Prosecutor for the city at the time, and now in private practice, maybe she could explain why she fought so hard for me, as well as her boss, also a woman, to not allow me to test the blood sample during my trial. That and actually run a warrant to Verizon to confirm the texts, the phone calls that Ms. Miller claimed were my lies. I wonder if she says that to her clients today? Or when she inferred I was a tarted up slut out for a night to get drunk and get laid and then was ashamed of it both and lying about it all? Does she tell her clients that story about the woman she lied about and demeaned in a public court? A trial for DUI that was wrong as I had not ability to even recall nor decide willingly and knowingly to get behind a wheel of a car thanks to what I believe Shar gave to me. Or ostensibly enabled me to drink myself nearly to death. At age 52, on a Wednesday night of February 8, 2012. it was not my nature nor plan to get falling down drunk that night and nearly die. Not a plan at all.
I am brave enough to be angry and afraid. I moved, changed my name but that anger never goes away. Will it ever? Whom could I confront to get a half-assed apology that would do what? Ostensibly erase the last years of declining health, depleted funds and lost time. You can never change that. But I am not famous, I am not rich, I am not important and my voice and my anger are irrelevant. That is another fact that has come from this and it will not change.
Men are not feminists. Please stop that bullshit. Men can be supportive of women who are or any woman who choose not to identify with such a moniker. Women we need also to be supportive of women regardless. We fail on both being feminists and women. Men have clearly enabled us to divide and conquer each other in the same way I see people of color suspicious of each other and of their own. We all rally around the great white hope and that is usually a man and I made the mistake of believing that Justice would find itself through the darkness and into the light. I watched my fate in the hands of white men, a white woman and black Judge and a Jury of all white people throw my civil rights into the trash. I spent the last few years realizing that color matters and that color is green. And that the systems we have so entrusted to protect us are there only to protect those in those positions to do just that. Self preservation is the code word and ethics that rule. Look at the convictions overturned and the amount of attention now paid to Police who shoot without thought and have all the protections in the world as that system is the one that protects them. Us not so much.
If you are a person of color, a person of ethnicity, a religion not Christian, a person who is of alternative sexuality and lastly if you are a woman, you are worthless in society. I get it I really do. And I can never speak about this without anger. It is mine and I own it.
Brave Enough to Be Angry
The New York Times
November 8 2017
Last month, an Access Hollywood correspondent asked the actress Uma Thurman to comment on abuse of power in Hollywood, presumably in light of the sexual assault allegations against the producer Harvey Weinstein. Speaking slowly and deliberately, through gritted teeth, Thurman responded, “I don’t have a tidy soundbite for you, because I’ve learned — I am not a child — and I have learned that when I’ve spoken in anger I usually regret the way I express myself. So I’ve been waiting to feel less angry. And when I’m ready, I’ll say what I have to say.”
Thurman is seething, like we have all been seething, in our various states of breaking open or, as Thurman chooses, waiting. We are seething at how long we have been ignored, seething for the ones who were long ago punished for telling the truth, seething for being told all of our lives that we have no right to seethe. Thurman’s rage is palpable yet contained, conveying not just the tempestuous depths of #MeToo but a profound understanding of the ways that female anger is received and weaponized against women.
In the past few months alone we’ve seen Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, pilloried by the far right for criticizing Donald Trump’s anemic response to Hurricane Maria (“We are dying here,” Cruz told the news media, “I am mad as hell.”) and the Florida congresswoman Frederica Wilson deluged with abuse after she characterized Trump’s call to the military widow Myeshia Johnson as “insensitive” and “an insult.” Both Cruz and Wilson were directly targeted by the president on Twitter, then incessantly memed and regurgitated and redigested and rememed by his obedient online horde.
Just this week, Juli Briskman, a government contractor, lost her job after a photo of her flipping off the presidential motorcade went viral. Solange, Britney Spears, Sinead O’Connor, the Dixie Chicks, Rosie O’Donnell — I struggle to think of women who lost their tempers in public and didn’t face ridicule, temporary ruin, or both. And we don’t even have to be angry to be called angry. Accusations of being an “angry black woman” chased Michelle Obama throughout her tenure at the White House, despite eight years of unflappable poise (black women suffer disproportionately under this paradigm). The decades-long smearing of Hillary Clinton as an unhinged shrew culminated one year ago today when, despite maintaining a preternatural calm throughout the most brutal campaign in living memory, she lost the election to masculinity’s apoplectic id.
Like every other feminist with a public platform, I am perpetually cast as a disapproving scold. But what’s the alternative? To approve? I do not approve.
Not only are women expected to weather sexual violence, intimate partner violence, workplace discrimination, institutional subordination, the expectation of free domestic labor, the blame for our own victimization, and all the subtler, invisible cuts that undermine us daily, we are not even allowed to be angry about it. Close your eyes and think of America.
We are expected to keep quiet about the men who prey upon us, as though their predation was our choice, not theirs. We are expected to sit quietly as men debate whether or not the state should be allowed to forcibly use our bodies as incubators. We are expected to not complain as we are diminished, degraded and discredited.
We are expected to agree (and we comply!) with the paternal admonition that it is irresponsible and hyperemotional to request one female president after 241 years of male ones — because that would be tokenism, anti-democratic and dangerous — as though generations of white male politicians haven’t proven themselves utterly disinterested in caring for the needs of communities to which they do not belong. As though white men’s monopolistic death-grip on power in America doesn’t belie precisely the kind of “identity politics” they claim to abhor. As though competent, qualified women are so thin on the ground that even a concerted, sincere, large-scale search for one would be a long shot, and any resulting candidate a compromise.
Meanwhile, as a reminder of the bar for male competence, Donald Trump is the president.
Tuesday, voters — some angry, some hopeful despite themselves — went to the polls and told a different story: the first openly trans woman elected to the Virginia legislature, a surge of female Democratic candidates across the nation, many of them victorious.
I did not call myself a feminist until I was nearly 20 years old. My world had taught me that feminists were ugly and ridiculous, and I did not want to be ugly and ridiculous. I wanted to be cool and desired by men, because even as a teenager I knew implicitly that pandering for male approval was a woman’s most effective currency. It was my best shot at success, or at least safety, and I wasn’t sophisticated enough to see that success and safety, bestowed conditionally, aren’t success and safety at all. They are domestication and implied violence.
To put it another way, it took me two decades to become brave enough to be angry. Feminism is the collective manifestation of female anger.
They suppress our anger for a reason. Let’s prove them right.