Sunday, January 26, 2014

Time for the "Talk"

For many that was the first time they discussed sex be it with one's Parent's or in School. When I was a kid it was both.

I went to Catholic school and in 7th grade the official request to begin a sexual education class was sent home and many parents either to circumvent or avoid the subject began to address the ubiquitous "birds and bees" issue.

As my mother was an immigrant and my father the product of immigrant and both much older than average parents of a child, I had been subjected to the subject matter of sex and sexuality early on.  Add to that that many of my family's friends were Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and also foreign there was no subterfuge with regards to what the bigger picture was.  I don't ever recall the biological aspect and that was gladly handed over to school to fill in that missing data but the more complicated issue of sexuality was not something hidden in our home.

My Mother was raped when I was 6.  I am not sure if I should be writing about it but I recall waking up that morning and the screaming, the Police and the hysteria of the event that transpired that day.  She was raped in our home when a gentleman whom she knew from work drove her home and then came into the home threatened her and raped her in our living room as I lay sleeping in my bed.

I thought for sure that sins of the mother happened to me the night of February 8 and I still have never come to terms with the idea that I was raped that night.  Something in my core says he was going to do that in my home exactly as my mother was and the car accident is what saved my life in some perverse act.

Denial is a big part of rape and frankly given the patriarchal system of Justice is that not shocking.

And to hear that President Obama is assigned the big doofus Joe Biden in charge of educating young men about the issues surrounding rape, I wonder why he didn't finish it back when this was assigned to him in 2011.  That was when Biden was going to go to Ivy League schools to discuss the issue there, state colleges are on their own as the progeny of the esteemed Harvard Yard and Yale are by far more important than the women of Missoula or other red state youth.

But to be frank, I seriously doubt young men of this generation will listen to a representative of the "greatest generation" about sex and sexuality.   Deaf and ears will meet and this may go along with former Defense Secretary Gates assessment of VP Biden and it is just wrong on all counts. 

And again I am neither a Republican nor Democrat so spare me your insults. I am a Green Party member and first and foremost a Humanist and the issue surrounding sexual assaults has nothing to do with politics or party... I hope.

So now the issue is back as it appears that the message was buried, lost or forgotten with all the other PR or other "assignments" given to Vice President Biden.  I am sure this time there will be some positive affect or not.  Let's be honest our young men are a deeply troubled lot, from gun violence to sexual violence, we clearly are not providing any messages they want, wish or need to hear.

The New York Times op ed had this...

Talking Sexual Violence Without Giving Offense

JAN. 25, 2014

It’s rare to hear politicians discuss rape and assault with real sensitivity, but that’s just what President Obama and Vice President Biden did."

It’s rare to hear politicians at the national level discuss sexual violence. It’s even rarer to hear them discuss it with real sensitivity. Yet President Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. managed exactly that last Wednesday, when they announced a task force on campus rape — an area of particular concern. A 2007 study found that one in five women had been sexually assaulted in college

The administration has addressed this issue before. In 2011, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights sent a letter to colleges explaining that sexual violence is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. And Mr. Biden’s dedication to combating sexual assault is well established; he drafted the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. On Wednesday, though, the president and vice president distinguished themselves not just by what they said but by how they said it.

“Our daughters, our sisters, our wives, our mothers, our grandmothers have every single right to expect to be free from violence and sexual abuse,” Mr. Biden said. “No matter what she’s wearing, no matter whether she’s in a bar, in a dormitory, in the back seat of a car, on a street, drunk or sober — no man has a right to go beyond the word ‘no.’ And if she can’t consent, it also means no.”

He added: “Men have to step up to the bar here. Men have to take more responsibility. Men have to intervene.”
Mr. Obama also emphasized male accountability: “We’ve got to keep teaching young men in particular to show women the respect they deserve and to recognize sexual violence and be outraged by it, and to do their part to stop it from happening in the first place.”

Cynics might dismiss these remarks as focus-group pablum. But it’s no small thing for two men in power to speak inoffensively on such a delicate topic, avoiding victim-blaming and callousness.

Just over a year ago, Richard Mourdock of Indiana, who was then a Republican candidate for the Senate, described pregnancy resulting from rape as “something that God intended to happen.” And Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, another failed Republican Senate hopeful, said he thought abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

When it comes to sexual violence, tone matters. A new report on rape and sexual assault from the White House Council on Women and Girls notes that if men believe that their peers accept abusive behavior, they’re less likely to intervene. Conversely, “when men speak out against abuse, other men are more likely to step in to neutralize a risky situation and prevent an assault.”

And tonight 60 Minutes had a story on the lack of mental health providers for those families whose children are truly ill and troubled and how ER's are largely filling the bill for care.  And to this I say "SHOCKING."'  I have long been writing about that issue for quite sometime but until it happens to you in America no one gives a shit.

I have lost count on the shootings this past month. Have you?

We have a mental health crisis in this country and yet the solution seems to find another drug to shove, whoops, I mean promote.  My new favorite was the one for "bi-polar depression." Okay please tell me that people who have this are actually watching TV and saying "that's me, that's the ticket"

Now we are actually promoting mental health drugs directly to people with mental health problems.

 Next up.. "suffer from schizophrenia? Try Schizoid, the new med that can have those voices in your head talking to each other rather than you..."

This is our Country, one that has no answers but endless problems and the resources to actually address them but for some reason not.

Be a part of the solution, not the problem.  How? that is the question.  You can talk the talk but you need to walk it as well.

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