I do not know how I avoided sexual assault. I was promiscuous for years. Put myself in countless dangerous situations with men I barely knew. I was told that I was not being smart, that I could get hurt. I didn’t take it seriously. Thought those things didn’t really happen, that I knew these boys, these men, well enough to know they were good enough not to cover my mouth or lock me in a room or pin me down while they took advantage of me. Years later, knowing much more than I did then, I am surprised. It could have happened so easily. It has happened to far less promiscuous girls than me – girls who never put themselves in danger the way I did – girls who did not sneak out of their homes, meeting boys in dark parking lots, going home drunk with strangers, drinking their drinks, smoking their drugs, sleeping in their beds.
I cannot imagine what today has been like for women – so many women I love – who were not as lucky as me.
I never tried to say no to those men. But the scarring that resulted from years of laying myself bare to men in an attempt to make myself whole has taken years of hard work to even begin to heal. It has jeopardized my mental, emotional, and spiritual safety. It threatened my marriage, my relationship with my parents, my God, my community, and today my country. But I have fought long and hard for my healing and my faith in a loving God has been restored. A God that loves us unconditionally – that believes wholeheartedly that we are whole and good already, a God who is only waiting for us to realize it ourselves. I believe this God knows this of us all – of our America, our leaders, our justice system, our women and our men.
I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I do not believe this means that Brett Kavanaugh is all bad. Nothing in life is so simple. I do not believe, either, that this means he is deserving of a seat on the Supreme Court. I believe women have for centuries been silenced by powerful men who keep us silent and small. The pain of coming forward has almost always felt too great – not worth it in a society that will not hear your cries anyhow. And I do believe this needs to change. Women’s voices must be heard. I believe in America’s sacred role in this change. I believe in our duty to uphold the words in our Bill of Rights, the words etched into the Statue of Liberty, the values upon which our country was founded – no matter how imperfect our founding fathers were – the values men and women of all colors have fought and died for for centuries. I believe in America, and it is because of this that my heart is broken again today.
No matter what you believe about this man and this woman, there are some simple truths that have been disrespected today because we live in a world that values power over truth, where the voices of the vulnerable are systematically silenced in order to maintain the status quo. This is not sustainable. The scales are tipping, and the quicker we realize that we will all be better off in a just world, the better these next years will be for us all. Let’s not get distracted by the details, let’s not allow our anger or our differences to separate and destroy us, but rather let us keep our eyes trained on the greater truths upon which we can all hang our flags: truth, justice, love. These are things that can unite us. These will be our salvation if we do the hard work to make them our aim.
If you’d like to debate or disagree with anything I have written, that is wonderful – but not here. I will happily arrange an opportunity for meaningful in-person dialogue where we can talk about some of the tough issues we are all grappling with. Just let me know.