(Trigger Warning: Discussion of incest and childhood sexual abuse.)
The greatest gift my father gave me was a passion for art. As a pianist and composer with a Master’s degree in Musicology, he infused our home with creativity throughout my childhood. He encouraged me to find my own outlet; instead of sports teams and debate club, my extracurricular activities included violin lessons, piano lessons, drawing classes, painting classes, dance classes, theater camp, and color guard practice. You name it, I tried it.
The day we discovered my true passion was the day my father brought home a video camera. As I started to experiment with filmmaking as a medium of expression, he shared with me his advice about being an artist: “Never compromise your artistic vision for mainstream success.” “Art should never be restricted to those who can afford museum admission or concert tickets – create art that can be accessible to the public.” “Look for the art around you in every day life and draw inspiration from it.” “Let art drive everything else in your life.”
My memory of my childhood is hazy, so I can’t remember if our talks about art started before or after my father molested me. It happened so casually, so blatantly, that I assumed it was normal, loving behavior. Given the way he would constantly praise my appearance, talk openly and explicitly about sex, and encourage me to feel comfortable walking around naked in front of him, I did not realize that what happened to me was abuse until I was an adult. Today, we no longer have a relationship. I have nightmares about hearing his voice when I pick up the phone. Looking at photographs of him makes my stomach churn. But as I write this, I am listening to one of his recordings over and over again, straining to hear the words I know he will never say. Keep reading »
Today on NYTimes.com, Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, has penned an open letter about the abuse she alleges she endured as a child at the hands of Woody Allen. These abuse allegations first came to light in 1993, during the bitter custody battle between her mother and father. Allen was never prosecuted and has denied any wrongdoing. The allegations regained interest in the last few months, following a Vanity Fair profile in which Dylan was quoted discussing the abuse, and the fact that Allen received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes. During the ceremony, Dylan’s brother Ronan tweeted, “”Missed the Woody Allen tribute. Did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?” A recent piece on The Daily Beast, written by a man who did a documentary on Woody Allen, attempted to poke holes in the allegations. Dylan Farrow’s piece in The New York Times is the first time she has spoken or written publicly about the alleged abuse, in her own words. Among other things, she writes:
…when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains. Keep reading »
Brandi Glanville is a reality TV villianess sent from Central Casting Heaven. The “Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills” star spends her screen time on the show making rude and racist comments towards her fellow cast members and then plays the Who me? card like a pro.
Somehow, Brandi has topped her remark that fellow “Housewife” Joyce is “black” because she can’t swim. Get RAINN on the horn, because Brandi told all six of her podcast listeners that she wishes she had been molested as a child because she was “super-hot.” Keep reading »
A New York State politician accused of sexually harassing more than half a dozen staffers resigned from the state legislature last night.
Dennis Gabryszak, an Assemblyman from the Buffalo area, was accused in December of sexual harassment by three former female employees who filed notices of claim (the first step before filing a lawsuit). The women, which included his former legislative director, his former communications director, and another communications director who replaced her, claimed Gabryszak asked women to dress as sexy elves and sit on his lap during an office Christmas photo, grabbed one woman and tried to kiss her, invited them to hotel rooms, talked about their “sexual characteristics,” discussed penis tattoos, dragged one of them into a massage parlor, and sent another a video in which he was mimicking receiving a blowjob. Keep reading »
The recent rape allegations against Conor Oberst of the band Bright Eyes hit really, uncomfortably close to home for me.
In the past few weeks, it’s come to light that an anonymous xoJane commenter confessed in a comment in a post thread that when she was 16, a decade ago, she had some inappropriate sexual contact with Oberst, who was in his mid-twenties at the time. The comments have since been deleted but a rape allegation was made; the commenter wrote that her husband had encouraged her to “out” Oberst as a means of empowerment. Keep reading »
Just when you thought politicians could keep it in their pants … ha, ha, you were wrong.
New York State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak has been accused of sexual harassment by three former aides, according to the Associated Press. The women filed a notice of claim on Thursday, which the AP explained is a step before filing a lawsuit.
His alleged victims claim Gabryszak invited them to hotel rooms, talked about their “sexual characteristics,” discussed penis tattoos, dragged one of them into a massage parlor, and sent another a video in which he was mimicking receiving a blowjob. All of the icks. Keep reading »
UPDATE, 12/18/13, 10:30 a.m.: The title of this post used to read “R. Kelly Responds To Underage Girl Sex Expose With Football Metaphor ,” which was incorrect. R. Kelly hasn’t been accused of “sex,” he has been accused of sexual abuse of underage girls. In my haste to write a headline yesterday, I didn’t think that distinction through. — Jessica
“Shocking and disturbing.” These are the words of Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Chief of Police Cathy Lanier after an officer was arrested on Monday for the production of child pornography by taking nude photos of a 15-year-old girl. Keep reading »
Sorry, John Burbine, but sacrificing your nuts is not a fair trade for allegedly raping and sexually abusing 13 children. Keep reading »