Speaking out was never about exposing the man who assaulted me. Rather, it was about exposing my shame, letting it dry out in the sun. I did not wish to be contacted by him or to open a criminal investigation. I am in a loving and peaceful place in my life and I am not willing to sacrifice any more of it for this person I do not know, aside from one night I will never forget. That is my choice. …
When I finally chose to share my story, I did not do so in a vacuum. I was inspired by all the brave women who are now coming forward with their own experiences, despite the many risks associated with speaking out. Survivors are so often re-victimized by a system that demands they prove their purity and innocence. They are asked to provide an unassailable narrative when the event itself is hazy, fragmented, and unspeakable. They are isolated and betrayed by people close to them who doubt their reality or are frustrated by their inability to move on. Their most intimate experiences are made public property. …
I was ready to admit to the ways being sexually assaulted has shaped my sense of self as a woman entering adulthood, compromised my emotional security, and haunted me even during the most joyful periods of my life. I hoped I might inspire others to share, and that forming these connections would assist us all in healing.
Lena Dunham has penned a beautiful essay for Buzzfeed about her decision to write about being raped in college in her book Not That Kind Of Girl. The essay is written somewhat in response to conservative critics who have questioned the validity of her story and have gone out of their way to “disprove” it, including trying to track down the man who raped her. Yesterday, I told you about how one former classmate, who happens to be named “Barry,” the pseudonym used in the book, has been mistaken for Dunham’s attacker. Going forward, new printings of Not That Kind Of Girl will be more clear that “Barry” is a pseudonym; Dunham apologizes for the confusion at the beginning of the essay, calling the resemblance between Real Life Barry and Book Rapist Barry “an unfortunate and surreal coincidence.” Keep reading »
Sigh. Here is your daily reminder that human beings can be really, really horrible. Charles C. Johnson (above), a former writer for the conservative Daily Caller and founder of GotNews, published what he claims sources told him is the real name of “Jackie,” the woman featured in Rolling Stone‘s controversial UVA rape article. On Friday, Rolling Stone kinda-sorta retracted the article citing “inconsistencies” in Jackie’s story. Johnson of course doesn’t care that while Jackie’s story allegedly contains inconsistencies (which should have been better reported and fact-checked by Rolling Stone), that does not mean she’s lying about being gang raped by a group of UVA fraternity members. (Rolling Stone edited their letter from the editor and removed the line about their trust in Jackie being “misplaced,” but failed to note the change.) Internet trolls are already ruthless in their treatment of women who have the courage to come forward with allegations of sexual assault; the very fact that Jackie’s story may be in question has made her an easy target for misogynists desperate to beat the drum that women frequently lie about being raped (they don’t). Like those repulsive menaces at 4chan, who are apparently planning on tracking down “Jackie” and releasing personal details about her life. Keep reading »
It’s a little hard to read, but it says “RAPIST.” Luckily for Cosby, the folks who take care of the Walk of Fame have surely cleaned the graffiti off his star by now. The entertainer’s career and reputation, however, remain forever sullied by over 20 allegations of sexual assault and rape. [Instagram]
Earlier today, Rolling Stone dropped one hell of an editor’s note, in regards to a story they had published two weeks earlier — a blistering investigative account of a brutal gang rape that took place at a fraternity house at the University of Virginia. The cowardly note, published on a Friday no less, came after two weeks of thinkpieces from other media outlets pointing out holes in Rolling Stone’s reporting of the events (particularly their decision not to speak with the men Jackie claimed attacked her). From managing editor Will Dana, the note dials back on the claims made by Jackie to reporter Sabrina Erdely, claiming that the magazine’s trust in Jackie was “misplaced.” Keep reading »