Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thoughts On: A Case In Which Everyone Lost

I might like to know more about this case. A man pled guilty to sexually assaulting a woman 20 years ago at a fraternity party. He wrote her a letter admitting to it as part of the Amends Step, Step 9 of the 12 Steps in the AA program. They had vastly different perceptions of the incident (hers was much more violent) and it upset her enough to call the police and report it. He'll spend two years in jail. He would have faced life in prison but it wasn't clear if he was the only man who had assaulted her that night.

I hope this doesn't discourage other men from looking honestly at their past experiences and owning up to any injustices or from making amends. Acknowledgment and forgiveness are powerful for both parties. This case also highlights the fact that the pain resulting from such an act doesn't ever really go away.

I don't know. I feel for the guy in a weird way, too. It's noble to make amends and memory can be fickle. I remember, too, that sex and sexuality were so confusing as a teenager. I found myself in a situation back then that wasn't 100% consensual (in a frat house of all places....imagine that), but also not 100% sexual assault and didn't really know how to feel afterwards. Now, 14 years later, I think that guy (who I'd known in high school) was a clueless, drunken asshole. Was he even aware he crossed over the line? Did I make it clear enough? Men should understand how sexuality and attractiveness and approval are all twisted together in women's brains (no matter how much I wish they weren't). Even more so, I would argue, in young women's brains. Sexuality is usually a girl's first taste of feeling powerful but girls aren't taught what do with this power or how to honor it so that power is sometimes wielded in drastic ways (Lolita, Monica Lewinsky, etc etc, anyone?). Younger women often don't have the experience or knowledge to feel powerful in other ways. Also, We (this goes for all humans) don't always know what we want and sometimes it isn't until after it's over that we realize, "Oh, God no..I never wanted that." It seems like every message is a mixed message when you're young.

So I propose that everyone should only masturbate until they're 25 and have gone through extensive empathy training.


lagrandedame said...

Incredibly well put. If I had a dollar for everytime I was in that situation...I wouldn't be sitting at a desk right now. Fuckheads.

Alannah said...

Thanks sweetie. I'm lucky I get to come home to you!