For the record, let me unequivocally state: aside from the humiliating, demeaning, destructive and potentially life-altering effects sexual abuse or misconduct can have on its victim I stand firmly on the side of it being punishable. Unequivocally I also state that distinctions must be made between the two, misconduct and abuse. As a domestic abuse survivor I am, not surprisingly, hyper-sensitized to any situation that promotes the domination of one and the unjustified subjugation of another. Whether verbally or physically. With awareness for the sensitivity of these realities, I applaud the courage and strength of every victim, male or female, who speak up and out. And, I will continue to figuratively or literally hold the hand, wipe the tears and pray for all the others who have yet to find their strength. I will continue to speak for those for whom the strength to speak still eludes.
This is my position. It will always be my position. Whether in the classroom, boardroom or bedroom, I will ensure the respect, honor and treatment deserving of this black woman. And, with every one of my steps I hope to stand with and when necessary, in front of every other woman who is yet to acknowledge her worth.
Having said this, this Joy Villa business has me cocking my head to the side quite a bit.
This morning I watched an interview on GMA where she [Villa] explained her side of things. For those of you who don’t know Villa (a black Republican and Trump-supporter; but let’s not try to hold that against her), has accused Corey Lewandowski – Trump’s former campaign manager – of sexual assault. She has claimed that in November at a political party, he [Lewandowski], unsolicited and unwanted, slapped her on the buttocks twice. She said she objected after the first slap, but he did it again.
Okay, let’s be clear. Let’s address this…
NO ONE should be touched inappropriately. And, when anyone is touched in a manner they find objectionable or offensive and utters any variation of, “stop” or “no” those commands should immediately halt said behavior. If it does not, the offender has now crossed the line from perhaps doing something stupid or having committed the offense of misreading signals or body language to being committed and purposeful in his intent to violate another’s rights. And for this they should be held accountable.
Here’s my problem with this particular instance. We are absolutely experiencing a climate where voices are raised in unison against sexual misconduct and assault. With the resurrection of the #metoo movement (predominantly) women have been speaking up and out in rejection of abuse and in defense of justice. As the bodies begin to pile up of the (supposed) offenders it has, at least for me, started to become a bit worrisome trying to ascertain the truth-tellers from the publicity-seekers. Perhaps my skepticism in some instances is concern – concern that the potential liars amongst the movement will too-muddy the waters of credibility for the true victims.
Joy Villa. When asked what she would like to have happen now that she has gone public and if she intends to file charges, her response was: “I would rather not go there. I really want an apology. It’s a hard situation because this is a crime that was committed against me. I want this to be resolved in a manner that all of us can come out feeling good about it, I don’t want to keep dragging [Lewandowski’s] name through the mud and keep the press going on it.” WHAT?!? Exactly what “manner” is it that allows for a true victim and her victimizer to “come out feeling good about it”?!? THERE IS NO SCENARIO THAT ALLOWS FOR A TRUE CRIME VICTIM TO COME OUT FEELING GOOD! And, there is no thinking that settles on them (especially so soon after an alleged offense) to care about the feelings of their alleged victimizer! If all that is needed for her to move past this sexual assault for which she is publicly speaking out about is “an apology” then I am left to ask, “Why then not have privately asked him for one? Or better yet, if an “I’m sorry” will make it all better for you, then just move on and let it and us go!” TRUE sexual assault and assault victims require more – more therapy, more justice, more understanding, more support, more privacy, more retribution. And, in those very common instances when we remain quiet well, we fucking remain quiet! We do not raise all this fuss, engage an epidemic that is sadly sweeping our nation, where real victims die, to ask for an “I’m sorry”! If he assaulted you, that is not good enough! He should be held legally accountable; file charges! If he did not and you are abusing your ability to engage an audience solely for the purpose of advancing your career, then shame on you! And, shut the fuck up!
I continue to encourage all women, when you are ready, to speak to someone about your experience. Find strength in knowing (sadly) that you are not alone, there are millions like you. Seek healing. And through healing, I promise you will find peace again. Your voice does not need to be public. But I pray you one. Speak to that ‘other’ you, the one you were before that thing happened. Invite her/him back. Let her/him know you missed them and that you need them. And, please do me one last favor? Your victimizer touched your body in ways you reject… please do not let them continue to touch your soul.