MeToo, still.

I’ve encountered many predators throughout my life.

Somehow, the deeper commonalities between them escaped me until last year.

Last year, I started developing a personal theory about power:

Power is the ability to define “we,”
and have your definition enforced.

I’d read Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear many years before I began developing this theory. I was well aware that “forced teaming” is one of seven tactics used by persuasion predators to coax potential victims into ignoring their survival instincts.

Somehow, despite multiple encounters with various predators sexual and non-sexual, I’d spent my life believing “forced teaming” was limited to predation that culminated itself in sexual assault.

It took me weeks reflecting on a profoundly uncomfortable situation last year to realize that sexual assault is not itself the core objectification in assault, but rather one horrific expressed consequence of it: Continue reading “MeToo, still.”

I believe you.

Five years ago tomorrow, I posted portions of my own #MeToo experience.

I did so nearly a decade after activist Tarana Burke first used the words “me too” on social media, but a couple years before #MeToo become a movement.

I didn’t hear the phrase “me too” until late 2017, but I was absolutely guided by its sentiment when I wrote in January 2015. Infuriated then by something I’d read from an advocate of Bill Cosby, I began writing about my own experiences.

I wrote because I didn’t want anyone to suffer the aftermath of assault alone, whether after assault at an individual human perpetrator’s hands or subsequent assault by the United States injustice system, or both.

I’m currently reading She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.

As I read about the authors’ journey to breaking the Harvey Weinstein case this early morning, I was inspired to search my email for a particular phrase that showed up several times in posts on my old blog.

That phrase? “I believe you.”

These words, heard by a much younger version of myself in an Oregon courtroom decades ago, were–are–some of the most magical words I have ever heard.

Even before rereading my old blog posts this morning, I knew I was going to write a post weaving together my personal experiences with the many aspects of She Said  to which I personally connect.

As I read the posts, I saw that my as-yet-unwritten post will benefit mightily by my being able to reference the older ones I reread this morning. So I’m posting them here, now, knowing I will be drawing on them soon.

And, just so you know:

I believe you. Still. Continue reading “I believe you.”