08 Sep Controversial & Polarizing
I’ve had this post brewing in me for a while and I finally think the words have crystallized enough to be written.
I am very tired of being characterized as “polarizing” and “controversial” – especially by men in the spiritual community – for speaking out about our culture’s epidemic of sexual assault. I am tired of accusations that I am stuck in a victim mentality because I choose to be transparent about my feelings.
So I’m going to tell you several of my hallmark experiences with assault and abuse and I am going to tell you exactly how I handled each of them.
My ex who owned a pro-BDSM house emotionally, physically, psychologically, and financially abused me in relationship for 4 years. When I finally dumped him, he had nowhere else to go, because I had been financially supporting him, and I slowly moved on with my life. I made him sign a contract that he would pay me back the $25k he owed me for his legal fees, and before I left NYC, I calmly negotiated a payment plan with him which he has stuck to ever since. I don’t like having to text him every 2 months to remind him to send payment, but at least it is settled.
While in NYC I worked in a place where I was sexually assaulted by one of the owners. It didn’t occur to me at the time that I could have pursued legal action, and when a bartender at the same establishment filed a sexual harassment suit and received a hefty settlement for actions committed by the same man, I just kind of shrugged at my missed opportunity, saved up my money in other ways, and left NYC.
I dated a Hollywood bigshot who was outed in the press for emotional and psychological abuse against his former partner in what ended up being the sort of pre-crest of the MeToo wave. I could have easily added to that story, but I shrugged it off because I had no desire to jump into those muddy waters. Instead I channeled my rage by putting the story into one of the songs on my EP where it could serve as art, and continued to mind my own business about it.
Last year I experienced a consent violation by a shaman who was facilitating a community I belonged to. He groped me in my sleep on two separate occasions (I had consented to sharing a bed but not to sexual activity), and I thought long and hard about how to handle it. I met with him privately, informed him of his actions toward me, giving him the benefit of the doubt that he had maybe been asleep and unaware of what he was doing, and bought him a copy of The Body Keeps the Score so he could begin to face his own unaddressed trauma. When he started spreading rumors that I was lying, I quietly called together a few members of the community and asked for group mediation via email. When he still refused to believe me or take responsibility, I told him I loved him too much to enable his harmful behavior and that I hoped he would one day see the generosity in my terminating our friendship and spiritual relationship, and I quietly left the community.
There are many more instances like these on many smaller scales. But you get the jist.
I have never once sought attention or reparations for the harms perpetrated against me. I have never once campaigned against an abuser. I have never gone to the press.
As bizarre and as painful as this is to admit, I am the girl you WANT to meet in that dark alley on that night you’re too drunk and can’t control yourself. I am the girl you WANT across from you during your accountability process. I have a known track record of calm collectedness in the face of unspeakable harm against me. I have been known to cooperate with people who are willing to make sincere amends and to simply walk away calmly from those who are not.
If you’re a man and you can’t handle my #MeToo Facebook posts?
I have some news for you.
It’s not me who’s stuck in victim mentality.
If you find yourself angry, defensive, nervous, or upset in any way by my speaking up about abuse, assault, and gender inequality, then it is you who has made themselves into a victim – a victim of the slow but steady evolution of society into a more sensitive, conscious, and equal system.
I hate to tell you this, but I’m your dream victim. At worst, past me would have just disappeared from your life without making a fuss. At best, present me will sit you down and inform you of why your actions violated a boundary and will expect you to come up with a solution for how you plan to do better in the future.
If you have to block me because you think I’m being unfair to men?
Then you have a serious reckoning coming to you.
Trust me. I’m the good cop.
And if you can’t hold space for my online discussions about social justice, then it’s not me who’s the weakass sensitive snowflake.
No, my friend, that would be you. And you owe yourself a good hard look in the mirror before you meet someone who is far less forgiving than I.
Yall been warned.