A “mistake” at 17 should not ruin a life…

While awaiting the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, next week, the one thing to keep in mind is that if her story is deemed credible, Judge Kavanaugh’s fate should not be determined based solely on his alleged actions at age 17.  His fate should be determined based on his actions every day after the alleged attempted rape.  More on that, in a moment.

The initial #GOP defense for Judge Brett Kavanaugh centered around what seemed to be an unassailable denial that Kavanaugh was capable of assaulting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when he was only 17 and she was 15.  The defense transitioned to one that suggested that even if the event had occurred, he was very young. Furthermore, the person he was, then, should have no bearing on who he is as a human being, now.  There has been an outpouring of sympathy, for Judge Kavanaugh, matched by a myriad of doubt, derision, and outright character assassination for Dr. Ford.  Ford is even faulted for not, at 15, taking on a system that has storied tradition of secondary victimization of  adult rape survivors who dare to step forward and name their attackers.  What hope would she have had?

Why didn’t Ford tell someone, more than three decades ago when the event allegedly took place?  I think the answer can be found in the numerous attempts by critics to unveil every detail of Dr. Ford’s life – while ignoring the unanswered questions about Judge Kavanaugh’s spending habits and outstanding debts, which are also relevant to any decision to grant him a lifetime appointment to the bench.

If less than a third of sexual assaults are reported, and less than 5% of perpetrators are convicted, what hope did a 15 year-old have at the time of the alleged, brutal, assault?  We understood even less about rape and rape survivors then than we do, now.

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I would strongly urge anyone reading this blog entry to make your way to RAINN to learn more about sexual assault and its impact on survivors of violence.  I strongly urge you to urge your member of congress to do the same.  I fear for Dr. Ford in her appearance before the Senate Judiciary committee, given the comments and excuses I have read regarding  Judge Kavanaugh’s presumed innocence, at best, and newly limited culpability, at worst.

Is he the same person who, at 17, is alleged to have engaged in such a brutal assault of a 15-year-old teenage girl?  Most likely not, but if he is guilty, he is the same man who  lived every day of his life without once apologizing to his victim or taking responsibility for that day.  If he is guilty, he allowed Dr. Ford to live every day of her life with self-doubt, fear, shame, anger, and a sense of loss that impacted her life to the point of needing support and care to try to recover from the event.  The #GOP is mounting it’s own “Brock Turner defense” in which Turner’s father commented that 20 minutes of action shouldn’t ruin his son’s entire life.

I think it is telling that the Good Ole’ Privilege party views the event from the perspective of the alleged perpetrator and not the alleged victim.  If guilty, Judge Kavanaugh has seemingly moved on and, to our knowledge, has not sought help for any guilt or despair associated with attacking another person.  Dr. Ford has lived with her trauma for more than 30 years. She has not forgotten the clothing she wore, the sound of the music getting louder, the smell of alcohol on her attacker, the hand that covered her mouth, the friends in the house who could not hear her screams, and her own feelings of despair thinking that she would become a rape victim.

If her story is accepted as credible, Judge Kavanaugh is not being criticized and held accountable solely for his actions as a 17 year-old, but for his actions every day since then and his refusal to take responsibility for \the scars his actions left on the psyche of another human being.  If our elected #GOP officials don’t understand that, they are even less deserving of their positions than any nominee they would send to the bench.

OLTL — Rape is not just a word,

it’s an action. (Click the Rainn logo and find out where to go to get help or how you can help victims of sexual assault).  It’s just not clear if the OLTL writers understand sexual assault in a meaningful way.  For as much as I’ve talked about BnB being my favorite soap, OLTL has been the only show that’s even come close to knocking the BnB out of the number one spot for me, until now.  I’m more than a little disgusted by the current storyline featuring Todd and Marty, I’m horrified.

Todd RAPED Marty.  Todd assisted and encouraged a GANG RAPE of Marty Saybrooke.

At what point in a woman’s head does a brutal gang rape become just some ‘past incident’?  What are the writers thinking?  I held out hope that John finding that picture of Todd wheeling Marty out of the building would finally put an end to this farce of a storyline.  Those hopes were dashed this week, of course.

The writers are reverting back to 70s/80s type, when rape victims not only forgave their attackers, but in forgiving them they set aside their own pain and began feeling sympathetic toward the ‘tortured souls’ who brutalized them.  From there, the next step was to fall in love with rapist-turned-romantic-lead.  Theirs would become an epic love story, one to stand the test of time.

The only problem with that is that it DOESN’T work that way!  Victims don’t just ‘forget’.  Many learn to live with the pain and the scars.  Victims don’t put the ‘pain’ of the apologetic rapist ahead of their own.  That he feels remorse?  GREAT, maybe he won’t victimize another woman, but that he feels remorse AND a romantic/sexual attraction toward his victim?  What utter garbage!

The OLTL writers appear to be testing the possibility of getting the audience past the traumatic history between Todd and Marty. Good luck with that, because it’s not happening.  They’re bringing back 70s-80s romance between a victim and victimizer on the cheap.  That Marty doesn’t remember Todd or the rape?  It does not move me.  That Todd, a rape victim courtesy of Margaret Cochran, is seeking redemption?  It does not move me.  That the writers didn’t have them rush into a romantic relationship?  It does not move me.  That Marty and Todd are growing physically closer, DOES move me, and not in a positive way, either.

Todd did not experience a brutal, physical rape, but given the fact that he remembers what he did to Marty, he DOES know what that looks like, and how terrified a victim can be.  Not only has he violated her trust, stolen her ability to be a mother to her son – a son who desperately needs her, while trying to make her a surrogate mother to the grandchild he hopes to raise.. .not only has Todd managed to become the most unlikable villain in daytime, but he’s lost what’s left of his humanity in the process.  A villian without SOME humanity left is little more than a cartoon character.  Unless the writers are planning to kill off this character, what further use can he be?

What’s supposed to happen now?  Are we supposed to cheer on Blair and John in their destruction of Todd?  Are we supposed to cheer on Starr and applaud her in warning Cole not to trust her father?  Are supposed to realize that Todd in still just a hurt puppy?  What’s most likely to happen is that this storyline is yet another that will hasten the death of daytime and OLTL in particular.  Daytime writers are writing for an audience that no longer exists.   Viewers forgave that sort of behavior before.  They know better, now.

Guidning Light has Olivia Spencer pay the man who nearly raped her daughter to sleep with her.

Days of Our Lives has Samantha Brady carry EJ’s child and later ‘fall’ for him, sleeping with him.

The BnB has Brooke Logan forgive the man who violated her at her husband’s gravesite while she was suicidal and hallucinating.

The list goes on.  These are NOT the sort of storyline that move the daytime audience.  It’s NOT the sort of storyline you’d use educate your viewers.  They’re the sort of storylines, ones that defy our current understanding of rape, that make it easy to tune out a genre that is both locked in the past, and disrespectful of the primary female audience that’s kept this industry afloat for more than 50 years.

It’s small and beneath us all.  Just in case the writers have forgotten what happened, and the history they’re disregarding, here it is:

She’s screaming, crying, she’s bound, and gagged – and has to leave the moment of her near destruction just to survive it… do the writers REALLY believe we want to see Marty play ‘grandma’ to her new friend’s grandchild?  NO MORE, writers.