I’m not going to post a Bookish Bliss post for today’s Sunday Salon. I’m still going to talk about reading, but this time it’s not about books. I really want to share this with as many readers as I can, and I didn’t want it to be in a fleeting way on social media, where a handful of people might see it and a fraction of that handful might click through.
Some of the frat boys are enraged, as expected. I just don’t care, I just don’t give a fuck if they’re feeling upset or inconvenienced, the safety of women on campus will always mean more to me than their hurt feelings or whatever loss they’re experiencing. I want to ask them to come lie on the floor with me, to feel really low with me, to understand that because of the actions of one boy four years ago I still sometimes stay up until five in the morning doing absolutely nothing other than lying in bed hating myself. I want them to know that he didn’t go to therapy, I did. He didn’t think about dropping out, I did. He didn’t drink himself to sleep for months, I did. Even now I am constantly monitoring myself, interrogating myself, trying to make sure that I don’t fall into those bad habits again, I’m still reminding myself to practice whatever self-care I can manage.
Rape is something that happens to too many young, college-aged women across North America today. It’s something that shouldn’t be happening at all, and yet it does. I am the mother of a strong, beautiful college-aged young woman, and it has happened to her. It has happened to many of the young women she knows. It is something that continues to happen, and without acknowledging that it is happening, that it is happening to those we know, that it is happening to those we love, without acknowledging the extent of the damage that’s done, we have no chance of stopping it from happening.
I hope all of you will click through and read this beautiful piece, even if it might make you cry. This piece, these words, this voice, everything this essay stands for and stands behind – it all deserves to be heard.
Update: Thank you everyone for your concern and support for my daughter, Hayley. She made this video last year, and it marked a turning point n her healing process.