[TSS] A beautiful piece I hope all of you will read

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.

I came across this personal essay by Cade Leebron earlier this week. Her words reached deep into me and wrapped tightly around my heart. And as I read, I cried.

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.

26 thoughts on “[TSS] A beautiful piece I hope all of you will read

  1. Beth F

    I have no words. I had no idea that Hayley was a victim. I feel incredibly lucky that I escaped this. Perhaps because of the times or because I went to a small school. Who knows. I’m thankful. This week Bill Maher had Annie Clark and Andrea Pino, co-founders of EROC (End Rape on Campus), on his show and they discussed the prevalence of campus rape and the way administrations turn a blind eye. If you can find the segment somewhere on line, you should watch.

    Reply
    1. Belle Wong Post author

      Thanks, Candace. The Bill Maher segment is definitely a segment I want to watch. I’ve updated my post with a link to the video that Hayley made last year. It was so good to see her take that step. I knew then that she was healing.

      Reply
  2. Kate @ Midnight Book Girl

    I don’t remember who said it or where I read it, but someone once said that we shouldn’t have to raise our daughters on how not to be raped, but rather raise our sons to NOT rape women. It makes me sad and angry and stabby that women can’t have the same freedom men have. The threat of rape is very real, especially for young women. We teach them not to drink too much, not to dress proactively, not to walk alone at night, as if they are the ones courting violence. Instead we need to create a culture where men stop seeing women as objects, to stop making excuses like “boys will be boys”, and to stop glorifying rape culture.

    Reply
    1. Belle Wong Post author

      “Instead we need to create a culture where men stop seeing women as objects, to stop making excuses like “boys will be boys”, and to stop glorifying rape culture.” This is it exactly, Kate.

      Reply
  3. colleen

    Thanks for sharing this – you are correct that too many college aged women face this issue which is a disgrace in this age. I also saw the piece Beth refers to from Bill Maher – their documentary The Hunting Ground looks like one that all college students and parents should watch.

    Reply
  4. Trish

    As a mother of two daughters this is something that will weigh on my mind for the next many many years. Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece. And hugs to you and your daughter. xo

    Reply
    1. Belle Wong Post author

      Thank you, Trish. Your hugs are much appreciated. I hope by the time your two sweet girls are old enough for college, things will be a lot different.

      Reply
  5. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Thanks so much for shining a spotlight on this ever-growing problem…and yes, mothers everywhere should raise their sons NOT TO RAPE. Since rape is about power, I am very sure that the young men must learn to respect women and find their power in their own good choices.

    Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    Reply
  6. Vasilly

    Thanks for posting this, Belle. I’m a rape survivor and the first year afterwards was so hard. I really hope Hayley heals. As a mother of boys, I have to teach them not to rape and what it’s really about: power, not sex. For my girls, I have to teach them how to defend themselves physically. We live in a world where we have to teach our daughters about gorging eyes and breaking fingers in case they are attacked. The statistics are so high when it comes to rape, yet it seems like there’s not enough being done to prevent it.

    Reply
    1. Belle Wong Post author

      Oh, Natasha, thank you so much for sharing this. And you’re so right about what we have to teach our children.

      Reply
  7. Kay

    There are no words to express how sad I am that these situations exist. I am so sorry and agree that it is important for people to stand up and say this will not be tolerated. Thank you for speaking out and sharing your beautiful daughter’s video and also the other piece. My thoughts are with you and my prayers as well.

    Reply
  8. Care

    {hugs}
    I took a class a few semesters ago with a woman who worked for the college we attended and she created an extremely moving important course/literature to address how campus’ need to respond and assist to this issue. She did a fabulous job. I don’t know how the admin received it but I’m hoping it was more than just made available. more than ‘optional’ but required.
    It shouldn’t be so complicated.

    Reply
    1. Belle Wong Post author

      Thanks, Care. It really shouldn’t be so complicated. And courses like the one you’re describing should be required courses.

      Reply
  9. Athira

    I have been molested too many times as a kid and one of the things worrying me so much nowadays is how my daughter-to-be-born is going to manage in this world where rape is still viewed as a shameful experience that is the victim’s fault not the perpetrator’s. I am so sorry for Hayley’s experience and will watch the video as soon as my husband finishes the call he is on right now. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Reply

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