Tuesday, March 1, 2016

This American Rape Culture

One of my great loves in life is the NPR show This American Life. I listen to it in the car and often when I write. It's been a huge inspiration to me as a writer, especially a memoir writer. This week's episode, Anatomy of Doubt. Made me a rage monster. 

I will warn you that the episode deals with rape, and while it is not explicit, it is very triggering. It is a perfect example of the many, many ways the American justice system fails women, particularly women who have been raped. 

The story centers around Marie, a young woman who had grown up in the foster care system. She was in the processing of transitioning out of the system into living on her own. She had a good job, her own apartment, and she was enjoying life on her own. She stayed close to two of her foster moms, Peggy and Shannon. So when a man broke into her home and raped her, she turned to them for support. 

And they failed her. So hard. Especially Peggy, who even went so far as to call the lead detective and tell him that Marie was lying. Peggy's only reason for saying this is because Marie wasn't reacting the way Peggy thought a rape victim "should." The police let Peggy's statement derail the entire investigation, and it spiraled into this horrible quagmire of shit that no one should have to suffer. 

I found myself yelling at my phone, and I'm sure other commuters thought I had the worst case of road rage ever. 

When Madeline Albright said that there is a special place in hell for women who don't support other women, she meant women like Peggy and Shannon. I really don't know how they can live with themselves. 

Blog Relaunch Day

So I'm precisely two months behind on my relaunch, and it's my own fault. So thank you, all of you, who have stuck with me. I truly appreciate it! 

I slowed down posting here, and then eventually stopped, for many reasons. The first is Gamergate. While my blog has never been a huge presence on the internet, it only takes one post to catch the eye of one wrong person for you to get put through the GG ringer. The last thing I need in my life is to get doxxed or swatted. But honestly, I can't even get my friends to read what I write so it's unlikely a situation like that will ever arise. 

Which leads me to point two - I've lost my voice as a writer. I don't know if it's because I have to work a day job (and I love my day job so I spend a lot of time there), or because of the trauma, or what, but I don't really know what I want this blog to be anymore. Or I didn't. When I first started writing it, it was to talk about City of Heroes. Then I branched out and then City of Heroes was shut down and then I was lost. I thought this was a problem, but it's not, like, at all a problem. In fact, it's very liberating. Once I decided to embrace that, I realized that I don't have to have a narrow focus on what I write here; successful blogs are successful because people like the way the writer conveys her thoughts and not so much that she writes about the same crap all the time. So while all the stuff I like will be represented, it will be much more random and I think that's better for all of us. 

I mentioned trauma in point two, and that's actually point three. I suffer from PTSD. One of the effects of PTSD that not a lot of people talk about is memory loss, and I have been hit by that very hard. I struggle, often, with finding the right words to use to communicate my thoughts. This means it takes me longer to write than usual, takes me longer to edit than usual, and sometimes reduces me to a sobbing mess. But I'm a writer, and I'm not going to let what happened to me take away yet another piece of me. That's bullshit. 

So there you have it. My blog is back in business, I am writing again, and things are better. I feel good for the first time in a long time.