Month: February 2014

Final Thoughts On Amanda Marcotte’s Piece

[CN: sexual assault, domestic violence]

A thoughtful and well-executed response to Amanda Marcotte’s Slate piece, by Angus Johnston, was published today. My open letter is mentioned in it and as such, I was notified when the article went up. I’d been keeping an eye on Twitter for reaction and came across Marcotte’s back and forth with Johnston. I was immediately disappointed and frustrated. Statements like this one tell me she is missing many points her critics have made:

Marcotte claims she didn’t advocate for “broad policy,” something I’ve seen her tweet once or twice this week (to the small handful of criticisms she actually replied to). I’m not sure how Marcotte defines “broad policy,” but a few key points from her Slate article would easily lead someone to believe she is promoting, something at the very least near to, broad policy. Never once does she clarify “not in all cases” or “this may work only for certain circumstances,” but rather alludes to abusers and rapists who will attack again when victims don’t testify. A tough-love attitude throughout, Marcotte never states this is something she feels should not be available or used in all cases. Without clarification, one would inference she is okay with such a policy whenever the law deems necessary. What an awful idea! This not only puts the blame on the victim, but also promotes the idea that if we report and if we testify, that justice will be served; not to mention the false notion that our doing so will prevent an attacker from ever assaulting another person.

In her Slate piece, Marcotte states, “The victim’s refusal to cooperate is a problem endemic to the prosecution of domestic violence.” I cannot stomach victim-blaming, in whatever form and whoever the messenger is. (more…)

An Open Letter To Amanda Marcotte

[CN: sexual assault, domestic violence, PTSD]

Dear Amanda,

I know I’m only one in a swell of people angry at you right now for your latest Slate piece. I hope you will take the time to at least hear some of our voices, especially those of us who are victims. I can only assume, given the tone and your utter lack of empathy toward rape and domestic violence victims that you are neither. I am grateful for that, I would wish no one such pain*. I’m saddened to see, however, your inability to understand the torment, anxiety, and roller coaster of emotions that comes with experiencing such violence. Your piece, and your beliefs, are callous and harmful.

The other night, my partner was frustrated at a jerk who ran a light while we were crossing the street. He, having to dodge the car, was understandably angry at the driver. He hollered at the driver and looked mad as hell. I immediately cowered, my pulse quickened, I had to remind myself to breathe. As we walked through Brooklyn on what was supposed to be a fun night out, my thoughts raced, and I proceeded to withdraw. I flashed back to the men who were abusive, whose anger was taken out on me, who were a danger to me. In an instant, my partner’s very normal reaction triggered me into a full-blown anxiety attack. I felt like I was drowning. (more…)