16 years after gang-rape allegation, Brenda Tracy steps from the shadows

Canzano: 16 years after Oregon State football gang-rape allegation, Brenda Tracy steps from the shadows | OregonLive.com.

Dear Constance:

I am pressing this article here for you to go and read.  I want you to know that I personally know people involved in this story.

I also want you to know that it is illustrative of 2 things:

First, just how much things have changed in the last 16 years!  To read of how this matter was handled…to be reminded of it.  Oh, I remember when it happened, and how back then “He said She said” was a viable defense, how helpless feeling I was, reading about these things, knowing in my gut the sick feeling that horror was playing out right before my eyes and yet my mind fogged by ignorance, privilege, and frankly by the kind of thought prevalent then and even now that says “a woman who goes to those places gets what she deserves”.

God…I am so sorry for that foggy ignorance!

The second thing this incident is illustrative of is this:  for women?  Nothing has changed!  In thousands and thousands of years of abuse, violation, dehumanization, crushing…nothing has changed.  So the culture today is catching up and getting better…does that make a victim feel any better in the moment?  Does it make the violation less death-dealing?  Does it somehow minimize the crime, in that the rest of us are getting up to speed?  Does that make them better?

No…no.  A thousand, million times no!  How many women throughout history have been violated?  Seriously…think about that number.

(And men, shut your pie-hole about the numbers of males who also have suffered.  Yes, humans are absolutely demonically awful to each other, but the stark fact is that when you take the number of violations as a ratio to the overall population the overwhelming disparity is the stuff of legendary absurdity!)

I guess the final thing is this:  I wept bitterly and deeply as I read this…because it triggered me in my own violations I endured…and they weren’t even physical in nature!  So trying to imagine her plight, her horror, seeking to measure her courage was beyond me.

This is Transgender Remembrance Week…the week during which we remember the transgender human beings who have been murdered simply for “breathing while trans”.  But today…broaden it out. Contemplate the ways great and small that it is “okay” for this sort of treatment to occur…

…and resolve to be a part of the change!

Do justice.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly.

Brenda Tracy


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