@SexUndertheiNFL

Remember when drunk driving was not as publicized as it is today.  I remember being little and having my father tell me that if the police pulled us over, to say we lived in Florida.  Of course, I was also told by my father that lying was the worst crime ever, and had my mouth washed out with soap, if ever I told a fib but when it came to his needing to have a license to drive, lies were okay.  And he needed to have a license to drive, because he was raising four children without their mother, and worked hard everyday.  He also drank hard everyday.

The reason for the lie, of course, was because he had a valid Florida driver’s license and things were not as technologically advanced as they are today, so he could keep his Florida license even though my guess is that he was forced to surrender his New Jersey license.  In fact, I think it was Christmas Eve, when someone had to go bail him out after he crashed ‘the white car.”

So what does all this have to do with sexual assault and education and awareness about why one should not drink to excess and have sex?  I bring it up because it’s very important to understand that when you drink you impair your judgment and obviously if it’s to the point that one should not operate a motor vehicle then one should understandably not have sex, consensual or not.  Especially when consensual sex while under the influence might even land you in a horrible position that involves being raped or accusations of having raped someone.  My question for the world is what are we doing to educate as opposed to punish.

In addition to punishing Ray Rice, the former NFL football player who made news after a video of him punching his then fiancé to obscurity for lying to the commissioner of the NFL and labeling him an abuser, should we not try to understand what role alcohol and possibly brain damage played in the matter.  Or maybe even steroids mixed with alcohol?

While many are busy worrying about whether they might be perceived as a feminist or not, for taking one side of the men vs. women in the sexual assault epidemic, I aim to be neutral and not blame but rather understand.  Someone said to me that if the elevator door had not shut would Ray Rice have punched his fiancé, and I do not know the answer to this question, but I would ask that person to question, if Ray Rice had not consumed hard liquor that night, would he have become violent in that way?  Alcohol, brain damage, or steroids are not necessarily an excuse but they might be variables that have caused primal behavior, especially in athletes who have high testoterone.  Do women even understand the vulnerable position they put themselves in when they enter into ….. do men understand what happens to their brains when they mix this and that?  Do we?

Alcohol is not an excuse, and I am not looking to excuse.  However, I do think we need to help educate about the way the brain is altered and how making choices to drink when you are around a party can lead to a life behind bars.  It’s truly scary to see college kids, and yes I think that’s what they are, throwing their lives away for one night of partying.  It’s equally scary to see the likes of Darren Sharper, or Bill Cosby one of whom was found guilty of sexual assault charges and the other who may be someday, out there possibly preying on victims.

Should we educate women about how not to engage if they’ve had too much to drink, or hold them accountable for contributing to their own victimization?  Heaven forbid we suggest that they drink responsibly  to avoid being raped because when we do this, we tend to be accused of blaming the victim.  Yet, if an auto accident that could have been avoided is considered to be contributory negligence on the part of the driver, when it happens, why is it not okay to hold women (or victims, in general) responsible, at least in part, when they have consumed too much alcohol and placed themselves in incredibly vulnerable situations?  At the very least we should educate about the dangers, no?

My opinion about this matter has taken flight because of my own personal experiences on the job, back when I was in my early twenties and then other experiences  that happened years later, when I was older and wiser.  Did I seek being a victim, did I feel I deserved to be, or did I get raped because ….  These were all questions I tossed in my head for years.  I want to share about my experiences not because anything is about me, but because from a utilitarian perspective, it matters that we work together to help arm one another and society overall to protect against this horrible crime, and help young men understand how to not end up serving a life in prison, for a crime that they might never have committed if they were not under the influence.

Follow me on Twitter @SexUndertheiNFL to learn how you can help me raise awareness about how to prevent rape.  Thank you.

P.S. As I read this article, I thought to myself, “Wait, does that mean I should never drink and have sex, or have a cocktail with my boyfriend, etc., Of course, that’s not what I’m trying to say but  I am trying to say it makes sense to behave just as responsibly as you would before getting behind the wheel of a car.  Maybe consider a ‘designated abstinent party’ who will not drink, and be sure you do not enter a room with those who have been drinking if you are too drunk to do so, and/or make sure you go to bed alone rather than risk waking up and finding out you’ve been accused of rape.

Michigan State University, Not Again!

Somebody please tell me that it’s all a mistake and that the names that of the Michigan State football players that are the latest to be accused of sexual assault and face severe prison sentences is all a mistake.  Surely, they saw what happened to those players who played football at Vandy, and ended up initially being sentenced to thirty years.  What on earth is happening and why is the madness that’s been happening for years, still happening?  Or is it?

As we sometimes forget, people who are indicted for crimes are not necessarily guilty but many times the media will bombard us with information that might not necessarily be factual and it’s wise to stop and pause, if only to remember we live in a country that was founded upon the premise that there would be justice for all.

So many times I’ve referenced the fiction book, Limitations, by Scott Turow who also wrote the book, Presumed Innocent. If I had my way, Limitations would be made into a movie, and everyone would see it before they decided about what’s wrong with today’s “kids” so that they were at least mindful that yesterday’s “kids” were participating in….

Should I stop right there?  Heaven forbid I say something about the way it was, and the way it is, and share an opinion that is not necessarily in alignment with the way I’m supposed to think.  Have we not come far enough to respect that we might not all share the same opinion?  Can I speak openly about what’s happening on campus without having to take a side?  In my opinion, there should be no sides.  Not “men vs. women” or “girls vs. boys” or “liberals vs. conservatives” but only one side which is on the side of goodness and educating our youth about the fundamentals of mutual respect.  Mutual respect when it comes to the way we treat one another, the way we value one another, and the way we want to continue to thrive and evolve in a world that’s ever changing, same as it always was.

I’m a woman who was slipped a drug during a business meeting, and if it were not for me begging my rapist to take me back to my home so I was not left stranded at a train station, I might have ended up in an episode of Forensic Files, but I’m still alive and I never pressed charges against the man who raped me.  In fact I never told the police.  I also met him for lunch a few days after it happened because I wanted to ask him just why he felt it was okay to slip a drug into my drink, and have my brain altered in a manner that would cause me to behave in a manner that was not in compliance with my values.  Should I have gone to the police?  Should I have risked having my name dragged through the mud when my son was just six months old and all I wanted to do was forget?

Why didn’t I tell the police?  Why didn’t I want the man who raped me to face life in prison?  What’s wrong with me that I don’t harbor hatred but preferred to educate and infiltrate a man’s world and write for a men’s interest magazine and try to reach people, who might not value women?  Is that a sexist thing to say that readers of a men’s interest magazine might not value women?  Oh gosh, I sure hope I didn’t offend anyone, again.

The reality is there’s something to be said for women who have walked in my shoes.  Women who get up each day and face the madness of the world and no matter how many times they are shot down by men, or women and treated like insignificant peas in the pod, we still continue to want to make a difference.

“The problem with you is, you want to change the world.” – my ex-boyfriend used to say that all the time.  Yes, I am guilty as charged.  And I still, want to change the world with the UT most respect for both genders, and a mother of a young man, and a woman who has loved some of the finest men out there.  I still want to get through to those who might not value us, that’s it’s not okay.  That being said, I don’t know if the athletes who have been charged with horrible crimes as of late are guilty, and I am not sure if I have any inherent bias or learned bias, because my father was charged of a horrible crime?  Did I naturally attract men who would be disrespecting women because of learned behavior?  Did I come from “good stock?”

If you want to know where that “good stock” reference came from, it was something I heard on a sports talk radio program one day, which happened to air on FOX Sports.  One of the hosts said, that Russell Wilson, an athlete in the National Football League was a great role model, and the reason that is, is because he comes from “good stock.”  What exactly is “good stock?”  Well according to this radio announcer he meant a “good family” which is made up of a mother, father and you know all those great things that someone like me always dreamed of having only what about those murderers and rapists who come from “good families?”  If you’ve followed closely you know that the book American Beauty was based on a story about a young woman who murdered her husband or had him killed (same sort of thing) and she came from “good stock.”  By the way, I’m talking about the story about Kristin Margrethe Rossum, the American former toxicologist who was convicted in 2000 for murdering her husband, Greg, who is now servicing a life sentence.

You see, domestic violence, sexual assault and horrific crimes do not just happen, and they do not just happen as a result of the hands of men.  They happen and quite possibly can be prevented if we all work together to educate and empower one another, and help to understand the dynamics of abuse.

 

 

Why do people deny what they might have said?

It’s late at night, and I’m struggling with something at the moment, and using Google to find answers to what I already probably know, but sometimes when I’m struggling with something, I find that seeing that others have the same struggle helps.  Silly, maybe but it I suppose it’s human nature to find comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

In my life, I’ve been accused of arguing, looking or wanting to argue, and trying to prove my point, and as I’ve gotten older I have tried to do some self assessment to see why this is the case.  Truth is, I enjoy conversing and it’s not so much that I care about being right, but it does bother me when someone says something, and then denies saying it as opposed to simply clarifying what they might have meant.  A wise person once told me, that just because something comes out wrong, it doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it and that’s so true, but it’s hard to talk about something when someone denies ever having said that particular something in the first place.

SO in my attempt to “not argue” and to let go of any attachment to the outcome of the relationship, ya da ya da ya da, I admit I’m struggling with trying to understand when someone swears they never said something, you know you heard them say.  My Google search helped me to remember that people often deny saying something when they are confused in part by what they said, and that it perhaps came out wrong, or they did not intend to hurt your feelings.  My preference would be to work through what was said, rather than ever hear, “I never said that,” simply because the conversation seems to turn to whether or not someone said something, as opposed to the very issue of what they said.  Ahhhhh maybe that’s the answer, right there.

 

Thoughts on Gareon Conley, the newest member of the usual suspects

Last night many watched the NFL Draft and witnessed the Oakland Raiders select a former Ohio State football player to its team.  This happened toward the end of the first round, so that would make Gareon Conley a first round draft pick, and quite possibly on his way to a rewarding career in the National Football League.

I was watching the draft, amongst ‘the boys at the bar’ and tweeting congratulatory tweets to the players throughout the night.  When Gareon Conley was selected most of those ‘boys’ spoke out about how the Raiders were taking a chance on Conley, not because of their thoughts that he might not be a great football player, but because he was recently accused of rape.  I thought to myself, “Good for the Raiders, taking a chance on a young man who might be innocent, and thankfully there are still some out there who do not convict a man simply because someone makes an accusation.”

It’s not ‘victim blaming’ when people choose to reserve judgment of a man as to whether he is innocent or guilty of a crime until they hear the facts surrounding an alleged crime.  Just because someone plays football, and happens to be accused of rape does not mean he is guilty.  It’s a person’s prerogative to reserve judgment and in the United States, it is what our founding fathers aimed to achieve.   Or at least that’s how it is written, and what we’ve been told.

Years ago I can recall watching the movie, Twelve Angry Men, and wishing that everyone had the strength to allow for the totality of circumstance to unfold before casting judgment based on surface evidence.  Years later, I find myself astounding how many will cry it’s blaming a victim when some women and men wait it out to see what might have actually happened before painting someone a rapist.  It’s not.  It’s respecting the process and being mindful that a man (or woman) should not be labeled guilty without due process, and even then sometimes there might still be room for doubt. Our criminal justice system is flawed.  It’s

Our criminal justice system is flawed.  It’s inherently flawed for so many reasons and one of them is that it is made up of humans.  That’s not to say that non-humans would do any better, but it’s just an imperfect system.  Our education system is also flawed.  We do not always teach responsibility for one’s own actions, or how to practice mindful behavior, and seem to focus on a quick fix.  Our media can be looking for clicks and sales, rather than truth.

For many women who have been the victim of sexual assault, it’s difficult for them to see beyond their own experiences and realize that not all men are guilty when these accusations of rape surface.  For some, a bite mark on a male made by a female is a sign that there was something other than sexual relations going on.  There are also those who believe that just because a woman drank too much and went into a hotel room with a guy, she deserves whatever happens.  Neither is true.  However, it is important to note that bite marks can be defensive, as well as, women should be held just as accountable as men when it comes to being capable of exercising prudent judgment.  No?

 

 

What did Aaron Hernandez and former NYPD Officer, Justin Volpe, have in common?

On April 21, 2017, Newsweek published an article written by Michele McPhee that probed into the issues of Aaron Hernandez’s sex life, as a possible murder motive.  In the article, McPhee discusses what she refers to as “just one of the many mysteries” surrounding the former “star New England Patriots tight end.”

Many have expressed discontent with McPhee for delving too deep into the personal life of Hernandez and some have taken to social media and accused her of “fake journalism.”  Is it fake journalism, or is it that some cannot handle the truth?

When a person commits suicide, after being found not-guilty of a double murder, of course, there are bound to be theories as to the motive.  McPhee’s discussion about Hernandez supposed bisexuality being a possible motive for his killing of Odin Lloyd ( a killing he was serving a life sentence for, without the possibility of parole ) hit the airwaves in Boston before Hernandez took his own life.  Was being outed a reason he might take his own life? Who can say?

Now back to sports …. ( Here’s Michele McPhee’s article http://www.newsweek.com/aaron-hernandez-hidden-sexuality-murder-police-587879

 

 

Maybe I don’t look so old, after all

It’s a bit past 6 pm, and I’m sitting at the long bar here @SteinersPubLV which for those of you who have yet to be seduced by Twitter, means Steiner’s Pub (Las Vegas).  I’m here to promote the pub, and of course, watch the National Championship game, which sort of goes ‘hand-in-hand’ because I usually head to Steiner’s Pub when I want to catch the game, and I’m also usually doing “live” tweets, so it’s the perfect fit and no doubt that this is where I’d ride out the rest of the madness in March.

The reason I’m taking a moment to share on my blog has to do with an article I had written about age.  You see a few weeks ago I shared about how this guy who had asked me out told me that he thought I was older than him when he met me, and I talked a bit about just what it is that makes women feel as though they need to ‘look younger’ than they are once they reach a certain age.

Tonight, as I was walking into the pub, this young child yelled out to me, “You can’t go in there because you have to be twenty-one.”  He was standing with an older man, and I could tell they were waiting for someone who had gone inside.  I stopped and asked him, “Well, wait, do you think I’m less than twenty-one?” And he said, “Yes, you’re not twenty-one and you can’t go inside.”  Now you see, I’ve always known that Steiner’s Pub gave me so many reasons to smile.  The food, the atmosphere, the staff are all among the wonderful things that I’ve come to expect here at Steiner’s but tonight, I had one more reason to smile!  I assured the young boy that I was above the age of 21 and thanked him for sharing the information he shared.

The young boy’s grandfather smiled and we both assured the young boy that he would be able to come to Steiner’s soon enough, and not to worry because all good things are worth waiting for.

To learn more about Steiner’s Pub, you can follow on Twitter @SteinersPubLV or visit their website at www.SteinersPub.com ( Steiner’s only serves patrons that are 21 and over to comply with Nevada’s second hand smoke laws. ) 

Would you mind if I #standby @United

So I’m reading my ‘Monday Brief’ which is sent to me by the NY Times and I notice an article about how United Airlines refused to allow passengers to board because they were wearing leggings and these young girls were forced to wear dresses!!! Oh Boy, I could just see the spin starting.  In a gender neutral world, the big bad airline was forcing young ladies to wear dresses???? Say it ain’t so! Of course, it’s not so.  It’s just how the media managed to spin the story.  Now back to sports!!!