This week has been something thereginamom never imagined but totally welcomes. Yes, she’s talking about the Jian Ghomeshi story. But she’s taking it further. Much further.
When the story first broke, trm was in community meetings so it wasn’t until the story of his dismissal from the CBC was all over social media that she saw it. Quite frankly, she didn’t know what to think. But then The Star delivered the stories of anonymous women who had had remarkably similar non-consensual sexual experiences with Ghomeshi and things changed. She wanted to believe the women. thereginamom is also a survivor of sexual assault and rape.
So much has happened in the intervening days. Three anonymous women became eight women, six anonymous and two self-identified. Their stories have brought on a flood of information on social media, including tonight’s Twitter hashtag, #BeenRapedNeverReported. It’s also seen the CBC announce a 3rd party investigation into the allegations against Ghomeshi, the communications firm and PR company he used drop him as a client, and the Toronto Chief of Police issue a call for all victims of rape or other assault to come forward. It says something significant about our society and system of so-called justice that women do not come forward to insist on justice after being raped.
thereginamom didn’t either. In fact, it wasn’t until years later, when she found feminism and understood that no means no, that she stopped blaming herself for being raped. trm doesn’t like that due process has not yet been served but she does like that people are listening, hearing, and believing the stories these women have told. And there are so many more women with stories to tell, as evidenced by Twitter tonight. When trm joined in the tweetfest she referenced a poem she’d written about her experience of rape. She struggled with including it in her book but eventually decided to do so. And so, on the occasion of #BeenRapedNeverReported, here is that poem.
She’s known eighteen ordinary autumns
that blow away summer heat and leaves.
She doesn’t know that tonight at the Agridome
where ein prosits empty glasses
one genuine German suggesting fun
will tease her into a party for two
snake her to a room, shed
charm, rough hands
around her belly,
on breasts, scratching
her torso, ripping
at hair and skin.
He will toggle her
to the bed
c. 2010 Bernadette Wagner, This hot place (Thistledown Press)