Silence as a Crime and It takes Five Women (Rant)

About 8" tall - "Silence is a Sin"

That is my Bernie Law Doll.  I made him a batch of years ago, but apparently he wants to come out and watch the news this week.  (Sorry for some of the pictures, which suck, but which also demonstrate a curve of learning to recognize and celebrate).

Wickipedia on the infamous dude –

“… despite substantial amounts of documentation that demonstrated deep involvement with covering up the molestation of 1,000’s of children, Law refused to step down as Archbishop of Boston… ”

And, as if that weren’t bad enough, the Catholic Church promoted him by shipping off to Rome and making him a member of the College of Cardinals (whatever THAT is).

So that’s old news.  But turning to August of this year?   The Boston Globe reported an in-depth story about the tennis coach, Bob Hewitt, who apparently abused his female tennis students for years, even after complaints were lodged against him in the 1970’s.

How’s this for a comment by someone in an official capacity (John Korff, director-at-large of the US Tennis Association, who knew Hewitt ‘back in the day’):

“Gee, it’s nice of the girl to pop up 35 years later,’’ Korff said. “Give me a break.’’

Wow.  Later apology not believed! Korff’s comment stinks of monstrous disdain and ignorance (but I won’t use the words ‘sexism’ or ‘misogyny’ here because somehow those have become dirty words with a whole host of knee jerk reactions by people from all over the political spectrum).

After decades of holding it together, the victim referred to above (Heather Conner),  broke her silence publicly in the very year that one of her daughters turned the age she had been when the abuse started (14).  Her life began to come apart at the seams in an arc of survivor behavior that is not uncommon (and probably well-documented in the annals of psychology).  Hewitt, by the way, apparently sneered to a journalist, “Why is she coming forward NOW?”

And now Penn. State – in which the beloved, long-serving coach ought to have done better than alert campus police about a fifteen year history of abuse by his assistant.  He ought to have believed that those who held him in such high esteem, his players,  ten year old boys using his facilities deserved protection.  In 1998, (1998!!!), Sandusky (the assistant coach, or as I shall call him, “the Head Fiddler” – HA~  Craig Ferguson – you can use this if you like) ADMITTED to ‘inappropriate contact in the shower room’.  And well, guess what beloved coach?  This is on your hands too, not just Sandusky’s — all the candlelight vigils in the world and all the tweeting and honking in the world will not absolve you of your failure.  Fiddling with young boys in the shower is a crime.  ‘Head Fiddlers’ belong in prison, not in steamy showers with boys.  You do not report crimes to the dean, to the athletic director, or to campus security.  You report crimes to the police or the D.A.

Hello Herman Cain?!!  Oh god, give us a break and go away.  Back in law school, it was noted often when studying Title VII, that it took 4-5-6 women’s allegations to bring a creep down.  In other words, in a “he said/she said” situation, even with the protection of the Constitution and the federal laws built around the Constitution, it took four, five, six women’s word to overcome one perpetrator’s claims of innocence.  This was in the late 80’s, but it appears that some things have not changed all that much.  Herman Cain’s accusers have reached the critical weight.

P.S.  I thought Clarence Thomas was a pig, too, and that does not make me a racist.

I should re-read this a few more times and then probably decide not to post it (rants are risky, always risky), but I have already spent too much time here and I’m gonna take the risk (can always pull it down later, right?)

BTW – Bernie’s cape (you know how those Catholic figures of authority love women’s clothes!) – is made by sandwiching fibers between two layers of water soluble film, stitching them on the machine, then dissolving the plastic — this is exactly what I need to go make samples of for tomorrow’s ‘Creative Quilting’ class.

8 thoughts on “Silence as a Crime and It takes Five Women (Rant)

  1. Lynda Howells

    Rant away girl….l for one agree with youxxl used to foster abuse babies and children so l know the damage it casuses. By the way love Bernie! can you tell me why you made him in the first place?xxlynda

  2. sewmanypossibilities

    I made the Archbishop doll during the Boston priest crisis. As a former Catholic and a resident of a Boston suburb, it was so, so disturbing to read about for so long, that it entered my work.

  3. Ginny

    I agree with Lynda, the more rants the better – for those who do not have a voice, who are not able to protest. Until people start speaking up against abuse, these criminals will continue as they will. This stuff at Penn is just unbelieveable – both coaches should go to jail. And Cain, another sleezy fool. Why are there no good politicians? Why are all of the female choices just another version of Palin? Why? Why? Why? Thank god for art – the only honest voice in the wilderness.

  4. sewmanypossibilities

    Hi Ginny – it’s just too much this week… I woke to the news that Penn State has fired the coach and the president of the school. I feel bad for Paterno, who sounds like a really nice guy who did a good job, but I think the decision by the board of trustees is a good one – one that shows the ‘times are catching up to the crimes’… Yesterday, when I heard the coach say, “this is the great sorrow of my life,” I thought, “YEAH?!! yes. But what kind of sorrow do you think it is to the VICTIMS?!” I also woke up this morning wondering what 10 year olds were doing in those showers. I haven’t heard any explanation for that yet.

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