Tag Archives: sex abuse

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.

Scraps make a life

bird-with-snakes

Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness.
Meister Eckhart
(quoted in Julia Cameron’s book, “The Vein of Gold”)

scraps1

sparrow-wisteria-moreI thought I was being soooooo productive and accountable to a blog-posted To Do list by hemming the jeans of Dan’s that have been transiting from pile to pile since Thanksgiving.  Imagine my surprise when D. held up one of the two pairs and asked, “Why did you hem Kevin’s jeans, Mom?!!”  (Kevin doesn’t live here).

Ah, so much for the satisfaction of a thing done.  The cut hems could not be thrown out, naturally.  The pictures above I hope demonstrate WHY not.  Their ragged edges and variations of blue do a better job suggesting the blue shadows of winter than my first journal quilt (below).

jan-09-wk-1

I have ALREADY revised my rules. I started with a rule that at least some fabric must come from the floor.  When I discovered over the weekend that I was reluctant to re-bin fabrics that had been dumped out (during some mad need for a container) because it meant I would have less interesting fabrics on the floor to pick from,  I realized that the rule I had created supposedly to trick myself into cleaning up had already become a disincentive.  So!  I revised the rule to —

Each Journal Quilt must include scraps from a bin.

This rule, however, is meaningless, since nearly my entire stash qualifies, so I let it go.  These two new mini-quilts (possibly one will be Journal for this week), put me in mind of perhaps a better rule…

At least one fabric must carry over from week to week.

Here, the deep blue with white dots (suggesting snow fall) was the background for last week’s quilt.

jan-09-in-progress-snowy-ho

The process of putting Christmas things away is satisfying.  Wrapping, tucking, safekeeping for next year AND clearing space.  The tree is still up, but with only colored lights now.

silver-balls-and-tax-return

I wish I could revel in the mess as much as the figure below seems to!

angel-potpourri

Lastly, here are two figures needing work.  The grey unspun wool figure needs a body.  I find that an interesting metaphor.  I may attach him to a cross-beam and explore the notion of sacrifice while I’m at the business of examining how and why I become dis-embodied (such heavy requirements!! — but then, it is just where the thing wants to go.  I merely follow!)  I drew the head on Shrinky-Dink, copying a portrait of an African man who appeared to be an ecstatic trance.  The priestly figure has a body, but needs arms.  This guy holds interest all of a sudden because he seems to have changed sides on me.  I made him during the height of the sex scandals here in Boston.  Then he was, by virtue of his silence and passivity, a nasty co-conspirator in the abuses.  But yesterday, when I wrapped him in that thread shawl (also made ages ago), he just struck me as sad.  Perhaps he is one of the many priests that was not aware of what was going on.  Perhaps he grieves the damage done — not just to all those victims, but to the Catholic Church itself.  Amazing what passing time can do to a picture, image or idea!

needs-a-body

archbishop-grieving