Monday, November 20, 2017

Firewalling Sexual Abusers

"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.” - Mark Twain

My view of sexual harassment, domestic abuse especially against women and children, slander or libel against women especially for merely speaking out against those who are abusive, has always been the same. Stop it from happening, support women in fighting back. Firewall those who are abusers, cut them off, block them.

Stop calling women liars, stop slandering them, stop muckraking them through the media mud. Support our women, support the abused, don't just ignore them, turn away, abuse them even more!

This is not a partisan issue, nor a political issue. It's a human issue. Men need to lock arms with women over this. In a nonsexual, platonic, professioanl fashion, supporting women for their worth, their skills, their equality to us men. And not just a pretend equality, but a real and substantive one.

I suspect most men may be good and decent people, but enough men are not that this has to be addressed and we have to stand for those who are abused and then more especially abused when they are brave enough to speak out about it and who is being abusive toward them.

We have a culture of abuse against women by men in power over them.

We have elected a president in Donald Trump who has admitted he is a predator. We have people declining invitations to the White House because of him and that. Enough obfuscation about peopple like Bill Clinton, or even Al Franken, when we have an actual accused predator in the oval office RIGHT NOW.

And Republican Judge Roy Moore. A man who has been an historical embarrassment and obvious sexual predator of minors. Who been removed from the bench twice for refusing directions from the Supreme court. Who had his own community when he was a district attorney, ban him from their Gadsden Mall, and from the local YWCA for inappropriate behavior of soliciting sex from young girls. And he is still running for Congress and being supported into it.

Women who have a claim against Bill Clinton should be supported to seek their closure, but as a nation we need to pay attention to what is here and now of those in power at this time. As for Franken, it feels less than it's made it out to be and regardless, an investigation is in the works. But I suspect it will end in little being discovered as those who know Al seem to see it as I do, that what was reported was an outlier in being a bad behavior, and not a bad actor as we see in Trump, Moore and others like them.

We are America and we need to start acting like it, and clean up our act!

It's wrong. I can't believe this is happening, still! But then, I first saw this kind of thing when I was in my teens and in a way that really put my life on the line for it. In part that event from 1974 set a tone for me throughout the rest of my life even up to today.

Maybe it's because I had so much of my childhood governed by women, my sister, my mother and especially my mother's mother, I've always been more understanding of their plight. And I've always been easily angered at hearing of their abuse.

I had an awesome grandmother. In so many ways, she has my thanks for who I am today. In finding out I hadn't learned multiplication tables because of how often we had moved, because at one grade school they learned those tables in fourth grade while my next school in third, she wrote out the multiplication tables from one through twelve all over her kitchen wall. At every meal we would go over them whenever I stayed there, until I had learned them all.

I grew up loving women, respecting them, and also in having a solid sense of self respect in that regard, in having a great respect for women. I had trouble learning and K-12 was kind of a nightmare. I had a step father who seemed to hate me and tell me at every turn that I was stupid. It wasn't until the military and later college and a university that I truly began to believe that just perhaps, I wasn't stupid after all.

So men who lay blame for their actions against women are because they had poor self esteem, or couldn't talk to women and so use their power and control to get sex, just doesn't wash with me. It's lazy, it's abuse pure and simple.

There is a theme going all though my fiction of empowered women. Or of bad things happening to the men who abuse them. An example from my own life of my orientation in being pro women, is uniquely available to the public, as I've written a true crime semi biopic screenplay.

This may seem like a shameless plug for a screenplay I'm shopping around to producers and studios, but hey, it's hard getting a screenplay sold. That being said however, it is also a pretty amazing example of my orientation on supporting women in my life and I would also argue, a very good example of how we need to stand up for women. More than once I've put myself physically on the line for women against some guy, usually their guy, and women that I sometimes, many times, did not even know. AND most importantly, I had expected NOTHING from them for my efforts.

I stood up for them merely because... it was the right thing to do!

I currently have two titles for it as I shop it around. Teenage Bodyguard, or Slipping "The Enterprise" (see links for more). "The Enterprise" was what that mafia group called themselves and what we tried to do that week in trying to slip by them until the woman in the screenplay could leave town at the end of that week.

She introduced me to a lifestyle that I'd had no idea about. I'd read The Godfather in high school, I saw the film. But didn't realize just how women truly were treated by some of these guys, if not most.

The screenplay details an actual week in my life at eighteen in 1974 where I protected a woman from the local Tacoma Carbone crime family until she could leave town. Why do I bring this up? It's not to go on about a screenplay I'm currently shopping around, but to point out that even at eighteen, I felt strongly about women's rights and treating them decently, that I put my life on the line for a woman.

I've gone through my younger years and throughout my life being disgusted by what has been put upon women, merely for being female, or attractive, or in a position where a guy having power or control over her, can feel free to be abusive. Not just in sexual but also in issues of power and control. To be fair, these men I'm detailing in this were abusive to human beings. They abused their control and power over men also, and in many cases, murdered them. The ultimate abuse.

In my screenplay and back then in reality, I had been introduced to a woman who was around ten years older than me. I was initially just asked to give her a ride to her new location where she was to stay there for a short time. I found out later it was because my "friend" wanted her out, fearing the mafia who was looking for her and in the process, put me front and center in their crosshairs. To be fair, they didn't know I'd accept helping her. They just asked me to give her a ride.

I was naive about many things in life back then, and in some ways so was she. She was also obviously traumatized. My reason for bringing this up regards why I took on the challenge of protecting her, with a gun, for that entire week.

Once I got her to where she was going to be staying for that week, she sat me down and handed me a newspaper clipping about a recent murder. It was the murder of a bouncer at a local (Tacoma's first) topless club, run by this crime family and called the Tiki restaurant in Lakewood, Washington, just south of Tacoma. It was a murder she said, even though to this day it is labeled an anonymous murder, was done by the crime family, to one of their own.

She outright asked me if I had a gun. I admittedly said, yes. She then took a chance, seeming lost, asking if I would get that gun and stay with her for that week until she could leave town. She feared they would find her and take her, and potentially murder her too for what they believed was being a murder witness against them. They did that kind of thing fairly regularly, all through the 1970s. I didn't know what to say until she explained further.

It was her explanation that convinced me that I had to help this woman.

I bring this up because even at eighteen, I felt I needed to stand up for women. And, as this case clearly exemplifies, I put my money where my mouth is. I put my life on the line for this woman, because I was so horrified at the abuse this woman and others at her job had been put through.

I've had that orientation all my life. I've stood up for women when I saw them being abused but sadly, many times, the women went right back into that abuse, much to my shock and dismay. But we do what we can. And in this case, I did.

I'll just share that scene in my screenplay:

Do you have a gun? You don’t happen
to have a gun do you?

A gun? A gun. Oddly enough, I do.

What. A rifle, probably--

Yeah but a handgun, too. .357
magnum actually.

Can you use it? You know how?

Yes. Yes, I do.

Self-assured but naive and it slightly confuses her.

I don’t know why, but I trust you.

Again, I have that affect on
people. I’d have to go home, just
to get the gun.

You live with your parents?

No. I have an apartment.
(light chuckle)
Graduated, got out at seventeen. I
have a job, an apartment, car
obviously. I’ve had a job since
ninth grade. Days. I’ll need to go
to work. Have to pay the bills,
rent and stuff. Could take the week
off but, really can’t afford it.

No, that’s fine, I understand, you
need to work, pay bills. If I need
to go anywhere I’ll just wait for
you. No one knows where I am or how
to find me. That’s what all that
was about at Erik and Dave’s. It’s
safe here. Really. I never told
anyone about them. I don’t want to
take any chances. Not mentioning
this to anyone goes without saying.
OK? And don’t let anyone here know
you have a gun.
I don’t want to-- freak anyone out.
Especially Mary being PG and all.
You know?

I get it, I’m used to it, really. I
don’t show if I’m carrying. About
these guys--
(Indicates newspaper clipping)
Dangerous I take it?

Sometimes. I was in the office that
day with Ron. He was all worked up
over something so I let him throw
me up against the wall for a bit.
That always calms him down. I know
they killed Danny. The bouncer. He
was nice. To me, to all the girls,
not like the others.

Sorry? You let him throw you up
against the wall?

(Confused he doesn’t get
it, uncomfortable)
You know. Sex. Most of the girls
let him do that. Like I said, calms
him down then he’s much easier to
deal with. Danny I think just got
in their way. He stuck up for us.
Maybe they finally had it. I know
they killed him though. I do know

Why not just fire him?. Who kills a
guy for sticking up for women?

She looks away.

Johnny Carbone does. May have been
something more, I donno. Maybe he
heard something, spoke up at the
wrong time? Who knows?

OK, well, look. I’ll head home.
Back in a few. I won’t be long.

When she asked me if I had a gun, I told her I did, but I wasn't convinced yet. It was when she made it clear what her working environment was, and there was more than I put into the screenplay, in how it was for all the women there. And my research for this screenplay has proved this to be true and even then some. My mind was made up. Screw those guys, she had me 100% on her side.

That's the kind of motivation and support we need to give women today.

This nonsense has to stop. Men need to not just support women, but themselves in not acting like animals just because they have a little (or worse, a lot) of power.

Women, as has been said repeatedly over time, are our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, daughter and friends. They deserve our respect and support. Even if we have to pick up a gun to support them (obviously not illegally, go to the authorities if need be).

And that is the end of it.

We have now elected a president who has admitted he is a sexual predator. Well, I didn't and wouldn't have voted for someone like him. Women have come out against him for his abuse and what have we done, what has he done?

Abused them in the media. Dragged their reputations through the mud and slime that sexual abuse leads to.

But that is changing. Times have changed and it needs to change. We will ALL be all the better for it! As we will when women more and more have positions of power and control over men and women.

Stand up for them. Support our friends and loved ones who have historically suffered abuse all through history.

#MeToo #SexualHarrassment #StandForWomen #Producer

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