by Linda L. Barton:
I have been out of the political loop over the last couple of weeks, and I find myself concerned with what I’ve seen happening in my absence. It appears the sexual assault accusations against the powerful have continued and are now reaching those in business and Washington DC, as well as more in Hollywood. I cannot say these reports surprise me in the least, as we’ve all heard the stories of wrongdoing throughout the years. However, the surprising part is how those who had once circled the wagons around Bill Clinton are now so quick to throw others accused of sexually mistreating women under the bus. I worry the claims of those women are being used as a tool to destroy a political opponent in the vilest way regardless of the truth in their claims.
Years ago, my son faced such a young woman. Angry because he would not have sex with her, this underaged girl decided to cry rape. After hiring a lawyer to protect him from facing 30 years in prison and his passing a lie-detector test and the accuser facing the same test, she finally confessed how she had made the story up because she was angry at his rejection. The exact words of this 13-year-old girl were, “No one tells me no.”
However, the damage to my son’s name and reputation was already done. The whispers of his guilt continued until he was forced to drop out of his junior year of high school. Then to add insult, NOTHING happened to this girl for filing a false report. Yes, that’s right, she walked away free and clear to do this to another young man.
As a victim of rape, myself, I find a woman who cries wolf only makes it difficult for women who are actually attacked by sexual predators to be believed. I assume this is why so many women never come forward and file charges against their attackers. I was raped in the early 1980’s, and because I was on a date with my attacker, I remained silent. I was led to believe by those in the media no one would believe my story, so I held my anger and pain inside and continued with my life. I must tell you when my son faced false charges of rape only to have the girl claim it was done out of revenge; I burned with rage. It took all the strength I could muster not to slap the smug expression off her face.
Now we watch those who had protected Bill Clinton from the claims of sexual assault from NUMEROUS women use this method to destroy their political opponents. To use this horrible act as a tool for political gain is truly sickening and those guilty of this should face legal punishment.
Women need to wake up and stop allowing themselves to be used. We have tried to prove our worth over the years as strong, self-sufficient women. We have moved into the world of business and politics as leaders. So, WHY would we let ourselves be used in such a manner? When women allow themselves to be used as political pawns, we are letting ourselves to be raped in entirely a different way. We only lesson the strength and believability of the TRUE claims of abuse.
Years ago, women marched and struggled for our place in the world. However, now we have taken a step backward and dishonored the women who stood against those who would lessen them as human beings. Shame on women who cry wolf for they are no better than those who treat women as sexual playthings.