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Kind comments from strangers, social services, and sexual assault are all on my mind today.

I am always touched by those of you who reach out with encouraging thoughtful words whenever I write an open, honest post.  You are the salt of the earth and I thank you for taking the time to share your own stories and your kindness with me.  There was one comment that moved me to tears, it was written by a man who is the husband of a woman who is both a fan of myself and YB.  I want to say here, publicly that I wish for you the same things you do me, that your writing, that fulfills your soul, might also find a home on the grand stage of life.  I wish you much success and luck in your endeavors, and I want you to know how deeply your words touched me.  Thank you.

I also want to say that there is no way in hell that I’m going to stop being me, at all.  I just might end up having to write more follow up emails as time goes on is all ; ) but thanks to the people who suggested that I might want to “tone it down” you know I love you!

With regards to my locksmith Nir, I share many of his same opinions and wonder too how much more can the highest taxed people really continue to give to the so many that are literally doing nothing.  Like nothing at all.  I’m not talking about people new to Canada or America, who need a helping hand.  I’m not even suggesting when people lose their jobs and cannot find another one in this ridiculously competitive market that is life for 12/18/24 months.  These are not the people I have issue with;  I’m talking about the people who live off the social safety nets for generations.  I get why some politicians, and many tax paying citizens feel like this needs to change, I share that same sentiment.  But like getting the hundreds of millions of guns off the streets the question is always the same in both these situations.  How?

Another thing that I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to, as a woman who suffered many sexual assaults from the time my breasts decided to have their own party on my body at the age of nine, since the Weinstein story broke, along with so many more sexual assault stories are coming to light.  Is where is this line of “he/she sexually assaulted me” going to be drawn.  Meaning what will become the new deciding factor of what is considered sexual assault?  I’m 100% wondering this out loud because of the Adam Sandler Claire Foy incident from the other night.  On social media people are pretty much asking for Adam’s head on a platter.  Even though Claire has since released a statement saying that she has no issue with his knee touching during the Graham Norton interview, watching the clip multiple times makes it extremely clear that Emma Thompson does.

So my “hmmm” radar is going off.  Where do we think as a society we will end up deciding what is considered sexual assault?  Because in the case of Adam Sandler, who apparently is a habitual knee holder, just a guy who’s reps say; “was simply being friendly” we have two very different reactions from the women involved.  Emma not okay with it, Claire apparently okay with it.  So do we think that in the end it really should be between the two parties to determine what is considered crossing a sexual boundary?  Some women find cat calling sexual harassment, some women don’t mind it, it’s neither here nor there for them.  I just wonder where the dust is going to settle is all.  And in closing, this final statement will likely get me into some hot water, but I’m going to say it anyway, because I really wonder this:  what length of time is “long enough” to simply let something go and let karma, the Gods, the Universe handle it???  For example the unwanted advances that a now 80 year old Dustin Hoffman made on a 17 year old girl are gross, wrong, inappropriate and shocking.  Had I known what he allegedly did all those years ago, I would not have tuned into a single one of his projects.  But here we are, almost forty years later and NOW it’s a topic of conversation??  I just don’t know how I, and let me say this again, a woman who has been sexually assaulted on numerous occasions, feels about it.  I guess for me, I’m wondering what good is going to come of revealing things like this now as people are nearing the end of their lives?  I don’t know, I’m very much hmmm’n away on this very hot potato topic at the moment, and I for one look forward to seeing how it all shakes out in the end.

6 Comments

  1. There are so many times when life’s headlines just leave me not knowing what to say. In those instances, I know that I can come here and feel like you “get” me.

    Please keep doing what you are doing. If for no other reason than to bring me comfort 😉

  2. So glad to hear you won’t stop being you because the current You is pretty fantastic.
    Have to go along with your hmmm on the sexual assaults. Definitely a difficult topic. They are never right no matter when. You mentioned in an earlier post, some of the victims may have thought they were alone and have found that they are Not. But right now it seems to be an epidemic of ‘coming forward’ with wrongs of long ago. And I also don’t know how it will all settle out. Unfortunately, each case is different so not sure a ‘statue of limitations’ would work. Time doesn’t make it any less wrong. But why come forward so many years later? I don’t know how one lets it go. I also have my own from 50-60 years ago. Not sure I have let them go but pushed them way down. No important people involved just some jerks. And the conversation will go on about what is or isn’t I guess. I saw nothing wrong in Adam Sandler’s touching a knee. People are going way overboard condemning him,
    Keep on tackling the tough topics.

  3. I too do not know what I think about any of this. I have been on the end of sexual harassment many years ago (20+). For me, I would not want to drag up either incident again. However, I am not walking in anyone else’s shoes so I can’t comment on others coming forward so many years later. I must believe they are doing this for their own healing and restorative reasons.

    As for where the line will be drawn, I do wonder. It boggles. We live in an amazing but strange time.

  4. Thank you so much for your post. It seems you and I are cut from the same cloth because I am constantly in agreement with you. I certainly don’t think you shld be in hot water for musing on the statute of limitations regarding when to announce being sexually assaulted. I look forward to your future posts!! Keep on doin what you’re doin!

  5. People are stuck in social safety nets for a variety of reasons. As a young single mother in the 80s, I was on welfare and in those days, my college education and daycare were provided. I was able to become a successful business woman and have paid taxes many times over what it cost to help me. Nowadays, I don’t know how young people can make it out of the cycle, student loans are considered income and no assistance is provided. The $$$ they get are barely livable and forget about getting out because every cent is deducted from the meager amount. No encouragement, no guidance as to further education, mental health services, childcare or parenting. How can a child growing up in that unhealthy environment, let alone barely enough to eat, from a poor neighborhood manage to grow up and have a successful life. It’s a miserable existence of shame and poverty. Mental health declines and the kids feel it, it almost becomes part of their DNA. Without an education, mentor, or caring, able adults, the cycle repeats, jobs available are minimum wage, which isn’t livable. I don’t mind paying taxes, but I wish more $$$ were invested in these families, instead of political cronyism, that’s the only way to break the cycle. I have this theory that the powers that be actually want there to be this poverty class, so they can blame the “lazy bums” instead of the more complicated task of educating, treating, guiding them, and looking at the real government waste. I don’t have stats at my fingertips, but I understand in the grand scheme of things that welfare is only a tiny slice of the government pie. Sorry, don’t mean to rant, but, I have a bit of a sore spot when it comes to that topic.

  6. Never ever stop writing from your gut, Shantelle. This is what makes you a great essayist. To ever tone down your intents would do such a disservice to your decision to tackle a topic, even if a difficult one. The fact of your diving right in makes your writing worthwhile.
    A short comment about the recent exposé of sexual assaults, no one has thought to ask Woody Allen’s former daughter who he became involved with while married to Mia Farrow and now lives with whether in fact initially it was an assault, not at all a relationship. Doubt the public will ever know the answer.
    As you infer – what is the answer to stop this behaviour.

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