Small-Town Elitist

October 18, 2009

Food access and fighting obesity…

It seems lately everywhere I turn, people are discussing the disparities in access to food for people who struggle financially, and who have always struggled this way. I have especially been thinking about this subject since Susie Madrak of Crooks and Liars wrote about the subject of overweight and obese people being forced to pay more for health insurance.

Under the BMI, I am considered obese. Even though I am actually quite healthy, I still feel it’s important for me to take on my health. But, for quite a while, my finances, and the structure of my community in the San Joaquin Valley, have made things rough. For the longest time, I had no where to walk or jog for fitness where I felt safe to do so. Unfortunately, trying to do that in my neighborhood brings up attention I don’t want, from men I want nothing to do with (street harrassment). Joining a fitness club in town was not always financially possible, either.

Thankfully, in more recent times, our town has created a fitness center next to one of the public swimming pools. There, for $30 a month, or $2 per individual session, we can have access to treadmills, stationery bikes, weight training equipment, and other types of equipment. There’s the basketball court also, and of course the public swimming pool. It’s been a very positive development, and I love going there to exercise. And even though the center is used by both genders, I feel very comfortable using it.

Another new development, which I like, but need to pay attention to, is our town recently got its own Fresh & Easy market. I was wowed by the organic and/or vegan foods they had, which we’ve never had access to here. However, the Center for Food and Justice cautions people to pay attention to whether they are organic, and they challenge Fresh & Easy to build in more places where they desprately need better food, such as South Central Los Angeles. Like Season of the Bitch says, it’s still not that easy for people who need access to better foods, but at least I think this is a good start.

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October 15, 2009

Questions about life and death, plus other linkage.

So I have a little free time after having spent a while continuing to pack up my house. I’m moving into a new one soon! 🙂 I’ve decided to do a linkage post first, and if there’s still some time, see if I can write something else.

Christian Liberal has an interesting post on a new study about near-death experiences.

Renee at Womanist Musings has a post about the racist new Nadya Suleman Halloween costume sweeping the nation… Racialicious has a post on Anita Tedaldi’s privilege showing with regards to her former adopted child. Jenn at Reappropriate wrote about some positive developments between President Obama and the Asian-American/Pacific Islander community.

Marcella at abyss2hope posted the 80th edition of the Carnival Against Sexual Violence. Great posts; I hope you’ll check it out! Natalia Antonova has plenty of snark and zero sympathy for Roman Polanski, who apparently is depressed behind bars. She also handles an idiot troll very well in her comments section.

And speaking of the tiniest violin on earth playing the background, Rush Limbaugh got his widdle heart bwoken over his being cut from the group interested in buying the St. Louis Rams after an outcry was raised over his notorious racism (especially towards Black athletes). Think Progress has the scoop.

BlueGal has a nice post about Gov. Howard Dean’s idea to allow people over 50 to pay for their Medicare. Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars wrote about the New York Times delibrately shutting out discussion of Single Payer care in its paper. MOMocrats has a guest post sharing why the author supports health insurance reform. At at RHRealityCheck, a midwife shares what the repercussions of not making health care available for expectant mothers are.

Cara at the Curvature has a post about a boss who fired his employee because of her gender identity.

Feministe writes in about the disgusting sexist comments the right wing has been making about Republican senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.

Speaking Out has some excellent news about a class of 6th grade children in Sweden who reported Toys R’ Us so that it would be held accountable for gender-stereotypical toys!

Flip Flopping Joy has a post about UTNE Magazine’s list of 50 visionaries who are changing our world.

Season of the Bitch and Jonthan Turley have some thoughts about Obama’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

At HuffPo, Arianna Huffington suggests VP Joe Biden resign the vice-presidency in protest over Obama’s plans for Afghanistan.

And last but not least, Majikthise has a rich post about an idiot affiliated with Frank Luntz who has been charged under the Patriot Act for making a fool of himself on an airplane (a must read).

Time to get back to packing.

May 21, 2009

John Boehner resembles a certain cat named Howdy Doody; plus more linkage.

Filed under: Abortion,Accessibility of Feminism,Activism,Aging,Anti-Abortion Extremists,Anti-Violence Activism,Arnold Schwarznegger,Barack Obama,Beauty Myths,Biblical History,Body Image,Books & Reading,Bush Administration,California Elections,California Politics,Catholicism,Christian Fundamentalism,Church/State Separation,Cindy McCain,Civil Disobedience,Crafting/DIY,Dane Cook,Darfur,Dick Cheney,Dominionism,Don't Ask Don't Tell,Economics,Evangelical Christians,Feminism,Gardening,Gender Issues,George W. Bush,Gitmo,GLBT Issues,GLBT Military Vets,Goldman Sachs,Good Ol Boys Club,Goth,Greedy Fuckers,Happiness,Healing from Rape,History,Homophobia,Imperialism,Indefinite Detention,Iraq War,Islam,Jesus Christ,John Boehner,Karen Hughes,Keith Ellison,Lies & Political Spin,Linkage,Men and Feminism,Middle East,Minnesota,Minnesota Women,Misogyny,Muslim World,Newt Gingrich,Obama Administration,Objectification,Opus Dei,Organic Foods,Organic Gardening,Plastic Surgery,Poetry,Priviledge,Protests & Demonstrations,Raising Awareness,Rape and Sexual Violence,Regulation,Religious Right,Reproductive Health,Republican Men,Republican Party,Robert Finn,Separated at Birth,Sexism,Sexual Violence Myths,Sexual Violence Prevention,Silencing Behaviors,Standards of Beauty,TARP,The Daily Show,Theocracy,Torture,Troop Withdrawal,U.S. Banking Industry,U.S. Economic Crisis,U.S. Economy,U.S. Military,U.S. Supreme Court,Uma Thurman,Vaginoplasty,Veterans' Issues,Victor Fehrenbach,Victory Gardens,War,Well Duh!,Well I'll Be Damned,WTF — by smalltownelitist @ 8:44 pm

First off a couple of links sure to give you a chuckle. Christian Liberal is back to posting, and he points out that John Boehner kind of resembles Howdy Doody. Blue Gal also points out that Cindy McCain and the latest Mrs. Newt Gingrich kind of look like each other too.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars’ Mike Finnegan: Opus Dei declares war on moderate Catholic clergy and the Obama Administration. Meanwhile, Blind in Texas has an important question for Evangelicals and other religious wingnuts on the question of torture.

Marcella of abyss2hope writes about a report on rape and sexual violence in Minnesota, and has some suggestions for Minnesota and all of us on how to stop rape. Tobes writes about something very interesting. It seems Dane Cook had a rare moment of awareness and spoke out about wrong it is to throw the word “rape” around gratuitiously, and how the experiences of rape survivors are *nothing* like losing at a video game, and throwing the word around will rightfully offend survivors.

Arrrrrrgh! HuffPo reported that a judge ruled that Gitmo detainees can be held indefinitely.

Double Arrrrgh! Crooks and Liars report that the banking industry is rushing to repay TARP funds so prevent government regulation stepping in.

Women’s Glib has a poem about how we women will never measure up to impossible beauty standards. Cara has a post discussing a misogynist tabloid cover that took an especially vicious umbrage towards Uma Thurman’s body. And Renee wrote about a 75 year old woman in the news right now for getting a vaginoplasty, and talked about what that means to all women.

Feministe has a link and a little comment about the reports Rumsfeld’s office sent to GWB that played up an evangelical view of the Iraq War.

Speaking of war, Think Progress reports that we’ve lost another great member of our military to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. *sigh*

Jonathan Turley reports on a study that showed that some of the happiest people are older Republican men. I am thinking “well duh,” since they benefit from the oppresion of the rest of us!

Susie from Suburban Guerilla reported on Karen Hughes’ sudden announcement that she was opposed to the Bush Administration’s torture policy the whole time. MOMocrats debate the torture photos issue.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Governor Schwarznegger’s propositions all failed at the voting booth. h/t to Tequila, who comments at Crooks and Liars. 😉

RH Reality Check posted a roundup of links, including an article on the abortion rights aspect of the Supreme Court nominee fight.

Majikthise explains what’s really going on with Obama and troop withdrawal.

Congressman Keith Ellison was arrested at a Washington D.C. protest of the Darfur situation. h/t to Racialicious.

Crafting/DIY/Gardening

Flip Flopping Joy has a fun video post, a clip of the The Daily Show, which lampooned opponents of organic gardening and farming.

Etsy’s Dark Side posted Kaleidoscopic Romance’s handmade haunted dollhouse witch’s cabinet complete with pet snake.

And WhipUp did a book review of Boutique Knits, a great book with a lot of lovely hat and accessory knitting patterns with a flapper/Roaring 1920’s feel.

That’s it for this link collection, have a great day! 😉

April 11, 2009

What it really means when a lady’s priorities don’t match with the ones a Talk Radio dittohead’s chosen for her.

Early this morning, while out and about in town buying supplies for the bathroom and garden, I had one of those little experiences of sexism that arise in the life of a woman from time to time.

The city bus driver, though seemingly a nice man, is a Rush Limbaugh dittohead. And for whatever reason, he has decided to scrutinize and comment on my purchases when I am taking the route he is driving that day.

I had a garden planter among other items, and he asked, “You went into town just to get a bucket? You women and your shopping. No wonder nothing gets done at the house, no dinner, no lunch…”

Blech. How screwed up is it when someone talks to you in such an arrogant manner with some ridiculous preconcieved notion about what you ought to be doing, and what your priorities are supposed to be? Why should I have to stay home to please a bitter old man?

Unfortunately for Rush Limbaugh dittoheads of the male persuasion, my priorities right now and quite rich and full, and do not consist of being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

My most recent relationship was with a man who insisted that we were both young, and that we ought to just enjoy ourselves. For him, that meant partying for the most part. I am not really a party person. Not in the sense that most people my age think of as parties. I quite like the idea of private entertaining for a few friends, having a nice meal and connecting and reconnecting with friends at a time when the bustle of life can make that difficult. It’s because of our diverging priorities that the relationship didn’t last. So I went back to being happily single and working the things that do command my time and concern.

Hmm, let’s see, what are my priorities, in no specific order?

I’m an artist, craftsperson, and business owner. That means I’m in the middle of preparing for a debut with an out of state boutique soon, and am hoping to arrange more consignment deals in other locales, while creating my works and filling orders placed directly with me. I’m also in the process of setting up a tent studio in my backyard.

I’m a college student, which means that I have been hustling for financial aid and preparing for an upcoming full load of courses covering many different areas, such as Spanish, and Shakespeare.

I’m someone’s adult daughter, which means that I am caregiving for my mother right now, and will probably be so for the foreseeable future as she is having health difficulties and has no one else to keep an eye on her and make sure she’s getting to a doctor except for moi.

I’m a member of an extended family, which means loving and supporting dozens of uncles, aunts, cousins, you name it. It means babysitting occasionally. It means going to Sunday dinners, to birthdays, to weddings, to funerals, or sometimes just cuz. It means caring for babies, and reassuring a sleepless child that she’ll be just fine.

I’m a pet parent of four little animals, including two dogs with special needs who also require attentive care and lots of TLC, having come from abusive situations prior to living with me.

I’m an activist, which means that I have been working hard on a library fundraiser for an endangered library, am hoping to resume volunteering at my local library, and am long overdue to resume updating my website for fellow rape and sexual abuse survivors, which has been helping survivors and their loved ones for over 9 years now.

I’m a friend, which means listening to long venting sessions and emphathizing, the need to get away and enjoy myself with others, and trying to crochet summer baby blankets for a pregnant friend.

I’m someone with responsibilies to the environment, which means gardening, making jewelry with recycled materials, and trying to figure out how to reduce my carbon footprint.

I’m a person with a physical body, which means getting up at 6 am to head to the community center to work out, studying the food pyramid, and yes, preparing meals that are good for me and for my loved ones who will be eating my food.

I’m an intellectual seeker, which means I have to have my nose in several books at one time, that I have to have debate and discussion with others, and that I have to have, gasp, a thought life!

I’m a spiritual seeker, which means learning about the earth and the spirit realm through a variety of ways, be it books, prayer, meditation, or just feeling the wind outside.

I managed to accomplish all of these things at different stages of my life despite having debilitating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder for many years, and you can bet I am doing all these things now and more, as I have reached a state of wellness.

And now the Rush Limbaugh dittoheads of the world want to tell me I get nothing done around my house?

April 10, 2009

California’s Religious Wrong is on the warpath again; plus more links.

Filed under: "Sexting",Ableism,Abortion,Abstinence-Only,Activism,African-American Issues,Anti-Feminism,Anti-Violence Activism,Asian-American Issues,Asian-American Women,Bai Ling,Barack Obama,Betty Brown,Black Femininity,Black Women,Blog Carnivals,Body Image,Books & Reading,California Politics,Camille Paglia,Charities,Child Pornography,Child Sexual Abuse,Christian Fundamentalism,Classism,Coal Mining,Contraception,Crafting/DIY,Diversity,Domestic Violence,Emergency Contraception,Environmental Issues,Evangelical Christians,Exploitation of Poverty,Family Issues,Family Planning,Femininity,Feminism,Film & Film Reviews,First Ladies,Gardening,GLBT Issues,Goth,Healing from Rape,Homophobia,Human Rights,Immigration,Immigration Reform,Intersectionality,Kal Penn,Languages,Linkage,Marriage,Marriage Equality,Maternal Health Care,Media Criticism,Michelle Obama,Misogyny,Mountain Top Removal,Nativism,Non-Profit Organizations,North Carolina,North Carolina Women,Obama Administration,Objectification,Pat Buchanan,Performing Arts,Photography,Poverty,Prenatal Health Care,Proposition 8,Protests & Demonstrations,Racial Stereotypes,Racism,Raising Awareness,Rape and Sexual Violence,Reality TV Trash,Religious Right,Reproductive Health,Rihanna,Seth Rogen,Sex Education,Sex Offender Legislation,Sexism,Sexual Exploitation,Sexual Violence Myths,Sexuality,Take Action,Take Back the Night,Teen Pregnancy,Teen Violence,Teenagers,Tennessee Women,Texas,Texas Politics,Triggering Media,Tyra Banks,U.S. Economic Crisis,U.S. Economy,Vermont,Vermont Politics,Victim Blame,Victory Gardens,Violence Against WOC,Violence Against Women,Voting & Voting Rights,West Virginia,Women of Color,Women's Advocacy,Women's Health,WTF,Xenophobia — by smalltownelitist @ 12:56 am

Hi there, time for a long overdue compilation of some great links. I hope you enjoy them! 🙂

First off, Crooks and Liars writes about a disgusting ad in California from the religious right in an attempt to fight the granting of marriage equality to the GLBT community. Momocrats have a post about Vermont’s legalizing gay marriage, and challenges California to do the same.

At The Curvature, Cara writes about what the MSM should be reporting on the “sexting” scares… Marcella of abyss2hope posted the latest edition of the Carnival Against Sexual Violence. Feministe let us know about an upcoming Take Back the Night march. Cara also warned everyone about how triggering and awful Seth Rogen’s new movie is. Marcella also reported about a serial rapist who is dragging his victims’ reputations through the mud…

Flip Flopping Joy has an important post about mountain top removal, a form of coal mining.

RH Reality Check has a great roundup of family planning news. They also have a great essay from a young lady about emergency contraception for teenage girls. MOMocrats write about international family planning issues, and have a list of charities that help with this issue.

Natalia Antonova shares some thoughts about Camille Paglia.

Reappropriate has info on a racist Texas State Representative who thinks Asian-Americans should change their names to make things easier on election workers. Racialicious has an interesting quote from Bai Ling about Asians and Hollywood’s stereotypes.

Reappropriate also has an article about actor Kal Penn joining the Obama administration.

Racialicious has an important article about Black women and domestic violence.

Renee of Womanist Musings calls Tyra Banks out on her encouragement of objectifying women.

Feministe wrote about FOX exploiting victims of the recession.

David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars wrote about how immigration is going to be a big issue with Republicans again.

From the Crafty Corner:

Etsy’s Dark Side has a gallery of Madhouse Mauly’s dark photography.

WhipUp has a book review of Switch Craft, a book that incorporates batteries into surprising projects.

And Flip Flopping Joy has a post about Michelle Obama planting her first seedlings in the White House’s victory garden. I was psyched to read this one; I just sowed my cilantro/coriander seeds yesterday! 🙂

February 3, 2009

Are Neo-Confederates to blame for Republican obstructionism?

Ah, it’s time for another collection of linkage. Enjoy!

A writer suggestions that people who don’t realize that the CSA lost the Civil War are to blame for Republican obstructionism. I’m not totally sure what to think, so I’ll leave you to your own conclusions! h/t to Crooks and Liars commenters.

HuffPo reports that Congressman Barney Frank has ordered the banking CEOs that were bailed out to testify before Congress and get a good yelling at.

This Yahoo article explains the different kinds of jobs that can be created by President Obama’s stimulus package. Once again, h/t to Crooks and Liars commenters. 🙂

From Crooks and Liars, a report on Michelle Bernard suggesting that women shouldn’t worry about pay equity.

Check out Project Censored’s Top Censored Stories of 2009. Brought to you by the rocking commenters at C & L! 😉

Womanist Musings has a post on a transgendered woman who was discriminated against by a nightclub based on her transgendered status.

Good on a judge! Abyss2hope writes about a judge who was uninterested in rapist’s excuse that his crime “was not that bad.”

Season of the Bitch shares thoughts on what roles liberal and progressive bloggers should play in cleaning up the mess our country is in.

There can never be enough snark when it comes to Dick Armey’s dickish comment to Joan Walsh on Hardball the other day. Feministe provides us with more snark, plus the actual video of Armey making a dick-sgrace of himself.

From RH Reality Check, women’s health advocacy groups react to the Obama Administration caving on contraception in the stimulus package.

MOMocrats write about why the Republicans are freaking out over labor secretary nominee Hilda Solis.

And last, but not least, Natalia Antonova deconstructions the comments being made about Ali Campoverdi, former pinup model turned White House employee by so-called progressives.

That’s it for now, no craftiness until tomorrow, when I will be doing an entire post on why I choose to get crafty! 🙂

September 17, 2008

Alaska women say no to Palin, and other linkage.

Phew, I have a lot of links to catch up on, because I’ve had a busy day! 🙂

Yesterday’s linkage:

Crooks and Liars report on a really nice sized rally of Alaska women who do not support Sarah Palin.

Feministe add to the growing amount of scary information on Sarah Palin’s administration in Wasilla Alaska saying “no” to paying for rape kits.

The blogger at kmareka.com speculates that the reason Wasilla and Palin charged rape victims for their own rape kits may have been an insidious attempt to discourage getting the kits done so that the women would not have access to emergency contraception.

MOMocrats compare the educational history of the major presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

Christian Liberal elaborates the differences between a nation using its power wisely versus using force.

Natalia Antonova has a snark filled post about the cluelessness of McCain and Palin.

Latoya at Racialicious compares Sarah Palin and Condoleeza Rice in a respectful but critical manner. I enjoyed this post!

Reappropriate has a post about the Republican party’s sudden and hypocritical “embrace” of feminism.

Season of the Bitch critiques Saturday Night Live’s sketch with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin.

Speaking Out has an awful story about a comatose woman who was raped by her husband.

Today’s Linkage:

Marcella at abyss2hope writes about how the issue of rape is affecting an Oregon senate race.

Crooks and Liars reported on a vicious attack against the women who were part of the Alaska women’s rally against Sarah Palin. A conservative talk radio host called the women “maggots” and gave the women’s home addresses over the air.

Feministe has a fun and interesting post about how to make feminist ideas more accessible to everyone.

Hear Me Roar posts comments from actress Megan Fox slamming the way Disney treats their teenage starlets.

MOMocrats wonder aloud if the Bush Administration may not come with an October Surprise in the form of Osama bin Laden.

Rachel of Rachel’s Tavern links to an essay examining white priviledge through the lens of the media coverage of the Palin family.

Racialicious documents a racist attack against Barack Obama that is trying to be passed off as political satire. *reaches for barf-bag*

Season of the Bitch has an interesting quote about feminists who attack feminine women and lipstick feminists.

Speaking Out talks about the terrible treatment of trafficked teenage girls in North Texas.

Cara at The Curvature has an action alert and information on Troy Davis, a man who is facing the death penalty and for whom there is doubt about his actual guilt.

White Trash Academic has a couple interesting links on higher education, including some not so surprising shenanigans from Liberty University.

Renee from Womanist Musings writes about the silencing white feminists do to women of color.

September 13, 2008

Another linkage catch up post.

I hope to get this post done quickly, I’m making up for the day off I took yesterday, and today I have been kind of glued to the television due to Hurricane Ike. I have plenty of family as well as friends in Southeast Texas, so naturally I’m concerned…

Anyway, yesterday’s intended linkage:

Marcella at abyss2hope talks about the development of her website. When it’s through it will educate people on date rape and other forms of sexual assault. Keep an eye out for it!

Crooks and Liars has a post on how the Bush Administration has cynically used 9/11 and the shadow of Bin Laden to their political advantage.

Feministe has an excellent post on certain feminists’ unwillingness to include considerations of race and class in their discussions of feminism.

I don’t have many words on this post from MOMocrats. Basically it includes a video of John McCain being a jerk to a woman representing a POW/MIA advocacy group… *shakes head*

Racialicious has a post about the theft of intellectual property from Asian-American website owner Myles Valentin by one of his so-called friends. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Here’s a doosy of an article, high heel shoes for toddler girls, hat tip to Megadeth.com forum peeps.

Season of the Bitch has a great write up about the play In Conflict, which deals with the lives of Iraq War veterans.

And White Trash Academic has a really sad post on the mental health of our veterans.

A Christian Liberal Perspective has a post about how remote killing technology is causing depression in those who have to use it.

Today’s linkage:

Hat tip to Christian Liberal: Women Against Sarah Palin

From Crooks and Liars: Sean Hannity goes beserk and yells at a policy person. Simmer down, Sean, seriously!

Feministe has a great post on the politics of Black women’s hair.

MOMocrats link to a comparison of Obama’s and McCain’s positions on taxes.

Natalia Antonova is rightfully worried about Sarah Palin’s eagerness to go to war with Russia.

Racialicious has a post about the situation that some feminists find themselves in following McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin.

Reappropriate writes about disturbing comments made about multiracial children by a Freakonomics author…

Season of the Bitch wants to reclaim lipstick from Sarah Palin’s politicizing…

And Marcella writes about how forced pregnancy is yet another way rapists and abusers control their victims…

Well, that’s it for now, I reckon!

September 10, 2008

I might not be canonized anytime soon, but I survived and I don’t regret it!

Time to open up a little bit up and talk about myself in a post, I guess. I’d rather it not be a heavy topic, but Feministe has a very good post on St. Maria Goretti, and in light of the discussion that is coming up from that post, I’ve decided I would write about how I feel about the canonization of Maria Goretti as well.

(Full disclosure: I come from a Protestant background, and will do everything I can to express myself respectfully in light of the centuries of conflict between Protestants and Catholics; besides, the first person to really show the love of Christ to me in my life was my late Catholic Grandma, if I made this post inherently anti-Catholic in nature, I would be disrespecting her memory and legacy too.)

For those who don’t know anything about Maria Goretti, you can read the Feministe link, or visit Wikipedia to read her story.

I first learned about the attempted rape and eventual murder of Maria Goretti in Susan Brownmiller’s Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape. I was reading the book because I was starting out to educate myself on feminism as teenager/young college student, and…I was trying to make sense of my experiences. I am a survivor of child sexual abuse, incest, and teenage sexual assault. At about the age of 18, I got involved in anti-rape and anti-abuse activism, locally and online. Brownmiller’s book is an education in itself due to it’s detailed history of sexual violence in human society.

When I read the part about Maria Goretti, I definitely was left with a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak. Survivors often struggle to have a sense of self-worth after losing their sense of dignity to sexual violence. The impression I got of the Maria Goretti canonization as a young survivor was the same impression I’d been getting from many other sources in society, that women and girls who’ve lived through sexual violence are not as valuable, that we are damaged goods, that we are somehow a problem. Why else, I thought, would women who died rather than be raped appear to be more valued spiritually than women who survived rape or abuse, and lived to fight and advocate passionately for the healing and restoration of the women and girls who would follow after them?

I don’t blame Maria Goretti for show she handled the situation that had been forced upon her. She was a child, and she shares no blame in this. I do worry what messages some in the Body of Christ, whether they are Catholic or Protestant, are sending to any and all survivors, whether they profess Christ or not. No one deserves victim blame, and victim blame has no place in the Church. So that any Catholic readers may understand that though this post was inspired by Maria Goretti, I am not singling out Catholicism, I experienced a painful situation with my previous church. I had been given a little booklet at my women’s Bible study, which had verses relating to certain topics that concern women, and I was horrified to discover that under “rape,” this booklet was admonishing me to not dress provocatively if I don’t want to be victimized again. Ummm, hello! Being covered up does not protect women from abuse, tragically. That too, left a bad taste in my mouth.

The “better dead than raped” adage is painful to be reminded of, as someone who, over the years of abuse and its aftermath, has struggled with PTSD, depression, and suicidality. I am still here though. I could have died during the abuse years, but I didn’t, and I am happy about that. I doubt anyone will be rushing to have me canonized once I do pass on, but that is alright with me. After counseling, finding the right medication, and making peace with God, it was worth it surviving the actual abuse, it was worth it to survive the crushing, suicidal depression. It was all worth it because I am here now, and I can find beauty and promise in life, and purpose. My life is more than what happened to me, and I am not damaged goods because of what has happened!

I would not trade places with Maria Goretti. I mean that as no insult. It’s simply how I feel. Sin has still been triumphed against because those who brutalized me failed to destroy me, and because it has helped me to look at my own conduct. And because I am still here, I will be able to help others ensure the sin of sexual abuse and assault will not destroy them either.

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