Sexual Assault vs Boys will be Boys

This story originally appeared in a British publication, showing that sexual assault is universal.  I have rewritten it for my own use in this blog.  While fictionalized, I hope it will make people think, discuss, and perhaps get on their bandwagons against sexual assault and even the nuances of it…it all starts small and can escalate rapidly.  The ‘boys will be boys’ age is well past and what might have been overlooked in the past cannot and should not be anymore.

I am an Emergency Room nurse.  We are not allowed to have our personal phones on us; they are to be kept in our purse, in our lockers, and out of sight.  Today, a call came in through the hospital for me.

“Ms. Jones, this is Mr. Garfield from the Junior High.  There has been an incident regarding Kathy.  We need you to come in.”

“Is she ill?  Is she injured?”  Panic that all parents feel, especially one who works in the ER enveloped my chest immediately.  “Can it wait until I finish my shift in two hours?”  If it can wait, it can’t be that bad.

“Kathy struck another student,” he explained, understanding (I thought) my panic.  “We have been trying to reach you for forty-five minutes,” he continued, a touch condescendingly.  “It really is very serious.”

As I drove to the school, thoughts of my sweet and good-natured daughter went through my head.  Why would she strike another student?  What had caused my mild-mannered daughter to do such a thing?  Would they suspend her?  Or, was it bad enough that they would expel her?  Had they hit back?  Was she hurt and they were glossing it over?  Once I arrived and went to the school office, I identified myself as Kathy Jones’ mother.  The school secretary looked at me reproachfully, almost as though she was looking to see what kind of woman was raising such a dangerous daughter.  I was ushered into the principal’s office where I was introduced to the principal and the vice-principle in training (she was new) by Mr. Garfield, my child’s teacher.  Present was also the child she had hit, his face bloody from his nose.  He looked awkward and a bit defiant sitting there flanked by his parents.

“Nice of you to FINALLY join us,” the principal said, I could hear the sarcasm in his voice.  I sat in a chair across the desk from him with the others in a semi-circle.

“Yes, it was busy in the Emergency Room,” I indicated the scrubs I was still wearing when I rushed out of work.  “I’ve spent the last hour stitching up a seven-year-old kid with over forty stitches who was beaten by his mother with a metal ladle.  Then I had to deal with the police regarding it.  Sorry for the inconvenience,” I added with a touch of my own sarcasm.  I looked at Kathy and saw she was looking down at her shoes, a typical ashamed look, but she didn’t look the worse for wear.

The principal seemed a bit embarrassed.  He proceeded to tell me what had happened to necessitate my presence here at the school.  Apparently, the boy had snapping my daughter’s bra.  She had then retaliated by punching him in the face, twice.  I tried not to laugh, it seemed boys never came up with anything new to torment girls, they had done something similar when I was a teen.  This gathering seemed to be a bit of an over-reaction. However, it seemed to me that they were more angry with my daughter’s actions than with the boy.

“Oh,” I said slowly, as I considered what I was going to say.  “And you want to know if I’m going to press charges against him for sexually assaulting my daughter as well as against the school for allowing him to do it?”

The wording ‘sexually assaulting’ seemed to make everyone in the room uptight.  They got all jittery and began to talk all at once.

“I don’t think it was that serious,” Mr. Garfield began.

“Let’s not over-react,” the vice-principal put in her two-cents.

“I think you are missing the point,” the principal stated.

The boy’s mother started to cry.  I turn to Kathy and ask her what happened.  I can’t make a decision without hearing both sides.

“He kept snapping my bra,” she said, embarrassed, not looking up and addressing her shoes.  “I asked him to stop and he wouldn’t.  He laughed at me.  I told Mr. Garfield,” she indicated her teacher, looking up for the first time.  “He told me to ‘ignore it.’  I tried,” she looked at me as she continued, “but he did it again and this time he undid my bra so I hit him.  That stopped him.”

Turning to Mr. Garfield who had nodded, confirming Kathy’s story, I asked, “You let him do this?  Why didn’t you stop him?”  I made a come-here gesture with my hand.  “Come over here and let me touch the front of your pants.”

He made a movement as though he was about to walk towards me before the sense of what I had just said hit him.  “What? No!” he answered aghast.

Innocently I asked, “Does that seem inappropriate to you?  Why don’t you go over and pull on,” I indicated the vice-principal who was staring at me wide-eyed, “on her bra right now?  See how fun it is for her.  Or,” I indicated the boy’s mother, “her bra?”  I held out my arms wide, emphasizing my bosom.  “Or mine?”  I lowered my arms.  “You think because they are kids that it’s fun?”

“Ms. Jones,” the principal interjected, his tone was one of exasperation at my reasoning.  “With all due respect, Kathy did beat another child.”

I stared at him a moment, giving weight to my words and allowing a silence. “No.  She defended herself against a sexual attack by another student.  Look at him, he’s over six feet tall.  He probably weighs around two-hundred pounds.  She’s five feet and probably a bit over a hundred-twenty pounds.  He’s a foot taller than her and nearly twice her weight.  How many times should she have let him touch her?  If the person who was supposed to protect her,” I glanced at Mr. Garfield, including him in this, “couldn’t be bothered, what should she have done?  He pulled her bra so hard that it came undone.”

The boy’s mother was crying.  His father looked angry as well as embarrassed.  Mr. Garfield wouldn’t make eye contact with me.  I look back at the principal.

“I’m taking Kathy home.  I hope he has learned a lesson,” I point at the bloody nosed boy who was fidgeting in his seat.  “And, I hope nothing like this every happens again, not only to Kathy, but to any other girl at this school.  You wouldn’t let him do it to a staff member,” I glance at the vice-principal, “so what makes you think he can do it to a fifteen-year-old girl is beyond me.  I will be reporting this to the school district as well as the school board.”  I turn to the shame-faced boy, “And if you EVER touch my daughter again I WILL have you arrested for sexual assault.  Do you understand me?”

He nodded once, I took that as an agreement.

I gathered Kathy and her things and left the school.  I did report them to the school district as well as the school board.  For good measure I also reported it to our local newspaper so there was a further record of the incident, without names since both of the kids were minors.  Kathy was, at first, moved from any classes with him.  One phone call reversed that and the boy was moved from her classes.  There was no reason to punish her for his behavior.

As I mentioned, this first appeared in a British publication.  I have rewritten it for my purposes.  I use it to illustrate that mentality that allows these small incidents to go unpunished.  That banding together of boys and men who then perpetuate such mentality.  I’m not saying women might not do the same but it isn’t as prevalent, or, perhaps discussed (I welcome such discussion in a different blog).  That type of misogyny must be nipped in the bud at a young age so that our young men and women realize that it isn’t acceptable, it isn’t allowed, and it isn’t going to be tolerated.  The more they see of it, the more accepting of it, the more inured they become to it.  In this climate of narcissistic misogyny, I fear that it will become worse, it will become the norm and I worry for future generations.

I raised two fine young gentlemen.  In a time where kids were latch key kids I took mine to work with me and put them to work with me.  I made them do chores that other kids didn’t ‘have’ to.  I let them know there were consequences for their actions.  My oldest son stated I was very strict and wondered why.  I explained they were always going to be taller than me, bigger than me, and I had to sit on them when I still could.  (My boys are now 6 foot 3 and 6 foot 1 respectively, I am only 5 foot 6).  That wasn’t the whole reason though.  I knew if I didn’t teach them respect, if I didn’t teach them manners, that I would not be able to control their impulsive and rebellious behavior when they became teenagers, and the adults they could have become would have been disastrous.

Those who sneer at good manners have a problem.  Those who degrade men and boys who hold open a door for a woman or girl, are foolish.  It isn’t a matter of losing your womanhood or feminism to allow this small act of chivalry, it’s manners.  I do the same for my girlfriend, holding doors, talking respectfully, and treating her as I would expect to be treated.  Manners and respect aren’t outdated, but they do need to be taught.  If they aren’t, the behaviors escalate.  Personal space, personal preference, and personal choices are all in peril when we allow such behaviors in our society to go unchecked, without consequences.  No, manners alone won’t solve this problem, however, it is a good start.  I hope, man or woman, would stand up and fight when these manners aren’t shown.

I may be a lesbian and some might ‘think’ it is a choice, but I can appreciate a man or a boy with good manners.  I can appreciate a woman or a girl with good manners.  I can appreciate a human being that treats others with the respect and dignity they are due, because they too are human beings.

 

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Tee Corrine Award, please vote

The deadline for the first round of voting for the Tee Corrine award for art is rapidly approaching.  If  you haven’t already (even if you have, they will delete duplicates) please go and vote for three covers that I have up for this award.  They are:

Doctored Veil of Silence Cover fast-lane

Please go HERE to cast your vote for these covers that I created!  If you are interested in the books themselves, click on the cover and it will take you to where you can read up on them and perhaps purchase a copy.

Thank you so much in advance for your consideration!

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Mainstream vs Lesfic

When I came out with my book Doctored last year I had a conundrum.  ALL of my books pretty much have a lesbian or two in them.  Unfortunately Lesbian Fiction does not sell well.  I mean, I have the greatest following of lesbians, but I wanted to reach more, and not just lesbians.  Fortunately for me, Doctored sold well and the next book Veil of Silence sold just as well.  This is because I didn’t list them initially AS Lesfic, because, technically all books can be listed otherwise, in these cases as Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, and in Veil of Silence‘s case, War.  I’ve done the same with my most recent release of The Outsider and I have to say loyal Amazon fans and now Apple and Barnes & Noble fans are the best.  They follow you, they want everything you write, and they make me smile with the comments I get regarding my writings.

I debated long and hard about going mainstream, after all, my books are about the STORY, not the SEX.  I do not do fade to black, so if you are reading this and worry about reading a lesbian sex scene, you can skip those pages.  Heck, my very conservative aunt read Veil of Silence and thought it was fantastic, and that has some definite lesbian sex scenes.  So, the debate goes on in my head about what I should do.  I mean, I’ll always write lesbian stories, you write what you know, and I’m definitely a lesbian…or so my girlfriend tells me, lol.  i-am-not-a-lesbian

The crossover though is worth it, if you can support it, I think my writings do cross over.  I have a large male following and I once thought it was for the sex scenes but in queries to those fans it turns out they like a well-written book…who would have thought?

I appreciate ALL my fans, the men, the women, the lesbians, the gays, the straight, the bi-sexual, the trans, the PEOPLE, because isn’t that what it’s ALL about?  The PEOPLE and their stories?

So, if you like a well-written novel, pop over to my website and pick one or two or as many as you can handle…it’s a challenge, a dare, and I think if you are reading this, you are up for it!

Doctored, Veil of Silence, and The Outsider as well as many others await you!

Doctored Veil of Silence Cover the-outsider-cover

captureThat’s what we WANT to see, rising sales!

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This is the screen shot of The Outsider in mainstream, this is for ALL of Amazon, not just one small section.  Out of the millions of submissions, my book is doing well!  Thank you, it is really appreciated by this author!

And please, don’t forget to tell others your thoughts, that’s all we ask after you have read our books:

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The Outsider is FINALLY here!

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Joy Parker had the perfect childhood.  Doted on by her parents, she couldn’t imagine her childhood any different.  As a child and later a young adult, she’s ignored by her much older siblings, made to feel the outsider…until a tragedy occurs, altering her life in ways she couldn’t possibly have imagined. 

The next few years of her life are vastly different from her parents’ hopes and dreams for her.  Then suddenly, another life-altering event changes the course of her life and she must make decisions she never dreamt possible.  Winning the largest lottery in Wisconsin history opens the flood gates of possibility and means Joy must again decide which direction to take with the rest of her life. 

What would you do if you won $341,726,178.10 after taxes?  Come along for the ride as we discover what Joy Parker decides to do with it….

Available from these fine retailers:

1-amazon

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2-apple

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3-kobo

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and coming soon to these two retailers:

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Or you can buy it directly from my website here:

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The first chapter is even available on the website for FREE!

Squirrel

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I have a standing joke with several of my friends where, when we become distracted, we say SQUIRREL or SHINY, or, if it’s really bad, SHINY SQUIRREL.  You get the reference, squirrels are always easily distracted and if it’s shiny, it’s worse.  Authors aren’t much different.  So, I find this funny.  I also find squirrels cute, as I didn’t have to deal with them trying to get in under our roof, building nests, being destructive when I grew up, my mother had some stories that made them seem like the pests they can be.  They also tend to create havoc when bird feeders are involved.

I can stop and watch a video of a squirrel because I find them amusing, clever, and cute as hell…hence the ‘distraction’ when I’m trying to write.14717122_998578910251411_550216731590625770_n

Since my friends know of this quirk of mine, I get a lot of squirrel pictures or share them with a select few.  I even went so far as to make the Shiny Squirrel, something several of them find funny or roll their eyes at.the-shiny-squirrel-cover

Last fall, I went to visit my girlfriend who lent me their family cabin for a week so I could relax after traveling so much, be near enough for her to visit, and to get away from it all.  It was beautiful and I posted pictures in my Facebook timeline before about the house I had to myself…or, as it turns out, not so to myself. 20161019_111321.jpg

I tend to ‘hear’ things.  I am told it’s because I’m sensitive to things beyond my knowledge (for now).  Some of it is ghosts, my mother has let me know messages from beyond, and others who either live with me, reach out, or even haunt me.  My cats are frequently seen in my house, definitely heard, and knock stuff around…the last one died before this last trip so the fact that these cats are gone means I’m hearing their ghosts…it’s annoying but I live with it.  Just last week the one that I last put down sharpened her claws on my carpeted steps…she’s been gone since September.  IMG_20150809_104958She really needs to stop acting like the living and move on…I’m told she won’t move on until I do from this house…that’s another story. (see how I get off track from a story…squirrel)

So, staying in this fairly remote (and beautiful) cabin, I heard the first night a rather high-pitched peeping noise.  Turned out it was a plug in to keep mice at bay.  I told my girlfriend about it and she said, unplug it.  Then she seemed ‘obsessed’ about preventing an infestation of mice, involving her father in the whole thing, putting down a TON (and stinky, you can have TOO much of that ‘spring fresh’ scent) mass of dryer sheets to ‘keep them away’ and discourage their living in the house.  She was rather overboard about it, and I didn’t think anything of it.  bounce-sheetsI just thought she was concerned about me staying there, wanted my time pleasant, and mice are destructive.  Turns out, there was another story to it that she just told me…FOUR MONTHS LATER.

She had been visiting me, we were sitting at the kitchen table chatting.  My back was to the room, her valiant husky was on the floor…sleeping (the lazy thing)big_husky and, apparently, we had another guest that she didn’t quite tell me about…a squirrel.

Since my back was to the room she glanced beyond me, saw something out of the corner of her eye (I frequently see things like that when the ghosts are particularly active, but when I tell her, I can hear her mentally rolling her eyes).  The something was a squirrel…in the cabin.  It hopped to the steps, climbed them to the first landing, and then perused the room…looking at both my girlfriend and I, analyzing the threat of the sleeping, and lazy dog, husky-hates-dog-shampoo-smelland deciding we weren’t that much of a consideration as it continued on up the steps.  When my girlfriend excused herself to make a phone call, I thought nothing of it.  After all, we are both busy individuals.  When she came back from the phone call (more than one I have now found out) was when we HAD to go shopping and pick up those dryer sheets to lay all over the cabin…as per her father’s ‘suggestion.’  Apparently, she had demanded that he come down and catch the thing.  He told her he had TRIED over the years to no avail and to use the dryer sheets which they can’t stand the smell of.  She next tried her sister, again demanding that she come down and catch the thing.  She was told she had exterminators in there who had tried to catch the things…again, nothing.  So, the stinky (and overwhelming) dryer sheets were apparently the answer.

I have now envisioned the possibility (because I’m creative like that) of waking up with a squirrel sitting on my chest, squirrel-officer-8looking into my face, waiting for me to wake up…and my girlfriend, saying nothing, because she didn’t want to ‘scare’ the squirrel, and, of course, pet-halloween-costume-312__605the dog doing nothing because she was too lazy and sleeping…

Anyway, that’s my squirrel story and I’m sticking to it (for now, until I can embellish some more) and I worry that my girlfriend kept the true parts of this story to herself for four months, feeling I might feel uncomfortable staying there with a rodent in residence, which, her father assured her, was probably up the chimney at that point.  I did hear the patter of ‘little feet’ on the roof as I recall during my stay there…but contrarily, I also heard branches against the windows and those killer ‘ninja’ squirrels could have gotten me…and then, where the hell would I have been?hqdefault

Hope you’ve enjoyed the latest ‘story’ 16176050_10155035355992682_1729968539_n as well as the one coming soon!

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Check out my website for further news:

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