National Assailant Day sounds like a good idea to me.

“I actually believe in a “Name your assailant day”, in which women go to police together, to support one another in filing reports. It doesn’t matter if you are outside the statute of limitations. You may not be able to prosecute your own abuser. But the report will be on the record.” — https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/14/sexual-assault-report-women-culture-of-silence

Sexual assault.

Me too.

Is saying “me too” enough? Do males think it’s just a case of winking and cat-calling? Maybe we need to actually post some of this shit.

Trigger alert-I describe some incidents of sexual assault below.

I recall the many close calls I had–a groping by a family member in 3rd grade, a chase and boob grabbing incident by 3 boys in 6th grade, a knife pulled on me in 7th grade in someone’s garage, the 3 times I got into a car with the wrong man in my hitchhiking days, a masturbator in a car late at night while I was walking home alone, a friend and a family member who brushed my ass more times than could be accidental, the English dude who grabbed my boob as I was walking in Oxford, the asshole who reached out of his car window and smacked my ass hard enough to knock me off my bicycle as he drove by, the manager of the bar who asked me stay after work (at 3am) and get additional “training.”

But the one that haunts me is the camp director who “massaged” me regularly/vaginally/painfully when I was 14 and in the infirmary for 3 days after I had what I think must have been a mini-breakdown as a counselor-in-training at a well-known Jewish overnight camp. I froze and didn’t feel like I could leave the infirmary until he told me I could go. This man had regular access to young girls for so many years, and instead of reporting him, I put the incident away and tried not to think about it too often for the many decades that have followed although when I did, I stewed in shame, sorrow and suffering.

I reached out to someone I connected with on Facebook just a few years ago to see if she could recall his name and knew whether he was still alive. (I made it seem like I was looking for an old friend.) Yes, she knew his name, and yes, still alive. I did a little bit of digging and convinced myself that as an old man with a family, he couldn’t possibly be doing harm any more, and coming forward wouldn’t help anyone at this point.

If there was an annual national assailant day, would I have come forward? I don’t know, but it certainly would have been a reminder each year that I could.

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When a Bully is President by Maya Gonzalez

“Voice is a Revolution”

This book.

“This book was conceived on November 9, 2016 with the publishing date of February 20, 2017.” That’s right–less than 4 months to publish!

This book.

Bilingual in Spanish and English!

This book.

Doesn’t name #45, but talks about the history of America–colonization, slavery and the stealing of land from indigenous peoples.

This book.

Is a self-care manual for all ages. “Bullying is real, but we can change the story by changing the focus. Begin with yourself. Begin the journey of art activist. You are the artist. You are the storyteller.”

This book.

Published by Reflection Press, a “radical indie press.”

This book.

Get it for your library and yourself and the kids and grownups in your life. http://www.reflectionpress.com/our-books/when-a-bully-is-president/

 

 

 

Storytime Joy

Ms. Cate, my  young co-worker, hosts wonderful storytimes and “Bibliobops,” dance parties for all ages.  In this blog post, she talks about how we all learn from each other to find joy, fun and meaning in wonderful picture books and get across all that wonderfulness  to the youngsters in our lives.

Oh, and she calls me Ms. Shelley the Magnificent.  🙂

The Draft

Ricky had to sign up for The Draft as part of filling in one of his college apps. No big deal according to the ssa site, right?

Then it’s my privilege (and responsibility, I suppose) to read the news.

No big deal, right?

Two of my favorite anti-war books for all ages:

Patrol by Walter Dean Myers

The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss

What’s up with windows and mirrors for life?

Windows and mirrors is a phrase used in the children’s book world, and probably beyond…  It’s a good answer to this kind of question:  “Why should we have any books about black people in our library?  We don’t have any black people using our library.”  You can substitute any term you like for “black people.”  Howsabout “lesbians” or “Holocaust victims” or “Native American people” or “foster families” or “trans people” or ?”  Etc.

We needs books of all kinds in our life–those that reflect our world back to us (mirrors), and those that open us up to the worlds of others (windows).

That’s the essence of windows and mirrors, and I think it applies to life as well as books.  We need to seek out people and experiences that reflect who we are PLUS people and experiences that open us up to the rest of the world.

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