The Line (AKA #MeToo)

I heard a song on the radio last weekend that really hit me.  It was written and sung by Chris Janson, titled “Take a Drunk Girl Home”.  I spent my high school days in Chico, in the height of Playboy’s nominated Party School of America.  It was easy to joke that I got my college education in high school.   There are many episodes to joke about; but, there were many others that just weren’t funny or right.  This song spoke about doing the right thing.

“Couple cover charge stamps got her hand looking like a rainbow
In and out of every bar on a whim just like the wind blows
She’s either a bachelorette or coming off a breakup
Take a drunk girl home”

As the daughter of a single mother in the 70’s, I watched my own mother struggle to make good choices with dating and relationships. She was as flawed as all of us are. Some humans are what they are appear and others are not – what appears to be a solid man or woman turns out to be less than what they appeared – less honest, abusive, flighty, disreputable, married or maybe it was just a bad fit. I look back to myself as a young adult with a father who lived out of state and realized there was probably a lot of me looking for a male figure in my life which left me vulnerable.

The bar scene in which alcohol is free flowing – I have been plied with alcohol, I have watched friends plied with other substances.  America watched Bill Crosby on trial, admitting to giving women drugs and alcohol – “That’s what we did in the 70s.”

“She’s bouncing like a pinball
Singing every word she never knew
Dancing with her eyes closed like she’s the only one in the room
But here’s a perfect mess, falling out of that dress
Take a drunk girl home”

Yet, here we are decades later and there still remain questions regarding The Line between consensual vs. non-consensual sex. I am literally staggered by the lack of progress made with This Line – a Fine Line, a Clear Line – and it has only been in the last year that we have seen The Line move in the right direction – A line is The Line – It is a Clear Line, a Bold Line and if That Line is crossed you WILL now be held accountable for your actions.

I think most humans could tell of a time when they were somehow violated, but we have been brainwashed to downplay the act – I was drinking, it was my fault. I wasn’t firm in my “No”, it was my fault. He was a friend (of a family member, of a friend), I’m sure he didn’t mean it.   And before you say it, please don’t think I am insinuating that men are the only perpetrators. Women are guilty of this as well – a friend of the family whose young adult daughter was left to care for young children – and in her care she chose to spend time molesting them both.  Look at Allison Mack, starring actress in “Smallville” indicted for sex trafficking.

Let her sleep all alone
Leave her keys on the counter your number by the phone
Pick up her life she threw on the floor
Leave the hall lights on walk out and lock the door
That’s how she knows the difference between a boy and man
Take a drunk girl home”

Then, there was yesterday, in the midst of my 50th birthday, the announcement of the arrest of the East Area Rapist (AKA the Golden State Stalker, the Original Night Stalker). It was all over the news and social media. My friends (who like me) grew up in Sacramento commented on their fears growing up and the safety measures taken – security systems, extra door locks, the purchase of a dog — to ward off this rapist, this abuser, this killer.
My story was a bit different, for when as a child I expressed to my mother that I was scared he would break into our home, my mother’s response was, “He has already been here.” I’m not sure which was worse: Knowing he had been there? Knowing he had been there and my brother and I slept through the incident not knowing or able to stop him? Or the relief that we were not all literally dead?

“Took a drunk girl home
In the sober light of dawn
She left you a message she thinks you’re on the phone
Cause you picked up her life she threw on the floor
You left the hall lights on walked out and locked the door
That’s how she knows the difference between a boy and man
Take a drunk girl home”

I made a call today that I never ever thought I would make. It was a call to the Sacramento District Attorney’s office. A call to let the DA know that, if my mom’s case is still on file, I want them to pull it and if there is DNA that can help assist in the prosecution of the East Area Rapist, I want them to use it. I want him prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I don’t care that he is in his 70s, I don’t care that Bill Cosby is legally blind and married to the same woman for 54 fucking years. I hope the two share a cell. If I could find the female babysitter that molested two young children, I would take her down, too.

Enough is enough. The Line now matters.  #MeToo.

 

2 thoughts on “The Line (AKA #MeToo)

  1. Jeni Webb

    Jaye, I was scared to death of that man. I would block my bedroom door at night. My Mom would tell me he could take her instead. I refused to be out at night alone. He was after my friend and her sisters and mom. My friend slept with a gun. Your Mom was his victim? God I am so sorry. I lived with the fear – I’m sorry your Mom was his victim 😥 I hate that man for all the fear he instilled in all of us. There is no punishment that will erase the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Romy Foster

      Jaye, like Jeni, I also grew up in Sacramento. We were terrified. It saddens me to know your mom was one of that monster’s victims. You have great strength in making that call to the DA. I had a relative of a friend who took advantage of me when I was a child. I’m in my late 50s now. I used to read the Sacramento obituaries everyday for 35 years until I found out he died. I should have gone to the police. But who’s going to believe someone 50 years later. But I am glad he’s dead. It must be horrible for you to not be able to help your friend find that babysitter that hurt your friend’s children. You can’t do a name search? That’s what I did.

      Like

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