Women carry encyclopedic knowledge of the people who have to any degree pleasured and damaged us. We know where all the bodies are buried, including our own.
Over the past year, we have witnessed not only a renegotiation of the borders between public and private life, but also a revelation of the coping strategies women have always used to deal with men. All of this excruciatingly intimate personal storytelling — bursting into the public sphere — made individual experiences feel like the expressions of a system at work.
To see the conspiracy; to connect the dots. Similarly, proto-legal systems — university administrations, HR departments — allow many powerful men to slip through the cracks. The past year of MeToo has made public storytelling itself the site for a new kind of due process, one based in the dynamics of investigative journalism. Every source must have backup in the form of witnesses who contemporaneously heard about the abuse at the time of its occurrence.
Direct testimony is elaborately and assiduously scaffolded with as much documentation as can be collected. Because abusive behavior is rarely something that happens only once, that first story usually triggers subsequent reportage, which generally appears in the time it takes to both locate and confirm additional victims.
In this regard, it has been fascinating to watch the documentary Surviving R. Kelly , all the more so because so few if any of the stories shared in it are new. Instead, the film reviews 30 years of publicly known allegations. What is new is that the filmmakers present these stories in a journalistic framework that makes the pattern they reveal feel undeniable. In some ways, though, this example simply proves that the shift from due process of law to trial by journalism has its own temporal and moral gaps.
Or access the men in foreign countries who were purportedly paid to participate in the gang bangs. The story remains illegible.
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So too do many other stories of corrupt ethics within intimate relationships, a topic for which we as yet have no real public language. Once we try to start talking about it, the community structures upon which our society depends — marriages, families, friends — get implicated. As do we. As [Manafort] was escorted from the courtroom to his holding cell, he made eye contact with his wife Kathleen, who had been present every day of the trial.
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She continued to look at the door he exited after it shut behind him. A characteristic arc of the MeToo-era story is that it begins in innocence, travels through serial abuses of power, and finally and most importantly ends. M y relationship with the abuser is over. I left him.
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I left that professional situation. I realized I was being abused. I went to therapy. I never saw him again. These are stories of survival, escape, resolution, and catharsis. Life rarely works so neatly, however. The cultural predominance of such narratives can be attributed to a willingness of people to speak only once they are safely finished with a professional or personal relationship. We lack ways to unravel the intricate complicities negotiated when experiencing or witnessing ongoing abusive behavior in the family, in the workplace, among our social networks.
Some of the most agonized MeToo stories — the ones that tend to come out in public accounts that are personal, not journalistic — involve people confessing to being in abusive situations they never explicitly refused or escaped. Instead of heroic resistance, these are tales of ambivalence, of helplessness, of going along to get along, of privileging financial security or professional livelihood or family peace. The difficulty — for teller and listener — comes from knowing that bad and compromised relationships are collaborations between self-aware and often consenting human beings.
The torment comes from the realization that you have been caught in the current of your own choices — from wondering how much those truly were your personal choices. These stories lack a single moment of moral clarity, a stark revelation of bad behavior and its costs — the moment that provides such palpable relief for the people who do have them. The situation does not unfold in the narrative order we have come to expect in MeToo stories — 1 encounter abuse, 2 recognize it as abuse, 3 decry abuse, 4 abandon or escape abuser.
They parse details from conversations with both parents. You dont do things that dont feel right to you. She didnt have four children to make him happy She stopped at two. She has a lot of repression happening. I tried to help my mom and she just put her head back in the sand and is currently happy. Either in ignorance or acceptance. Either way not my choice to judge. I know my dad is a horrible and moral-less human. Total selfish sociopath.
He is a master manipulator.
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And Chris is my entire life. Sorry for the mid day drama vent session. I appreciate the ear. This is only about you and Chris, just focus on that! And once the last check clears … f him. Andrea responds:. Nothing changes. Bc if my mom says she is staying w him and she is fine, I feel like everyone would just be like okay cool.
The cousin believes that, if the family knew and became more involved, perhaps the situation would change. There is, in short, no good way to tell this story. At this point, her mother has returned, entirely, to her marriage and wants Andrea to join the campaign.
Andrea remains gimlet-eyed toward her father, but she does offer to connect friends with him in case they want a White House job. She states that she believes Trump to be the best candidate:. And yes generally speaking if you make me pick — trump will enact better policies than bern, hillz or Cruz Most notably Bc one can easily see that trump will hire the best and most diverse cabinet Hillz is Obama 2.
And obamas strategy has not been great Bern is nuts Cruz is the fucking worst Trumps priority is the economy. Not a wall. The gap between the law and how things actually get done is bridged by various social control techniques left over from the Soviet era, of which kompromat is one. Kompromat shows the way personal life can be weaponized by a power structure geared to benefit the very few.
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By contrast, the Manafort marriage texts would seem to be anti -kompromat. And yet, in its open silence, the anti- kompromat keeps the system going as well. The target has not totally escaped the outcome of this humiliating revelation. Only one was in a simple garb, unlike the others, and she, notwithstanding her weed was clean and fitting, was arrayed in poor, grey home spun. As I looked on her I could not but mind me of Cinderella; and when I looked in her face, and then at her feet to see whether they were as neat and as little as in the tale, I saw that she had small ankles and sweet little shoes; and as for her face, I deemed I had never seen one so lovely and at the same time so strange to me.
Yea, she seemed to have come from another world than this that I and the others lived in; for we were light or brown haired, with blue or grey eyes, and healthy red and white faces; while Cinderella had a low forehead and with big dark eyes strange, long, fine silky lashes; and heavy plaits of black hair hung down her back. Moreover Cinderella was a stranger to me, and all the others I knew well, but I had to take patience for a whole hour ere I could ask who this fair Cinderella was, for Sister Margaret kept her eye on us, and so long as I was taught by her, no one at any time made so bold as to speak during lessons or venture on any pastime.
At last, in a few minutes for rest, I asked Ursula Tetzel, who had come to the convent school for a year past. She put out her red nether-lip with a look of scorn and said the new scholar had been thrust among us but did not belong to the like of us.