Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bea just woke up. When will everybody else?

I just put Beatrice down for nap. It's been a pleasure playing with her and watching her play on daddy daycare day, holding her close to me while she sucks her thumb and strokes her fuzzy (blanket). I've been gone all week on a business trip, so each day I longed to talk to her and Mama on speaker phone.

Through my entire crazy week, I kept thinking about the Jane Doe rape in Richmond on October 24.

I only heard about it last weekend and it floored me. It's been a bad enough recently with the unemployment numbers, the Fort Hood shootings and now the disgruntled ex-employee shooting in Orlando.

I have people in my life who have been assaulted, including children - boys and girls. It only takes one for me to know that we're far from being an elevated species.

What's even more disturbing to me is that the media coverage of unemployment and shootings completely overshadowed that of the Richmond rape.

I played with Bea for a couple of hours this afternoon - read books, chased her around the living, fed her lunch, put her to bed.

Jane Doe was raped for 2 1/2 hours by six maybe seven men while at least another dozen watched. She was betrayed by a supposed friend who was one of the attackers. She is 16 years old.

Yes, the victim has been getting lots of support and there have been local rallies and letters, but where's the broader intervention and outreach?

Where's the fucking national outrage? Really, where is it? We're angry when disease takes our loved ones and we wear the ribbons of cause, but who wears the purple ribbons?

I cry just typing this up. Earlier in the week and emailed journalist Patty Fisher from the San Jose Mercury News, the first article I read about the attack. I asked her if she could a follow up piece about what communities are doing to address this complete disregard for human dignity and the utter sexual objectification and lack of respect for women. She said she'd try.

It's hard enough raising girls, but Patty wrote something that struck me:

But I think it's even harder for parents of boys. How do you raise a son to be caring and responsible in a culture that too often portrays women as whores and men as warriors and thugs?

Why aren't parents taking more responsibility to instill love and respect in their children's hearts? Is it really those of lower socioeconomic status who breakdown in their parenting leadership ability? I don't think so. I think it can happen anywhere at anytime. Nobody in our world today deserves to be treated this way.

So for those of us - particularly parents or soon-to-be parents - who have the capacity to control our actions and choose the higher path of respect and dignity, we need a call to action of the highest order to change this behavior, to help curb as much of the violence we can, to work in our communities and our children until they understand what it means to elevate and not to hate.

Those who have lesser capacity and ability to do this need our help.

For my Christian friends and family out there, pray the prayers of personal strength and responsibility, because God empowers us with these and choice, the ability to elevate and the ability to teach.

I implore other daddy bloggers out there, Mocha Dad especially, to keep writing about domestic violence and abuse, to push for action and change, to get involved and make change.

I implore those of you who have been abusers, who have turned your lives around, to get involved in programs that educate and elevate others.

I've reached out to Frank Baird, the founder of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, to organize a Santa Cruz walk for the women, men and children in our communities who have been assaulted, abused and/or raped. I hope to hear from him soon.

Bea just woke up. When will everybody else?

You may be right,
it's all a waste of time.
I guess that's just a chance I'm prepared to take,
a danger I'm prepared to to face,
cut to the chase --
what kind of difference can one person make?
Cut to the chase.

--Neil Peart


  1. I will definitely continue to write about domestic violence. Domestic violence must cease!

  2. My heart sunk to my toes reading your post. Sometimes I just feel so damn helpless instead of enpowered. The question that reverberates through my head is when will the madness stop. The other question is how do people explain the basest of actions. What is their reasoning? How do you defend yourself when you partook in raping a girl for hours?
    When I feel stronger, I will feel as enraged as I feel helpless now. I know there are things I can do. I will.
    But for now, I just need a chance to weep.