War can condition a person to be resilient, tolerant, dependable, strong, and capable of so much more than one who had experienced nothing of it; it can bring out the very best in us, but also the very worst. Where is it, I ask, the proper conduit through which a soldier should be raised from whence they would become an upstanding citizen of the world, instead of a single country?
In spite of hopes to the contrary, pornography and mass culture are working to collapse sexuality with rape, reinforcing the patterns of male dominance and female submission so that many young people believe this is simply the way sex it. This means that many of the rapists of the future will believe they are behaving within socially accepted norms.
And we're all good, everything is forgiven between Beethoven and me because this is the part of me that hasn't changed. In this monent I'm not defined by the other things, the things that happened to me, the things I didn't choose. This is the part of me that defines me for all time, for always. The thing I choose completely.
What do you have to forget or overlook in order to desire that this dysfunctional clan once more occupies the White House and is again in a position to rent the Lincoln Bedroom to campaign donors and to employ the Oval Office as a massage parlor? You have to be able to forget, first, what happened to those who complained, or who told the truth, last time. It's often said, by people trying to show how grown-up and unshocked they are, that all Clinton did to get himself impeached was lie about sex. That's not really true. What he actually lied about, in the perjury that also got him , was the . And what this involved was a steady campaign of defamation, backed up by private dicks (you should excuse the expression) and salaried government employees, against women who I believe were telling the truth. In my opinion, Gennifer Flowers was telling the truth; so was Monica Lewinsky, and so was Kathleen Willey, and so, lest we forget, was Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who says she was raped by Bill Clinton. (For the full background on this, see the chapter 'Is There a Rapist in the Oval Office?' in the paperback version of my book . This essay, I may modestly say, has never been challenged by anybody in the fabled Clinton 'rapid response' team.) Yet one constantly reads that both Clintons, including the female who helped intensify the slanders against her mistreated sisters, are excellent on women's 'issues.
She knew I could tell with one glance, one look, one simple instant. It was her eyes. Despite the thick makeup, they were still dark-rimmed., haunted, and sad. Most of all though, they were familiar. The fact that we were in front of hundreds of strangers changed nothing at all. I'd spent a summer with those same eyes-scared, lost, confused-staring back at me. I would have known them anywhere.
I'd still thought that everything I thought about that night-the shame, the fear-would fade in time. But that hadn't happened. Instead, the things that I remembered, these little details, seemed to grow stronger, to the point where I could feel their weight in my chest. Nothing, however stuck with me more than the memory of stepping into that dark room and what I found there, and how the light then took that nightmare and made it real.
Any rapist would feel pretty dang upset to see his car packed full with rotting fish heads and limburger cheese...Also, if the 542 women responsible were crowded onto the street where he lived, insisting that he move himself and his stinky car to another locale.Nobody likes to be pelted with 2060 bloody tampons.
Children who are victimized through sexual abuse often begin to develop deeply held tenets that shape their sense of self: 'My worth is my sexuality. I'm dirty and shameful. I have no right to my own physical boundaries.' That shapes their ideas about the world around them: 'No one will believe me. Telling the truth results in bad consequences. People can't be trusted.' It doesn't take long for children to being to act in accordance with these belief systems.For girls who have experienced incest, sexual abuse, or rape, the boundaries between love, sex, and pain become blurred. Secrets are normal, and shame is a constant.
But no one could say he hadn't gotten even. He could not count the field women whom he had sexually degraded and demoralized and in whom he had left his seed so their bastard children would be a daily visual reminder of what a plantation white man could do to a plantation black woman whenever he wanted, nor could he count the black men whom he had made fear his blackjack as they would fear Satan himself, making each of them a lifetime enemy of all white people.
Well, as Hannah Arendt famously said, there can be a banal aspect to evil. In other words, it doesn't present always. I mean, often what you're meeting is a very mediocre person. But nonetheless, you can get a sort of frisson of wickedness from them. And the best combination of those, I think, I describe him in the book, is/was General Jorge Rafael Videla of Argentina, who I met in the late 1970s when the death squad war was at its height, and his fellow citizens were disappearing off the street all the time. And he was, in some ways, extremely banal. I describe him as looking like a human toothbrush. He was a sort of starch, lean officer with a silly mustache, and a very stupid look to him, but a very fanatical glint as well. And, if I'd tell you why he's now under house arrest in Argentina, you might get a sense of the horror I felt as I was asking him questions about all this. He's in prison in Argentina for selling the children of the rape victims among the private prisoners, who he kept in a personal jail. And I don't know if I've ever met anyone who's done anything as sort of condensedly horrible as that.