Thank you Quinn for your eloquent and clear-sighted piece, especially given the personal nature of it, and the inevitable second-guessing by people who weren’t there. Your handling of both the event(s) and this writing of it, is superb! It stands as a model for all of us, but particularly our sisters and daughters, for dealing with the violence that is constantly present, and continually perpetrated — usually with impunity.
I deliberately omit the word “sexual” because I think that is a weasel word used by perps and the media to deflect from the truth. The reasons violence against women is cast in a sexual context vary from trying to make it seem “natural” (boys will be boys, or alcohol made me do it), to the sexualizing a story to gain more attention. Whatever the excuse, it seems we need to constantly re-frame this violence for what it is (or do we need to start calling robberies and war sexual violence to show how distorted this framing is?).
I don’t mean to tell you how to frame your story (you did an excellent job of that), nor am I trying to say that for anyone. As someone who resisted grabbing the mic in the #metoo initiative, I’ve been trying to untangle my own experience, and that of my loved ones, from the larger cultural soup that is boiling over.
The common thread I see through most of this is the objectification of people generally, and specifically the relegation of women to second class citizens. It seems to come down to power and those who benefit from exploitation — including the all-important support of those who indirectly benefit. In short, the Banality of Evil.
In fact, Quinn, your courage and clarity reminds me of Arendt.