Everyone who writes has a fantasy. One day, we will take up our pens (or typewriters, or computers, or smartphones/tablets). We will write something that changes the world for the better.
Women have done it before.
Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Twenty Years at Hull House by Jane Addams
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (yesterday would have been her 87th birthday had she survived the Holocaust).
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
The Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling, which changed popular culture forever. (How my son loved those books).
But it doesn't have to be a book anymore. It can be a text, or a letter, or even a social media posting.
Perhaps, a long letter from a woman known only as Emily Doe will join those books. It is a letter written by a 23 year old woman who was sexually assaulted by a young man, who was about to be let off with a "slap on the wrist" six months sentence. Boys will be boys, after all. And this young man was a star athlete. And, dare I say it, white.
Business as usual, in our United States.
Emily Doe's letter may join those books on the list of writing that changes our world. Maybe, just maybe. This woman is powerful and strong in her telling of what happened, and how it changed her life forever. The letter I've linked to is graphic. Chilling. Not just what was done to her, but the aftermath. Sleepless nights. Fear. Having to quit her job. The trial she endured, where she was asked questions straight out of 1965. Did she have a boyfriend? Were they intimate?
You will flinch when you read the letter. You should read it. Every word of it. And flinch.
Yes, she had gone to a party. Yes, she had drank too much. So what happened next became her fault, while the father of the young man who did what he did to her near a dumpster referred to what his son did as "20 minutes of action".
Thankfully, two men came upon them and acted, and were witnesses at the trial.
Athletes have been able to get away with that "action" for a long, long time. This man claimed consent, which the facts of the case contraindicate. Now, it is past time for this injustice to be addressed. No more blaming the victim. No more allowing star athletes to do what they want just because they are athletes. No more judges judging these cases with a wink and a nod.
The Stanford letter, as it is now called, has unleashed the fury of a nation.
Over one million people have signed a petition for the impeachment of the judge on change.org. Over 120,000 people have signed a petition to the White House for the impeachment of the judge.
I read about the judge first. Despite the controversy, he was just reappointed for a new term. He may or may not removed. Normally, I would agree that a verdict should not be interfered with. But, this is not that kind of case.
Whether this ends in impeachment for this judge because of this letter, I can only hope that, one way or the other, justice for Emily Doe is done.
Emily Doe, may life, going forward, be good to you.