I am so eager to work on freeing myself from within that it has been hard to focus on much else. That is what my life is about this year and I plan to make good on it. As it goes with such things, the steps I need to take present themselves to me; I never need to figure out what they are.
On Saturday, in one of my rare moments of complete relaxation from work, I was watching a hockey game which took place in Denver between that team and my home team. I was enjoying it until I was shocked out of my mellow state by what the announcer said. This may just be coincidental, but I said something about it on twitter and my followers have dropped off since. I mean no harm to anyone but I must speak up to maintain my good mental health. The letter I wrote follows.
During the Colorado Avalanche vs. Vancouver Canucks hockey game on Saturday, February 4, 2012, play-by-play announcer, John Garrett, followed a fight in the third period between Shane O’Brien and Alex Burrows. Burrows tried to score. Someone grabbed him around the neck and pulled him down on the ice until he was flat on his back. All the players were around him by his upper body when Mr. Garrett said: “It’s as though he thinks he’s being raped in the face.”
These kinds of comments flow like salt in our society–especially ones that include jokes about rape or other kinds of violence primarily against women, but crimes of which boys and men are also victims. Normally, in an almost conspiracy of silence, most will ignore it but, from a woman’s point of view, we are half of this society. It is wrong for the future of our daughters, sons, and even ourselves to participate silently in this practice.
It would be nice to hear an apology to everyone from Mr. Garrett. He has a wife, two daughters and perhaps sons. Surely, he owes it to all victims of rape–women, little girls, boys and men–-who were simply watching a hockey game where a fight was happening. His words turned it into something much uglier and upsetting to myself as a survivor, and most definitely, to others.