Search Results for: richard gartner

The Lost Boys of #MeToo

Lee Roth / AP, Herman / Corbis, Dave Hogan / Getty

Soraya Roberts | Longreads | February 2019 | 10 minutes (2,500 words)

At the end of An Open Secret, the 2015 documentary by Amy J. Berg about child sex abuse in Hollywood, a card reads: “The filmmakers emphasize that this is not a gender based issue. We chose to tell these specific stories, but they are representations of a greater issue that affects both boys and girls.” It was an odd thing to read after watching a 99-minute film — one that could not secure a distributor and was self-released on Vimeo — in which no girls were mentioned. Whether or not it was intentional, the statement had the effect of equating the two genders, erasing any nuance that might exist in a male victim versus a female victim. It leaves the impression that the abuse we predominantly talk about  which, in our current climate, targets girls and women  is the standard. So the way girls and women are mistreated and how they react to this mistreatment is how all of us do. The fallout from Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby and R. Kelly is the fallout from Michael Jackson and Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer and Gary Goddard. Read more…

As I read, something quite unexpected occurred, an “aha” moment in the quiet of my kitchen, with the dog asleep on the floor and coffee cooling in a cup. I leaned against the cooktop. I realized I was writing the wrong story.

Forty-one years ago, while an exchange student living at a convent school in Belgium, I was sexually assaulted by a teacher, a married woman with an 8-month-old son. This is not a newly recovered memory. This is a story I have told repeatedly, though not publicly, for years. I needed to tell it to convince myself it was true.

I choose to tell it here, not because I wish to detract in any way from the severity of the alleged abuse that took place at Penn State but because it illustrates the power of the mind, as psychologist Richard Gartner, author of the definitive book on the subject, Betrayed As Boys, told me, “to put experience in a kind of box so that it doesn’t disturb the rest of you.” Because, while I am a reluctant citizen of the confessional states of America, my experience, which pales in comparison to the trauma described by the grand jury, illustrates the banal ubiquity of sexual abuse and its insidious aftermath.

“Grown-ups Must Act Like Grown-ups.” — Jane Leavy, Grantland

See more #longreads from Grantland

Grown-ups Must Act Like Grown-ups

Longreads Pick

As I read, something quite unexpected occurred, an “aha” moment in the quiet of my kitchen, with the dog asleep on the floor and coffee cooling in a cup. I leaned against the cooktop. I realized I was writing the wrong story.

Forty-one years ago, while an exchange student living at a convent school in Belgium, I was sexually assaulted by a teacher, a married woman with an 8-month-old son. This is not a newly recovered memory. This is a story I have told repeatedly, though not publicly, for years. I needed to tell it to convince myself it was true.

I choose to tell it here, not because I wish to detract in any way from the severity of the alleged abuse that took place at Penn State but because it illustrates the power of the mind, as psychologist Richard Gartner, author of the definitive book on the subject, Betrayed As Boys, told me, “to put experience in a kind of box so that it doesn’t disturb the rest of you.” Because, while I am a reluctant citizen of the confessional states of America, my experience, which pales in comparison to the trauma described by the grand jury, illustrates the banal ubiquity of sexual abuse and its insidious aftermath.

Author: Jane Leavy
Source: Grantland
Published: Nov 11, 2011
Length: 9 minutes (2,421 words)