Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: Thread of RAGE


Four hours later (now five point five), with tears of grief and rage as I drove to work, I can honestly say that reading that article held me rapt for an initial forty minutes, and hasn’t let go – much like the effect Maureen Ryan’s article had on me. I am both shocked and saddened and shamed at Jackie’s story. I live 40 mins from UVA, my husband works in Charlottesville. I grew up in Alabama, in a college town. This is hitting close to home and I wish I could run give Jackie (of the article) some encouragement that we’re standing with her and angry as hell. Though I avoided that in-town big school for my own college choice (being somewhat afraid of party culture/an honor student etc translate NOT IN THE COOL CROWD), I was encouraged (pushed) to participate in sorority rush at that smaller school. My parents (mother, backed by dad) wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, it’s “just what you do”, going out for rush. I did it, and by God’s grace, my naivete was not taken advantage of in the party world. Thank goodness I have a solid, stubborn head on my shoulders, and though I’ve never referred to myself as a feminist, I certainly am one. I realized sometime in college, looking back at my life up tø that point, that I’ve thought of living as a feminist in Southern culture as my own form of espionage, infiltrating the southern culture with a quiet solidarity (PBU ‘mtgs of one’ happening on the DL all over the world!!woot!). But even THAT is a sublimating of my own voice: calling myself a “feminist in hiding.” It’s creative, sure, and I’m holding my ground in small ways by raising boys who will be horrified at this cultural swell of group mentality, but even this hiding of my true feelings speaks to the bigger problem of misogyny.

I watch the clichéd, but real, ‘good ol’ boys’ network’ guffaw and dismiss the idea of feminism as a noisy nuisance, but they have no idea what is coming, or how we will hold our ground. A groundswell of rage may just overtake this horrific culture. At least in small part thanks to this forum, my brain is charged with anger and resolve to stand my ground in every small, daily way I can. HOWEVER, there IS an accountability to be called for what is happening, and that is the hiding away of the truth by administration at colleges. The bottom line is accountability; you said it, Barb, and Susan quoted it:

What I find more problematic than the reactions of other students is the responses of the administration, most especially the women in positions of power and trust. I find them to be particularly disgusting. All of these people should be fired and then made to stand out in the public square and be shamed for enabling and covering up criminal behavior by their students. Then they should be made to work in community service for minimum wage, counseling and helping rape victims for the rest of their pathetic little lives. UVA’s administration has forfeited all claim for this school to be a place of enlightenment and learning. They care about Thomas Jefferson? HAH. They care about money and prestige for themselves, and about protecting it.

I once worked for an international organization that works damn hard to get young girls out of forced prostitution and provide legal support for children who are violently and sexually assaulted in poor communities. The founder of the group used this pretty well-known quote, attributed to Edmund Burke, to help explain what’s going on in cultures of violence – and I’d say it easily applies to the admin at UVA, etc:

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

ASIDE: This guy’s work is inspiring. He has 3 books – the page I’ve tried to cut & paste w/the quote is from Terror No More by Gary Haugen, founder/president IJM.org. A Christian faith-based group, you might be encouraged to see how his two-fold aim for the organization is to A) rescue the oppressed internationally and B) engage a mostly-ignorant Christian church in active social justice (get heads out of Palin-centric tea party crap-ola). I highly respect the love and diligence this group puts into saving lives. There ARE people who are actively responding to the abuse of power. Now to get this happening in the US of A and rest of the first world.

Dean Eramo & President Sullivan are BOTH WOMEN. Shouldn’t they know better?? And both in positions of power (and abusing those rights, no?) that could change the world where this tragedy of human compassion, this murder of concern, is happening. Sorry if that’s cheesy, but it seems like a death of humanity to let this happen. But these two ladies, and it sounds like the rest of the admin, are sitting in fear, appearing to do their form of nothing – nothing more than help the college not be “the rape school.” The best way to help UVA not be that, ironically, would of course be to shed light on the truth and call a crime a crime. They would have to do more than nothing. The boys, yes, are also accountable. They acted, whether out of peer pressure or because they were a ring-leader in charge of hazing, and they committed a crime. The friends? I could shake them til their teeth rattled, or rage at their parents for raising such selfish critters not to look past their own noses. WTF, putting their social status above their friend’s crisis?? OI. MY anger is NOT abating by writing about this…but it’s a privilege to be here with each of you. Thank you, Rachely, for moving the thread; Barb, you said it perfectly. Rachely, I told a friend about how I sadly expected my beloved husband to initially defend – he, too, is a bit hesitant to listen to anything with the word “feminist” or that content in it, so I grieve for your hub’s response, for the pain that must bring! Susan, what a wonderful support your daughter has in you! My mom has cultural struggles, I know, and I forgive her weakness in having me blindly follow what she felt/feels I should do. Thank God I was finally able to begin making my own choices and leave that world in Alabama physically, but I’m just sick to know it’s still so close to me, over the mountain at UVA. GAG. Must get back to work, if I can! But again, it’s truly a PRIVILEGE to rage with each of you. xo
(if you can read anything from the screen shot of the “TERROR NO MORE” book I tried to paste in here, it might be encouraging.)

  • This reply was modified 7 years, 6 months ago by mosleslie.