Like many, I woke up yesterday to hear that David Bowie had passed. I was shocked because I had no idea he had been ill. And, I won’t lie, I felt a bit sad.
I have tremendous respect for him as an artist and his music in its wide array of styles carried me through so many moments. His music certainly would feature on a soundtrack of my life. I also admired him as an artist and his ability to forever reinvent himself.
Sadly, I also read several accounts indicating that it would appear that he also held some ugly truths and had done some pretty awful things in his life and, like so many famous people, got away with crimes that should have been punished. That also makes me sad, both to have my image of him altered and for the people he hurt along the way and, above all, that I don’t doubt it for a second.
So many with the power of celebrity get away with terrible things.
Coincidentally, I had also been following a horrific account of a young 18-year-old woman who was walking with her father in a park when they were approached by a group of five young men who threatened the father with a gun and insisted he leave, which he did. The youth then allegedly proceeded to gang rape the woman. The father returned later with police but the damage had been done.
That story rocks me to my core.
How will that woman ever recover? How does our society allow for young men to still feel entitled to violate a woman’s body? How could the father have left his daughter like that?
Today, however, it seems that the story is far more complicated and that it is possible the father may actually have been having sex with his daughter and that, at the very least, the father and daughter were both inebriated. Perhaps the boys were trying to stop him? Perhaps they simply took advantage of her being drunk? Perhaps we’ll never know the real truth of this ugly scenario.
None of this makes sense and I’m sure the details will continue to come in as the young boys are taken into custody and facts become clearer. What is certain is that the young woman was raped.
The part of this story that bothers me the most, however – besides the obvious – is the ugly truth that I don’t think I know a single woman who has not, at some point, been sexually assaulted.
This breaks my heart.
I sincerely hope that there are many women out there who will read this and say “Not me, I’ve never been assaulted.” I hope that is true and that I am wrong. But sadly, in my own life, that is not the case.
I wish women had as many rights as guns and that we could walk though parks at night without fear. That our health clinics would not be blocked by protesters. That our bodies would not be legislated by male politicians. That our lives were truly our own to live as we desire.
I don’t have any great wisdom here, but I have a heavy heart and needed to share. I will always be a fan of David Bowie’s music – I grew up on it – but I am deeply sad for anyone he hurt along the way. And I am sad for every woman and man who has ever been violated. They did not deserve that. Nobody does.