Friday, July 20, 2007


A brush with sexualized humiliation led Rod Dreher to identify with victims of abuse. This was certainly a formative experience for him, but I couldn't help but think as I read: Of course. Of course they stood aside and allowed you to be assaulted and humiliated. Why were you surprised? Had you never seen these blank faces before? Perhaps when those same boys (or even boys in Dreher's "popular" crowd in his grade) sexually humiliated some younger boy or girl?

My seventh-grade art teacher saw a group of boys grope me almost daily for the better part of a year. She couldn't help but see; I sat directly in front of her desk. Her face was always a controlled blank. Eventually terror recedes into resignation. If this sort of thing had happened to Dreher enough times, he wouldn't have to ask "[w]hat kind of broader culture allows the weak to live terrorized by the strong in this way?" It's our culture. His and mine.
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