How #MeToo Can Bring Peace or: Why I’m Glad I Was Raped Out of A Rhodes Scholarship
Unlike Bill Clinton, I didn’t fail to complete my Oxford education as a Rhodes Scholar because I raped somebody.
I was in the selection process but I didn’t get the chance to go in the first place because I was raped by the chair of the review committee. It’s the same thing we’ve heard about dozens of times recently. Not too much different from a drugged Bill Cosby victim to one of our many gifted Olympic gymnasts, their lives permanently scarred by twisted team doctor Larry Nassar.
In 1983, I didn’t understand that Cecil Rhodes was a colonialist. A monster. A racist. I didn’t “get” that in a strange way, the man who raped me did me a huge favor by cutting short my early academic career and formal education.
My conscience would never allow me to do the things I see and know that our “leaders” have done. I would certainly have succumbed to substance misuse or other self-destructive behaviors long before now if I’d become the tool of racist colonial imperialists as Rhodes intended for his program to serve. One person, alone, could not have made any type of positive change in the world I was given to work in, in that way.
And with all the disappointments, the hurts, the tragedies, the disillusions in my life, I think seeing up close and personal how vile, low, disgusting, despicable, greedy, venal, murderous and small-minded our “leaders” in western government and business are would have broken me.
I am a strong person. I have survived my baby dying in my arms. I have survived being accused of murdering him and survived a lunatic putting a web page on the internet stating either I or my daughter killed him. I have survived the deaths of so many others, and I’ve had those I’m close to betray me more times than I can count.
But having a moderate position of power or leadership over more than a few people and realizing what it really was — yes, I think that would have broken me. I just see too much. I always have. I knew there was something wrong with the man who raped me. I set my suspicions aside in favor of others’ praise of him: that was the last time I made that kind of mistake. Additionally in my defense, I literally had no idea that someone in his position (named chair of Literature at expensive private college) would be who he was and do what he did. He wasn’t just a serial rapist, the cops told me they suspected he had killed some unidentified young women who weren’t well-known students like me. This is a decade before Criminal Minds or other crime-exploitation shows.
I was driving to school the other day and thinking logically about ever-spiraling-upward CEO pay vs. worker pay which isn’t just wrong on an economic basis, it stinks to high heaven.
A number of recent studies have shown an inverse relationship between CEO pay and company performance. By “inverse,” they mean — the higher the CEO’s compensation and options, the lower the company’s financial performance. After one of the worst banking debacles in decades (perhaps ever), Wells Fargo was just fined $1 billion and shareholders failed to oust CEO Tim Sloan who is belligerently out there yelling what a great job he’s doing and how people just don’t understand. After it was reported that the Trump tax deal means Wells’ fine won’t really hurt the bank much …
You can’t argue with success.
In the less rarefied world of family-owned small to medium enterprises, or, let’s say, shows like Breaking Bad, like Skylar’s boss … when the CEO gets a big raise and the company’s performance tanks (before, during, after) that usually means … hold on for this rocket science here …
FRAUD CORRUPTION FRAUD CORRUPTION BRIBE HUSH MONEY FRAUD
If you’re in a position to know who’s stealing what — it’s pretty easy to request a raise.
Hence: CEO pay/company performance inverse ratio.
HELLO. Every one of those men (I use that term loosely) and the very few women who are paid such high sums by even richer people to live their luxury lifestyles are Tom Hagen to Don Corleone. Except Don Corleone gave a damn about his family. Don Corleone had some human values in addition to all of the inhuman qualities. None of the .00001% give a damn about anybody but themselves. In some cases, I doubt that some of them even give a damn about themselves. Not in the way healthy people do.
I’m sitting here grading student papers (not my students) and a large number of them cannot sufficiently comprehend instructions to write a satisfactory response. It feels like these young people have no chance, no hope. There’s no way with such low skills that they will be able to compete in the world to come.
I am so, so grateful I was not made to be one of Cecil Rhodes’ tools of racist colonial exploitation. I had absolutely no idea who that guy was or what colonialism was back then. I would have done each and every thing asked of me and then some.
So, so grateful I was raped out of a Rhodes.
Why? Because I know humanity is capable of so much more. We are destined for life, the stars, hope, eternity.
Does Medium have any idea how soul-killing it is to be on the supposed platform for reading great writing and discussing ideas and it consists of people talking about their bariatric surgery or how shitty it is to be black?
Yeah. I think they do.
Every single thing, all of it, is one massive monolithic ball of bad. If you read The Bible, it’s Caiaphas and the Pharisees making sure Jesus will be crucified. If you watch The Lion King, it’s Scar. Oh gee whiz, where can we find an example with females? Hmn. Let’s see. Oh gee golly.
Jane Eyre’s wicked cousins Eliza and Georgiana. They were so mean they didn’t even want her to marry an abusive blind guy. How mean is that? If there were ever a literary example of the H8% it’s Jane Eyre’s cousins and aunt.
Each year I attend something called the “Great Teachers” seminar with my fellow Saddleback teachers. It’s a 2-day retreat at Lake Arrowhead where we have a blast and work on ways to be better teachers. We’re always asked to bring a book that changed our life. I think next time I will bring my mother’s copy of Jane Eyre (and Wuthering Heights) which have the beautiful, powerful Fritz Eichenberg engravings.
I think I will bring this copy of Jane Eyre, because reading it as a child, I felt that I was Jane, Jane was me.
In class this morning we were talking about how trust in our family is essential. How if we cannot trust our family, it is so difficult to trust others.
I have in this book Hard Landing by Algis Budrys, a note.
So you are reading this and it’s like whuu? Who is thet? A.J. was my teacher, my friend.
I was so surprised when I received this book signed from him because I hadn’t thought he knew my mother had died when I was a baby. As to A.J., I didn’t think he had lost his father but perhaps — felt he had lost him.
A.J. knew ever so much more than he would ever say. He wrote about the Cold War (whether it said it was science fiction or not). He wrote about every single thing we are going through today. Corporatism. Inverted capitalism. What it means to be a man when your choices are so small they seem perhaps that they are nothing.
But a single word, you know — a single word can change everything.
Right now they are talking about how the Iranians want to make nuclear weapons so America must attack that country on behalf of Israel. And we have been at war for almost 20 years now. It seems impossible to believe, but we have been at war for all but 9 years of U.S. history.
People tell you that those who want peace are weak. You will find comments on my own writing here on Medium that aver that it’s a good thing to kill others. To take from them. Steal from them. Abuse them. Hurt them. Lie to them. Cheat them. The reasoning behind this is “It’s the way men [typically the arguer uses a gender-specific word] have always been.”
Murder is illegal but in the minds of our leaders and most media: war is good for business. It is business.
A better man than me, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, asked what the U.S. might have accomplished had they not spent an estimated $14 trillion over the past 20 years on war: declared and undeclared.
I just ask, what might be accomplished if we stopped people from abusing others and let everyone work to her or his potential in safety?
I’m listening to the most gorgeous music ever, perfect for me, on a streaming service. Somehow that service, which I know to be abusive to creators in terms of paying them pennies for hundreds of thousands of plays, has an AI that is able to determine what types of music I might select while I work when I tire of listening to the same thing over and over.
Music seems almost universally positive. Even though there’s some slurgy commercial trash music out right now, there always has been. There’s beautiful, beautiful other music being made every minute of every day.
Just because we live in a toxic patriarchy that screams its self-loathing in our ears 24–7 doesn’t mean it always has to be that way. It doesn’t mean it will always be that way.
I was saved from a Rhodes Scholarship and that toxic life by my rapist. I was set free to be me. If I had done all those expected things, gotten all those awards, been a “critically acclaimed writer” or wherever that life would have led me … perhaps to be married to a rich, powerful man … he would certainly have divorced me for a younger woman by now, wouldn’t he?
I would have been trapped. Fixed like a bug on a pin. A slave to those thoughts, a slave to those horrible empty lives.
Like a medieval nun in a cloister, unable to see, think or feel outside the stone walls of my garden. Waiting for the man with the sword to come.
Waiting for him to kill or save me.
I don’t know — I truly do not know where this adventure will lead us but I believe it will not be to destruction, devastation and death. With each passing day, more and more of us are awake and alive and can see and feel that the old ways of violence, hatred, and domination are the ways of the past. We can see that the answer has always been with us.
We don’t have to trade technology for healthy, happy lives.
We just have to choose those things. But not just for a select few. For each and every one of us.
And that includes animals, too.
PS: I built about $250 million more affordable housing and raised about $100 million more for actual humans than Hillary Clinton marjorie steele only ran payroll for 100 ppl, only helped 180 startups and expansions in US, Canada and Mexico. When I interviewed to be in charge of “Women’s Leadership” at my alma mater Scripps College, one of the trustees on the interview committee called me a “worm.” I “improved my bio Medium Staff”. Kiss my 56 YO shapely a** hope you can keep up with me at my age. I work out every day when I’m not working 10–12 hrs on paid scutwork or teaching.