Victoria Brownworth Profile picture
Nov 11, 2017 26 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Those of us who covered the Ken Starr investigation of Bill Clinton can attest to that issue being fully addressed in detail for several years.
No one gave Bill Clinton a pass on Paula Jones.
Pretending he's the only one is what galls most thinking women.
If men like @chrislhayes want to take an HONEST look at sexual assault of women, let's do this: look at your friends, guys, because it's not just one man sexually assaulting ONE IN FOUR American women.
If male pundits--esp those who've been working with men now revealed to be sexual predators like Mark Halperin, Mark Oreskes, Leon Wieseltier, Sam Kriss, etc--want to address sexual assault then CALL OUT YOUR COLLEAGUES.

Stop putting the onus on women.
There's a smugness right now among the male pundit class that somehow they aren't responsible for the atmosphere women like me had to work in in newsrooms all across the country for decades. I wish I'd never seen an editor's penis. But of course I have.
It's not just the famous editors and newsmen out there--it's the guy who is your immediate editor who maybe no one outside your paper or your city knows. But he's the guy other women warn you about.
If ONE IN FOUR American women is a victim of sexual assault EVERYONE knows a victim.

And EVERYONE knows a man who sexually assaults women.
An Alabama lawmaker wants #RoyMoore's accusers prosecuted.
This is why we don't report what happens to us.
Because we are the ones who are called liars and our careers are sent into a tailspin.
When #RoyMoore was accused the WH press secretary proclaimed we--she was speaking for THE COUNTRY--didn't want to destroy anyone's life. But how many of us who are victims (we're supposed to call ourselves survivors) have had our lives destroyed?
So put your entire gender on trial, not just this or that famous guy. Ask yourself if YOU ever cajoled or pressed a woman you knew or even loved into being touched or having sex when she didn't want it.

Be honest.
It's not one guy doing all the raping out there, folks.
A friend of mine who my mother's age recently told me the husband of a close friend tried to assault her at a party. Cornered her in a bedroom.
She's in her late 70s. She was able to get away from him, but ffs men, wth?
EVERY woman has a story like this.

"I was drunk, so..." is often the excuse these men give, as #KevinSpacey has.
I put up a tweet two days ago asking women to RT if a man had ever touched them or shown them his penis without their consent.
But dozens said, "more than once, but I can only RT once."
I was walking from school to visit my mother in hospital,wearing my Catholic school uniform when man exposed himself to me.
My 1st time.
I was 10.Tall for my age so maybe looked 12.
I can recall it--how vivid it was--to this day.
Women's heads are full of these unwanted images.
I can't and won't speak for other women. Your experiences are your own. How you choose to deal with them--in silence or shouting to all you can--is your path to healing.

Men--sanctimonious right wing ideologues to smug leftists--are NOT calling out their class.


Why are you continuing the fiction that you don't know a rapist or a dozen rapists?
There was a town hall on @CNN the other night.
Only women speaking.

Where are the men to stand up and say "Yeah, I did force my high school/college/current girl friend to suck my d*ck when she didn't want to."

Because that's happening every day.
The FACT of most women's lives is the list of sexual "improprieties" visited on them is so long and wide-ranging than if we all enumerated them, people--by which I mean men--would call us crazy or exaggerators or liars.
In my own life I was touched by my parish priest, sexually abused by a math teacher in HS, by a college professor in my work-study program & by seven men I worked for from a restaurant owner to a bar owner to editors.

Sadly, I don't consider any of those things a big deal.
The reason those very real assaults on my female person seem not that big a deal is because I was also raped at knifepoint in college, like a bazillion other 17 year old girls and I was nearly killed by a serial rapist in my neighborhood a few years ago.

That last shattered me.
I was a middle aged professional woman in my own garden in front of my own house on a sunny September afternoon & a man who preyed on women during his lunch hour found me.
I'd been covering stories like this for years.
But now I was the story:…
It took a year for the physical wounds to heal.
I shall never be healed from the rape itself.
I still live in that house.
For months I could still see the outline of my body in the ivy of my neighbor's yard like the chalk outline in a crime show.
I was on a panel a few years ago at UPenn talking about rape and a young man in the audience came up to me afterward and said I'd given him the courage to go to the police.
I reached out my hand to him and said, "It's never too late to report." He pulled back and said, "You don't understand. I mean I raped someone. And I'm going to turn myself in."

I told him I would go with him and I would help him get a lawyer, both of which things I did.
I don't know how his case turned out. But in my car (yes, I drove him to the police station) he told me that he couldn't live with the thought that his victim would feel the way I felt.
So when we speak out, we empower others.
But it's most important we forgive ourselves and not blame ourselves and not think we are responsible for what was done to us or for not reporting or for any of it.

I would end with this: as a lesbian, I have been a target of men who claimed I was "too pretty to be a d*ke" & "just hadn't met the right guy." Corrective rape is used against lesbians every day.…

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More from @VABVOX

Oct 9, 2018
I don't think men really understand how different it is to be a woman out in the world and how quickly things can turn dangerous.
When I was living in New Orleans, I was walking home from work one night. It was fall--dark early & foggy.
A man came out of the fog toward me.
He said hi, I said hi.
As he started to pass me, he asked me if I had the time.
I looked at my watch, looked up, he had a gun pointed at me.
He hit me so fast I wasn't able to steel myself.
I fell to the ground.
He said, "I could rape you right now, but I don't have time."
He wanted my money.
I had the grocery money for the entire house (I lived with 3 other people) in my purse.
He took it and disappeared into the fog.
The whole thing was maybe ten minutes, start to finish.
I was shaking so hard I could hardly get up.
My head was bleeding.
Read 20 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
The majority of the working class in America is women and POC.
And white men as a group haven't voted majority Democrat since 1964--they stopped after LBJ signed the the #VRA.
Flip the narrative and start listening to the ACTUAL working class--the rest of us.
Stop centering white men for everything.
Stop claiming only white men can save us from the damage white men did to us.
Women are the working class--my investigation here:…
.@matthewstoller is very worried about white men, but it's really women of all races who are facing the worst effects of economic and social stresses.
My investigation here:…
Read 5 tweets
Oct 2, 2018
The relentlessness of passing over superb women with strong credentials & election histories in favor of whatever man is a headline at a moment is exhausting.

Two months ago it was Avenatti. Now it's O'Rourke.

Bypassing the majority of Americans--women--is a national disgrace.
O'Rourke is fine. He is not, Harris, Gillibrand or Klobuchar.

▪Gillibrand is Congress' leader on women's rights & sexual assault victims.
▪Harris set NN2018 on fire with her speeches reclaiming identity politics.
▪ Klobuchar highlighted #Kavanaugh's unfitness for SCOTUS.
Americans MUST stop looking past women to find some man, any man to supplant them.

It took THIRTY YEARS of incredibly hard work for @HillaryClinton to get to run for POTUS. The rules for women are so different. No one sees a woman give a single speech and says "president!"
Read 16 tweets
Oct 1, 2018
I lived in NOLA right after college.
I drank most every day, as did everyone I knew.
We were all in the domestic Peace Corps, all in our early 20s, all hardworking activists with stressful work.
We drank too much at Mardi Gras, New Year's.
It's absurd to claim #Kavanaugh didn't.
Those of us who've had alcoholics in our lives--like Klobuchar--tend to be careful about alcohol because we've been damaged by the drunks in our lives. I'm a control freak, so never liked being drunk, but lots of my friends did. What IS true, is most 20somethings drink to excess.
This new tack from the #GOP to dismiss #Kavanaugh's alcoholic drinking--& I am not saying he was/is an alcoholic, but he certainly drank like one--is just wrong. It undermines their own credibility and ignores reality: statistically the vast majority of teens/20s get drunk OFTEN.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 29, 2018
Let's talk about sex, #Kavanaugh & Venn diagram overlap of male entitlement.

I've written a lot about sex in various contexts. In the late 80s/early 90s I also gave safe sex workshops back when folks my age were dying 24/7 from #AIDS. My 1st book was on juvenile prostitution.
Most of us know consensual and non-consensual sex differ. The entirety of #Kavanaugh's defense and his defenders' outrage is predicated on the presumption that no teenaged boy knows what consent is.


Some, like their adult counterparts, don't care.

This is key.
Since #MeToo we've seen egregious serial rapists like #BillCosby and #HarveyWeinstein exposed & attempts made to prosecute them.

But there are "lesser" sexual assaults we've given a lighter hand to: Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, Louis CK--too many to list.
Read 28 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
I gotta tell you, folks, I have been so sick for the past 2wks, I have really been scared.

Sept 22 House GOP passed their new cuts to Social Security Medicaid and Medicare out of committee. $1.2T in cuts.

That's the safety net.

I've always hoped I could fall there. No more.
I had to call my bestie today to have her come up and stay with me while The Wife is teaching.

Even with the oxygen, hard to breathe.

I had to cancel interviews for tomorrow, a radio appearance for Friday.

Chronic illness like #cancer is incapacitating at times.
We need to do better for sick and #disabled Americans.

It is so hard to work and be sick.

Never getting better sick.
Read 4 tweets

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