Category: Gender and Sexuality

The Power of the Dark

Zeta (pseudonym) is a survivor of sexual abuse and rape both as a child and as an adult. She will be writing every now and then for Our Stories Untold, with a special focus on speaking to other survivors about everyday dynamics of struggle and peace that come with being a person who is living a life touched by sexualized violence trauma. Please join us in welcoming her as an intermittent and regular contributor.   On this solstice day, I feel like I will never be free of the repetitious shit trauma that ebbs and flows through my body, wrecking whatever it touches with no regard for how hard or long I’ve worked to knit myself a cloak of calm. Today, after years of counseling and self-care and mindfulness and all the book knowledge that exists in the world on rape and trauma and shame and self-blame, I am sure once again that I am the exception. I wasn’t raped. It was my fault. I made him do it and then tricked myself into believing that I was a victim, because I couldn’t handle the truth of my own depravity. [...]

Title IX, Due Process, Standards of Proof, and… What was the question again? (Education is Power, part II)

Education is power. Here’s part two of Into Account’s blog series that interprets the Title IX confusion brewing across the country and offers information that helps us know how to support each other and other sexualized violence in the midst of it. *The original post can be found on Into Account’s blog, here. Part 1 can be found on Into Account here and was crossposted on Our Stories Untold last week. Part 3 coming soon!   There’s one question I hear again and again when I’m talking to people about Title IX and sexual violence: Why are schools involved in this at all? Sexual assault is a crime, so why not leave it solely in the hands of the police? I never know how to respond to that specific question without launching into the much broader question that is at the heart of my answer. Which is the following: Who do you believe deserves to get an education? And what do you believe that we, as a society, should be doing to make that happen? So in service to my larger question, here’s the short version of an answer to my opening one: The purpose of Title IX is to ensure equal […] The post Title IX, Due Process, Standards of Proof, and… What was the question again? (Education is Power, part II) appeared first on Our Stories Untold.

When the Church Walks Away: Part Three

This is part three in a series of posts by Kathy Wiens, a sexual violence survivor, and her husband, Tim, who has been her strong ally. The series focuses on her experience of advocating for people vulnerable to abuse in her Mennonite church home where she struggled to resist retraumatization as the community of faith she trusted prioritized the needs of a perpetrator and his family over the wellbeing of survivors and those vulnerable to abuse in the congregation. Kathy speaks with truth, pain, and wisdom that many survivors know. Her courage to speak, even as there is mounting pressure to stay quiet and a steep emotional toll exacted for not doing so, is, as I have said previously, an inspiration. We have something to learn from Kathy’s experience, from her determination to protect the vulnerable, and from her knowledge about what it takes for a community of faith to understand sexualized violence, respect survivors, and become a space committed to resisting abuse and holding perpetrators accountable. If you missed them, you can find part one here and part two here. Thank you, Kathy. Again today, we are all indebted to you. [...]

Sex Sells

So, Hugh Hefner is dead. I don’t expect to see the breathless eulogizing that often accompanies the deaths of other famous people—I suppose we still retain just enough prudery (or at least good taste) to feel at least slightly awkward about praising the man who brought the world Playboy magazine. […]

Why it is important to recognize that Paul does not write about “homosexuality”: The Bible and LGBTQ inclusion [Part 2]

Ted Grimsrud—October 4, 2017 Over the past several decades, as North American Christians have sought to discern the way forward amidst differing convictions concerning the acceptance of LGBTQ Christians and of same-sex marriage, one of the arenas of debate has been what to make of the writings of Paul the Apostle. Continue reading Why it is important to recognize that Paul does not write about “homosexuality”: The Bible and LGBTQ inclusion [Part 2]
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