Get this incredible person a Presidential Medal of Freedom!!!
Her courage. Her determination. Her sense of justice. Her imperfect (ie realistic) victimhood. Her stand against the garbage about ‘typical victims.’
I’m not kidding, get this woman the Medal of Freedom! If only we were all more like Carroll: steadfast in the face of a bully, courageous through our moments of vulnerability, loud in our pursuit of equity, and intentional in processing this kind of severe trauma each our own way.
I won’t pretend I was interested in this case so much, except insofar as it added to the legal woes of that tangerine-faced failure, until she began testifying (“You can’t beat up on me because I didn’t scream!” [NY Times]) and until last weekend when This American Life aired a conversation she’d had with Jessica Leeds, another of the women who have come forward against that combed-over predator [link to episode site]. I strongly recommend this episode (and not only for the convo between Carroll and Leeds, but also because there’s the kind of story about Jerry Springer we all needed without knowing it!).
Not everyone is assaulted in the same way; not everyone experiences it the same way, nor does everyone respond in the same way. I know that way too terribly well for myself, having experienced an assault fourteen years ago.
So I would propose the Presidential Medal of Freedom for E. Jean Carroll. I admire her for her anti-bully mentality, her authenticity, and her determined courage. I—and doubtless many other survivors—will carry her light as a life-model, a paradigm of excellence, and most importantly a standard-bearer of Liberation.
A day after I wrote this, this week’s episode On The Media, “Her Day in Court” [episode page] was released: the second part is particularly important for survivors, especially the letter Brooke Gladstone reads from Sandy MacDonald in the New York Times responding to a piece by Jessica Bennett.
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