When I was a child, I was abused by an adult who was a highly respected and very well-liked pillar of the community. In my case, there wasn't any question as to believing or not believing that it happened. He never denied that it happened. His defense was that I was making a big deal over a minor incident. To my knowledge, no one in the community stopped being his friend or changed their relationship with him in any way when I wrote (in my published memoir) about the abuse. The MZB case reminds me of that, as does Jerry Sandusky.
I understand how complicated this sort of thing can be. If you haven't personally been abused, you see a wonderful human being who supported a community that changed your life for the better, being accused of horrible things by someone you don't know, don't like, or don't trust, and whom you suspect of exaggerating or outright lies for attention or personal gain.
It is not easy to disclose child abuse when you know in advance that that will be the reception you'll get from that community, even if outsiders believe you.
It is not easy to be the victim of abuse. I was about nine when I was abused. A month or so later, as a direct result, I tried to kill myself.
I debated whether to say anything about this, since my connection is so tangential that I didn't want to make it all about me, when it is not about me. Also saying anything at all is complicated in all sorts of weird ways, many of which are quite trivial compared to child abuse. So, sorry if this is completely self-centered.
- I did not know about the child abuse until about three days ago. I did know that MZB's husband was a convicted child rapist, but I didn't know she was involved.
- I don't mean to imply that everyone who wrote for the anthology or was in any way involved with MZB or her magazine (etc) must make a post, or they're supporting child abuse. I do not believe that.
- I don't mean to imply that everyone who liked MZB's books must stop liking them or publicly denounce them, or they're supporting child abuse. I do not believe that either. The work is the work. I still think Chinatown is a brilliant movie.
- I am not denouncing the anthology or my story. I like the anthology, and I like my story. But I totally understand if you now won't read it.
Please forgive me if this isn't too coherent; I'm home with the flu or some such right now.
Crossposted to http://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/1147590.html. Comment here or there.