My personal experiences and those of all the women I know (and all the women who are speaking out) are not some goddam “ism.” I resent that you even say something like that — it’s incredibly offensive and hurtful. These are our real lives, our real traumas and painful experiences.

I told you some of my own mother’s personal stories and this was your response, “I do not know the people you are talking about. Best to avoid them.” That’s turning a blind eye and putting your head in the sand. It’s saying that this stuff isn’t real, my stories aren’t real, but made up for some kind of political agenda or to attack you. Treating survivors as if they are the problem is just pretty shitty, I’m sorry — but it really is.

This is my most recent article. It’s all about the pervasive abuse of nuns around the world by the people in their own organization who they are supposed to be able to trust. It’s about how that was tolerated and hushed up in ways that are very similar to our own society. But they are finally finding their voices as well, just as so many other women are. Are these nuns just looking to stir up trouble and drama; to get sympathy for their pathetic lives? Really?

“It doesn’t matter whether the larger society or organization has beneficent intentions or does good things, if it’s based in patriarchy, the risk of rampant abuse and subsequent cover-up is substantial (because it’s a dominance hierarchy). When some people count more than others and some people are more likely to be believed (or disbelieved) based on the amount of power they have, then you’ve got a real recipe for the abuse of the less powerful.”

You’re a smart guy. Why is that so hard to see and understand?

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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