Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Sunrise was at 6:12, Sunrise will be at 8:06. Old post finally up.
I love looking back at the sunrise/sunset times in past posts, how much earlier the sun comes up between one post and the next. I heard birds chirping at around 5 am and the sky is light then.
Exposed, by Kimberly Marcus, is a book written in poetry. There's something powerful about books written in poetry, there are fewer words so what gets said has to get right to the point, there's no chance to hide ugly things inside a pad of words. They are like winter, bare branches, exposed hillsides, flat skies where everything is available to view.
Exposed is the story of a friendship ruined when one friend charges the other friend's brother with rape. It's a book filled with grief and guilt. Liz is a photographer, happy and good at what she does. Kate is a dancer, light and joyful, and has decided to study history instead of dance. They have been best friends all their lives, sharing their love of their art and each other, until Liz questions Kate about her decisions about her future. A huge fight ensues, Liz goes upstairs to bed, Kate stays on the couch.
In the morning, Liz goes to apologize for what she's said and Kate is gone. When Liz goes to her house, her mom says she sick and in bed. From that moment on, Kate avoids her, she won't talk to her, won't meet her eyes. Time passes and rumors start to fly about what happened between Kate and Liz' brother the night they fought.
What do you do when everything you though you knew about the people close to you twists and begins to change? Who do you believe? How do you deal with the people you still love that now have these shades surrounding them? If it's your best friend's words against your brother's?
There are many books out now about date rape, Mockingbirds, Speak, You Against Me, and it's interesting to note how even the girls, think "Did she really mean no?" It's even more interesting that girls are often too embarrassed or scared to yell out to stop, that they want this to just go away, not realizing that it won't.
It's good that books like these are written; it's good that if a girl gets raped that she knows she's not alone. As women, we need to make sure this topic isn't taboo. It happens to more of us than anyone knows and most of us wonder, "How did that happen to me?"
When do we give a girl the magic words that give her the power to be as tough and strong as the person holding her down? When do we teach them to be rude? When do we show them how to fight back or to know when to just walk away from a situation? Why don't we train girls to believe that they are as important as the person they are with, that their bodies and feelings are theirs alone, and that they can walk away from bad situations. We need to give them the tools to feel good about walking away and being strong enough to do it before we get to the point where we get to tell them what happened wasn't their fault.
In Lovely Bones, if that little girl had not been polite or felt she was going to hurt that man's feelings by going with him, she'd still be alive today.