Dave, all due respect. Since you don’t know me personally, I won’t take your first sentence personally. I am hardly a victim; if anything I give speeches to women vets about how to use what happened to them to make them stronger and more compassionate. Perhaps what saddens me most about your commentary is that you appear — and I point out that I don’t know this but it appears this way — that you are incapable of seeing the other side. The female experience. I found this yesterday and thought of you : https://medium.com/@pamelafender/autumn-or-how-the-republican-candidate-brought-up-stuff-for-me-9a3178cb0b7f

How is a child supposed to defend herself? My big brother molested me when I was an adolescent. I was terrified of him. Was I supposed to go to the police? I was terrified to tell my parents. I ‘m supposed to have the wherewithal to be able to fight for myself at the age of ten? Really? Honestly? In 1963? Please, Dave. Please.

The simple fact of life that we as women face this all our lives, it is incessant, intrusive, invasive, appalling doesn’t seem to be understandable because, simply, you don’t have to deal with it. That is my whole point, Dave. It’s not real to those who don’t live it.

I don’t choose to live as a victim but having been through those experiences gives me an understanding of those who have. That’s the payment for perspective. In a perfect world, people would abuse. They wouldn’t rape. In a perfect world, people would feel safe to go to the police. It is NOT a perfect world. We can sit in a cabin on the Continental Divide and pontificate all we like about woulds, shoulds and coulds. The rest of us live in the trenches. I’m sure you did too but I’ll bet my nonexistent retirement fund that you didn’t have a childhood like Pamela Fender’s. Or mine. Or Diana Nyad’s. Or all those Olympic gymnasts. Who DID report that vile doctor. Who were told to back off. So Dave, where is a perfect world? Not when there is money to be made by keeping the complainants muzzled.

I strongly believe, and this is where you and I agree although you may not see it- that we draw our circumstances to us. They serve a purpose. That doesn’t make a perpetrator right. That makes him (or her) evil. While the experience may serve a purpose to make me stronger, wiser, whatever, that doesn’t make it okay that the other person rapes or attacks or takes advantage of or abuses.

While I think you know what you were trying to say, your last paragraph is indecipherable. Perhaps you meant it to be. I have no clue what you are really trying to say, perhaps making a lofty point, but it got lost in the translation. I am going to end this conversation with this: I respect that we disagree. And my experience continues to be underscored with our correspondence here that while I am doing my level best to see your points, and most I do, I don’t get the feeling that you are either willing or capable to understand the female experience. That is precisely the problem. It is precisely the problem.

That doesn’t make either one of us stupid or bad. We simply do not agree. I wish you well with your cabin building.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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