Out of Order But In Heart

Out of order but in heart

I’ve thought a lot about the impact and reach of blogging and it’s potential to affect deep change.

I’ve also been mindful that my “tribe” is visual fine artists and my mission is to help them successfully put their work in the world.

So, up to now, this smARTist Career Blog has been dedicated to content that I felt directly impacts an artist’s career.

Only, I’m also deeply aware that we are all interconnected by the web of life and that whatever happens to one of us, happens to us all.

And since I am a whole person coming here to you, to deny or hide or somehow hope that wholeness doesn’t get in the way of your connection with me, is to miss the point altogether of what we are doing here…together.

So, I want to begin posting, from time to time, some things that strike me at a deeply personal level as particularly important for our collective health.

For some of you, I know, there will be ideology that seems to separate us and you may chose to opt out of staying connected with me because our perspective on life differs.

I’m fine with that. Sorry to see anyone go because they feel their own sensibilities have been stepped on.

But I’m no longer okay with stepping on my own sensibilities because I’m trying to not step on someone else’s.

The times we are in call out to me for the courage to be our whole selves no matter what possible burning at the stake might be in store.

I’ve been thinking about this for a long, long time and you may well ask, why now?

Why do I come out of the personal closet now, and interject it into my professional living room?

The Town of Maryville

Yes, a town. And ironically, a town with a woman’s name (you’ll understand in a minute).

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that paying attention to the many ways that art and art careers are affected by gender is a drum beat I won’t let die.

Women have been marginalized in the art world for a long long time. And even though I do not have the answers for how to correct this, what I do have is the desire to not stick my head in the sand when I’m staring at an aspect of that gender difference in the face.

I also understand where ever and whenever women and girls are attacked (nuanced or straight out!), then we all lose – men and women alike.

The larger irony of this, for me, is that at the most basic level, biologically speaking, men would not exist if it weren’t for the women who birthed them. And a lot, I repeat, A LOT of men get this. A lot of men speak up for women and women’s rights. A lot of men champion us.

And then, this happens: The Town of Maryville.

And finally, I can’t let this be one more private action that I take without putting it here for all of you to consider.

The Full Story That Just Arrived In My Inbox

If this story moves you to take action, then I have not stuck my head in the sand.

If this story moves you to unsubscribe from my list, then I bless you on your way.

If this story moves you to consider how you too can expand your own range of making a difference, then I’m deeply grateful.

And please know this: from time to time, I will share more of my response to the world that surrounds and affects the art world that I love so much.

Why?

Because I live most fully at the crossroads of my heart where the professional and the personal intersect. And if I cannot meet you there, then I cannot truly meet you.

Dear Ariane,

Local authorities in Missouri need to hear from you right away.

Nearly 2 years ago, 14-year-old Daisy Coleman* was raped at a party by a high school football star and grandson of a powerful local politician in Maryville, Missouri. But now, he’s walking free while Daisy and her family struggle to survive with what happened to her.1

Immediately after the rape, Daisy and her mother went to the hospital and reported it to police. Matthew Barnett was charged, and he confessed on tape.2

But a few months later, county prosecutor Robert Rice–who has close ties to the alleged rapist’s influential grandfather–dropped the charges. Worse, the town and high school ganged up not on the rapist, but on Daisy and her family. Classmates said they hoped she “gets what’s comin,” calling her terrible names. The Colemans were forced to move out of town, Daisy’s mom lost her job over the case, and their house was even burned to the ground–the cause of the fire still undetermined.3

This is Steubenville all over again. And just like the Steubenville case, if thousands of us speak out and shine a national spotlight on Maryville, we can get justice for Daisy and her family. There’s a lot of national media attention on this case right now, and news just broke that a special prosecutor will be appointed to investigate.4 But this case has been slow walked for years. We need to make sure every single person responsible for delaying justice–including local officials–is investigated and held accountable. Will you sign the petition to demand justice for Daisy?

Sign the petition to ask the Attorney General to investigate everyone involved in the rape and the cover-up.

After the rape, Barnett left Daisy in her yard, barely conscious and wearing a t-shirt. The temperature in Maryville that night was just 22 degrees. When Daisy’s mom found her passed out at her front door at 5 a.m., her wet hair was frozen, and she was injured from the attack. She cried when her mom asked her what had happened.5

The town of Maryville seems happy to move on and forget the rape now that the charges have been dropped and the Colemans have left, but Daisy’s recovery has been slower. She has attempted suicide twice, has been hospitalized multiple times, and spent three months at a residence for struggling teens. “You’re the s-word, you’re the w-word… b-word. Just, after a while, you start to believe it,” she told a reporter about the constant torment. Barnett has gone on with his life, enrolling at Central Missouri University this year.6

Rape is an epidemic in this country–1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted, but only 3% of attackers ever spend a single day in jail.7 And when authorities ignore attacks on young girls and let rapists go free, it perpetuates a culture and justice system that tolerates rape and blames survivors for the crimes against them.

Prosecutor Rice told the Kansas City Star that this brutal rape was just “incorrigible teenagers” drinking and having sex–ignoring evidence collected from rape kits and bedding from the crime scene, witnesses’ accounts, and even the taped confession of the rapist.8 And if you thought this story couldn’t get worse, since the rape became public, Daisy’s mom has learned that other girls had tried to come forward before–but according to the sheriff, they were “all liars and… just wanted to crucify those poor innocent boys.”9

Horrific cases like this one are becoming too familiar–from Jane Doe in Steubenville, Ohio; to Rehtaeh Parsons in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Cherice Moralez in Billings, Montana.10 But we can’t let this keep happening. Can you sign the petition to make sure that Daisy’s rapist is brought to justice?

Add your name.

Thanks for all you do,

-Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Malinda, Adam, and Gabriela, the UltraViolet team

I don’t know about you, but if your heart feels broken by this story, please, speak up too!

 

13 Responses to “Out of Order But In Heart”

  1. Sari Grove says:

    When a girl or woman is raped, the hospital understands that the first line professionals taking the evidence should be women…
    I feel that needs to go much much further…One then needs a female lawyer, a female prosecutor, a female judge, & female police officers to investigate…
    As women, we need to on purpose give our money & our time to other women professionals…
    I don’t think it is enough to hire men who are feminists or sympathetic, even if they are related…
    We need to put our money into women…We need to get more women to become high ranking officials…We need more women to aspire to public office instead of aspiring to be skinny & pretty so they can become supermodels…

    • Yes, Sari, you are so onto it here.

      The halls of power must have the female face of justice if it’s to change in more than the smallest of ways.

      The only problem I see with this is that, unfortunately, a good number of women who are in positions of power are themselves compromised by “women should be…(fill in the blank)” kool-aid.

      Thanks for speaking up…

      • Sari Grove says:

        Re:”The only problem I see with this is

        that, unfortunately, a good number of

        women who are in positions of power are

        themselves compromised by “women

        should be…(fill in the blank)” kool-aid.”

        I think that if we open the cage doors,

        the bird will fly…

        For women, the cage doors are tough to

        open, due to lack of funds…

        If we grease that wheel a bit, by

        throwing our money specifically into

        female hands, those birds will fly…

        I think they get fed the Kool-Aid in the

        cage…

        Once those doors are unlatched, they

        can seek out pure water on their own…

        *Lord if the was a recipe book I’d get

        punished for mixing my metaphors!

        But like as a for example, instead of just

        sending money to charities blindly, not

        knowing who is getting that money,

        maybe we should just give our portion

        directly to people we know…

        Like instead of giving to a breast cancer

        charity, just giving that money instead

        to the neighbour you know who has

        breast cancer…

        I mean let’s be honest, we know where

        cancer comes from, we know how to

        cure it, where the heck are all those

        billions of dollars going now anyways???

        (You don’t have to answer that…)

  2. Sol Hill says:

    Ariane,

    I wholeheartedly support your move to wholeness. I saw this in my inbox and it nauseated me as well. It is hard to believe that in this day and age the rule of law is so unequally applied that women don’t see justice and minorities are incarcerated at inexplicable rates. As a white guy, I am ashamed of my fellow countryMEN for allowing this kind of injustice to exist in the new millenium.

  3. Thank you for bringing this to light. This is a story heard far too often in Indian Country.

    “The Justice Department reports that one in three Native women is raped over her lifetime, while other sources report that many Native women are too demoralized to report rape. Perhaps this is because federal prosecutors decline to prosecute 67 percent of sexual abuse cases, according to the Government Accountability Office. Further tearing at the social fabric of communities, a Native woman battered by her non-Native husband has no recourse for justice in tribal courts, even if both live on reservation ground. More than 80 percent of sex crimes on reservations are committed by non-Indian men, who are immune from prosecution by tribal courts.” – New York Times (http://preview.tinyurl.com/q23n5y8)

    I am one of the men that speak up for women and women’s rights. It’s my cultural upbringing. My mother is Oneida and my father is Ojibwe. I will sign the petition and share this with my network.

    • Bless you, Douglas… my heart breaks for the ongoing, inexcusable injustices against native people and on native land.

      Thank you for speaking up here and sharing what you know…

  4. Amber Jean says:

    Thank-you for sharing, enlightening and giving us the opportunity to take action Ariane!

    • And thank you for being there… I will return whenever another earthly experience calls out to me.

      It is so heartening to know there are people in the ionosphere who are listening and responding… blessings…

  5. Delores Rhodes says:

    My heart is breaking for that little girl and her family. The whole situation is shameful from start to finish. Perhaps a visit from Malala Yousafzai would give Daisy the strength she needs right now. In the meantime, we all need to take up this cry. WE WILL NOT STAND FOR IT ONE MORE MiNUTE!

    I do not live in the area, but I have this urge to go to Daisy’s house and simply stand in her front yard to support her. (Better than my other urge which is to stand in that grandfather’s yard and throw rocks!)

    Perhaps if any of you are in the area you could take this thought and run with it. Just stand/sit in her yard and offer your support. We haven’t had a good old fashioned sit-in in quite awhile. Note how well it worked at the dinner in the south all those years ago.

    I need to do something more than sign a petition! Arg!

    Delores

  6. Sari Grove says:

    As I was growing up, I noticed parties were just an excuse for people to drink too much or do drugs…Being naturally without boundaries myself, I never needed drugs nor drink to loosen up, so I stopped going to parties…Later in university it seemed that it was always at parties that girls/women were getting raped or gang-raped…They set up a walk-home program that year, & it turned out guys that liked to rape had signed up to be the walker home people…End of that idea…
    These days the word “party” can mean so many dangerous things to women…I don’t even like going to bars…The whole ghb in your drink thing has been happening here too…
    I think women really need to think twice before attending a “party”…(not a comment on the girl btw, just a warning to future girls/women who could maybe just not go to “parties”…

  7. Sari Grove says:

    My friend was studying architecture in Lebanon…A classmate invited her up to his place…He offered her a “sweet”…It was a sweet candy…She soon realized it was drugged…He raped her front & back…She lost a year of school, moved to the States, enrolled in Virginia, got her architecture degree here…Married a young lawyer…Is living in the U.S. now, close to D.C. …Survivor…

    • Yes, one of the things that alcohol and drugs facilitate is a diminished response to intuitive information.

      In Gavin de Becker’s book, “The Gift of Fear” he shows decisively how anyone in danger has information about that danger ahead of the incident itself.

      The Gift of Fear actually teaches, esp. women and girls, how to pay attention to the warning signs their own body and mind are giving them – because, without a doubt, the information is there.

      However, when alcohol and drugs come into the story, it’s much, much harder to notice, believe, and act on that information.

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