Friday, January 18, 2013

Followup to recent comments...

Wow, some great comments both here and on facebook regarding these issues.  Too much to handle in just the comment section so here I am.

If anyone out there has any contact with the survivors (either of Lloyd's rape, or Nick and Matt's) I hope you'll tell them there are LOTS of prayers and wishes for health coming their way.  I for one think NEITHER of them is a whore, dirty or otherwise.  And I hope they heal and rise up stronger than ever.

I'd like to call to your attention Ryan Hall's recent open letter to the martial arts community.  It can be found here.  It's long, a little rambling, but well worth the read.  It's an impressive analysis of Ryan's roots in martial arts and his perspective on the cultism in the BJJ community.

Also, a little heads up, I'm assisting with an effort to create a nonprofit group in the wake of this disaster.  We haven't sorted out who-all will be on the board... exactly what we're doing... but we do know (so far) that it will be designed to help survivors of sexual assault (and possibly domestic violence) in some unique way that isn't being done now... probably involving BJJ and/or self-defense instruction.  Feel free to make suggestions to help and if you want to offer your time or expertise, that would be great!

I somewhat regret my snippish tag ending to yesterday's post about punching all men in the head.  Uncalled for, because I wasn't entirely serious, and it was a flippant end to a very very serious, sincere post.  Clearly I do NOT mean punching anyone is appropriate, or that all men deserve my righteous wrath, or anything like that.  I guess I was just cloaking my frustration in a little bit of goofy, seeking a chuckle or something.  No, JC, I don't want to punch you in the head. 

And I don't seriously think men are beasts. Most animals don't rape, so to insinuate a rapist is a beast is to flatter him.  I definitely respect, admire, and love lots of men including my husband.  90% of my friends are men and not just because of jiu jitsu either-- I have always had lots of guy friends.  So I know men and I like men.

Megan, I couldn't agree more.  I didn't make a complete list of all the similar types of comments I've heard-- but you concisely boiled it down to equating violating a woman's body with a property crime. I'm interested in more reflections along this line.

Regarding Lloyd Irvin's SEO mania... I was shocked and disgusted that Lloyd Irvin reserved for his rape prevention seminar promotions after the arrests.  Wow.  So totally uncool.  I have actually advised a number of people who are interested in putting together self-defense seminars but have been hesitant to mention this event in their promotions for fear of looking like they're trying to profit off the horribleness.  I think if you're not personally profiting from such a seminar, you should ABSOLUTELY put them on.... just donate the proceeds to a local or national shelter or rape prevention organization.  And I don't think that was Lloyd's deal.

Anonymous asked, "As a woman, what do you think of the Lloyd Irvin guys who say, it's no big deal. It was 20 years ago, so who cares?

And, do you think the IBJJF should ban Lloyd Irvin from coaching ever again?"

First, anyone, from any team or none, who thinks Lloyd's actions are no big deal because they were twenty years ago is sadly mistaken.  I'm a prosecutor.  I am here to tell you that rapists are VERY difficult to rehabilitate.  So he hasn't been accused of, convicted of, or maybe he hasn't actually raped again... is that because he hasn't been presented with the opportunity?  Isn't it disturbing that he is such a big talker about rape prevention and has never come clean about his past?  I would have SO much more respect for him if he had said before this ever happened "Look, when I was a young college guy, I was stupid, I got involved in a horrible situation without thinking about the poor girl involved, and in the moment I suddenly realized how atrocious it was, and I lost my erection, so I lucked out with an acquittal for rape.  But she was raped, and I played a role in it, a horrible role that I want to atone for.  I will never be able to make it up to her, but I can try to prevent that from happening to someone else.. and here is my best effort."

Fo sho people like Phil Proctor (or even the other, silent blackbelts of TLI-- like Nyjah Easton) would never have found him a "stand up guy" if he'd said that fifteen years ago.  Right?  So Irvin's business scheme would not have the success they brag about now, if he'd been honest.  Right?

I can tell you, it's been twenty one years since MY sexual assault, and it's a big deal no matter how many years has passed.  I have forgiven Jose Manzano but I wouldn't want to train with him if he was the best blackbelt on earth.  I would certainly want to know if my instructor was a rapist twenty years ago.  (And yes, I did do some background checks on my instructors.  As should you of yours.  Especially if you want to feel comfortable referring girlfriends, sisters, moms, kids to train there.)

Now as to whether Lloyd should be allowed to coach again.  I don't have an answer for you yet on that.  I have been thinking a LOT about a petition I want to help write, to have Nick and Matt banned from ever competing in the IBJJF again and to have their titles and medals stripped (and gee, can we strip them of their belt rank too?)  Some people say whoa, let them be convicted first.  I agree.  You'll see why below when I respond to another comment.  I haven't had time to think about Lloyd too yet.  All comments/suggestions welcome of course.

Anonymous, you mention how silly it is (my word not yours) that some feel that once acquitted, a person ought be immunized from any public shame or consequence for their acts.  I couldn't agree more.  No one seemed to say this when OJ Simpson was acquitted-- instead we waited with bated breath for the civil verdict against him and muttered about how the jury was wrong.  Unless Matt and Nick are not convicted because their evil twin brothers actually committed the crime... it seems to me that any acquittal or plea to lesser charges would be a legal nicety resulting from what ordinary civilians think of as a technicality.  I haven't seen the video but I did read the affidavit for the arrest warrant (a sworn document filed in court) which describes what's on it.  Sounds like they ain't no way in HAYELL it wasn't a rape.  So if they get off, I still think they're reprehensible characters (the way I think someone who gets acquitted from a gang rape, because they didn't get it up, is reprehensible.)  And I think it's perfectly acceptable for our community to take a stand.  The only problem with actual policies to institute consequences is you have to be careful about setting a bad precedent, as Candace Stump pointed out to me.  We don't want a snowball effect-- how do you know where to draw the line?  So when it comes to policies like banning from tournaments, stripping medals etc, I'm okay with saving that for people who were convicted.  But Lloyd, acquitted, is still deserving of outrage and indignation, I think.  I'm not sure about running him out of town on a rail, destroying his business and thus harming his family, etc... but shaming wouldn't be out of line.  And his deafening silence IS a problem.

Long post.  Sorry for the novel.  Looking forward to reading your further input.


Can Sönmez said...

I would love to help with the non-profit: please let me know if there is anything I can do. I'll be emailing you shortly on the topic. :)

Anonymous said...

So...I am aware for the most part of what happened. I have read a few articles but have not watched the video and by no means have read every shred of info on this case.

However what I do know, is that rape is never ok. NEVER. I don't care how slutty, drunk, promiscuous, attractive, or flirtatious she is. If she doesn't want your penis inside of her, then it doesn't go there. If she's too drunk to protest, guess what? You don't make the call. You want to get off? Fine, go home and do it by yourself or find a hooker that at least is making money off of it. I think men in general don't realize how sex affects women emotionally. It's a big deal. And if someone decides that they can just take it, it is a feeling of violation so deep that even the women who are violated don't realized how far it affects them. You do not get to take something that does not belong to you. I don't care if it was your ex-girlfriend and you previously had sex with her. That does not make it ok, NOTHING makes it ok. Non-consensual sex is rape.


Pete said...

Great series of posts Georgette! It's good to see something outraged but articulate. Way to go...