“I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified.” -Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
Life is not easy, and the atmosphere in our country lately has been tumultuous to say the least. Between the political climate and all of the social issues that pop up on our television screens, phones, computers and everywhere in between, it’s easy to feel that weight on a personal level. Many, if not all of us have experienced some of those things ourselves. It’s a struggle sometimes. When it all gets to be too much, I try to take a step back, to drown out the noise.
This is what Mia, the final girl of the 2013 Evil Dead tries to do in order to kick her drug habit. In an isolated cabin in the woods, she plans to detox with a group of her closest friends, including her brother. Mia ends up doing battle with more than her drug addiction, though- she becomes possessed and is sexually assaulted by deadites that lurk in the woods surrounding the cabin. (These demons were summoned by her friend who read a passage aloud from the Necronomicon after the book was found in the basement of the dilapidated cabin.) She pleads with her friends to take her back home, that something terrible happened to her and she was in danger. Thinking that this was just a symptom of her withdrawal or a ploy to get her hands on some more drugs, her friends elect to keep her there at the cabin. Mia knows what happened to her- she knew that there was something out there coming for her and she’s plagued with demonic visions.
In early September of this year, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward to tell of her sexual assault experience, facilitated by the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh 36 years ago at a small gathering at a friend’s home. If you aren’t sure of what happened or haven’t watched the news lately, Dr. Ford was allegedly held down and groped by Kavanaugh as her friends were gathered downstairs. When she freed herself, she ran from the home without explanation. She kept the experience from those that had been there that night, from her parents, and from her husband until she opened up about it in a couples therapy session decades later. When she learned of Kavanaugh’s nomination, she decided to come forward; she felt it is her civic duty. She was met not only with disbelief, but death threats, threats against her family and accusations of lying as an effort to thwart Kavanaugh’s nomination. As a society, we tend not to believe the victim if there isn’t tangible proof.
“…I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details…I tried to convince myself that because Brett did not rape me, I should be able to move on and just pretend that it had never happened. “ – Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
Mia’s friends doubted her claims- and then they all began to see that maybe she wasn’t lying. But by then, it was too late. The group of youngsters is picked off by the forces of evil until Mia is the only survivor, in more ways than one. So this raises a really poignant question- when someone comes forward to talk about their assault and we choose not to believe them- what kind of consequences will we experience? What will that teach generations to come about how we react to accusations of rape, and even more importantly, what will this teach young men about perpetrating sexual assault on others?
“Thousands of people who have had their lives dramatically altered by sexual violence have reached out to share their own experiences with me and have thanked me for coming forward…At the same time, my greatest fears have been realized—and the reality has been far worse than what I expected. My family and I have been the target of constant harassment and death threats. I have been called the most vile and hateful names imaginable. These messages, while far fewer than the expressions of support, have been terrifying to receive and have rocked me to my core.” -Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
Humans are faulty by nature. We want the evidence, we need the facts, and when we don’t have it, we tend to shrug it off when people can’t prove their guilt or innocence. However, you have to sit back and really ask yourself- what is being gained by someone coming forward to share their trauma, knowing that they most likely won’t be believed- but saying it anyway. In Evil Dead, Mia tries to tell her brother David that there’s something wrong and that the force that came after her in the woods is in the house. He doesn’t believe her, but the deadite is there, waiting for Mia, in the corner of her room. David tells Mia, “You know it’s all in your head. Try to get it together. You’ll feel better tomorrow. Be glad we were such assholes.”
I think that it’s time we hang up the idea that women tell of their assault because they’re trying to gain attention or shirk the responsibility of their actions. Much like Mia is tired and afraid of the deadites hurting her and her friends, women are tired of knowing that their rapists are walking around, possibly harming others, and holding positions of power.
Episode 33: Evil Dead (2013) – Cross Your Lung is available now on your favorite podcast app!