A few days ago, I got a call from an unknown number. “Hello?” “Is this Lauren?” a man said. “Yes,” I said. “Who is this?” “How are your chills?” he purred. End call. Those of you who have found your way here likely know the origin of this story, but if not,
I write this comment as a survivor of sexual assault, as a little girl and an adult woman. My truth never aligned with the larger dialogue, until recently. That disconnect harmed me for years in ways I’m only beginning to understand.
In the last few years, bold women began speaking their truth about sexual abuse, publicly, and now my experience aligns with a national dialogue- finally. I’ve also received violent threats from men in online threads, usually referencing rape of some form. Their online behavior is reflective of the horrifying statistics that reveal just how common sexual violence is against little girls and women.
I think it’s critical that journalists, like yourself, continue this national dialogue. This violence against women must be called out every time it happens. It’s not acceptable and it won’t be tolerated. Thank you for your courage.
I’m am excited to support you and read every painful and/or happy word you write. The NYT should be ashamed of themselves. Journalism should not be politicized like it has been. But we cannot change what has happened, only move forward. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason (good and bad) and we always end up stronger! You are strong. You are talented and I have a feeling this will be the best thing that’s ever happened to you! I support you fully! Go Lauren!!! Show them what a badass you are.
Looking forward to hearing from you. We are living in interesting times.
Glad to subscribe to "Chills" and post on Twitter. I don't "follow" anyone, though. I'm just weird that way!
More than happy to hear your thoughts.
More than happy to support independent journalism.
The situation is a little disorganised at the minute, but actually, honest reporting by intelligent, well informed people, is exactly what the world needs much, much, more of.
Go as deep as you like, but do please be cautious about vicarious trauma.
That's my only word of caution🙏🏼 for someone with such obvious empathy and human values, you please need to keep a lookout for yourself on that. 👍🏼
as i wrote on twitter, lauren...thank you for doing this. thank you for asking, and thank you for making it possible for readers to support the whole human writer, not just the “content producer”. this is amazing, and i can’t wait to hear what you have to write, teach, and share. thank you. 🙏🏼
I am here for many reasons, not the least of which is your writing about your dogs. I have adopted 3 here in Mexico and can hardly imagine my life without them. Reading with tears in my eyes in a coffee shop is a bit embarrassing. But I will manage. :)
I am also here because I have been struggling to record videos and audio about the abuse allegations in a community I have been a part. It is a strange thing - writing about them has not been a big problem. But putting my voice and image into what I have written is a bit different.
What I have realized the most from your writing is how protected I am. I get abusive comments from other people, mainly men but also some women. But no death threats. No rape threats. And I have started fighting back. I have named people online. And I have also told them point blank: "You've got a problem with what I am writing? Great. Call me and let's do a podcast." So far, they have all disappeared or immediately apologized.
Thanks for giving me perspective. As a kid bullied at home and at school, I can sometimes shrink away from the good fight. But I am more protected from being a man and from being an occasionally aggressive man. The bullies pick a different target when they realize that I fight back. I think your naming the harassers is a great idea.