Sunday, July 20, 2014
This week we have a different kind of Douche of the Week.  One that is particularly reprehensible to me because of the nature of her offenses which affect not only her but countless other victims.

In December 2013, a woman named Joanie Faircloth made accusations against Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst in the comments of an article posted on  The accusations first appeared in the comments, and again later on a now-deleted Tumblr account, that Oberst raped her after a show in 2003 when she was 16 years old.  She later made claims that she was offered money to keep quiet about the rape.

A photo from Joanie Faircloth's Facebook page

This past Monday, Joanie recanted all of her claims, in a statement which read:
The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100% false. I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son’s illness. I publicly retract my statements about Conor Oberst, and sincerely apologize to him, his family, and his fans for writing such awful things about him. I realize that my actions were wrong and could undermine the claims of actual sexual assault victims and for that I also apologize. I’m truly sorry for all the pain that I caused. -
 So many thoughts.  I'm so angry that I don't even know where to start.

The other day I got into a conversation that I should not have gotten into.  I made a statement about Rape Culture and found myself arguing with a woman who lives in a closet about the fact that it does, in fact, exist.  A woman who looked me in the face and told me that her boys were told in high school that they needed to be careful not to be left alone with girls because "they can say anything they want", which she repeated was a true fact.  The fact that boys can do the same thing apparently never crossed her mind.  There are multiple details I'm leaving out of this, personal details about the individual with which I had this conversation, but she is really not in any position to discuss anything that is going on in this country or the World as she lives in a bubble.  A bubble that perpetuates rape culture based on the fact that it never happened to her, and she doesn't believe her children are capable of doing so.  She also doesn't believe that one in 4 women is a victim of sexual assault.  How nice for you, dear, to live in such a world but your perception is not a reality.

Which brings me to where we are now...

Reading the news story, including the claims that were made, I don't want to believe that she made it up.  I want to have sympathy for Joanie Faircloth.  It appears she apparently has a very ill son.  There is something inside of me that wants to believe that maybe with her sick son... the bills and the desperation reached a point where the amount of hush money was being offered was enough to pay off some of the bills being accrued due to her son's autism and kidney disease.  I want to think that maybe she would rather be nationally branded as a liar while the medical bills are quietly being paid.  I want to think that maybe she's sacrificing her character and reputation for the sake of her son.

Sadly, I mostly just think perhaps Joanie Faircloth just has some serious issues.  And while maybe I should take the route of compassion, as I have no idea what it is like to have an incredibly ill son and maybe this was some kind of cry for help from Joanie who must be struggling with complex feelings and emotions I don't have any way of understanding... I'd be lying if I said that I didn't also seriously wonder if her son's illness isn't yet another fabrication, or even worse Munchausen by proxy syndrome.  But I'm just so incredibly angry.

So, Joanie... fuck you.  You should be utterly ashamed of yourself for so many reasons.  You are perpetuating the perpetuation of "the girl who cried rape".  And for that FUCK YOU.  Your story only gives credit to the weak minded people who don't believe that ONE IN FOUR college women has reported being a survivor or rape of attempted rape since their 14th birthday.  Your bullshit undermines every sexual assault, and completely reinforces the ass backwards thinking of an entire country that doesn't do near enough for it's victims and contributes to the reason why 60% of rapes go unreported.  Seeing as you aren't actually a victim, you have no idea what it is like to try and tell someone what happened to you only to have someone try and cover it up or tell you that you made it up or make you feel ashamed for what you wore, what you drank, how you acted, who you hung out with, who you slept with before or where you went.

You're almost just as guilty as the fucking rapists.  You might not be there ignoring pleas to stop.  You might not be there taking advantage of someone who is so inebriated they don't know where they are.  You might not be a sick bystander who takes pictures and posts them online instead of helping someone as their being victimized.  You might not know the victims or have anything to do with what actually happens to them, including the cover-ups and the victim blaming.  But... you come up.  You're a part of it every fucking time someone says "Girls lie.  They can say whatever they want".  You're a part of Steubenville, you're a part of the Maryland Rape case involving Daisy Coleman, and you're a part of Jada's Sexual Assault case.

Think about that.  Think about what happened to those girls.  And part of the reason they weren't taken seriously, didn't get help from police and authorities, were mocked and degraded and embarrassed and humiliated online by millions of commenters... is because of fucking bitches like you.

I'm sure someone out there thinks I'm being cruel in light of your situation.  I think you're not just undermining sexual assault victims, you're disrespecting every parent dealing with a sick child who gives up everything to be with them, who stays up late in hospital rooms listening to labored breathing, who hugs their child before surgery not knowing if it is the last time they'll see them alive, who watches their pre-teen struggle with incontinence, who holds their child in bed praying for one more night or for peace or for their health, who knows their son will never drive or play football,  who carries their teenager into the shower, who struggles to pay bills and yet still finds a way to cope, finds a way to deal with the pain of that without resorting to accusing an innocent man of rape.  The reason children's hospitals exist is because there are so many sick children... have you ever looked around you at the people who are somehow finding a way to cope without resorting to attempting to ruin another person's life?  While I don't know your exact situation and I don't know what that feels like, I know there are so many parents in worse situations... and yet somehow those people are still trying to find a way to be good people, to be examples for their child and for their other children, striving to be good people and embrace blessings and be blessings to others through their pain and not inflicting more pain on others.

You should be ashamed of yourself.  I have so much more I want to say.  I want to scream.  I want to call you names.  I want to tell you exactly what I think of you.  I want to tell you, most of all, that you make me feel ashamed... if only because of the fact that we have something in common: our genitals.

- Ash


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