I exhaled the breath I was holding for Karima Brown. I exhaled and had a cry. I did not know Karima Brown, but I really looked up to her. She had big balls, and I was always amazed and a little envious at how fearless she seemed. Even when she was in the thick of scandal and controversy. Even when her opinion was totally unpopular. She was loud, clear, brilliant, dogged, impatient, impassioned and dedicated. I can’t imagine anyone filling her boots and I am going to miss her.
And now to flip over to something completely different. I was looking at posts in her honour on Facebook when I saw an article posted by an Australian friend about the Australian attorney general and the allegations of rape against him. It is an extraordinary article that looks at the phrase “what if he didn’t do it?” and its implications; how his life could be destroyed if he was innocent. Then it turns it to the survivor – the ‘what if’ that people are NOT asking. What if he did do it? And there lies the rub. This life; this destroyed, unbelieved, endlessly ruined, damaged, disgraced, scarred life is sacrificed at the altar of his reputation. And that, my friends, is the bottom line. That is the whole story.
So in the wake of Woody Allen’s abuse story recycling, is it not enough to ask, what if he did do it? What if he did? That is where the horror lives. That needs to have as much weight at least, if not more, than the what if he didn’t.
But reputations are considered more important than the possible victims of rape, assault, molestation, violence, anal penetration while unconscious, and a myriad versions of these. In fact, reputations seem to be the only thing considered. Just ask, what if he did?
Enough is enough. There are not enough good reasons why anyone would make this horror up (and I am not saying it doesn’t happen), but honestly, are we then obliged to believe every man who denies allegations against him? Come on. Come on friends. That’s not how it works and you know it.