Now You Know
Reading Susan Jay's article ("Calling It Rape"), I was again reminded of the vast numbers of women I know who have been raped, none of whom were asking for it.
I know all about being young, naive, and stupid. Twenty years ago, I walked outside a school dance with the older brother of a friend, who then dragged me onto the clichd 50-yard line of the football field and raped me at knifepoint. I didn't scream for fear he would fulfill his threat to cut my nipples off. I didn't press any charges. I changed schools to avoid harassment from his friends. And for years, I felt like it was my fault.
Now I know better. And I applaud Jay for having the guts to tell her story in print, even if she felt it necessary to change both her own name and that of her attacker. If women who have been raped continue to tell their stories, maybe we can convince the next generation that they have the right to say no, and teach young men that no means no. Period.
I am still angry, not least because a few years ago I ran into my rapist at the Toronado in the Lower Haight. And I spoke to him as if nothing had happened; I spoke to him as if he were just a human being I hadn't seen for a long time.
If I see him again, you can bet I'll have a whole lot more to say.
Ho, Ho, Hurl!
Just a note from a reader to tell you how much I liked Slap Shots last week ("Bless This Mess," Dec. 13).
A few years ago, my early 50s mom found herself a single woman again and hit the dating circuit fast and hard. Your column brought back vivid memories of phone calls from Dallas with the mostly coherent but achingly hungover woman who had bathed and fed me as an infant on the other end.
My brother and sister have similar memories, so I'm sending copies of the column off to Austin, Texas, and the Ozarks of Arkansas (where meat is also king, goddamn it!). Like A Christmas Carol and Twas the Night Before Christmas before it, I am sure that last week's Slap Shots will become a holiday tradition in my family. At least among my siblings. My mom probably wouldn't get it, bless her heart.
Pay to Play
Now that Willie Brown has been elected mayor of San Francisco, he will have more power than any mayor since the 1920s.
San Francisco's infamous government of the '20s led to the adoption of our present City Charter (enacted in 1932), which took the control of city contracts out of the hands of corrupt politicians.
Because the voters passed Proposition E last month, Mayor Brown will likely have a new City Charter giving him complete control over all city departments, including chief administrative officer functions that award and administer all city contracts.
In addition, Brown will control the majority vote of the Board of Supervisors (10 of 11 supervisors endorsed him). The board ordinarily keeps the mayor honest with its power to override his veto.
To further enhance his power base, Slick Willie recently asked the Airport Commission to delay the appointment of John Martin (an openly gay man) as the new S.F. airport director until after the election so he could put one of his cronies in the job. Obviously Brown sees the importance of having one of his own in this job since some $3 billion in airport construction contracts will be awarded during the coming year.
How much power San Franciscans are willing to entrust to a single politician is not clear. But one thing is certain: If you wish to do business in San Francisco, you will have to pay homage to Willie Brown first.