Editorial: Good girls

In the original Halloween movie, circa 1978, the story follows three friends, Laurie, Annie and Linda, as they plan for their Halloween night.

These are three different types of girls:

Laurie, studious, shy, innocent — the good girl; Annie, the romantically aggressive, anything goes kind of girl; and Linda, the shallow, dingbat type of girl who is simply looking for a place to get frisky with her boyfriend on Halloween night.

All of them are physically assaulted that night by a serial killer.

None of them deserve it. None of them.

There’s a running theme to horror movies, especially of the early 1980s slasher types. The only women who are safe are the ones who maintain their innocence. The girl who pushes the flirtatious guy away. The girl who has nothing to do on a the night in question. The nerd who cares about studying. The girl who dresses like she’s in a convent. The good girls. They are the ones who make it out alive.

That theory may be amusing in horror movies, but unfortunately it is one that that seems to be mirrored in real life.

The country has been forced to watch a terrible scene play out in the confirmation of newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Putting aside whether you believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford or not, the entire process has caused those watching to live in a state of “post-traumatic stress disorder,” as actress Kerry Washington said on CBS Sunday Morning.

Remove the people and the politics and you have our friends and family, our social media friends, and a nation, as well as many people of influence:

  1. Mocking the testimony of a possible sexual assault victim because she can't remember the details.

  2. Questioning why it would take her 35 years to discuss it.

  3. And the worst, believing the sexual assault occurred but dismissing it because “all teenage boys do stuff like that.”

Many women and men have experienced a traumatic incident that may not rise to the threshold that the court of public opinion feels is sexual assault. Many, many don’t talk about it for that reason — that they will simply be revictimized by being dismissed or mocked. Whether you are Laurie, Annie or Linda in Halloween, none of them deserved to get physically assaulted. We are all good girls who deserve better.

We need to strongly consider what we say on social media and to each other. Our words today, given their platforms, are weapons against one another — ones that can do just as much damage to our hearts and souls as a serial killer’s knife.