Are You Shielding an Abuser? Victims Deserve to be Believed


Sadly, the allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of everyone’s favorite TV dad of the 80s and 90s, Bill Cosby, makes the following in-depth essay written in the wake of the allegations against Woody Allen timely and relevant again.  Different celebrity, different allegations, same old bull from small-minded people who say the predictable type of things small-minded people say when a victim comes forward: she wasn’t actually raped, she’s only after his money or out to ruin his reputation or to make a name for herself, and if she took so long to come forward it can’t be true because all real rape victims report their rape immediately.

Below is my essay, “What Would You Say if I Told You? Talking About Sexual Abuse,” that covers sexual abuse from allegations against Woody Allen to sexual abusers who prey on those in their own families to a case where I represented a teenage girl for an injunction for protection against her mother’s husband.  What is “real” evidence?  If charges aren’t filed against an accused rapist, does that mean police and prosecutors don’t believe he did?  Read on for answers.  


Are You Shielding an Abuser? Victims Deserve to be Believed.


When Everything Has to Be Absolutely Perfect: My Hair-Raising Experience

by Suzannah Gilman

The Gloria Sirens are posting “hair pieces” today.  This one, by me, makes 6 hair pieces.  Reblogged from The Gloria Sirens.

Before that evening, I hoped that everyone would be stealing glances at me, wondering who I was. And they were. Not for the reason I thought they would, but I giggled to my fiancé. “They will all remember me tomorrow!” And I’m sure they did.

susan boyle

Read the entire post here: My Hair-Raising Experience.


The Top of the Highest Mountain

by Suzannah Gilman

A commercial shown last night during the Olympics made me sad.  Children were shown riding the public bus and in other public places as well on the sofa at home, all saying “My mom got her degree right here… and here… and here.”  It’s a commercial for a distance learning bachelor’s program. The children proudly said, “It’s an accomplishment.”  Well, it’s certainly something to have a piece of paper that says you went to college, even if you were never physically present in a classroom.

rollins seal'

I thought of my own children and how proud they are of me for graduating from college.  I went to Rollins College full time, on academic scholarship, and finished my last three years while serving my school (volunteering and as VP of the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta) and my children’s school (PTA board member, classroom volunteer) and being a Cub Scout Den Leader and a member of the Pack Committee as well as assistant leader for my daughter’s Brownie troop.  I drove my kids to school, made their lunches, chaperoned their field trips (including a 5th grade trip to Washington, D.C. while I was studying for mid-term exams), and even found time to exercise.  How could distance learning be necessary if it’s possible to be present and functioning in all of these places in all of these ways?

I wouldn’t trade my classroom experience at Rollins for anything. It’s where I got my second positive self-identity in my life (my first: as mother), where I became empowered, where I made friends I will always keep, and where I gained the confidence to apply to law school. I went to the highest-ranked law school in the state, feeling like I was standing on top of the highest mountain.  

This girl from a single-parent family who grew up on food stamps and free lunches and never went to high school could not have made this quantum leap if I’d “gone to school” on a bus.

This poem by Tom Wayman, “Did I Miss Anything?” speaks to the importance of the classroom experience.  Don’t miss out on it.

Classroom in Orlando Hall, photo by Rollins College

Classroom in Orlando Hall, photo by Rollins College


An Ideal Husband? My May-December Romance

I did something I never thought I’d do, and I wrote about it on The Gloria Sirens.

The last thing I thought I would ever do is get romantically entangled with a man 25 years older than me. But here I am.  Here we are.  I used to think of it as “sick” when I saw couples like us together.  I’m sure I said that word.  I’m sure there are those who’ve said it of us.

Read the rest here.

Hiding from the Beatles?

In “Now I Need a Place to Hide Away,” Ann Hood writes,

It is difficult to hide from the Beatles. After all these years they are still regularly in the news. Their songs play on oldies stations, countdowns and best-ofs. There is always some Beatles anniversary: the first No. 1 song, the first time in the United States, a birthday, an anniversary, a milestone, a Broadway show.

But hide from the Beatles I must. Or, in some cases, escape. One day in the grocery store, when “Eight Days a Week” came on, I had to leave my cartful of food and run out. Stepping into an elevator that’s blasting a peppy Muzak version of “Hey Jude” is enough to send me home to bed.

Of course it wasn’t always this way.

Read her “Modern Love” essay from the February 26, 2006 New York Times Magazine.