Forum, Jan. 25: It Wasn’t Just a Bad Date

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
It Wasn’t Just a Bad Date

I get why “Grace,” who has said her date with comedian and actor Aziz Ansari turned into the worst night of her life, didn’t leave.

I’d like to think I would have, but I can’t know for sure.

As women, we need to speak up, to know we can leave a situation that makes us uncomfortable. But as a society we need to understand that ongoing conversations about consent are neither gendered nor a new phenomenon.

Respect, basic human decency, isn’t revolutionary. Conversations about consent and sex are ones that desperately need to happen, but too often the responsibility to start them falls on the party who is saying “no” or doesn’t want to go as far during a hookup. This means that the responsibility to speak up falls on the person who is already feeling more vulnerable.

So while I’m frustrated that Grace didn’t get up and leave, and frankly, saddened and frustrated because I know that there are countless women who don’t get up and leave, I get it.

To those who have called this a bad date or just bad sex I say, how dare you? How dare you trivialize the vulnerability of someone put in this position? Just because you have the confidence to use your voice doesn’t mean that everyone does.

This shouldn’t be news to you, but we still live in a world where people don’t always feel comfortable speaking up. Perceiving this as more than a woman overreacting or not standing up for herself doesn’t minimize the experience of others who have experienced clear, no-question-about-it sexual assault.

When did we become so stingy, so afraid, so limited in our ability to say more than, “I’m sorry you had this experience”?

Grace: Don’t listen to those who say you are trivializing the #MeToo movement. I don’t believe we’re there. In fact, we are far, far from it. The more we worry about trivializing #MeToo, the more exclusive it becomes. We’ll have women convincing themselves that a night that left them uncomfortable, shaken and traumatized was just bad sex. And just like that, we’re right back where we started.

Kate Dumanian


Weatherize Lebanon Kicks Off

Do you feel the cold air seeping into your house this winter?

Do you see money billowing out your chimney every time your furnace or boiler comes on? Learn about remedies for these problems at the Weatherize Lebanon kickoff event on Monday, at 7 p.m., at Kilton Library in West Lebanon.

Weatherize Lebanon is an opportunity for all homeowners to receive a home energy audit for only $100. This is a service worth $450 or more.

Participating contractors have been vetted by Vital Communities. They have agreed to subsidize their audits, and are all offering standardized pricing for weatherization work.

The Weatherize Lebanon team also provides support to interested homeowners via phone and email. These volunteers are teaming up with Vital Communities, contractors, utility providers and NHSaves to promote weatherization and encourage homeowners to sign up.

At the kickoff event you’ll get to meet the participating contractors and ask them about specific projects or general weatherization techniques, learn more about the program and sign up to begin the process of requesting your home energy audit.

If you cannot make it to the event, go to vitalcommunities.org/weatherize to learn more and complete the questionnaire before March 31.

If you rent, please tell your landlord about Weatherize Lebanon. The payoff for you will be a more comfortable home with lowered costs to heat it.

Devin R. Wilkie, Lynn Garfield, Sarah Riley,

Members of the Weatherize Lebanon team

‘Continuing Resolution (A Play)’

Washington, D.C., is the stage and members of Congress are the actors.

The play is a tragedy, with each act weeks apart.

Act One opens with several old entrenched senators and representatives arguing over funding the government representing 310 million citizens or determining the fate of 800,000 noncitizens.

Although the fate of  the noncitizens is in their hands, and they have had years to settle the issue, the choice of some is to shut down the government and they accomplish their task.

As Act One closes, the bloated government is funded, the fate of the 800,000 is undetermined and the finger-pointing among the entrenched members of Congress begins.

Stay tuned for Act Two on Feb. 8.

Bruce St. Peter