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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stupidville - Traci Lords Story

When I was 10 years old I was raped by a 14 year old boy, I barely knew.  It changed my life forever. I was terrified. And I was silent. I pretended that it  didn't happen, that it was just a very bad dream. But boys talk. It wasn't long before I was called "Nora Whora". ( Nora is my birth name.) My identity as a "slut" was established. It was a burden that I was unprepared to deal with. And it poisoned me. Mine was a silent rage that gave way to a tornado of self destruction. I learned to hate- mostly myself-for somehow becoming the slut everyone said I was.

Time marched on. And I unleashed my rage in my music. In 1995, I wrote a song about rape called "Father's Field". It appeared on my first album 1000 Fires. In 2004,  I wrote my autobiography Traci Lords: Underneath It All . I discussed growing up in a small Ohio town and the devastating  effects of rape. Then  I wrote and directed a short film for the Fox Searchlab, "Sweetpea" in which I dramatized the event. In the intervening years I've spent more than a few hours on the therapist's couch. I came to terms with the rape and my destructive, crazy behavior as a teen age porn star. And although I have managed to succeed in my life, launch a reasonably success Hollywood career, marry a wonderful man and give birth to the most glorious boy a mother could wish for, my past is always there-trying to drag me back in time. Reminding me that sluts are sluts and we don't deserve to be happy, right?


When I heard about the Steubenville "rape crew" I literally threw up. In case you've somehow missed the coverage, a drunk, unconscious,  high school girl was repeatedly raped by members of the high school football team as they took her to several parties over the course of the evening. The girl didn't know what had happened until the next morning when texts and photos started to appear on Twitter and Facebook.  Blogger Alexandria Goddard  got wind of it. And started digging. By January, Anonymous threatened to expose information they had about the rape and it's subsequent cover-up. And finally there was a crime!!! But what if Alexandria hadn't noticed? What if the legion of Anonymous didn't exist? If Roseanne Barr didn't blast them from her radio show? What if like most rapes WE were the ones who were counted on to testify? Could you be that brave? Would you stand up for your neighbor?  Would you fight someone else's battle?

Do you have the heart?

Fans of mine know, I try to stay on the light side of things. Frankly, I've seen my share of ugly. But, it's changed again. I can't look the other way! I can't be silent and watch as this vicious sickness continues to contaminate our planet. This is not just a "Steubenville" thing. It is a GLOBAL plague. We must be fierce in fighting for the safety and protection of all human beings. We MUST stop this now. Nothing will change until we all care enough to put ourselves in others shoes.

Really. Can you imagine? How would you feel?