The world now has the name of at least one of the “anonymous” women accusing Presidential Candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment.
As I sat watching the presss conference yesterday, I went from rolling my eyes, to angry, to being literally sick at my stomach, all the way back to being angry again.
Why would this make me angry, you ask? Why can’t I simply chalk it up to what some would consider an attention seeker, and what others will simply call a liar? Let me explain why. But, let me warn you, if you like nice little stories, this is not one you want to read. This is the perfect time to exit this article.
For those of you who have not left, and would like to know why Sharon Bialek has made me so angry, we have to travel back in time a bit. We have to go back a bit further in history than the 15 years Sharon Bialek is talking about.
The year is 1987- a full 10 years before the alleged Cain-Bialek incident. There was a young girl, naive in the ways of the world, yet thought she knew it all. She was what most would call a “good girl”, but not for the typical reasons those words are used to describe a young lady. For the most part, she did what she was told, got good grades, and stayed out of trouble. What her parents did not realize what she had a sneaky streak a mile wide and 100 miles long – a streak that would change her life forever.
One Saturday night she spent the night with a friend. While her parents knew the parents of this other girl, they were not real close, and did not know the troubled past of the other girl.
That night, the girls went to the skating rink. Now, that might not sound like a big deal to you, but to this young girl, this was a bit of the “forbidden fruit”. She had never gone to the skating rink without her parents, so for her to be able to go “hang out” at the skating rink with a friend was almost too good to be true. You could tell she was a bit uncomfortable in her surroundings, not quite knowing exactly what to do.
Her friend’s boyfriend had met them up there, and after introductions were made, further plans for the night began to shape up. The friend said to her boyfriend, “We have to find someone for her!” The girl was very adamant that she didn’t “want” to have someone “found” for her. Throughout the night, the boyfriend pointed out a friend of his, asking what she thought of him. None were of interest to her, and she kept saying no.
The night at the skating rink ended, and the friends’ dad came to pick the girls up. They went home to hang out like all girls do when they spend the night with friends.
Several times throughout the night her friend had talked about “when the guys picked them up”, or “when we sneak out”. She told her friend she was not going to sneak out. She was rock solid, never wavering in her answer. There was absolutely no way she would sneak out. She knew she had no business outside in the middle of the night. But her friend kept piling on the peer pressure. The closer to midnight it came, the more pressure was put on. She continued to say no.
When her friend decided she would go with or without the young girl, it was an awkward moment. Then the fateful words were spoken. “If you are really my friend, you’ll go with me!”
And she gave in. Against her better judgement, she heaved a very heavy sigh of reluctance, and climbed out the window. She was a klutz, so simply getting outside was an adventure in and of itself.
The girls walked down the long, dark road, one silent, one very animated. She knew she shouldn’t be here. She felt the dread in her heart heavier than anything she had ever known. However, she was a true friend. She would always be a true friend. So she would put on a brave face for the night.
Little could she have known that a brave face was what she would need to get through the next decade of her life!
At the end of the dark, country road was the intersection to the main road going through their little town. On the corner was a church. This was the meeting place. The “guys” were to pick them up at the church. The girls waited, and waited, and waited. The meeting time passed. After much discussion, she finally convinced her friend that they should go back home. So they started walking back up the same long, dark country road they had walked down. They had not made it far when they saw headlights. The car stopped. It was “the guys”.
The friend’s boyfriend was driving, and he had indeed brought “a friend” along with him. She climbed awkwardly into the backseat with him, and shyly said hello. Her friend was laughing and telling her boyfriend how they thought the guys were not going to pick them up, and they were headed back home. They were driving around, going nowhere in particular. After a short time, they turned down a bumpy dirt road, pulled up in the rough circle that had been made by many cars before them. The driver parked the car, turned off the ignition, and turned the key over so the music would still play.
The occupants in the front seat immediately turned to each other and began making out.
She was in the backseat, all alone with a “guy” she had never met before, and had no clue what to do. She knew she was not going to make out with him, she didn’t even know him. He was talking to her, inviting her to move closer to him. She didn’t want to be rude, but she was already close enough to be able to smell the beer on his breath. To say she was uncomfortable is an understatement.
He was nice enough, at first, but seemed to be bothered by the fact that she wasn’t as aggressive as her friend was in the front seat. He even made a comment about how well the two in the front seat were getting along.
She can’t remember exactly how things progressed to the point it had, but she was now beside him, facing him. It happened so quickly. She remembers being very uncomfortable with it, and even more uncomfortable when he began kissing her.
If you asked her parents or others who knew her, they would say she was quite “boy crazy”. She always talked about liking this boy or that boy. But this was not the innocent little girl liking a boy in her class. This was something very different- something very grown up. She was not ready for anything like this, and she knew it!
While she knew what kissing was, and had already had her “first kiss”, remember…. she was very naive- and again, I stress naive! You can imagine her surprise when things took an abrupt turn in the back seat, and the “guy” was no longer kissing her, but was pushing her head to his crotch. All that kept going through her mind was, “What is he doing??”
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for her to find out what he was doing, but she did not understand what he wanted her to do. When he forced her to do what he wanted, she was so shocked and surprised she literally began to gag and choke. Fighting to regain control of her breath and her senses, she bit him. This made him angry. He decided to do things differently.
She was quite relieved when he pulled her up, expecting to just sit back quietly. However, he had other things in mind. Her world immediately went into a tailspin when he threw her on her back, across the seat. She struggled against him, fighting to sit up. He was much bigger than she was, so though she tried desperately to defend her innocence, she was no match for him. In one swift move, he slapped her face, she reached up to touch where he had hit. And her innocence was gone.
She laid there crying, praying for it to end. What was her friend doing? Why wasn’t she helping her? Surely they had heard- and felt the car moving- as she struggled against him. But they were too busy doing their own thing to take notice of her.
Her face stung where he had hit her. She didn’t fight back anymore, just hoping it would end soon. She tried to ignore the searing pain that ripped through every fiber of her body, concentrating instead on the song that played on the radio. She clung to every musical note and every single word. Until the day she dies that song will have a hauntingly beautiful place in her heart. If she hears it today, she instantly goes back to that night, yet, it is her comfort.
Once it was all over, he simply pushed her aside. In a daze, she sat up and redressed. She realized that her clothes were wet where he had spilled beer on her.
The occupants in the front seat had ended their festivities, and had sat up and redressed. Everyone was talking and laughing at this point- that is, everyone but her.
What seemed like forever, but surely couldn’t have been more than an hour or so later, the “guys” finally dropped them off back on the dark country road once again. After a hearty round of goodbyes from everyone- except for her- the girls got out of the car to head home. As she got out of the backseat, her legs wobbled and she nearly collapsed. She quickly collected herself, stood up, and began walking away. She never looked back.
It was difficult for her to walk. She was in so much pain. She didn’t fully understand everything that had happened to her. And here was her “friend” beside her, chattering away about how much fun she had that night. It suddenly became apparent to the friend that she was not so excited, and the friend asked what was wrong.
In an instant, she whirled on the other girl who she had once called “friend”.
With anger she never knew she was capable of, she spat back at the girl, “HE RAPED ME!”
I am that girl. When I was 14-years-old I was raped.
While I can tell the story in great detail, I can assure you I can never be so flippant and lighthearted in retelling it. I know what happened to me. I will never forget. I don’t have to have “the story” written on a piece of paper. If I am telling what happened to me, I don’t have to find my place on a page. I can pick up the story at any point and tell it just the same.
It is true, Sharon Bialek was not raped. However, I have my doubts as to anything she said. Her attitude is not one of a woman who was nearly assaulted, even if it is 15 years later.
Yes, there will be those who say that everyone reacts differently. That is true. It doesn’t make her story any more believable.
You will never be able to convince me that Herman Cain attempted to assault Sharon Bialek. In her story, he simply accepted her negative response and let it be. If a man is truly intent on taking advantage of a woman, assaulting her, raping her, or whatever other term you want to put to it, a simply, “You know I have a boyfriend” is not going to stop him.
Was Herman Cain ever inappropriate with her? Quite possibly. But highly doubtful.
Ms. Bialek has already cast doubt upon her trustworthiness in the story she’s told. Shame on her!
It is because of women like Sharon Bialek that ladies everywhere- young and old alike- who have been assaulted, go through the hell we have to go through to truly heal after such a horrible experience. It is bad enough to have it happen to you. It is even worse to have women claim something that happened to them when it did not.
It is because of women like Sharon Bialek that men everywhere- young and old alike- are never safe from a false accusations. At any point in time, if an accusation against them comes up, more often than not it comes down to exactly what the Cain-Bialek case is: Her word against his.
It simply comes down to who does it “benefit” as to whos story is accepted and believed.
Sharon Bialek and women like her are dangerous to us all.