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Home / US / Chanel Miller says, "Know my name," as she thinks about her attack. By Brock Turner: NPR

Chanel Miller says, "Know my name," as she thinks about her attack. By Brock Turner: NPR



This CBS-published image shows Chanel Miller during an interview on 60 minutes, aired on September 22.

60 minutes / AP


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60 minutes / AP

This picture published by CBS shows Chanel Miller during an interview at 60 Minutes, on September 22nd.

60 minutes / AP

Editor's Note: This review contains graphical descriptions.

Her name is Chanel Miller.

For four years she has been publicly known as Emily Doe, "an unconscious woman," or simply "Brock Turner's Victim." In her essay Know My Name she wants to make it clear: "I am a victim, I have no reservations with this word, only with the idea that it is all that I am," she writes. "I'm not a victim of Brock Turner, I'm not for him."

In 2015, Miller was sexually assaulted on the campus of Stanford University by Turner. Two Swedish students cycled by and chased Turner from an unconscious Miller. Turner was convicted of three crimes, but served only three months in a six-month prison in the county jail. The case became notorious for its devastating, compelling reminder of the sexual assault and its consequences for its portrayal of the race and prosperity gap in the conviction and pungent eloquence of Miller's victim statement, which immediately became viral when it was published by Buzzfeed. We live with Miller minute by minute, thinking and feeling with her. In some places, especially during the testimony report, it is difficult to read and breathe at the same time.

Know My Name is an intentional title: Miller knows that the publication of her own name is associated with her own luggage. "Names are sacred," she writes at one point when she mentions the victims of a mass shooting at her university. "I do not want them to be identified only by what he did to them." By the same principle, Miller not only gives us her name. She tells us what it means and shows us the people for whom the name Chanel is sacred.

If you want to know her name, you must also know that her Chinese grandfather pronounces him like xiao niao ] – "Birdie." That she does stand-up comedy, that she likes to cook, that she has a little sister, and that on the night she was attacked, her dad made her quinoa and made fun of her the way he did she pronounced. In other words, she is a full-fledged person, a loved one, a named person.

Miller is an extraordinary writer: simple, precise and moving. The sharpest moments of the memoirs focus on their family and their grief over their attack. Before telling her father she writes, "Every time it rains, my dad said: The plants must be so happy! How would it feel if he learned that his daughter had raped has been?" [19659010] Miller also documents the smaller – sad and frustratingly anticipated and not unimportant – humiliation of walking across the earth as a woman: the calls, the harassment and the resulting paranoia. She wants to walk down the street, sit on a bench or talk to a stranger – all that is often considered an invitation to harassment. At one of her low points, an old man on a bench offers her a slice of paprika. She gets into a familiar spiral of fear: "I stare at the glass, what if he's poisoned the seeds, what if he's a pervert and rubs his penis on the peppers and wants to watch me eat? is he slashing me his pocketknife? "She accepts the piece of pepper anyway.

Miller also addresses the same reason she spoke in her statement: the grotesque focus of the media on Turner's swimming career ("they counted my drinks and counted the seconds Brock could swim two hundred yards"). And as she was told that she should not have expected anything better, "You went to a marriage and were attacked, what did you expect? … I understand, you should not go into a lion's lair because you could But lions are wild animals, and boys are humans, they have their minds and they live in a society of laws, and groping others was not a natural reflex but a biological one, it was a cognitive act they could control. "

Miller Writes This Before Their Attack:

"I did not know that money could make the cell doors swing." I did not know that a woman drunk with the violence would not be taken seriously I did not know that when he was drunk, when the violence occurred, people would sympathize with him, I did not know that my loss of memory would be his chance, I did not know that a victim was equal is not to be believed with.

Stanford emerges as a sharp example of institutional cowardice: It's a Failure to Say After realizing that she was not a student, one should seriously take care of it and make an offer for therapy on the condition that she "I finally understood that I was not visible as a person, but as a legal threat, a serious obligation," she writes, and the conflict comes to a head in a memorial garden that Stanford put in place They wanted to put up a memorial plaque and they suggest quotes from their sacrificial declaration, rejecting their suggestions in the hope of something reassuring and insane, something that implies that everything was forgiven, and after lengthy negotiations, she says No.

Again, we see her insistence on the sanctity of asserting herself that when the world rubs her edges, she becomes a symbo l or goal, an anonymous body or a perfect victim. "I encourage you to sit in this garden, but if you do that, close your eyes and I'll tell you about the real garden, the holy place," she writes, where Brock's knees hit the dirt, where the Swedes shoved him to the ground and shouted: What the hell are you doing? Do you think that's alright? Bring her words on a blackboard. Mark this place because I have erected a memorial to me. The place I need to remember is not where I was attacked, but the place where it fell, where I was saved, where two men shut up, nothing more here, not now, never. "


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