Yada Yada Yada

Toast forwarded me the link to this column by Colin McEnroe, which serves as a great laundry list of validations for consigning Joe Lieberman to permanent exile from the Democratic Party, but this part in particular struck Toast (and me):

Lieberman said the Catholic hospitals shouldn't have to hand out the pills and that transportation should instead be provided, for the rape victim, to some other hospital. He said, "In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital."

Wow. You've got a woman who has been raped. She's shattered, shivering, sobbing, frightened. It's 3 a.m. She just spent hours at St. Somebody for the humiliating and invasive process of evidence collection. Now you're going to hustle her into a cab or shuttle bus to go somewhere else and get a pill that would keep her from bearing the rapist's child because you can't stand to prick the conscience of a hospital administrator?

That's taking better care of the administrator than of the rape victim. And the former is generally having a better day than the latter.
It reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld, in which George is (as per usual) freaking out, on this occasion because he fears his girlfriend has “yada yadaed sex.”

George: Can you yada-yada sex?

Elaine: I’ve yada-yadaed sex.

George: You have?!

Elaine: I went out with this hot young lawyer, we went out for dinner, I had the lobster bisque, we went back to my place, and yada yada yada, I never heard from him again.

Jerry: But you yada-yadaed the best part!

Elaine: No, I mentioned the bisque.

In spite of its recalling that rather funny scene, Lieberman’s reducing the trauma of being redirected to a hospital which is willing to provide you the care you need after being raped to “a short ride” is not amusing. He’s yada-yadaing all the things upon which McEnroe deliberately elucidates—the emotional devastation, the fear, the humiliation, the invasiveness, all of which are exacerbated by the implied shamefulness of wanting to prevent a possible pregnancy caused by a sexual assault.

What’s the big deal? It’s just a short ride. You come in, you talk to the cops, you get your legs spread in front of strangers who investigate your twat for evidence, and yada yada yada, you get your pill.

But you yada-yadaed over the worst part!

No, I mentioned the twat exam.

There is, in the wake of a rape, the functional process of moving forward. It doesn’t always include reporting the assault, but when it does, those functional processes (can) include the interview with police, the medical examination, and emergency birth control. There’s also the emotional process, which is an entirely different animal, and can last a very long time, even though it often begins immediately. The terror, the feeling of brokenness, the guilt or shame.

Imagine being in that space, and being told you’ve got to be moved—a short ride—to complete your medical care. Imagine asking why, and being told, effectively, “Sorry, we don’t accommodate immoral people like you. No, no—we’re not judging you for being raped, dear. That’s not your fault. But just because we sympathize with your having been forced to have sex against your will doesn’t mean we think you have right to be a babykiller.”

Whisking away a rape victim in state transport like it’s some kind of prison transfer may seem an acceptable way to address the functional process of delivering emergency birth control, but it’s clearly, unequivocally, an unacceptable detriment to the associated emotional process—and, incidentally, will thusly become a barrier to the functional process, as more women become hesitant to report the crime, at the risk of facing such ridiculous moralization. “First do no harm” isn’t meant to apply to hospital staff, but to their patients, for crying out loud.

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