Yesterday, my twitter notifications were filled with comments about Baylor women’s head basketball coach, Kim Mulkey. I went to each link to find out what was going on and was appalled by what I read and saw. I immediately took to tweeting to state my own opinion. As many of you already know, I am a gang-rape survivor. In 1998, I was drugged and gang-raped by four football players. I came forward with my story just over two years ago and since then, I have made it my personal mission to speak out against sexual assault and stand up for survivors.
For months, I have been hearing from Baylor alum and Baylor fans that Baylor has changed. “Leave us alone, we’ve implemented over 100 recommendations.” The problem is implementing recommendations doesn’t change culture. Culture is based on attitudes and beliefs and Kim Mulkey just verified to the nation, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the culture at Baylor is still toxic and violent. Last night she put on a show stating “If somebody’s around you and they ever say, ‘I will never send my daughter to Baylor,’ you knock them right in the face, because these kids are on this campus. I work here. My daughter went to school here. And it’s the best damn school in America.” I even heard she added a mic drop for emphasis.
Kim Mulkey advocated for violence against parents concerned about sexual violence on Baylor’s campus. Let that sink in for a minute. According to Kim, there are parents that deserve an ass whopping because they wouldn’t send their daughters to an institution currently facing a lawsuit alleging 52 rapes over four years by football players who played for Art Briles - and that’s just within football - that’s not addressing non-athletic related assaults that have occurred on Baylor’s campus - or Patty Crawford, title IX coordinator, who resigned because she was not allowed to do her job, or the poor handling of this entire situation by the Board of Regents, or the rabid support of Art Briles by #CABsters after he was fired. I could go on and on, but I digress.
After making the above comment, Kim Mulkey went on to clarify her statement by saying
“I’m just tired of hearing it,” she said. “I’m tired of people talking on it on a national scale that don’t know what they’re talking about. If they didn’t sit in those meetings and they weren’t a part of the investigation, you’re repeating things that you’ve heard. It’s over. It’s done, and this is a great institution, and I would send my daughter here, and I’d pay for anybody else’s daughter to come here. I work here every day. I’m in the know, and I’m tired of hearing it. This is a great institution. The problems we have at Baylor are no different than the problems at any other school in America, period. Move on. Find another story to write.”
Well Kim…. Let me start by saying I’m tired of hearing it too. I’m tired of hearing tone deaf people like you defending and refusing to hold your own “great” institution accountable. I’m tired of hearing about the staggering number of sexual assaults and gang-rapes that have taken place on your “great institutions” campus. I’m tired of hearing the slow drip of information coming from the Board of Regents. I don’t need to sit in a meeting or be part of the investigation to know what’s happening on that campus and neither does anyone else. Its over? Its done? Maybe for you it is, but it will NEVER be over for the survivors. We don’t get to just decide one day to “move on”. We are forever changed. We are never the same.
Many of us will struggle to not commit suicide. Do you know what that’s like Kim? Do you know what it’s like to desperately want to die? To hate yourself and your body so much that you can’t stand to be inside your own skin?
Do you know the immense amount of courage and strength it takes for us to not kill ourselves?
I’m assuming that you don’t because if you did you wouldn’t tell the world to “move on”. You would understand that survivors need our nation to stay put and listen. Stay put and do their best to understand our pain and our experience. Stay put until we can get the world to understand that we did not cause our own rape ― it was not our fault and that we are not damaged, weak, and broken - that we are worthy of being believed. Stay put and help us find the path to healing so that we will want to live, so that we do not turn to alcohol, drugs, and cutting. Stay put and help us so that our pain does not turn into an eating disorder. Stay put and comfort us thru the night terrors and depression and PTSD. Stay put long enough to show us that we matter and that what happened to us matters.
Kim Mulkey has asked America to move on, but I am asking for you to stay put America.
Please, do not move on…
And P.S. Kim, since you are offering to pay for tuition you can start by helping the current survivors with theirs.