Susan Collins, U. S. Senator from Maine
was born in 1957, on the day I (another Christine) became a teenager. That year, or maybe it was a couple years later, a schoolmate – yet another Christine! was assaulted by the the class jocks, inebriated on stolen hard cider. The possible charge of theft was the worrisome matter. It would have gone on the record. The girl wasnʼt hurt, it was said. I knew it couldnʼt happen to me. But just in case, I didnʼt attend even the one class party held without the parents presence that I was invited to. In four years. At college I went to to one mixer each year, hoping that the lakes of frat beer would subside with greater maturity. They didnʼt. I was still pretty sure I would not be attacked. But then classmates dropped out of sight. “Having to get married” was still a thing in the first half of the sixties. There was the science prof who sent a classmate home with a bundle of joy to wed her hometown beau. There was a not at all agressive but totally terrifying flasher in the library stacks. A laughing dorm mate whose five minutes of fame was owed to her panties on display at a little ivy frat. How did Susan miss all the signs? It most clearly could be her. Although sheʼs not a Christine.It could be me. Christine! Consent as a concept wasnʼt discussed, it was barely a fantasy. If you were alive, and female, you were fair game for horny frat boys. Safety was as much a fantasy as a Disney princess. Although where the fair part was negotiated was certainly a mystery. Susan, how could you have been untouched by all that unwanted hormonal agression. I donʼt believe YOU. Thatʼs not the Potomac, thatʼs DENIAL. I DONT BELIEVE YOU, Susan Collins. Because you donʼt need to have been abused or be a Christine to participate in abuse. You, Senator, just enabled the abuse of a survivor. And of us. We, your sisters, who cannot accept that you would be so heartlessly cruel to women who believed you when you said you would protect us.
Christine. Shrew (and Saggitarian) of Amherst. October 7, 2018
Senator, somehow, you didnʼt survive. Thatʼs not only shameful, itʼs a shame. You could have been the one to save so many others, too. Now you will be remembered for this. For a betrayal. Not what a warrior saggitarian would claim in boast.