This Week's Guest: J. Ronald M. York
I want to let you know that this week's episode addresses some upsetting topics. It wasn't until his parents died that J. Ronald M. York learned about accusations of childhood sexual abuse in his family. Letters in a box in his father's garage finally revealed the terrible secrets that his family had kept from him his entire adult life. And in turn, that started his process for dealing with the secrets of his own abuse that he'd been carrying for years.
These are hard things to talk about -- but they're important to acknowledge and address. If you need to talk to someone about sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE, or connect with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network at RAINN.org.
This Week's Recommendation: Cameron Esposito's "Rape Jokes"
Thanks again to Ronald for joining me and for speaking so openly about something so difficult. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to talk about experiences like his, to say nothing of the pain of carrying those experiences as a secret. But I hope that hearing about what he's been through is helpful for other people carrying similar burdens.
And for another take on surviving sexual assault, take a look at Cameron Esposito's new stand-up comedy special, entitled simply "Rape Jokes." It's a title that doesn't mince words about what to expect: a challenging and also, importantly, hilarious exploration about sexual assault.
Cameron is herself a survivor, and her perspective is absolutely vital. It's an experience like nothing I've ever seen, swerving simultaneously through jokes and pain and laughter and anger and compassion. The entire special is available to watch online at cameronesposito.com, and there's a "Donate" button in the upper left to benefit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Go, watch, give.
For something with so blunt a title, "Rape Jokes" is an amazing feat of comic finesse, or generosity, and compassion.