The unearthing of so much sexual harassment and assaults, with victims at last being believed, is creating an opportunity for the ancient roots of sexual bullying to be brought into the light. The turmoil of victims stating their truths and exposing the abusers actions is creating a harrowing yet liberating cultural experience that everyone is effected by. Do I dare hope that this upheaval will have a lasting awakening? I hope it with every cell.
I was groomed by a pedophile between the ages of 7 and 8. I was injured on every layer of my being. I worked through it quietly and persistently on my own as I didn’t trust any cultural institutions. Like so many with these experiences it robbed me of my voice, I felt I would be killed if I spoke up, told my truth. I persisted with a weight to every step.
So far I have made two films with my friends and community. One, twenty years ago, called ‘Teeth’ was about a woman’s transformation of fear.
Below is the raw footage of a scene from a self defense class. At the time I was a Martial Artists and had grown from a student who would have to sit out crying on occasion because of ‘all the hitting’, to a serious student. The scene shows how overwhelming the stats are when you start learning to defend yourself.
I owe my training to how I handled a situation that came up at work. I had been hired to play an international hit woman on a TV show. There was a scene where I had handcuffed the hero to a bed and did a strip tease to ‘threaten’ him. I had a rider that I would have a body double if needed or that it would be off camera. The day that I arrived on set I went to sit with the director. We talked a bit about the character and then he turned to me and said, ‘I know the strip tease is off camera but would you do it naked to give the crew a thrill’. I felt a shock in my body, then turned to him and calmly said, ‘You know what your job is don’t you? It’s to protect me from statements like that. And that strip tease scene is not threatening. She should be sitting on him and he should be wondering if she is going to fuck him or kill him. You can do it in two shots and it will save you time.’ We ended up doing the scene just like that. I highly recommend studying Martial Arts in any form.
Ten years ago I made a film called ‘Cruel But Necessary’ which is a film about a women who begins to deconstruct the culture when her marriage breaks apart.
She works in HR and this scene is her tricking a sexual harasser.
You can see the whole film at wendelmeldrum.com
There are so many people to thank for how we got here today. Every story that was told, every person that believed someone and offered support, all the people that put laws in place so there is cultural boundary and consequence. All the people that see with new eyes. Millions of small actions by millions of good people. Many more steps to go. It’s going to be messy but the time is now, the place is here. Onward.