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Beth Fehlbaum

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Member Since: Aug, 2007

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Beth Fehlbaum

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Horton Hears a Who Inspired Me
By Beth Fehlbaum   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, March 20, 2008
Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2008

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I saw Horton Hears a Who with my daughters yesterday. I was surprised that it affected me as much as it did...

 

"WE ARE HERE!"
            I saw Horton Hears a Who with two of my daughters yesterday. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, or to be as affected by it as I was…am. Still. Today.
            Here's the thing, I'm sitting in this dark theater between my twenty-two-year-old and twenty-year-old daughters, and I feel like weeping when the evil kangaroo character is holding a pink clover (looked more like a chrysanthemum to me but oh,well) above a boiling vat of oil. Atop the clover is a "speck" and within that speck is the teeny-tiny Who civilization named, appropriately, "Whoville." Now, lest you think me a complete sucker for scenes like that, let me assure you that I never, not for one minute, thought the Whos would be boiled alive.
                        [SPOILER ALERT! Like I really need to give one..]
            I pretty much anticipated that there would be a last-minute rescue, and there was. The evil kangaroo's "child", Rudy, hopped out of her pouch and snatched the clover away from her just as it was about to fall into the oil. He held the clover up to his ear and exclaimed, "I can HEAR them! They're real!" Then he hopped over to Horton, who was being held down by angry mob of technicolor jungle creatures, and handed the clover over to Horton, who, I have to say, was a lot more forgiving of those other animals than I would have been. I would have been more inclined to give that nasty kangaroo lady a swift kick in the ass as opposed to offer her a cookie, but I guess that's just me.
[END OF SPOILER ALERT]
            The thing that made me feel like weeping was the Whos trying so desperately to be heard by the others. No one would believe Horton when he insisted that the Whos were real and that they mattered, and that struck me to the core.
            "WE ARE HERE!" the Whos chanted. "WE ARE HERE!"
            Victims and survivors of sexual abuse are desperate to be heard, as well: "WE ARE HERE! DO YOU HEAR US? WE ARE HERE!"
            Ashley, the protagonist in my book, Courage in Patience, is stunned when she tells her mother what has been happening to her-- six years of sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather-- and her mother says, simply, "We're going to move on now. Go to your room."
            Ashley struggles with rage and suicidal tendencies as it becomes clearer to her, as the story progresses, that her mother will not hear her. Like the Whos crying out, "WE ARE HERE!", Ashley cries out, "Why don't I matter to her?"  
            I thought about Ashley's courage as she learns to face the truth about her mother as I sat in that movie with my daughters. Horton's bravery and insistence that what he was protecting was real felt very much like Ashley's tenuous first steps to recovery that Courage in Patience depicts. There is something inside of her, a spark of strength, that insists that she hold her ground even when her own mother tells her that nothing really happened.
            Today I stumbled upon a listing for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA). Its webpage reads, "TAASA is a non-profit educational and advocacy organization. As an agency, TAASA works to promote sexual assault awareness throughout the state of Texas. We provide training to rape crisis personnel, law enforcement, other service agencies, community groups, and schools on topical issues related to sexual assault as well as curriculum information for sexual assault trainings."
            I thought, hey, my book, Courage in Patience, is a story written to give hope to survivors of abuse. I'll bet TAASA would like to know about it. So I set about looking through their list of network members. I found over FIFTY LISTINGS, in big towns, small towns, and in-between towns-- mostly crisis centers and safe houses for women and children who are being abused. And that's just the ones who have listed their contact information on TAASA's site.
            The proliferation of member organizations on TAASA's site is at once a sad reflection on our society but a hopeful one, too, because people willing to protect and help victims get on the road to recovery are vital, if society is to ever conquer the scourge that is abuse.
            TAASA, and organizations like Survivors in Action,  an organization which is sponsoring a domestic violence database bill in California, does what few victims can do for themselves, in the beginning, which is to declare, for all the world to hear:
"WE ARE HERE. WE ARE HERE. WE ARE HERE."
 
 
           
           
 
"WE ARE HERE!"
            I saw Horton Hears a Who with two of my two daughters yesterday. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, or to be as affected by it as I was…am. Still. Today.
            Here's the thing, I'm sitting in this dark theater between my twenty-two-year-old and twenty-year-old daughters, and I feel like weeping when the evil kangaroo character is holding a pink clover (looked more like a chrysanthemum to me but oh,well) above a boiling vat of oil. Atop the clover is a "speck" and within that speck is the teeny-tiny Who civilization named, appropriately, "Whoville." Now, lest you think me a complete sucker for scenes like that, let me assure you that I never, not for one minute, thought the Whos would be boiled alive.
                        [SPOILER ALERT! Like I really need to give one..]
            I pretty much anticipated that there would be a last-minute rescue, and there was. The evil kangaroo's "child", Rudy, hopped out of her pouch and snatched the clover away from her just as it was about to fall into the oil. He held the clover up to his ear and exclaimed, "I can HEAR them! They're real!" Then he hopped over to Horton, who was being held down by angry mob of technicolor jungle creatures, and handed the clover over to Horton, who, I have to say, was a lot more forgiving of those other animals than I would have been. I would have been more inclined to give that nasty kangaroo lady a swift kick in the ass as opposed to offer her a cookie, but I guess that's just me.
[END OF SPOILER ALERT]
            The thing that made me feel like weeping was the Whos trying so desperately to be heard by the others. No one would believe Horton when he insisted that the Whos were real and that they mattered, and that struck me to the core.
            "WE ARE HERE!" the Whos chanted. "WE ARE HERE!"
            Victims and survivors of sexual abuse are desperate to be heard, as well: "WE ARE HERE! DO YOU HEAR US? WE ARE HERE!"
            Ashley, the protagonist in my book, Courage in Patience, is stunned when she tells her mother what has been happening to her-- six years of sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather-- and her mother says, simply, "We're going to move on now. Go to your room."
            Ashley struggles with rage and suicidal tendencies as it becomes clearer to her, as the story progresses, that her mother will not hear her. Like the Whos crying out, "WE ARE HERE!", Ashley cries out, "Why don't I matter to her?"  
            I thought about Ashley's courage as she learns to face the truth about her mother as I sat in that movie with my daughters. Horton's bravery and insistence that what he was protecting was real felt very much like Ashley's tenuous first steps to recovery that Courage in Patience depicts. There is something inside of her, a spark of strength, that insists that she hold her ground even when her own mother tells her that nothing really happened.
            Today I stumbled upon a listing for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA). Its webpage reads, "TAASA is a non-profit educational and advocacy organization. As an agency, TAASA works to promote sexual assault awareness throughout the state of Texas. We provide training to rape crisis personnel, law enforcement, other service agencies, community groups, and schools on topical issues related to sexual assault as well as curriculum information for sexual assault trainings."
            I thought, hey, my book, Courage in Patience, is a story written to give hope to survivors of abuse. I'll bet TAASA would like to know about it. So I set about looking through their list of network members. I found over FIFTY LISTINGS, in big towns, small towns, and in-between towns-- mostly crisis centers and safe houses for women and children who are being abused. And that's just the ones who have listed their contact information on TAASA's site.
            The proliferation of member organizations on TAASA's site is at once a sad reflection on our society but a hopeful one, too, because people willing to protect and help victims get on the road to recovery are vital, if society is to ever conquer the scourge that is abuse.
            TAASA, and organizations like Survivors in Action,  an organization which is sponsoring a domestic violence database bill in California, does what few victims can do for themselves, in the beginning, which is to declare, for all the world to hear:
"WE ARE HERE. WE ARE HERE. WE ARE HERE."
 
 
           
           
 

 

Web Site: Courage in Patience by Author Beth Fehlbaum


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Reviewed by Tami Ryan 3/20/2008
Hear! Hear! Thank you for speaking out on this issue. We MUST be heard. Thank you.

Tami

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