Friday, October 14, 2016


Me at 24
Copyright (c) 1978
Silver Parnell

In 1974, when I was 20 years old, I got a job working for an executive at E.F. Hutton. It was a frightening environment. I was the only woman in our office, the rest of them being commodity traders and one executive who ran the department. Many lunch hours, the men would retire to the conference room, draw the blinds closed against the glass partition, and watch pornographic films with the sound turned up really high. The men hooted and hollered, uttering horribly vulgar comments that STILL make me blush, 38 years later.

I was desperate for work. Unmarried, with no helpful family connections, I was alone in the big city of Los Angeles, trying to keep a roof over my head.

One of the men noticed that I was taking the bus home every night and he offered me a ride home. I was too innocent to realize that he had an ulterior motive. It did not occur to me that this elderly portly man with a wispy comb over, someone who engendered daughterly feelings in me, would attempt to force me into having sex with him. Fortunately, I escaped the car with my virtue intact, but the experience shook me, and I began to look for another job.

Shortly thereafter, the head of the department asked me to spend the weekend with him in Las Vegas. I demurred. He fired me. Later, when I tried to get work in the same industry. I found that he had blackballed me and was publicly excoriated when I showed up for an appointment at another investment firm. Before the interview even occurred, the man who was to interview me loudly proclaimed, in a room full of people, that my previous boss had told him I was lazy and stupid and other character assassinations. The eyes of about 20 people were on me, and you could have heard a pin drop. I'm sure my face was flaming red. I couldn't even defend myself, I was so shocked. I turned heel and fled, like a dog with my tail between my legs.

I was humiliated by this experience. It did serious damage to my sense of safety in the world and contributed to the development of some post traumatic stress.

Never did I even mention these experiences to anyone until recently. It has taken me this long to realize that the truth will set me free.

Donald Trump supporters complain that the numerous women who have come forward to recount experiences of being assaulted by Donald Trump have not told their stories publicly until now and that, therefore, they are either looking for fame or money. Alternately, he has accused them of being part of a great conspiracy, either by the Clinton campaign or the media, depending on which speech you hear.

One of Mr. Trump's accusers recounts her experience of being assaulted on an airplane when sat next to him. He now says that the public should take a look at her, that she would not be his "first choice" - insinuating that she isn't attractive enough to assault.  Well, her assault happened right about the time that I was being fired for refusing to spend a weekend with my married boss. Just as I did not make public my boss's outrageous behavior, she did not complain about Trump assaulting her. She knew that if she complained, she would experience retaliation. It happened A LOT in those days.

None of us want the negative attention we would get by bringing these things into the public eye, but when the predator lies in public and says he never assaulted anyone, and he's running for the most powerful job in the world, one's sense of civil duty outweighs the price the victim will have to pay for coming forward.

Silver "Rose" Parnell
(c) Copyright 2016
All rights reserved


  1. Silver Rose, thank you for sharing your story. I shared mine on my blog, too. It was tough to come forward and think about these things as assaults. I think maybe that's what keeps us silent for so long. We just expect to be treated poorly, shamed and not believed, even now.

    1. Thank you, Katie, for your comments and for having the courage to come forward and repeat your story. I was viciously attacked on Facebook BY A WOMAN for talking about my gang rape in a previous post because she felt it "proved" that I had not forgiven my attackers. It isn't easy to come forward and speak the truth, but we can't be bullied by the attackers who want these things hidden and the women who shame and blame us for not keeping the secret.