You’ve Come a Long Way, baby?

Hanna Maxwell
8 min readNov 29, 2023

Not far enough. And don’t call me “baby.”

It wasn’t until 1974 that C.A.P.T.A, the Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act, required “mandated reporting” of child abuse. This meant that school teachers were finally allowed to report child abuse if they suspected it. Of course that didn’t mean they actually reported it, or that anyone else did. Bear in mind, prior to this act, reporting wasn’t frowned upon in schools, it was forbidden.

Much of what shaped the way people felt about child abuse back then sustains to this day. It’s an understanding that “these sorts of things” only happen to poor, backward, rural or “slum” families. It’s only children who are trouble-makers, like foster kids, orphans and poor kids that get abused, and that is as it should be, all is right with the world.

People then, and in some cases now, figured that if you’re a girl who was raped, you asked for it. If you’re a child who was beaten, you had it coming. Only “certain types” of people are abused and they all deserve it in some measure or it wouldn’t have happened. That’s what people tell themselves to justify not caring in the least, that’s what they tell themselves so they can sleep at night.

In some states, prior to 1950, the penalty for raping a child was 30 days in county jail, and that was in California. There were places where the penalty was much less well into the sixties and seventies. The laws were changed in California only when repeat offenders became a problem. The catalyst was in 1949 when a man who had just gotten out of jail after a 30 day stint for molesting a 10 year old girl immediately raped and murdered 6 year old Linda Joyce Glucoft upon his release.

1950 is also when molesting a child was bumped up from misdemeanor to felony status.

It’s worth consideration that back then a vast majority of cases of “molestation” were rape. The line was blurred by the fact that people would often report rape as molestation due to shame. If you were a little girl who was raped you were seen as tainted, dirty and ruined. If Uncle Bill put his hands all over you, you were the one seen as dirty, and somehow everyone found out, like Uncle Jake. A filthy child, ruined forever, not good for much else. A reputation that can follow a girl all the way to college, if she makes it there, not that those kinds of girls do.

It was big when they finally changed the charge of child rape from a misdemeanor to a felony. The way that children are coddled in current culture, really since the millennial generation, is in sharp contrast to the way kids were treated then. Now kids have their own woes to deal with, and I do not envy them having to navigate it all online. The pendulum has swung in the direction of over-correction, again. Kids today have no idea how lucky they are while they all desperately wish they didn’t have it so easy.

The farther back then you go, the worse it was. In an 1894 text book called, A System of Legal Medicine (Vol. 2) it’s stated in very simple terms that, “the most common crime is the rape of children.” The book had multiple credible contributors and was used regularly by law enforcement agencies. It was the old time equivalent to today’s books about crime and forensics. Child rape, as commonplace as stealing from a 7–11, as matter-of-factly stated as, “Book club is on Thursdays.”

I have survived many things, starting in childhood, that would mentally paralyze the kids of today. I’m also a real, biological woman. I say this because I can only speak with authority to my own experience, not anyone else’s. The biggest problem contributing to the breakdown of communication in current culture is that people try. They either try or just take, without consent, the spaces and the rights from those who would disagree with or oppose them.

Currently men are speaking to the experience of being women despite the fact that they cannot speak on it with any authority, and the ones who actually can speak on it with real life authority, are being silenced. All the while, a false sense of authority is being doled out by trends and media and big money, to the ones who want to wear womanhood like it’s a costume in a way I find comparable to how Ed Gein wore women. Authority is being handed to men to speak for women in a way in which it has never been handed to women to speak for themselves.

All the work that generations of women fighting for their rights have done in the past is being erased by men. Women too, real ones following trends and the orders of men in dresses, all in the name of a type of “inclusion” that only works through exclusion. History, language and science are being erased or changed into fiction based on feelings, all to accommodate people who are often violent and almost always proudly mentally ill.

Feminism has come full circle and a half as true feminists have to fight just to be allowed by men to call themselves women. Meanwhile, they can’t tell you what a woman even is, and biological fact is tantamount to “hate speech.” History is being re-written and children are being re-educated and assimilated, not just in kindergarten through twelfth grade, but at the college level as well, and a major part of that re-education involves the erasure of women.

Worse yet are the women who don’t seem to care about being erased. They think of themselves as open minded but that’s only because they’ve opened their minds so wide their brains have fallen out. Surely, if they were capable of deep thought they would realize that trans people can still be heard and still exist and still have rights and still thrive without taking away our ability to do so as legitimate women. It’s something I was, at one time, very interested in. Now I don’t care.

Their experience as a trans person is far more unique and interesting than mine, simply being a woman. Unfortunately, none of them seem interested in telling their own tale or, despite screaming themselves hoarse on pride day, are proud enough to just live in their own experience and actually be “trans and proud.” Instead, they want to steal womanhood, gaslight women into giving away their power and annihilate anyone who disagrees with them.

The way the trans movement is going about it removes any desire to hear them out or any reason to treat them with respect or dignity, since they have none for anyone else. It’s OK when it’s them doing it, they’re allowed to say awful , hateful things, tell me what I can and can’t do and what I can and can’t say. They’re on the “right” side of what’s trending. They report, I am censored.

Meanwhile, I can’t say the word, “biological” in front of the word “man” without them getting their knickers all a-twist and getting me censored, again.

The reality is that until they started to try and erase me and violently force feed me their agenda, sans lubricant, I was in full support of the trans movement. Then they started telling me that I am no longer allowed to call myself a woman. They tried to get me to wear a new label on my coat, but labeling is their thing, not mine, and I don’t consent to their labels, not one of them.

Then they came for our sports and our spaces. I’ll never be a fan of walking into a women’s restroom to find a bearded man with his skirt hiked up, rubbing one out in front of the mirror. They say I’m just supposed to wave, welcome him, and go about my business, but I can’t, and a lot of that has to do with my past. I just don’t want a man with his natural born tally-whacker in his hand shoving anything down my throat.

It’s at the point where anyone with the right agenda is justified in shoving it no matter where. So long as you’re on the trending side of said agenda, you can be a complete hypocrite. You can re-write the dictionary, history and science. At least for now. The tables have turned so much that “common sense conservatives” invited to visit college campuses are being met with extreme violence by “peaceful left activists.” If you would have told me that twenty-five years ago, I never would have believed you.

My point in all this sharing is to shed light on how different we all are. How things were then and how they are now. How perhaps things were more harsh back in the day but at least productive children, capable and resilient, came out of it. Did we have to exchange child safety for children to have emotional competence?

These days, if people would stop spending so much time concerned with how others are living, they could focus on living their own lives to the best of their ability. That’s my agenda, to spread the, “always do your best at any given time with the tools you have,” mentality. As long as you’re doing that, you’re golden.

The problem isn’t just one thing, it’s multi-faceted. People don’t know how to talk to each other anymore in real life, but they sure know how to run their mouths online. Some of what people say online can’t be what they would say in the real world. Online, people act like everything is a debate with only two sides and are thus forever putting themselves into a prison of attack or defend. At the end of the day, I’m just glad that despite not having the popular opinion, I’m on the right side of the bars.

I won’t say all the typical tripe about glass houses and being without sin and throwing stones. All that not being said, do better. I know it’s cliché to say that, but it applies to everyone. Anyone who thinks they can’t do better never will. The kids all say we’re doomed anyway, right? So, why not go out knowing you did your best rather than getting in a twist because other people didn’t?




Hanna Maxwell

Creator of Gorgonzola Journalism, Author, Consultant, Traveler, Polymath, Mystical Maven, Mental Health Muse & Mediator to the Gods, M.H., C.H.T., O.M.D.