Guys I need to talk about rape for a minute, sorry. If you don’t want to hear it I honestly won’t mind, I get that many visit here for one part honest talk, four parts pretties and laughter, and I respect that. It’s just if I don’t cleveland steamer this thing onto the internet’s chest I am going to start jamming a remote up my ass. Or worse, this.
I couldn’t figure out how to start this post, so I took a shower as they always prove to be a great place for generating ideas. Probably has something to do with massaging every inch of your body’s pressure points but it’s definitely possible I have no idea what I’m talking about. Anyway the shower worked like a charm. I know how to talk to the internet about this rape thing now. Yaaay. Can’t wait.
Btw, if I know anything about myself I’m going to try to make you laugh even in this post. Please no letters. To people who’d rather not read on, das kewl. I’m about there myself, I get it – Off the bat I can suggest to you Bambino’s dedicated category if you need a heaping spoonful of puppy cuteness, or this new personal picks category I’ve been curating if you want some good, yummy reads that make little to no mention of rape (no promises). Conversely, if you like intense topics I can suggest In Real Life. Ok now let’s get to it.
A big part of me thinks people think rapists use condoms. It’s the only way I can explain away the narrow focus of the public discourse that follows each time something like Steubenville happens. We focus on the sex, and the motives. It makes for a fun spectacle worthy of the nation’s attention. We usually break down into five coed groups, too: the big group yelling she’s a whore/was asking for it and deserved to get fucked; the big group yelling that all men are pigs/can’t be trusted; the big group moving on like it never happened; the small group that have a platform on which to discuss the issue with their audience and do; and the small group (I’m in this last group) that have a platform on which to discuss the issue with their audience and hesitate. I’ve been in this last group for a while. In fact I’m still extremely unsure about writing this, as I write this. ’Rape’ is a bad word right now. You just *know* that you’re not supposed to talk about it. Gets people down. Doesn’t sell product. Makes people uncomfortable.
Knowing all of that, I simply have to move forward. It’s enveloping the thoughtful parts of my brain like a thick mist; there’s a reason for this and it almost always means ‘write about that thing.’ Writer’s block is best solved by honesty I’ve found; you don’t run out of things to say when you have no fear in saying things.
A big topic, I will keep my words about it succinct and approachable. (Or at least I’ll be trying to do that.)
I want one thing right now:
I want the discourse to start including the disease-spreading, impregnation, longterm emotional impact and extreme pain aspects of unwelcomed penetration by another human being. Huge societal shifts in thinking don’t happen overnight, but they do require a sustained, lively discussion in the public eye. And right now we have people out there who strongly believe that women should just accept the hand – or more likely dick, they’ve been dealt. Has she been seen drinking underage? Deserved it. Was she wearing a sexy dress? Deserved it. Was she seen flirting with a boy earlier in the night? Asking for it. Did she get raped? No big whoop it’s just sex, she’ll get over it. Bet she even wanted it.
It worries me that there are humans who don’t understand (or perhaps don’t care to acknowledge) that rape isn’t always about “did she clearly say no?” “did she clearly give consent?” “is she unsure what happened, and maybe lying?” That is definitely a very rampant scenario these days, but it’s one of countless scenarios. Try being murdered from the inside with a steel bar. Try being banged every night by a relative and never telling anyone because you’ve been threatened with death, or told “no one will believe you.” Or try being penetrated in places you’ve never dreamed and by multiple people, as you drift in and out of consciousness. Try being suffocated to death with an appendage. Try being impregnated after a sexual experience you didn’t want, tried to fight off, OR more likely just went along with out of fear of the alternative. And then try reading the latest headline about male AND female lawmakers making it harder for girls and women to seek termination of pregnancy, specifically in cases of rape and incest.
Sometimes being a girl is a trip, you guys. LOL so you’re saying if I’m raped, and I get pregnant, you’re actively working to make it harder for me to get unbiased medical care and limit my options for handling it. Oh ok, cool, that’s cool. Wait wait wait wait wait… so you’re saying all of that, but that also I don’t get any financial help to raise the child I don’t want, not from the government, not even from the rapist? In-ter-es-ting. Hmm, that’s a thinker! I think the best solution to this is stay in my room all day and not risk it.
I truly want to pop a cap inside of an ass every time I read an article about a professional athlete, known rapist or high school quarterback, with an accuser who’s suddenly dropping all charges. Or the thing when the woman is brave enough to move forward with the charges (despite the impending societal backlash should the case garner media attn), and she bravely sits in a courtroom across from her attacker(s) (something immeasurably difficult and understood only by those who have lived through some sort of physical violation of their right to exist without getting manhandled in the dark on concrete), endures a usually ruthless cross-examination by defense lawyers publicly and without mercy with regard to her private sexual history, and then after all of that, the case reaches a verdict and then this girl must live with the physical and emotional scars of being torn apart by dicks and arms and whatever else got stuck inside of her without her consent. And after allllll of that, she sees that a network like CNN is painting it as a sad story of two young men with such promising futures, Poppy Harlow. (Poppy knows what she did.) It’s the cherry on top of one delicious ice cream sundae.
You guys, more than anything I just want people to start recognizing the act of rape for what it really is, and that’s a fragrant bouquet of the following:
- emotionally ruinous
- destructive to existing relationships
- extremely isolating
- lifelong sense of concern over impending doom that lurks around the corner or outside the window
- etc. etc. etc.
To wrap up..
I’m worried that half of the people who end up reading this, who don’t know me the way my readers know me, will write this post off as hyper feminist. That’s fine. It is feminist. But I want to make a point of not confusing ‘offering a platform for an honest public talk about rape’ with the made up concept of ‘militant feminism,’ or even just plain old guy bashing. Seriously, if suddenly people stopped raping people don’t you think girls would gladly shut up about it? I HATE TALKING ABOUT RAPE, believe it or not. I don’t know if you know this but it’s terrible dinner party conversation. Clears the room.
In conclusion… all it is has ever been about, is this:
I love exploring my surroundings on foot, and taking solo strolls at sunset on cool summer days. I love road trips, and reading a book under the shade of a tree in a barren field. I love being by myself with my thoughts, because it’s when I’m all by my lonesome that I figure things out, in my life. Solitude and earthly exploration have always been paramount to personal growth. It’s something women are probably more painfully aware of than men, though. Because we can’t have it. Not the way dudes do. I may look relaxed as I walk our dog after dark, but what you don’t know is I’m scanning my surroundings at all times, and with the precision of a sniper who’s seen war and come back from it scathed. Because I can tell you that, as a woman, once that line has been crossed by someone who doesn’t recognize you as deserving of a say.. there’s just no real coming back from that. Not all the way at least.
Ok, so. My goal with this post was to create a safe place for open discussion and sharing of thoughts, even if the thoughts are just “yup, this.” Or “rape sucks” or whatever. There are no rules. I just want ladies to feel like they can share what’s really on their minds. That’s the only option a lot of people – a lot of women – have, for talking about this.
ps- please go easy on me if you think this was too much.
Thanks for listening, friendlies.
Btw: since the verdict was announced, the girl’s been getting death threats, naturally. Also FoxNews accidentally released her name, so. Delightful and hardly rage-inducing. Oo and it might pique (not peak, not peek) your interest to learn that one of the boy’s lawyers will be arguing the boy’s brain wasn’t developed enough to understand that rape isn’t something you should do. Go, society!
So yeah, we’re probably fine I wouldn’t worry. Rape culture shmape schmulture.
Label(s): Girl Talk