Round Up: On Rape

There have been some truly wonderful posts regarding rape, rape culture, Schrodinger’s rapist, and such on various blogs lately. I’d like to feature some of them here. I referred to Epiphora’s post “I write about sex. That is not an invitation,” and Figleaf’s post “Ever Notice How Blame The Victim Narratives Reinforce The Myth of Male Weakness?” in this post. All emphasis is mine.

Yes Means Yes, Or Pay Attention!

A male friend walks us home from a party, work or a late night studying or maybe we’re on a date. Because we know this guy our guard is down. We don’t immediately freak out the way we would if a strange man jumped out of a dark alley and attacked us. He begins his sexual advances. He tries to hold our hand and we think that’s harmless enough… We don’t want to bruise his ego by not kissing him so we play it off and dodge his advances subtlely. We continue to gently brush him off and he does not get it. [...]

Because we never said ‘NO!’ it doesn’t feel like a rape, to us or to him. We feel like we got what we deserved because we must have led him on by going on the date with him, wearing something snug or revealing, behaving a certain way as we walked home and by not saying ‘NO!’. He doesn’t feel like he has raped us because we never said ‘NO!’, but we never said ‘NO!’ because if we would have then we would be accused of not acting ladylike. We would be called a prude, or a bitch. He would have made excuses and said he was just being nice, trying to be a friend by walking us home and he would have said something like ‘fine, walk home by yourself, in the dark and get raped by some mugger.’. So those are our choices? We either endure unwanted sexual advances so our ‘friend’ will spend time with us and possibly rape us or we risk getting raped by some stranger in the dark? Perhaps it’s better for us to risk the stranger because at least if that happens we can report it to the police and be taken seriously.

What I mean when I say “Every man is a potential rapist” and why you being offended is actually offensive.

All I can say to the person offended is this is not about you. It is incredibly insulting for you to tell me, a person belonging to a subordinate group you don’t share, how I am supposed to see the world. The threat will not go way if I change semantics to make you feel more comfortable. Don’t like it? Blame rape culture. Blame the people who blame the victims. Blame the rapists.

But do not blame women who are just trying to avoid the danger of rape the best way they know how. [...]

While I’m sorry it makes you uncomfortable, you need to realize that your feelings are not the most important aspect in this situation. And if all it takes for you to not feel offended is for me to stop using the phrase “every man is a potential rapist” or “all men are potential rapists,” then I would argue that you do not really care about women and rape at all. Instead your ego is at the forefront and I find that horribly heartbreaking.

On rape, part 1. Please go leave some support and comments for Vanilla Kinks. This was a brave and heartbreaking post, and I can’t even begin to say how much courage it took for her to write this. She also has part 2 up.

Men rape women, and to a lesser extent, women rape men. Adults rape children, but what happens when children rape children? Have you thought of that much? I’m guessing not, but it does happen, and I am proof of that. [...]

I was alone for 20 minutes about, calm and relaxed. Eyes closed. I didn’t hear the footsteps coming up behind me. I had no idea what was about to happen. My calm was broken by a severe pain in my head. I was confused, I couldn’t see what was happening behind me, but it hurt. [...] Before I could even find my feet, there he was. Standing over me. Looking down at me. Smiling a sick smile. It was him. The boy from the neighborhood. 14 years old, and mean as hell. [...]

He reassured me he had no weapons. He would cause me no harm. All I had to do was lie there, and be still… So, I did just that. I lay there still; at the age of 12, and was raped by a 14 year old boy. He finished quickly, and disappeared into the night… I woke the next morning with blood stains on my sheets. My mother, proud upon seeing them, celebrated the fact that I had started my period. I was now a woman.

Have you said anything about this topic recently? Know of someone that has? Leave a link in the comments!

Photo source.
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  1. SevurdLove
    Posted January 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Loved these posts. Gave a lot for my girlfriend and I to discuss. We both wrote up our experiences separately and shared them with each other. She didn't realize a lot of the difficulties I faced from the two times I have been faced with this issue from both sexes. It was an amazing exercise! We both never fully understood the extent that these events influence our lives.

    I thought about sharing but without any direction or purpose it seems contrived to me.

  2. Jess
    Posted January 31, 2010 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    I wrote something on topic and I'd be curious to see what you think….I don't even know what to think myself:

  3. ignorantarmies
    Posted January 31, 2010 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I wanted to write a short comment, encouraging women to say no loudly and strongly. Then I got into thinking and I wrote something that is too long for this space.
    So here it is at my place:

  4. skyddsdrake
    Posted January 31, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I wrote this after reading several of the blogs on rape and rape culture that have popped up of late.

    By the way, I've been kind of lurking around reading your blog for awhile. Thanks for it.

  5. SevurdLove
    Posted January 31, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Added a story of mine. One that has been met with a lot of skepticism by both sexes. Even my girlfriend had a lot of trouble understanding… Because it assumes that *gasp* men can be emotionally compromised.

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