I NEVER CALLED IT RAPE
“There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women”-Madeleine K. albright
This week has been stress . stresss. stressss. …Today I was told by a counselor what I had experienced a year ago, indeed was rape. She gave me a flyer for [Women] Take Back the Night, A commemoration tomorrow evening in honor of women, domestic and sexual abuse victims. I’m thinking of going alone. I feel such despair and tension. I am angry that men are the reference point for women and that women betray each other. I am angry that women who speak up are defenseless and that the rape victim is the accused. Nobody should test somebody who states that they have been raped. Everybody should know that nobody wants that attention.
Reblogged this from a friend (with parts edited out to protect her privacy). So fucking angry at how goddamn typical the lack of support, camaraderie, and community action there is for survivors of rape and domestic violence, and the larger institutional & systemic violence that prevents us (ie 3 out of 4 women) from reporting unwanted touching, coercion, violence and prevents us from obtaining peace & justice.
This systemic violence works even more insidiously through destroying our self-esteem, our ability to be emotionally or physically intimate, and further dissuades us from conceiving or articulating ‘Being-Taken-Advantage-Of’ as rape. This systemic violence not only produces women as targets, but robs women the right to feel comfortable CALLING IT RAPE because that is just *too* political and you might lose friends that think you’re just being overly-sensitive or dramatic. So there is no recourse to action because you aren’t sure what happened: it was bad..but if it wasn’t ‘Rape’ then there is no need to obtain a Rape Kit to provide as future evidence in a trial? So what is there to do?
In my understandings of how ‘date-rape’ is used in 2011, it seems ‘date-rape’ has worked to suggest there is differences to types of rape and date-rape is less of an assault, less violence, less of a breach of trust, less of a breach of social contract than other types. Yet date-rape was initially coined to suggest the pervasiveness of rape, the likeliness of being subjected to violence in your own home and your friend’s house, and end the conception of rape as only a stranger-in-the-bushes… so what has gone wrong?
I think there is such a profound stigma attached to the word rape that this actually prevents people from identifying their experiences as rape. Although it is important to articulate severity & degrees of violence, the articulation of ‘date-rape’ and ‘date-rape-culture’ has seemingly not lessened the stigma of the word ‘rape’, and its usage by people who have been raped, but further marginalizes all usage of the word.
Rape is not an isolated incident. Rape is a social problem and a systematic tool of oppression used in the display of force and the unilateral exertion of power & control. The reality is that a majority of women are initiated into rape culture the first time they are drunk and in mixed social settings. Key moments of grabbings, assault, coercion, and violence happen out of what was supposed to be a party- a fun relaxing time when guards are let down. Men are afforded space in society to get drunk, crazy, and pass out on the worst streets- only to wake up in the morning with not a scratch. Yet women learn a terrible lesson and pay a terrible price when they get intoxicated and rely on the trust of others to provide safety or get them home safely.
On top of this horrendous experience (that a majority of women can expect to go through in some form or another by the time they reach the age of 30), is the knowledge that you will lose friends because of this. Even while you are playing down what happened and refusing to call it rape because you just don’t want the ‘drama’, people who you think are your friends will come out on ‘sides’. Yes even though you are trying to sort out what happened and how you feel, people will question your right to feelings. People will assert they just have their bros’ back and “aren’t trying to take sides” as if this offense is a private trivial squabble that’s entirely personal between you & the perpetrator (2nd wave feminism flashback: the personal is political)
Yet it doesn’t have to be this way- we don’t have to live in a world where male friends and acquaintences shame rape survivors and feel they have the right to discredit survivor’s accounts and legitimacy. Instead of subjecting a survivor to another inqusition to determine if she *really* was raped, realize how unsupportive constant doubt and denial is to someone who has been through a terrible ordeal. BE AN ALLY not a bully or perpetrator or someone complicit in systematic violence against women.
I Never Called It Rape free on google books:
I want to be here