Rape Culture Internalized

If we ask for trigger warnings, we’re too sensitive. If we don’t laugh at rape jokes, we’re too serious. If we get raped we’re either “asking for it”,  lying about it, or “lucky to get the attention”. And if we, as women, rape someone then it’s invalidated because we’re just too weak to ever rape anyone. Right?

Welcome to rape culture. The world of sick one liners and serial predators doing 6 months for violating a woman in a way that she’ll remember forever. We live in a day in age where a man can rape you behind a dumpster while you’re unconscious and instead of being described as a rapist, the media will call him “a promising athlete with a bright future”; and of course they’ll mention how that future “is ruined now”. You know whose future they didn’t mention? The fucking victim’s!

American facts are this: If you’re rich, you aren’t a rapist. If you’re a celebrity, you aren’t a rapist. If you’re a promising athlete, you aren’t a rapist. If you’re a woman, you aren’t a rapist. If you’re a husband or wife, you “can’t” be a rapist. If you’re a politician, a television star, a police officer, a judge, there’s no way you’re a rapist. If her skirt was short it wasn’t rape, if she was drunk it wasn’t rape, if she cried the whole time but didn’t say no, it wasn’t rape. If she said no halfway through, it wasn’t rape. If she comes forward after other victims have, she wasn’t raped. If she sleeps around, she can’t be raped. If he’s a boy, he can’t be raped. If you go to a prestigious school, you can’t be raped and you definitely aren’t a rapist. And as mentioned above, if she was unconscious but you’re white and privileged, it wasn’t rape. But if you’re black? Definitely rape. And no, I’m not being satirical or funny. I can show you case after case where judges, the media, and juries of our peers, treated the aforementioned statements as truth. Disgusting isn’t it?

We see it everyday and the sick part is that most of us are either numb to it or have heard it so much that we believe it. Have you ever wondered what a rape victim was wearing or how much she’d had to drink? Have you ever seen a survivor and thought she looked like “the type who would lie about it“? Do you agree that female students should be banned from wearing spaghetti straps while the quarterback is allowed to go shirtless? Do you believe that if women act in a certain way they can stop themselves from being raped? Do you think “it’s pointless” to make affirmative consent a part of our sexual education courses? Have you ever taken part in “slut shaming”?  If so then you are a part of rape culture. They fed you bullshit and you swallowed it, hook, line, and sinker. If that offends you then maybe you should ask yourself why, instead of getting offended about what a stranger said on the internet.

Why am I writing this? Let’s be honest, I’m all over the place, this isn’t my most polished piece, and the words aren’t intertwined in a powerful way that has the maximum amount of impact. But it’s important anyway. And it’s close to my heart. It is my heart because it is my story. I’ve been slut shamed and victim blamed. I’ve been cross examined in court by a man who didn’t believe me, despite the fact that I was 7 with damn near perfect recall. I’ve given depositions and I’ve had a rapist blame it on me. I’ve been objectified, sexualized, and silenced my whole fucking life. I’ve sat next to my male friends as they told rape jokes and made fun of women who require trigger warnings. I’ve had terrible things happen to me and thought “But what if no one believes me?” I’ve had my birth mother look at me and say “Well you know he only did it because of what you did”. “What I did” was nothing more than an excuse my mom’s boyfriend fed her for why he put his hands down my pants while I was sleeping. And for the record, I didn’t do “it”; a fact which I’d told her a year earlier when he’d said I had blown him and that’s what made him think it was okay. But I guess it was easier to continue to date and fuck the man if she chose not to believe me.

I’ve sat at a table of 10 women and contrary to popular statistics, listened as each one told their own sexual assault stories. Truth be told, I don’t know if I know one woman who hasn’t been sexually mistreated in one way or another; and that’s not even mentioning the countless men. And out of all of the ones I can think of, not one reported their rapist/abuser. Why is that? Mostly, they didn’t believe anyone would do anything about it and it was easier to live with without someone invalidating their trauma. Also, they didn’t want to be blamed or shamed for it. They didn’t want to be put through the judicial process all to have a judge put a 6 month sentence on their lifelong trauma. The world is a twisted place and I could go on for days but I truly don’t think that anything will change it until the people start to. And that can’t happen until we start recognizing all the ways our thinking has been slowly distorted over the years. Say these things to yourself over and over again if you have to: only rapists cause rape, men can and do get raped, a man or woman’s sexual history has nothing to do with their assaults, a rapist can be from any socioeconomic class, race, background, gender, or area; and the act of rape should offend you far more than the word itself. Do some research, educate yourself, and stop perpetuating rape culture. If you aren’t fighting against it or educating yourself about it then you just might be a part of the fucking problem.

Rape_Culture

by Ashley King

© All Rights Reserved 2017

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12 thoughts on “Rape Culture Internalized

        1. No it shouldn’t. It teaches the boys that hitting a girl is okay because someone will always be there to say “boys will be boys, it’s harmless” and in fact, the “hitting method” is preferred, because god forbid a boy/man be vulnerable and just plainly tell a woman he likes her. This also teaches little girls that aggression is not only acceptable but something to like and that if a boy (man) likes or loves them than he’ll be abusive in some way. Obviously it’s more complex than that but it’s still the beginning of a bad cycle that continues on and changes over many years. It becomes that the men who actually express interest in an open and honest way seem creepy and the guys who treat women like shit and act as if they’re gods gift to creation are the ones being chased. Not every woman just has terrible taste, this is taught to them. And the same goes for men. They’re told to be hard, be tough, don’t take no for an answer.

          It says something that NEVER in my life have I been hit on and had the guy accept no as an answer. They always push, always. I’ve straight up lied and said I was a lesbian and the answer has always been “I bet i can change that”. I’ve been with my girlfriend (I am bi, just not a lesbian lol) and said “Sorry this is my girlfriend” and heard “Can I join?” And that’s not even touching on the fact that I felt the need to say “sorry” for rebuffing their advance. And never once have I just outright said “No” or “No thank you” because that feels wrong. And the fact that that feels wrong IS wrong. It’s okay for me not to be attracted to someone but I myself, and just about every woman I know, was raised that we have to protect men’s egos. Don’t piss them off, don’t make them look stupid, accept whatever they offer you, smile, and say “thank you”. And men have it just as bad with people expecting them to be emotionless and tough all the time. I obviously don’t have a personal perspective on that side but I can say that my side is pretty fucked up and I truly believe it all starts with tiny little things like being told that a boy hits you because he likes you.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Completely agree! Men are taught to always be confident but not to be sensitive. It leads to many not being able to hear “no” because they feel they can take what they want. And this leads to women feeling they have to always consider male egos. Which is sad because these same men won’t consider how uncomfortable they make the woman feel.

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          2. No they really won’t. I’ve had to physically assault people because they wouldn’t take no for an answer. I had a cook at one of my waitressing jobs once who would always make weird sexual jokes and hit on me and I always just made a joke out of it and kept walking before it would get serious. Then one day he comes in the walk in freezer while I was in there and tries to kiss me and I tried to laugh it off and go around him and leave. He wouldn’t let me and tried again, then I blatantly said no and told him to stop. Then he backed me in a corner and tried to hold me there so I kicked him hard as fuck in the balls and booked it. I told my manager yet he didn’t even get suspended, fired, written up, anything. But I was told it was against company policy to hit people and to just push past him next time. Ridiculous.

            We’ve created an environment where men are predators and women are prey. And this can be the other way around, 100%. But it’s more common for men to be the predator than the prey. We raise our boys to be like this. We raise our girls to accept it. And then we wonder why sexual assaults are skyrocketing (the ones we know about) and why rapists are getting off with 6 month sentences. It’s insane. A friend of mine was raped in a Spencer’s store room. She was 13, the guy was 28. You could see him pull her into the room and then her leaving crying after awhile. He got 11 months. 11 months for raping a child. So help me God, if that was my kid, I’d have killed him. I refuse to raise my daughter or my possible some day son like this.

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