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(Just a heads up for anyone who I follow: I have a habit of going through every page of someone's tumblr if I start following them, looking for things that amuse/interest me. I'm starting to realize that this might seem a bit creepy, so I apologize in advance.)
I have never written about this before.
When I was seven years-old, I was raped by my neighbor. She was much older, friendly, and had kids of her own. I don’t remember a ton of the circumstances — how was I ever alone with her, where were her kids, how many times it actually happened — but I do remember the.. event? attack? I don’t even know what to call it.
I remember being raped, I guess I should say that. Frankly, there’s not a whole lot of reason for me to go into much more detail other than to say it happened and I had no idea what was going on. There were a lot of weird feelings after — I was a quiet kid, but I remember becoming even quieter. Not wanting to talk to people that often, keeping to myself, and having a lot of anger. I remember one morning at breakfast I left the table and just tore apart the living room — flung newspapers, threw couch cushions, knocked over a play table and toys. All I was thinking when I was doing it was, “This room is awful and it deserves everything I’m doing to it!”
Honestly, that part is kind of funny looking back, but in context.. what was I trying to do? I don’t even think my parents knew why I was upset. I don’t think I knew. But I didn’t know that I was raped — I didn’t even know there was a word for it.
Not until Health & Careers my freshman year of high school. My teacher was discussing rape and rape prevention (which, of course, was only directed at the girls in the class). But then something happened — she said, super casually, “This can happen to guys, too.” And it clicked. I mean, her lecture kept going on for the girls about how to avoid being raped (what?) but she had made that one comment and it was like something in my brain shifted and the truth fell into place.
I had been raped.
The first thing I did was excuse myself and go into the bathroom for the rest of the day. Never left that stall, I remember that so vividly. I just listened to my iPod for hours. When the last bell rang, I went to my school counselor and told him what I thought had happened to me. His response?
“Why didn’t you fight back?”
Now, I want to talk about for a second how actually fucked up that is. I had spent seven years angry and confused and stuck— like somehow this part of my body, of my mind would not grow up or change with the rest of me. Finally, something made sense. Finally, I understood what was “wrong” with me and maybe how to start going about fixing it. Finally, it made sense why I had such a weird fucking reaction to when my family moved away from our old house, and why I hate visiting that neighborhood to this day. And this asshole asks why I didn’t fight back? I WAS SEVEN. A child. A tiny, confused, trusting, and completely-incapable-of-even-understanding-what-was-happening-to-me child.
But here’s the thing — this isn’t rare. This happens so often, that rape survivors aren’t believed and I’ve been fortunate enough to heal with friends and therapists and a lot of self-reflection. Not everyone (probably most survivors don’t) has that luxury. And while male survivors are generally this weird, unspoken about group.. well, there are far more women who are assaulted than men and who knows how many of them are not believed. I have made it such a personal thing, that anyone who ever tells me someone raped or hurt them — I believe them. No question. No doubt. I’ve made it a point to drill this into my little sister’s head: She can come to me, I will believe her. If she has friends who come to her, she had better believe them.
Because the thing about not being believed or being somehow held responsible for your own rape is, let me tell you, fucking traumatic. In some ways, for me, it was worse than the actual assault — because I started questioning if I was safe anywhere. It felt like at any point, any adult or person could assault me again and I would have absolutely no power to do anything about it because who would believe me? The thing about not being believed is that is causes you to feel even more alone than you already feel — like the world is encased in frosted glass or you are and nobody can really heard your words or see your face clearly and everything you say and do feels misinterpreted but you can never actually communicate the way you want to. The thing about not being believed is that everything in your chest just sinks down until you can barely stand. So, I believe anyone who tells me they were raped or assaulted — no matter what.
I am sure there are some people who have a problem with this philosophy and they can go suck eggs. Seriously, the moment my counselor said that to me, I panicked. He doesn’t think it really happened or he think it’s my fault or will my parents believe me or will they ask if it was my fault or what about the police — all I could think was, “She won, she won, she won.” I don’t really know what that means, why I thought that but..
It breaks my heart all over again to know that other people might.
Honestly, I am not writing this for myself, entirely. I participated in Project Unbreakable and that was a huge step in healing for me — just admitting to people publicly (and without shame) that I had been raped. But I want anyone reading this to know: If you were hurt or raped or raped and not believed when you told someone, when you told your best friend or teacher or counselor or parents or sisters or brothers or aunts or uncles or cousins or anyone, if none of them believed you — I believe you.
I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you, I believe you.
Actress Tippi Hedron • Reflecting on the ordeal of starring in two of Alfred Hitchcock’s much-lauded films, Marnie and The Birds. Hedren says Hitchcock became disturbingly, sexually obsessed with her, once unsuccessfully trying to assault her, after which he subjected her to grueling and dangerous attacks by live birds during the latter film, leaving her bloodied. In advance of the debut of an HBO feature about her frightening and harassment-laden relationship with the late director, Hedren was given an advance screening: “When I first heard [actor Toby Jones’] voice at Alfred Hitchcock, my body just froze.” source (via shortformblog)
It seems pretty clear, then, that what George had committed was sexual assault. Yet, in an amazing feat of willful blindness, none of the articles comment on this, even as they reproduce Greta’s words for us. Without a single acknowledgement of the problematic nature of the photo that her comments reveal, they continue to talk about the picture in a whimsical, reverent manner, “still mesmerized by his timeless kiss.” George’s actions are romanticized and glorified; it is almost as if Greta had never spoken.
“Historic” as it is, to be honest I always found something a bit gross about the photo. It barely looks like an embrace but more of a grip, and that guy laughing to the left of the frame always creeped me out. I suppose there will be those that argue against the revisionist talk but it doesn’t bother me.
Yeah. It doesn’t take a Who Weekly body language expert to look straight at her clenched fist and think “Hmm, not all that romantic, is it?”
I will reblog the truth of this photo every single time that I see it. Because the fact that the woman is EXPLICIT in her description of what actually happened, it is still revered as an iconic symbol of American romance.
If you want an example of misogyny and rape culture—you’re looking at it.
(tw for mention of rape, general misogyny)
These are responses to an article about a campaign to prevent rape and sexual harassment on college campuses.
I feel like there’s a need to break stuff down, not for these douchebags, but more like a rant for my own future reference.
“Y U TALKING ABOUT PREVENTING RAPE, PREVENTING FALSE RAPE ACCUSATIONS IS WAY MORE IMPORTANT AND WOMEN GET FREE DRINKS AT BARS AND CAN FUCK ANYONE AND NEVER GET FRIENDZONED AND MEN ARE RAPED TOO AND I WANT MY MOMMY”
no, Mike Hunter, alleged rapists are not zealously prosecuted by law enforcement. Actually the scenario looks a bit more like this:
And here’s the thing about the “False rape accusations” that you care about so much (and why wouldn’t you, it’s the only part of this lame feminist bullshit that applies directly to you). Do you know what’s the feminist stance on false rape accusations? Do you know what is the women’s stance on false rape accusations? We fucking hate them.
Yeah, we hate them. Because being falsely accused of raping someone, like false accusations of stealing, murdering or molesting, can destroy a person’s reputation. And they are usually done with the purpose of destroying someone’s reputation and/or get money. And also, false accusations of rape are one of the things that make it so much harder for women who were actually raped to get justice, and more importantly, to put these rapists in jail, where they can’t rape any more innocent people.
Meanwhile, a lot of people get the death penalty for things that they didn’t do, and I don’t see you getting all worked up about that.
What’s wrong with the process of accusing people of rape, rape trials and whatnot is how they’re conducted. When a woman is raped, they ask what she was wearing, how she was dancing, if she was drinking. The victim is attacked as much as the alleged rapist is, some times even more. And the victim is also attacked by her peers, whom many times are quick to judge her as an attention seeking whore. Mix that with the rape and post traumatic disorder and you have a real life ruiner right there.
What people judge in rape trials: If the woman actually wanted to have sex and is just a lying slut - usually confirmed by the fact that she has many sexual partners, drinks, has fun, dresses provocatively.
What people should be judging in rape trials: The rapist’s past sexual conduct, and general attitude towards women. Showing signs of misogyny, past accusations, past relationships, his character. And the victim’s past in LYING.
Because if a woman had many sexual partners before accusing this man of raping her, this should not make her case weaker. If anything, it should make her case stronger, because duh, look at how many men she had consensual sex with, and never tried accusing them of anything.
Another interesting point that clueless people usually add to conversations, is the fact that women get free drinks in bars, often get in for free in places that charge entrance for men, and, as a friend dearly pointed out to me: “If you stand up at this bar right now and say - who wants to fuck me? - i bet at least 10 guys would raise their hands”.
But here’s the thing. From a privileged white male perspective, getting free drinks and being able to have sex whenever you want are just the cherry on the top of your beautiful cake. It would be literally the last thing you’ll need to make your life perfect. And to women, it makes for a shitty consolation prize for being born and raised as a second class citizen, and it actually increases her chances of getting sexually assaulted or raped. Oh and by the way, the “free drinks” and “10 men raising hands” only count for women who are considered suitably fuckable by strange men and bartenders. You may guess that this is not exactly a fair game for women who don’t resemble the current beauty standard.
And men are raped, too. And their rapes are even less reported, because men feel so much shame in admitting that they suffered this, when they’re supposed to be raised to be strong and invincible. And the fact that men don’t get the same paternity leave as a mother does is unfair. And the fact that children almost automatically are in custody of the mother in cases of divorce is also unfair as fuck. Guess what’s the cause of all of these 3 things being an issue? Your dear patriarchy. The same one that grants you the respect and rights that are denied to women. Because that’s what defines gender roles that make men so afraid to report their rapes and sexual assaults. That’s what defines that the moms are the ones who should care for children and kick you out of your child’s life.
So guess what? We’re on the same side. And if you could only stop whining, you’d realize that.