Sunday, October 16, 2016

American elections, Sexual assault, and consent.

Firstly: On the subject of obtaining consent before one does something sexual to or with another Human being, one of my favorite Ex-boyfriends said it best:
"Consent is a good thing, Don't get me wrong... But personally I would hold out for Enthusiasm" -Ex-Boyfriend Matt, an outstanding human being. 

Is anyone else fantasizing about slitting their wrists if they have to watch any more of the American election? November 8th can't come soon enough.

One particularly rage inducing aspect of the election has been watching the backlash against the women who have come forward with accounts of being fondled or sexually assaulted by Donald Trump. Various snippets of the backlash show up on my facebook news feed, where several men whom I previously held in high regard, say that the accusations are all made up. Their rationale for this is that if these women were in fact assaulted or groped, why didn't they speak out about it sooner? Every time I see a comment to that effect, I want to scream, or hit something, or not be a woman anymore, or die. I am not alone in this feeling, as the hashtag on twitter #Whywomendontreport shows. Reading the tweets on that hashtag is therapeutic in a re-living every sexual trauma of my entire life sort of way. Which is to say: not really all that therapeutic.

What might be therapeutic is actually talking about my rape (It's all Mine! I'm so cool, so hip, so lucky that I have my very own rape!) and all the reasons I didn't report it, why I didn't tell anyone  about it until 11 years after it happened, why until now I have only told a handful of people in detail what happened, and then maybe examining why I can't bring myself to say this to my own family, or on facebook, or directly to the people I actually KNOW but instead have to write it down here in the safety of quasi-anonymity in blogland. Before that, I'm going to list a few of the responses I got from the people I DID tell.
  • Why were you even there? 
  • You shouldn't have put yourself in that position. 
  • Were you drinking?
  • Maybe you gave him the wrong idea. 
  • You are way too friendly with people.
  • He's not that big a guy, you could have fought back.
  • You are way to naive, you need to protect yourself more.
  • That doesn't seem like a "real" Rape-y sort of rape.  
And this was when I told the three closest men in my life, one of whom I am ACTUALLY MARRIED TO, about being raped. Do you really think that total strangers, the police, industry peers, or co-workers would be more sympathetic?

These responses above are a selection from three different and genuinely wonderful men: From my own husband, from a good friend, and from my partner at work. There were two notable outliers in the responses who should be thanked by name. Parmy and Mans:  You are both gentlemen above and beyond measure, and I'm eternally grateful to you both for listening to me, for responding so kindly and appropriately, and for loving me. Thank You, Guys. 

I don't know if I will follow this up with a post that details the HILARIOUS nitty-gritty account of my own rape. More to the point, Whilst I could recount to you every detail of that one time I was genuinely, definitely, and totally raped, I could not possibly tell you about the absolute countless times I have been groped or assaulted or fondled and had to brush it off as "flattery" "he was drunk" "he's just a bit like that" "You were basically inviting it" etc... I couldn't write that because that kind of shit has happened so many times the post would be like 20,000 pages long. You guys, it's fucking bonkers.

To recap the words of Matt, my absolute favorite Ex-Boyfriend, you can grope or assault a woman against her will, and hey, there isn't much she is likely to do about it, or you could beg and plead and guilt trip her into giving consent, but wouldn't it be better if she WANTED you to do that? Guys, hold out for enthusiasm.

More tomorrow. 


Anonymous said...

Heavy stuff, brave of you to put that out there.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

I was actually not going to post a post I made... its actually too long. But I thought, if you can do it, why not me?

Anonymous said...

I thought I was a psycho for not telling about my rape and numerous sexual abuse encounters! Glad to see I'm not alone. Not everyone understands! Thanks for being brave.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is our reality. And those otherwise well intentioned guys who don't get it just maintain the conditions which perpetuate it. So every voice like yours may help convince a few more men that we're not making this crap up. I mean, I love reading your more usual hilarious rants, but thank you for this one too.