Trigger/Content Warning (TW/CW): this blog post contains mentions of rape. Reader discretion is advised.
It may be really hard to focus on this blog post, as I have a pot of cranberry orange chicken (based off of two recipes I found) slowly cooking, and the scent is absolutely intoxicating. It's one of those things in like that is truly better than sex.
Oh, and speaking of sex (or not consentual sex, which is rape), something happened over the last week or so of December that not only gave me immense exposure, but the ability to learn from it.
Over the past few days, I had two people, one a very close friend and the other a talking head on social media, both challenge and invalidate what happened to me in December 2007. Both went in separate directions with how they view sex versus rape, but their opinions came back to an intersection: my rape encounter wasn't a "true" or "real" rape encounter. One would go as far as because of what happened to me, that I put myself "in that position, so therefore expect your man to have sex" with me (incapacitated or otherwise). Both mentioned that are "plenty of people who file false reports of rape and ruin other people's lives."
In discussions with my friend, I was calm, cool, and collected.
In discussions with the talking head, I was anything but.
In the scenario with the talking head, two other participants in this social media chat room started giggling after I told the talking head "are you serious? You're out of your fucking mind!" Then the talking head lost their temper, saying that they "don't care, that's what happens when you go into a [bar], get drunk, fall down, and spread your legs. Expect men to fuck you."
This now leads me to believe a bunch of things, not just about the consensus between my friend and the talking head, but in general.
I'm now second guessing myself, but I should not have to
For many years, the word "rape" and what had happened to me did not compute, because I didn't see it as such. I called it a "bad night of drunken sex" with my second ex-fiance. At the same time, however, I had no concept or definition of "consent" when it came to rape. That all changed at the end of February and the beginning of March of 2014. It's one thing to have flashbacks of the rape, based on hearing what a guest on a talk show was describing her encounter. It's a whole 'nother ball game when you have an independently licensed social worker and a detective from your city police department both tell you that what you have described was rape.
You don't think I wasn't kicking my own ass for weeks over this? That the one I loved and trusted so much over just about everything had not only violated my body, but that he had me fooled for the next six years after that? Even when I saved his life from a heart attack in 2011, he kept quiet about this. A question came up from both parties: "well, wasn't he drunk also?" Yeah, he was drunk, like I was drunk, but he had control over his body; I did not. If he wasn't able to differentiate whether or not I was (able to) consent to have sex, then maybe, just maybe, he should have not done what he did. I get it, alcohol does wacky things to the brain. Alcohol is not an excuse, though, for a person to rape you. Nope.
Men are animals
No, rapists are animals. Men are human beings. There is a difference, folks.
If you were to see a beautiful, yet naked, woman walking down the street, is that her way of saying she is "asking for it?" Fuck no. She has complete autonomy over her own body, and no one has the right to grab her just because it's there. Children learn early not to touch things that are not theirs. How in the fuck do people lose sight of this and excuse themselves when they are adults? A paraphrased statement from both parties: "well, if I saw her, I would take her out of the public eye, give her some clothes, and probably take her to the [mental] hospital." Why? Because it doesn't fit your beliefs? Do you do the same thing to a Muslim woman who is wearing her traditional attire; go running up to her and demand she take off her hijab because "it's offensive" to you? If you think that people, especially people with vaginas of child-bearing age (regardless of gender), don't have complete autonomy of their own bodies, then you just defeated the "Roe v. Wade" court case; you are telling yourself and anybody in your life that you yourself do not have complete autonomy of your own body. Good job.
"Don't put yourself in that kind of situation and you won't get raped."
Funny, my mother said the same thing to me, and yet she continued, with my father, to have a relationship (platonic, at least that I am aware of) with my rapist (second ex-fiance). I had to break it down to my friend, whose colleague was attacked in their own home by a perp who broke in. Well, if they were just elsewhere at the time of the break in, they would not have gotten raped. If they lived in a "safer neighborhood," they would have not been raped. That reads super ridiculous, doesn't it? But that's what you tell rape survivors when they were completely defenseless by a perpetrator's attack on them. Next time, listen to your friends and family when they say that your lover is "bad news." Don't go to a bar or club and get drunk and expect not to be at least fondled with. What the fuck are you talking about? These are not preventative measures to defend someone against being raped, no matter how "logical" they sound. The cold hard truth is this: there is only one way of preventing yourself from being raped. And that's for folks to not rape other folks. Period,
Perpetrators will find a way to take control over your body like a parasite does to a host. This isn't kinky "rapeplay" or adrenaline-rushing pleasure. This is all about power. Folks all over the world rape other people as a weapon of mass destruction, to gain tactical advantage over a group of people or some prized territory. You can dress in complete modesty, have the most exclusive modern alarm system installed into your dwelling, have a .38 Special on your person, never set foot into an establishment where alcohol is served to grumpy residents and bad karaoke singers, master all the jujitsu, kae-won do, and karate defense moves all you want. At the end of the day, if a perpetrator thinks you are worth violating, they will do so. Hell, I thought at my height and weight that I was "unrapeable." Apparently when alcohol is mixed with a toxic relationship with an abuser and shit happens.
"Did you file charges? Was he arrested? Did he go to jail? Was your case thrown out? See, that tells us that your situation wasn't a clear cut rape situation."
Umm, were you raped? No? Then have a seat.
My case was not thrown out; it was closed due to "lack of hard evidence" according to the prosecutor's office. Even I knew, with the six-year time lapse, that I had a snowball's proverbial chance in hell my second ex-fiance wouild serve any time, let alone have this go to trial. I still filed the charge anyway; it doesn't matter how long ago it happened, when a survivor comes forward and goes through the legal process of nailing that sick bastard to the wall, they are, in fact, regaining their complete autonomy back.
And now I'm hearing that there are "different situations" that makes rape encounters more "rapey" than others. Really? Do you go around telling transgender women that they are "not real women" or aren't "women enough"? You have your opinion, yes; but who in the blue blazes gives you the right to deny someone of their experience?
On Facebook several days ago, my rabbi's wife shared something very unique about "false reports" of rape. This PDF talks about what the numbers really are over folks who give "false reports" of rape. Believe me, it will shock you as much as it shocked me. In counteract, this article states that even those statistics "false reports" of rape are wrong. You want to talk about how to really deter a rape survivor (because not all rape victims survive their attacks, you know) from going to the police or to the hospital, that's a way of doing it.
*sniffs* I think my cranberry orange chicken is about done cooking. Time to shred the meat and add some fresh-frozen green beans to it (yeah, to make it healthy, heh). I will, however, leave you with this.
This is my breakthrough: I finally felt the burn of a raging fire over this. For the most part, until a few days ago, I had my wits about myself over me being raped. Now, those wits are gone. If you think that I, for whatever reason, was not raped, based on what happened to me, you can go ahead and unfriend/unfollow me right now. I refuse to allow anybody, ANYBODY, to invalidate what had happened to me, whether it's to my face or behind my back. No more Mixter Nice Brat.