Talking About Rape

Trigger warning for discussion of rape, rape culture.

I have never been raped.

When I was in college I had faith in everything that I had learned about how to not get raped. I knew to walk in groups, to cover my revealing club clothing between my dorm room and the bar or house party, to not get too drunk if I wasn’t going to be in a group or a safe space, to carry pepper spray and a whistle, to not act trashy if I didn’t intend to follow through.

I knew that rapists wait in dark corners in masks, commit the heinous deed and then disappear into the night. I knew that rape is what happens when a man puts his dick into you even though you’ve clearly told him no and fought like hell to try to make him stop.

Over time I have come to understand that the fact that I have never been raped relied greatly on chance and happy circumstance. I have learned that while I was preparing myself to not get raped in college, many of my peers had already been victims of sexual violence. I have learned that men, women and people outside of the gender binary – of all shapes, sizes, ages, attitudes and backgrounds – get raped, and more often than not, raped by someone they know. Sometimes they raped repeatedly, and sometimes they don’t know that what they’re experiencing is rape. I’ve learned that rape doesn’t have to involve a penis or a vagina. I’ve learned that it’s not always possible to fight back or say no to a rapist.

It is terrifying to reflect on how deluded I was back then, how much chance played a part in my making it to this point in my life physically unscathed by rape. That even now there is nothing I can to do to guarantee that I will never be raped.

I’d like to think that if I had been raped, that I would have had the strength, courage and support to try to bring my attacker(s) to justice, but I wouldn’t place any bets on it. Too often getting raped is seen as a weakness, a moral failing because the victim didn’t prevent it from happening. The thought of having to go through the public scrutiny of a rape trial makes my stomach clench. My culture has shown me that when someone accuses a person of rape, society will do everything in its power to cast doubt on their credibility – lay bare their life, their past actions and sexual activity, their behavior, their character. As if anything in a person’s character could ever make them deserving of rape!

All of these thoughts are brought on, of course, by the ruling in Steubenville this morning. Two teenage boys were found guilty of raping a 16 year-old girl who was intoxicated. To paraphrase a witness, the victim  was “not moving, not talking, not participating” when she was carried around and her vagina violated by the rapists’ fingers in at least two locations at two different times that night, while others watched on, laughed, took pictures and video.

The defense tried to cast doubt on whether the victim was really as drunk as she appeared to be, implied that she wanted sex because her friends tried to talk her out of partying with the boys who ended up raping her. The defense tried to argue that there wasn’t incontrovertible proof that what happened that night was rape, while at the same time dismissing the overwhelming evidence as tainting the case. The victims two “past best friends” testified against her, said she “lies about things”. I have seen ignorant asshats in blog commentary wonder what the uproar is about since she “only got fingered”, not really raped.

These are big reasons why victims don’t speak up when they are attacked.

When we say that only a certain type of person gets raped, or that the actions a person takes makes them responsible for their rape, we cast a false sense of security over ourselves that we will never suffer rape because we aren’t, or would never x, y, or z. We’re good, worldly people who have taken the proper steps to protect ourselves, and so we aren’t at risk of rape. We’re not like those other people who were – at best! – ignorant of the dangers they brought upon themselves when they [insert damning circumstance here] or – at worst – lying degenerates who invited rape. And when we do this we tell rapists that rape is sometimes okay – that if they can find someone who didn’t follow the rules, then what they’re doing isn’t really rape because alcohol-makeup-slutty clothing-flirted-not a virgin-wrong part of town.

Even if “all of the proper precautions are taken”, we can still be raped. Even if we don’t take any precautions, getting raped is not our fault. Rape is only ever the rapist’s fault. EVER. I can name too many people who have suffered and who still live with trauma because of our reluctance to teach people not to rape, to teach that non-consensual contact of any kind is never okay, and that consent means an unequivocal and hearty yes, not a “they didn’t say no”.

A combination of victim-blaming and a reluctance to believe that someone we know would “do something like that” makes it seem like stories such as Steubenville are a rarity, when in fact, the only thing that was rare in this case was the amount of insurmountable recorded evidence of rape and a guilty verdict against the rapists.

I hope deeply that this verdict will send a message that rapists can be brought to justice, and that more victims will be encouraged to speak up. And I hope that the 16-year old girl who was raped will find support and love and healing. I hope that among all of this talk of ideals and rape culture and cheering for the guilty verdict that we remember that there are other victims like her who did not make the six o’clock news, whose stories are still untold and who haven’t yet had a chance to heal.

*************************************

There are resources available for victims of sexual violence. RAINN – the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network – might be a good place to start if you need help or advice.

Note to the potential commentariat: This thread will be moderated. Rape apologetics are not welcome here.

{advertisement}
Talking About Rape
{advertisement}
The Orbit is still fighting a SLAPP suit! Help defend freedom of speech, click here to find out more and donate!

1,097 thoughts on “Talking About Rape

  1. 1

    Nobody would ever think to question whether or not a rape had occurred if she had been penetrated by a foreign object against her will but because she was only “fingered” it shouldn’t count as rape??

    This is a by-product of rape culture.

  2. 2

    I actually find this even more disheartening. Yes, rapists can be brought to justice, if you have a mountain of video evidence from multiple sources. Even then, they’ll try to get it thrown out.
    Us poor sods who were raped somewhere like a friend’s house by that friend? Not a chance in hell. Raped by our partner at the time? Even less chance. Unless we’ve got magic video surveillance footage of the entire relationship (because coerced consent is impossible to prove without a complete A/V backlog of the history of coercive behaviour) there’s no justice at all. That there’s no mechanism for defending against assault of this type is no less than utterly disgusting, but I can’t see a solution other than re-educating the entire population.

    🙁

    1. 2.1

      First, I’m so sorry that you had that experience, Sophia. To your other points – Yes, it’s absolutely horrible that in the face of overwhelming video (and otherwise) we are still as relieved as we are that the rapists were found guilty. It should have been a no-brainer. That they had to gall to plead not guilty is disgusting. As for re-educating the entire population…it’s a big job, no doubt. Let’s do what we can.

      1. Thankyou, I really wasn’t trying for sympathy though. 🙂
        I just wish my experience wasn’t so universal! If only the violent, visual and extreme cases get publicised and require such conclusive evidence to be taken seriously, then the justice system and the public learn to associate rape with that extreme level of visual evidence and disturbing violence. The whole concept becomes devalued as the definition bar becomes higher and higher to reach. All the non-violent, non-publicised and unrecorded rapes becomes unimportant and uninteresting, and are generally not even classified as rape by the general public. Rape is that thing that happens with the violence and the derision and the videos, like we saw in that case on TV! Anything less isn’t rape at all.

        Sorry, I’m just ranting away on your nice, clean page! I certainly don’t want to diminish the disgusting nature of the crime committed by the Steubenville perpetrators, just try to put it in its real perspective. Most rapes are silent, non-violent, unavoidable, unprovable and completely devoid of the possibility of justice.

  3. 3

    As has been mentioned several times this weekend, we need to teach men not to rape. We need to teach them what exactly rape is. We are doing a very poor job of this. We need to teach them that a girl too inebriated to say ‘no’, is not saying ‘yes’. I taught my sons about rape as teenagers. We talked about it frequently. The one thing I didn’t think to teach them, was how to intervene if they saw a situation such as this one. My sons are middle aged now, and I hope they pass on these lessons to their sons. Rape is NEVER the fault of the victim.

  4. 4

    As a teenage girl, I did probably all the wrong things people always tell you about.* Passed out drunk, crashed on couches, shared a bed with guys I didn’t know because hey, it was a bed, got drugged, and so on, and so on. Nothing bad ever happened to me. Not because of the things I did or didn’t do, but because the guys didn’t rape me.
    The time it got really dangerous and I narrowly escaped? Luck. Nothing clever, nothing brave. The simple luck of getting to my car before he got to me.

    *Fun fact: my mum was deeep into rape culture. Do X, not Y, don’t walk home along the fucking main-street of a small town at 9 pm in summer, but she was also totally convinced that I was safe within certain groups and institutions, which is even worse because it means that she did not believe a priori that anything bad could happen there.


    Sophia
    Some weeks ago I wondered what would happen if my husband raped me. Not that I fear he would, I trust him completely. But in the theoretical case, I would have 0 chance. I would just be a horrible ex who makes up stories to keep the kids to herself. How would I be able to produce forensic evidence for rape unless I was seriously hurt? My mental health issues, my sexual kinks, all that would be used against me and I might lose the kids. Because rape culture. Which totally only exists in the imagination of evil man-hating feminists

    1. 4.1

      Nothing bad ever happened to me. Not because of the things I did or didn’t do, but because the guys didn’t rape me.

      I’ll just highlight that because it seems rather important. The deciding factor in rape is the rapist. If a person is willing to rape, then rape will occur; it’s only a question of how, where, when and who. If a person is not willing to rape, then rape will not occur, no matter how, where, when or who.

      In a way, this whole thing is encouraging. The fact that the rape-apologist bastards are out in force is a good thing for us. It forces them to come right out and say what they mean. Given the moral bankruptcy of their position, that can only be to our advantage.
      I know for myself, the thing that really made me sit up and care about this was not so much the arguments from our side, but hearing the other side speak without holding back. So, let them speak. If they’re speaking, we’re winning.

    2. 4.2

      Giliell:

      Yes. I have kinks too – I also have mental issues, but -all- of them as far as I know were caused by abuse, not just my brain being wonky. Abusive parents, abusive husband, and all the judge sees is “history of mental illness” and “sexual kink/fetish” and it’s useless to argue from there. Yay!

      One person’s (forceful, dominant and privileged) word against another (terrified of confict, used to being silent and disempowered) person’s. Of course, both sides are equal.

      YAY. 😐

  5. 7

    The only thing being raped is my mind, from having to listen to your inane and incoherent ramblings. For crying out loud, just find a real cause to fight for instead of inventing one, it’s not like we are short of causes.

    1. 7.1

      Who’s making you listen? If someone is forcing you to sit in front of the computer, that’s not right. Tell them to stop and if they refuse, call the cops. That kind of thing is illegal.

  6. 8

    i have been ridiculed by my peers because i don’t have sex with girls that are completely stoned/wasted/tripping , they are consenting but i still feel that its not okay because they wouldn’t even think of doing it if they were sober
    but then they go and bang someone else so it makes no difference and that makes me real uneasy

  7. 31

    Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  8. 157

    [url=https://singulair.us.org/]buy singulair[/url] [url=https://silagra24.com/]generic silagra[/url] [url=https://celebrexcelecoxib.com/]price of celebrex 100mg[/url] [url=https://priligytab.com/]generic priligy[/url] [url=https://avanatop.com/]avana online[/url]

  9. 202

    [url=https://erythromycinz.com/]erythromycin 333 mg tablets[/url] [url=https://sildenafil36.com/]buy sildenafil[/url] [url=https://isotretinoinacutane.com/]accutane cost in mexico[/url] [url=https://avanatop.com/]avana online[/url] [url=https://furosemidelasix.com/]lasix furosemide[/url] [url=https://chloroquine.us.com/]riboquin[/url] [url=https://doxycycline36.com/]buy doxycycline[/url] [url=https://baclofen24.com/]baclofen lioresal[/url] [url=https://amitriptyline365.com/]buy amitriptyline[/url] [url=https://wellbutrinbupropion.com/]375 mg wellbutrin[/url]

  10. 245

    [url=https://furosemide1.com/]furosemide 125mg[/url] [url=https://fluoxetinetb.com/]fluoxetine prescription online[/url] [url=https://diflucanrx.com/]buy diflucan canada[/url] [url=https://nolvadex10.com/]buy nolvadex uk paypal[/url] [url=https://trazodone911.com/]trazodone 50 mg online[/url]

  11. 276

    [url=https://ampicillin24.com/]ampicillin 5g[/url] [url=https://albenzamed.com/]cost of albenza medication[/url] [url=https://prozacflx.com/]buy prozac online cheap[/url] [url=https://augmentin875.com/]augmentin 125 mg price[/url] [url=https://elimitepermethrin.com/]elimite medication[/url] [url=https://prazosin.us.com/]prazosin 5 mg brand name[/url] [url=https://fluoxetinetb.com/]100mg fluoxetine[/url]

  12. 312

    [url=https://diclofenacg.com/]diclofenac gel medicine[/url] [url=https://chydroxychloroquine.com/]hydroxychloroquine 600 mg[/url] [url=https://dapoxetine911.com/]dapoxetine usa buy[/url] [url=https://albenzamed.com/]albenza over the counter[/url] [url=https://tetracyclinecaps.com/]tetracycline 125 mg[/url] [url=https://ivaltrex.com/]valtrex 2 mg[/url]

  13. 320

    [url=https://nolvadex10.com/]buy nolvadex canada[/url] [url=https://stromectol1.com/]purchase stromectol[/url] [url=https://amoxiltab.com/]buy cheap amoxil[/url] [url=https://anafranilmed.com/]anafranil 25 mg capsule[/url] [url=https://erythromycinlab.com/]erythromycin prescription cost[/url] [url=https://prazosin.us.com/]prazosin 2 mg tablets[/url] [url=https://proscar40.com/]how much is proscar in canada[/url] [url=https://cytotec100.com/]cytotec medicine where to buy[/url] [url=https://acyclovirzov.com/]acyclovir 2000 mg[/url] [url=https://zithromax360.com/]cheap zithromax pills[/url]

  14. 321

    Journey Assistance To Enhance Your Vacation Expertise There are plenty of areas to discover on earth to discover. The ability to come across a men and women and culture that change from your own is intriguing, but not each getaway should be an unique 1. There are many treasures just waiting that can be found in your house. Don’t use general public pcs for something that requires your security password while you are on holiday. There can be malicious software that scam performers make use of to get into your banking info Indicator your self as much as acquire emails for notifications on vacation cost watcher. You can get this useful characteristic on the internet at numerous vacation-associated sites that area. When accommodation or airline prices decrease, you’re going to get an warn. This will likely prevent you prevent the hassle of usually the need to check out prices every day. If you’re travelling anywhere where you’ll will need seat tickets, check if on the internet seat tickets are available, seek out strategies to keep these things ahead of time. The small charge for this service makes it worth while in order to avoid very long facial lines. You may generally bypass these, way too, if the park relies on a timed entry system. When traveling to international places, be mindful about stepping into taxis. You need to make certain it’s a real taxi. Be adaptable when thinking about your location.Whilst it might be enjoyable to revisit your chosen locations, becoming versatile can open up you around new experiences. You can even save cash on a strict vacation spending budget. A baggage label on the outside of the baggage can easily be scammed in transit. Check the web sites of your respective flight to get the best cost.Sometimes they may have the discounted traveling websites. When you are traveling having a young child, be sure to have plenty of intriguing what you should take them in the journey. Take a couple of beloved toys and games. You may also invest in a handful of new playthings for that traveling because this will give you him sufficient distraction to hold him occupied. Travel luggage tags happen to be in transit. Take a company cards from the hotel when you check out your destination city. If you do not are aware of the words well, this can be valuable. Become a member of travel discussion boards and sociable websites centered around travel. A vacation local community is the easiest way to get ready for your vacation. This allows you to in a team of people that discuss experience to prevent producing their blunders or missing some great places on your own trip. Our society is a gargantuan spot for investigating. There exists a position just good for you, no matter if your likes are adventurous or maybe more tame. No matter where you wish to journey, a new spot is obviously waiting around to become discovered.

  15. 346

    [url=https://zofranondansetron.com/]zofran pill price[/url] [url=https://chloroquineav.com/]chloroquine phosphate 500 mg 7 tablets[/url] [url=https://anafranilmed.com/]anafranil coupon[/url] [url=https://flagyl24.com/]flagyl capsule[/url] [url=https://estrace2.com/]estrace generic drug[/url] [url=https://ivermectin3.com/]stromectol 0.5 mg[/url] [url=https://tretinoin365.com/]tretinoin cream 5[/url]

  16. 348

    [url=https://advair250.com/]us cost advair diskus[/url] [url=https://cytotec100.com/]cytotec 200mcg tab[/url] [url=https://prednisonesr.com/]prednisone 20mg price[/url]

  17. 362

    Hello, I think your web site could possibly be having web browser compatibility issues.
    Whenever I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine
    however when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues.
    I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
    Apart from that, wonderful blog!

  18. 404

    [url=https://stratterra.com/]strattera 5mg[/url] [url=https://amoxiltab.com/]buy amoxil online cheap[/url] [url=https://triamterenebenzathiazide.com/]water pill triamterene hctz[/url] [url=https://zofranondansetron.com/]zofran tablet[/url] [url=https://levitratab.com/]levitra online pharmacy[/url]

  19. 420

    [url=https://azithromycinp.com/]azithromycin 1 g without prescription[/url] [url=https://sumycin365.com/]sumycin[/url] [url=https://sildenafilv.com/]sildenafil 100mg online india[/url] [url=https://finasteridealop.com/]finasteride 5mg generic[/url] [url=https://lasixwtp.com/]lasix 12.5 mg[/url]

  20. 421

    Excellent pieces. Keep writing such kind of information on your page.
    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hello there, You’ve performed an excellent job. I’ll
    certainly digg it and for my part recommend to my friends.
    I am sure they will be benefited from this website.

  21. 444

    [url=https://flagyl24.com/]flagyl prescription cost[/url] [url=https://gabapentin.us.com/]gabapentin 900 mg tablet[/url] [url=https://prednisolone911.com/]generic prednisolone[/url] [url=https://diclofenacg.com/]diclofenac 12.5 mg[/url] [url=https://inderal.us.com/]inderal uk buy[/url] [url=https://albenzamed.com/]buy albenza online[/url] [url=https://buspar24.com/]buspar prescription uk[/url] [url=https://accutanisotretinoin.com/]accutane singapore[/url] [url=https://anafranilmed.com/]anafranil tab 10mg[/url] [url=https://motilium10mg.com/]motilium 100 tablets[/url]

  22. 518

    Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no
    backup. Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

  23. 521

    [url=https://diclofenacg.com/]diclofenac 50mg over the counter[/url] [url=https://toradoliv.com/]toradol order[/url] [url=https://arimidex365.com/]arimidex best price[/url] [url=https://furosemide1.com/]furosemide 20 mg price[/url] [url=https://nolvadex10.com/]nolvadex 20 mg[/url] [url=https://chloroquineav.com/]chloroquine phosphate canada[/url]

  24. 530

    Hello everybody, here every person is sharing these kinds of
    experience, thus it’s nice to read this webpage, and I used to pay a quick visit this web site daily.

    2CSYEon cheap flights

  25. 537

    Link exchange is nothing else but it is just placing the other person’s web
    site link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do similar for you.

    cheap flights yynxznuh

  26. 557

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  27. 559

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles
    as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My website is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would genuinely benefit
    from some of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you. Many thanks!

  28. 568

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage?

    My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users would certainly benefit
    from some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this ok with you.
    Thank you!

  29. 578

    This is very fascinating, You are an overly professional blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and stay up for in search of more of your wonderful post.
    Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  30. sex
    579

    I’m no longer sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or figuring out more. Thanks for great info I used to be on the lookout for this information for my mission. sex angialand

  31. 599

    [url=https://finasteridealop.com/]finasteride 1 mg[/url] [url=https://levitratab.com/]cost of levitra in australia[/url] [url=https://chydroxychloroquine.com/]hydroxychloroquine 200mg[/url] [url=https://ivaltrex.com/]cheapest on line valtrex without a prescription[/url] [url=https://trazodone911.com/]trazodone cost canada[/url] [url=https://accutanisotretinoin.com/]where can i get accutane online[/url] [url=https://azithromycinp.com/]buy azithromycin 500mg online without prescription[/url] [url=https://toradoliv.com/]toradol for headache[/url] [url=https://zoloft360.com/]zoloft 25 mg pill[/url] [url=https://priligydapoxetin.com/]dapoxetine otc[/url] [url=https://hydroxychloroquinecv.com/]plaquenil 200 mg price uk[/url] [url=https://proscar40.com/]proscar canadian pharmacy[/url] [url=https://lexaporo.com/]lexapro europe[/url] [url=https://prednisolone911.com/]prednisolone 40 mg tablets[/url] [url=https://phenergan125.com/]phenergan cost[/url] [url=https://viagra2019.com/]canadian drug prices for viagra[/url] [url=https://hydrochlorothiazide2.com/]hydrochlorothiazide cheap[/url] [url=https://cialis5.com/]buy cialis 800[/url] [url=https://medrol80.com/]medrol 4mg tablets[/url] [url=https://atenolol25.com/]atenolol 50 mg prescription[/url]

  32. 612

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
    Very helpful information specially the last part 🙂 I
    care for such info a lot. I was looking for
    this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  33. 613

    Thanks for some other informative site. Where else may I get that kind of information written in such a perfect method?

    I’ve a undertaking that I’m simply now working
    on, and I have been on the glance out for such information.

  34. 615

    [url=https://fluoxetinetb.com/]fluoxetine uk brand name[/url] [url=https://priligydapoxetin.com/]buy generic dapoxetine uk[/url] [url=https://albenzamed.com/]albenza online[/url] [url=https://silagratab.com/]silagra 100 mg[/url] [url=https://tadalafilm.com/]buy tadalafil europe[/url] [url=https://erythromycinlab.com/]how much is erythromycin cream[/url] [url=https://ivermectin3.com/]stromectol uk buy[/url] [url=https://sildalistab.com/]sildalis 120[/url] [url=https://prozacflx.com/]prozac brand price[/url] [url=https://finasteridealop.com/]finasteride online usa[/url]

  35. 643

    [url=http://glucophagge.com/]where to buy glucophage online[/url] [url=http://silagratab.com/]silagra uk[/url] [url=http://buspar24.com/]buspirone pill[/url] [url=http://ciproflxn.com/]cipro cost usa[/url] [url=http://lasixwtp.com/]generic lasix online[/url]

  36. 662

    [url=https://disulfiram.us.com/]disulfiram cost australia[/url] [url=https://cleocing.com/]cleocin t[/url] [url=https://estrace2.com/]cheap estrace cream[/url] [url=https://clomid150.com/]25mg clomid daily[/url] [url=https://singulair.us.com/]singulair 20 mg[/url] [url=https://lisinopril125.com/]lisinopril canada[/url] [url=https://sumycin365.com/]sumycin[/url] [url=https://colchicine5.com/]colchicine 0.6mg capsules generic[/url] [url=https://plavix.us.com/]plavix cheapest price[/url] [url=https://wellbutrin24.com/]wellbutrin 100 mg pill[/url] [url=https://augmentin875.com/]augmentin 625 tablets[/url] [url=https://diclofenacg.com/]12496130 diclofenac[/url] [url=https://xenicaltabs.com/]cheapest xenical orlistat[/url] [url=https://phenergan125.com/]order phenergan online uk[/url] [url=https://cytotec100.com/]where to buy cytotec over the counter[/url] [url=https://finasteridealop.com/]can you buy finasteride over the counter[/url] [url=https://cialis5.com/]order cialis[/url] [url=https://sildenafilv.com/]sildenafil purchase canada[/url] [url=https://diflucanrx.com/]diflucan tablet price[/url] [url=https://advair2019.com/]how to advair diskus[/url]