Friday, February 5, 2010

Living In A Rape Culture

You know you live in a rape culture when all of your "friends" still hang out with your rapist, even though they know what happened to you.

You know you live in a rape culture when, upon telling someone about your rape experience, they reply by saying "What's the problem? It's just sex"

You know you live in a rape culture when it's not really considered "rape" if you were wearing revealing clothing, involved in sex work, on a date, married, not carrying pepper spray, living by yourself, walking alone at night, passed out or asleep, flirting with your rapist prior to the rape, wearing your hair the wrong way, wearing the wrong shoes, not loud enough when resisting your rapist, not threatened at gunpoint, not a virgin, walking "suggestively" or otherwise carrying yourself in a "flirtatious" manner, drunk, not trained in self defense, raped in a way that does not involve intercourse, or doing anything that involves leaving the house.

You know you live in a rape culture when rape is portrayed as humorous in our movies and our music.

You know you live in a rape culture when, almost 100% of the time, the victim is blamed for the rape, as opposed to the rapist. We don't teach people not to rape. We teach people not to get raped.

You know you live in a rape culture when "no" is understood to mean "wait a few minutes, then try again."

You know you live in a rape culture when every other porn video that you find features someone being assaulted or raped.

You know you live in a rape culture when, upon talking to someone about those videos, they reply by saying "What's the big deal? It's all staged."

You know you live in a rape culture when your "friends" start making rape jokes, and a victim in that crowd of "friends" can only stand by and pretend to laugh, because s/he will be shamed into silence if s/he speaks up.

You know you live in a rape culture when 1 in 33 men have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime, along with 1 in 6 women.

You know you live in a rape culture when even children are blamed for their own rapes.

You know you live in a rape culture when people think that only pretty cis girls get raped. "Ugly" people, men, and trans women are hardly ever mentioned.

You know you live in a rape culture when, if a woman consents to sex and then withdraws consent later on, it's not really rape.

You know you live in a rape culture when most people think of rape as a pretty young girl being attacked by a stranger and raped in some back alley, when in reality the majority of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows.

You know you live in a rape culture when people still use the term "gray rape".

You know you live in a rape culture when, if you're a survivor, you can't live through one god damn day without someone ripping open your wounds.

I was raped when I was 14. It was years ago, and I still wake up in the middle of the night crying. I love life, and I find happiness in every single day. But, in every day, I find anguish because of a society that just won't get it. Please, let's end the rape culture.


  1. (((Hugs)))

    I have to say, I really admire you for writing about being raped. It's very brave of you, and I'm glad you're in a place where you can talk about it.
    Also: "We don't teach people not to rape. We teach people not to get raped." So well-put. Love it.

  2. I applaud you for being very brave and talking about your experience with rape. I'm so sorry that happened to you. I hope it never happens to you (or any other man, woman, or child) ever again! This is a great post, too. It really sheds light on how prevalent rape is in our culture.

  3. Awesome post. I was raped at 14 too, by a guy that went to my church, in a small town. Sucks.

  4. Ramen. Beautifully said, thank you for this.

  5. I just found your blog and am very happy that I did. I'm studying law (Europe) and did a comparative analysis regarding rape law in A couple of European countries, US and Canada and was amazed (and sad) to find that these problems are so common and that the legal system/attitudes are so very similar. Thanks for this great and important blog!

  6. Thank you everyone for you comments and for you support!

  7. I loved reading this. Thank you for sharing it. It was enlightening. I wish you the best.

  8. Thank you for writing this. I was raped by a friend and faced many of the situations you write about. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  9. "I was raped when I was 14. It was years ago, and I still wake up in the middle of the night crying."

    Wow, I wish I had read that first when I first found your blog. Then my first reaction would have been to offer sympathy rather than jump down your throat. I know there's nothing I can say than can convey enough sympathy. I'm truly sorry this happened to you. That may not mean much to you, (or it even may make you angry) coming from an "anti" like me, so I'll understand if you won't want to respond to this message or if you'll want to delete it. In fact, if you want me to leave you alone and never post another comment on your blog, just let me know and you'll never hear from me again.

    I'm not sure if you're a spiritual person or not, but I'll be praying for your healing from this tragedy. That's infinitely more important that praying that you and I eventually see eye-to-eye philosophically.

    I can't imagine what you went through and are still going through, and I'd NEVER assume to tell a rape victim, "pro-choice" or otherwise, how they should feel.

  10. Dan- Thank you so much for your kind words and for your prayers. I appreciate them a lot, even coming from a person who disagrees with me on the issue of reproductive rights. Thank you for caring :)

    Everyone else- I appreciate ALL of your comments. You've all been so supportive. Thank you!

  11. Did you know that rape has exponentially increased since abortion was legalized? Hmmmmmm. . . . . How could this ever be? What is the correlation? I believe in Choice. I choose to think past the quick fixes.

  12. You don't know that rape has increased because of abortion. Rape has increased because of people, like anti-choicers, who believe that women are property more than they are people.

  13. Do you seriously believe that those who acknowledge the humanity of unborn children are responsible for the increase of rape in America?

    Quit playing the victim card, get the help you so obviously need to move past your rape and abortion(s) and make a conscience effort to be a life-affirming contributing member of our society.

    You wear your anger like a badge.

    I believe in Choice. I choose to think past the quick fixes.

  14. I never said that. I said that that overall attitude is largely responsible for rape in our society. This attitude is the core of the anti-choice movement.

  15. Wow. Look back at the above posts. You did say that and I quote, ("Rape has increased because of people, like anti-choicers"). And where did you previously say that "the overall attitude is responsible for rape in our society?"

    I truly hope you get the help you need. You are like Liars I've met who can look you in the eye and rewrite history even though you were there yourself.

    The real positive in all this is that as the Pro-Life movement moves forward with the Truth, you will be used as another example of why Abortion is Wrong.

  16. Please read and refrain from taking my words out of context. Here were my actual words

    "Rape has increased because of people, like anti-choicers, who believe that women are property more than they are people."

    I said that rape has increased because of people who believe that women are property, not people, and I included antis into that mix.

  17. Date rape, the most common of all and happens more than anyone knows. Society has determined that sex is a game. It's just for kicks. No strings. What the heck. Who gets hurt? Everyone gets hurt at least once by this nonsense. Yes, it is ok to change one's mind w/o expecting to be raped. Rape is all about control. I came close to it once...fortunately, he was the same size as me and I was able to strong-arm my way out of it.

    What has happened to society? Relativism hit in the 60's and has degraded society ever since little by little, chipping away.

    I know this is long but it's the truth and the best explanation out there as to what has happened in society...which has led to your pain....

  18. PCG
    Praxedes writes:

    It is obvious you feel powerless. The name "Her Authority" alone shows your feelings of powerlessness. Rape is a terrible crime but with the right help you can use this negative for a positive to make life-affirming changes for women and children in our world. It is hard emotional work but it can be done.

    You could start by being open-minded about what older, caring women have suggested you read. Many of us have been raped ourselves. The above site will help you more than you could ever imagine. The victim mentality can be overcome.

  19. The name "Her Authority" is meant to be an empowering name. It refers to a person's authority over her own body.

  20. PCGal's Authority on Life:

    Keep Your Legs OPEN. Keep Your Defenses UP. Keep Your Self-esteem DOWN. BUT MOST IMORTANT of all -- Keep Your Mind Closed.

    There is so much more to learn . . . . .

  21. I'll keep on having sex with my boyfriend and I'll keep my defenses up, but I'd rather build up my self-esteem and keep my mind open.

  22. And he'll keep using you.

  23. How do you know that he's using me? Have you met him? Do you think all men who have sex before marriage are "using" women? Why don't you accuse me of "using" him? Because I'm a woman and he's a man? Isn't that a little sexist?

  24. My sincere apologies. That was sexist.

    You are using each other.

    Animals have sex. Committed couples make love. There's that Free Will thing again.

    Keep building on your self-esteem and work on keeping your mind open. You are guaranteed to learn a lot from said relationship with BF if you keep working on both.

  25. "Animals have sex. Committed couples make love."

    1) Humans are animals 2) My boyfriend and I make love, if that's what you want to call it.

  26. Biologically, I am an animal. Spiritually, I am not.

    Making love with my husband is a spiritual act involving our Free Will, it is not a biological need.

    It's not about what I want you to call it. Don't change your wording for my sake. It's about your attitude on the whole subject. It's the major reason for your pro-abortion mindset. Whether you ever get to the bottom of it or not is Your Choice.

    Print out this page and put it in your dresser for future readings. Time will show the commitment you and BF have for each other. I truly wish you the best. God Bless both you.

  27. Thanks so much. I'm 45 now. Was raped in colege at 19 y.o. by someone I new. My " feminist/ lesbian " friends even blamed me. This was before the term "date rape" was used. Still, the whole thing was horrifying. I became suicidal. I told myself literally that I was "a rape-able piece of sh*t." I sank into drug use, drinking and overeating. Its only after decades of therapy, 12 step program and healing friends that I've recovered. With the prevalence of porn on the internet, the focus on looks&plastic surgery in our culture, I think the rape culture is worse today. I do all I can to lift women up.

  28. *hugs* Thank you so much for telling your story, Sarah.

  29. just found this blog and wanted to say well done to the the author. it's infuriating how many excuses and rationales people will create to justify and trivialize sexual violence, and even more so the pervasiveness that rape culture has achieved. so many people (women included) don't even realize that it's not the "norm" to have felt threatened at a frat party, to have a best friend who was drugged and raped, to not be able to watch an hour of television with a blatant reminder that women are still considered sexual objects. we are so saturated in rape culture that more often than not the issue is treated as a joke than the devastating crime it really is. thank you for sharing your story, and for writing such an eloquent post. i'm a survivor as well, and i *hate* that i often feel that i have to mention that fact to get my point across- why don't people just UNDERSTAND why rape culture is offensive? isn't it obvious? keep on fighting the good fight friend, all my best

  30. Great post, what you said is really helpful to me. I can't agree with you anymore. I have been talking with my friend about, he though it is really interesting as well. Keep up with your good work, I would come back to you.
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Due to constant spam and derailing coming from a few antis, I am now making this blog a "safe place". This does not mean that I won't allow opposing views. It means that I'm not longer going to allow hateful or unrelated/spammy comments. This will continue on until the anti-choice spammers get bored with harassing me and the people who post here, and is especially relevant when it comes to the topic of rape. I hope this doesn't deter any respectful people from commenting. :)