Calico Lane has written about being raped. It’s a brave essay and you should all go read it right now.
She was raped by a man in an orgy. Obviously it never got recognized, obviously he was a friend, well obviously. It is a textbook example of rape.
The self-irony is a necessity when we try to deal with the socieatal pressure conserning rape. The most important question is never: did you give meaningful consent? Where you able to give it? The questions are, like Calico so blatantly points out, about the victim’s behaviour. How could she have enforced the behaviour of the rapist? How could she not stop it?
When I tell it, as I rarely do, the response is always: how could you be at an orgy and not know who was fucking you? How could you be so careless and slutty and exposed? But it happened. And it happened reasonably, as things that really happened do, Calico tells us.
The problem with rape is, from where I stand, that it usually really is not very different from anything else that happens. It builds up gradually.
When he first tries to remove your panties, you are probably a little annoyed and embarrassed for him. When he then slides his fingers up your cunt, you tangle up in a fight, but he’s like, well this is for you more than me. He thinks: It cannot be rape. You don’t need consent for the fingers, do you? Maybe he tries to kiss you, maybe he even caresses your hair, or tries to lick you. It doesn’t mean you’ve given consent.
None of that is of any important, but in a normal situation, with a normal person, you would feel obliged wouldn’t you? You’d feel weird for being in such a different state than the other person. You’d start to question yourself. Is it really that big a deal if this happens? It’s so embarrassing that he just doesn’t understand that you don’t want to.
Seems like he won’t take no for an answer.
I’ve heard this a thousand times, from girls who don’t feel they’ve been raped, because they chose to do it. In other words, in the end, they didn’t want to fight for their lives in a fragile state and a place where everyone would accuse them of asking for it, not just the man in question. The exact same thing is what Calico ends up saying.
Sometimes I was bored; sometimes I felt like doing something dangerous; sometimes I felt like making a bad decision. But they were all my goddamn decisions.
So I answered:
I think that’s the first thing you have to let go. It took me time, years of time and love and discussions where no one asked me those condemning questions, again. They weren’t your decisions. They were their decisions. They took advantage of your state, trying to hide the emotional response or serving the etiquette. They took advantage of you.
That is what rapist do. They are very good at finding the line, where women might seem compromised, where they know no one will believe in them, because of the stereotypes and the stigma, even if they are raped. We women are not gatekeepers of sex. It was not your responsibility to make them stop no matter what you’ve done and who with, other times. It was theirs. So is the blame.
This comes from someone whose been throught the exact same thoughts and experiences. I try not to say “I was raped”, I try to learn to say “this man raped me”. It is not a power of nature. They are capable of the same emotional and physical boundaries we are. They chose differently. They raped. And they knew what they were doing.