I want to talk about rape culture.
A few months ago, I had a short Facebook battle with another BDSM author who dismissed the idea of rape culture as a thing. I honestly forget the details of the little spat, but essentially she disputes ‘rape culture’ and talked about a few solid points, which include:
- women claim ‘rape’ when rape didn’t actually happen, and ruin men’s lives
- ‘rape’ in general is a grey area; there are issues of consent that perhaps we might not understand, and mistakes happen
- women getting shit-faced and being stupid enough to do so should not expect anything good to happen; they should consider the sex an unfortunate incident, not rape
Honestly, I don’t even want to touch on those issues at all (though I could single-handedly slam each of them into the concrete with a few simple lines of reason). Instead, I want to talk about how rape culture affects me.
Because rape culture does exist. It’s perhaps named poorly, or could be better defined at least.
- Yes, people joke about rape. I think rape joking serves a purpose, in that it shows us how rape has become ‘normal’ in certain scenarios, including:
- Prison Rape. Physical assault in prisons is sickening, and one of the worst possible sources for joking material, in my opinion. In the US prison system, most folks are there for vice crimes, which is criminal in and of itself. Add to that physical assault? Yeah, let’s find humor there!
- Drunk Girl Rape. She’s so drunk, she’s asking for it!
- Rape is ridiculously common, and mostly it happens within relationships. The dynamic of men dominating women extends beyond fantasy, here. It’s ugly, it’s not fantasy material, and it’s extremely hard for victims to get out of their situation.
- Victim-blaming. S/he brought it upon her/himself via dress, actions, or otherwise.
What’s odd to me is that I didn’t fully agree with myself, in aforementioned Facebook battle, until now. :) I love it when past-Sadey agrees with current-Sadey.
After my own incident, here’s what I did:
- When explaining it to friends, I gave them the whole scenario, including the fact that Lucas and I had engaged in sex a few times previously, and called it “rapey”. I wasn’t willing, and still struggle, to say “That was rape.”
- I have, countless times, justified his actions in my head. He was confused about boundaries, maybe? Or hadn’t learned in his forty years of life that one shouldn’t creep into someone’s room at 2AM and stick one’s cock into her unconscious body?
- I actually feel guilt about the incident. Like I shouldn’t have started anything with him to begin with, and I shouldn’t have moved out so suddenly and made a big deal of the whole thing (though I made a remarkably small ‘deal’ of it), etc.
This is rape culture. It’s not about what rape culture is to the jokers or the rapists or general fucking society. It’s about what it does to the people who get raped. My rape experience, I still (and likely will always) argue is fairly minimal-trauma as far as rape goes. So, a guy I’ve had sex with previously decided to have sex with me again, and left after I woke up? Eh, I’ll survive. It’s just the very fact that I am the one with the guilt.
Rape culture fucks with everyone’s heads. It really does. But mostly, it screws with the people, women and men, who get raped. Because they’re the ones who have to figure out what it means to be raped, and how to trust again.
Jesus fucking Christ, I promise my next post will involve no hard stuff and zero medical shit, my apologies.