Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Mundane Rape

Cross-posted at Female Impersonator

Warning: this post could be a trigger for victims of sexual violence.

In the wake of Amelia's posts on rape and the disgusting spectacle of Johnny Vegas raping a woman onstage in a sorry display of dudely humor, I wanted to share how utterly mundane and common rape is.

A huge misconception is that only the psychologically deviant rape women. In that link, the author claims that it is "staggeringly insensitive" to post fliers around a college campus that read "Man up, get consent". Why? Well, because the "ridiculous idea that rape is not caused by the sociopathic tendencies of individual men, but because men as a whole watch too many Michael Bay films".

The author clearly as never heard of the tabula rasa theory which states that our socialization and upbringing have much more to do with how we interact with the people and the world around us then genetics. Simply put, there is no "rape" gene. Scientists will never pin-point the exact sequence of DNA that makes some men rapists and others "nice guys" because it does not exist.

This fiction of the psychological illness of rapists, similar to the myth of pedophilia, causes the deadly culture of silence that aids and abets sexual assaults, rapes, and other forms of violence against women every day. The patriarchy and its underlying premise that men are not responsible for treating women like pieces of meat baptizes each and every one of us in Dude Culture as young as possible.

For as long as I can remember, I can say that I would rather be maimed and handicapped than ugly. My identity and success in life, because I am a woman, is directly correlated with my ability to titillate and treat myself like the plaything of men. My self worth is boosted every time a man looks me up and down. I wait behind good-looking men in the line of a local fast food joint and wish for them to notice me. My worth is directly tied to my sexuality. I am the Sex Class, I am a woman.

And I was sexually assaulted and raped repeatedly by my first serious boyfriend and the man I lost my virginity to.

Rape is not uncommon. By law, what that asshole did to me was not rape because I cannot prove it. However, I was repeatedly goaded into various sex acts while I feigned sickness or exhaustion to get out of seeing him. After he moved out of the suburbs, and into an adjacent dorm, I would make excuses to have study sessions with my very large and loud male English peer review partner. Seeing him was a nightmare. The sex was awful. I fooled myself by thinking that it was about time I got rid of my virginity anyway (I was 18) and that if I asked him later I would eventually get an orgasm out of the deal. However, if I did not want to kiss, I was groped and fingered through my clothes when he would visit my dorm after his classes. If all I wanted was a massage, I got my bare breasts pawed at for an hour while I pretended I was asleep so that he would go away. He would belittle my opinions, ignore my desires, and take advantage of me whenever he so wished. I was an accessory to his life, I was his masturbation aid. I was not a person.

When I finally broke up with him, he would invite himself along with my friends and hang all over me like I was his possession. I remained silent throughout it all because I thought it that was normal that I was taken advantage of and I did not wish to make a scene or make others uncomfortable. It was my fault that I did not enjoy the sex. I was frigid. I was wrong. I was a whore.

I have never shared this farce of love with anyone. Over two years later, I have not been in a serious relationship with a man due to serious trust issues. Until just recently, I thought that there was something wrong with me. Now I finally know that what he did to me, and what he took away, can never be replaced. It was sexual assault, and if the law was less sexist than it is, my entire relationship was months of rape. I will never see justice because there is no evidence other than my word and my pain.

My ex-boyfriend is not a sociopath. He is a normal college male who wanted some tits to paw at. When breaking up with him, he asked, "does that mean I do not get booby privileges anymore?" He probably has a girlfriend now, who lets him finger her after she feigns a headache to get him to go away. He is a rapist. I am a rape victim. He is a product of a sick society, and I am the victim. I am the loser, because I was born with a vagina and indoctrinated in the ideology that my worth as a person is indistinguishable from my ability to please men.

Women, because of socialization, are raped every day. Why? Because we as a society have placed women in the Sex Class, and by doing so, have furthered the disgusting agenda of rapists the world over. Rape only happens to women that fight it, that are raped by strangers, that have evidence and did not orgasm. I was raped. I never fought it, I knew my rapist and introduced him to my friends and family as my boyfriend. I have no proof other than my hole in my heart where my faith in humanity used to be. My body reminds me of the pain/pleasure that it suffered/enjoyed to this day.

Sociopaths do not rape women, men rape women. The only thing insulting about asking men to get consent, not the absence of resistance, is that we have to fucking ask in the first place. I know first hand how rape happens and what a rapist looks like.

I also know what a rape victim looks like. I see her in the mirror every day.


Lara Ayad said...

Jesus that was really disturbing to read. I am a survivor of sexual abuse and to read about this Johnny Vegas asshole just made me shake to the core. Thanks for commenting on this.
I really have become so disillusioned and upset with comedy today that I intentionally avoid "Comedy Central" and stand-up comedy period. The sexism, racism, and bigotry in it is repulsive. It doesn't "challenge" jack shit, contrary to what some others would argue ("all offensive comedy makes people think about issues! blah de blah blah"). It perpetuates the status quo.

Jen said...

Thanks. Next time someone tells me that I'm being too sensitive about rape jokes I just want to tell them that watching people laugh at something that happened to you and ruined a good portion of your life is not funny, ever.

Anonymous said...

I never know what to say in response to posts like these, so usually I just nothing.

But I am sorry you had to go through that experience.

Amelia said...

Just stopping by to say hello and that I hope you're doing well. :)