Guys, I need your help. I’m having a tough time convincing this douchebag that there’s such a thing as rape culture. He dismisses all victims of rape culture because it’s not ‘sufficient evidence’.
I need numbers. Stats.
For this guy and the next gazillion guys that refuse to believe.
I want him to see what we all know but he won’t listen.
If you victim blame someone who has been raped, I will believe you have the mentality of a rapist. And that will make me extremely wary of you and probably never talk to you again.
tw: sexual assault
It’s one of those nights, where I just can’t forget.
I feel sick to my stomach, I’m shaking and crying.
Tomorrow I’m gonna go to a concert and there’ll be a lot of drunk men, and drunk men scare me beyond belief because they tend to lose their inhibitions.
I don’t want them to touch me. I don’t want them to say things to me.
I’m scared I’ll have a panic attack and everyone will think I’m out of my mind.
It’s been more than 3 years, god damnit!!! Why does it still affect me so much?
[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, ABUSE, EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION – NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART]
I need feminism. Not because I hate men, I don’t, but because there is still something terribly wrong with this world. Because of the shame that has crippled me and taken me three years to overcome so that I might write this for you to see. There is something wrong and it’s time we admit it. No one should have to go through, what I have and should definitely, indisputably not suffer in silence.
By now most of you have probably figured out what I am talking about. I was raped. Three words. Three years. I was raped, and this is my story:
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I had never been fond of cars, in fact I hated them. I hated learning about them, I hated being in them, I hate every single little thing about them. My mind rejected the very idea of them, practical as they were and are. But still I felt a terribly need for a driver’s license. It was, as I pointed out, practical. Hate should never get in the way of freedom and independence. A friend and I decided we’d take lessons together to take the edge off our shared anxiety.
I wasn’t prepared. He was like a wolf being trusted with new born lambs, waiting patiently for them to fatten up, and I knew nothing that day when we were first introduced to our driver’s instructor. He spoke with harsh, but caramelized words, spun together into a sticky trap, and I got stuck immediately. At that time I knew nothing of men, I’d never had a sweetheart, never held hands and only ever been kissed once. And there he was. Looking back I see now that he began tying his puppeteer strings to me as soon as we met. He knew, what took me years to realize.
I was so scared during the first lesson on the streets. The ‘playpen’ practice had gone so horribly wrong and I quickly realized that I had no control over the car what so ever. To make it worse; after the basic small-talk was done, he turned the subject of the conversation to sex, rape and prostitution. I thought little of it at the time. Maybe there’d just been a case on telly, I don’t recall, there might have been a thousand reasons to bring it up, I thought, but I see now that I was clueless. All I know is that I fell for him and that it didn’t take me long to begin fantasizing about him as I’d done about some of my previous teachers. It was just an innocent crush.
As time went by I became increasingly anxious. I had cried during lesson number three because I couldn’t get the hang of controlling the vehicle, and before long he had gathered me into his arms. It seemed only natural. After all; wouldn’t we all want to comfort a person so clearly in distress? It did not defy my logic and I chose to trust my lacking, if not non-existing, instincts.
It escalated slowly and to this day I’m still not sure exactly how or why it happened. All I know is that he would say things I found peculiar, that made me feel uncomfortable, but that I convinced myself that I was misunderstanding him. I didn’t want to be ‘that girl’, the girl who always ‘makes a fuss’ about everything. But I was uneasy, though in a state of desperate, sick and inflamed love. I felt a shift in the weather, dark, tense clouds crept up on me, but I had no proof and I was left with my ability to over-rationalize everything. He said the strangest things though. Whenever we drove past a young woman he’d ask me if I liked her. One time when we’d been driving in the rain and we went outside to take a break, he hugged me again. Naïvely I merely thought he was being friendly, but when we got back inside the car and my hands were wet form the rain, he told me I could dry my hands on his jeans if I liked. I declined.
The next time he hugged me again, this time from behind and I fear took hold on me. He lifted up my shirt to expose my stomach, and he praised me for being so hot and slender. It was hunting season and the sound of gunshots roared all around us.
Before the following driving lesson I remember throwing up. I felt sick. Filthy, but still I wasn’t sure what was going on, and I dared not tell anyone out of fear of being judged.
It all collided right after my 18th birthday when he decided to feel me up and kiss me in a parking lot. I pushed him away. He was 24 years older than I, married and had two children, and I told him it was wrong and that I didn’t like it. Smoothly he drew me back in, assured me of his affections, that it would not hurt me, and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with what he did. When he dropped me off back home he texted me and told me that I were not to tell anyone about this. It would be our little secret, otherwise it would hurt him, my family and his reputation.
At this point you may judge me for not having fought back harder. All I can say in my defence is that I was scared and didn’t know any better. I still believed that people were generally good and that people surely wouldn’t seek out others merely to hurt them.
I lost weight, I couldn’t focus and slowly I became numb and depressed. But he wanted more and kept pushing my boundaries. An evening we’d been driving and he stopped us at the driving school and took me out back where no one could see us. He kissed me with his foul smoke-stenching mouth and slowly, smoothly, carefully he slid his finger down my pants. “No!” I said short of breath. I didn’t want it. I said it again and he shushed me like one would shush a crying baby: “It’s only a finger, Nanna. I don’t want to hurt you. Trust me. You want this.” Fearing the consequences if I fought back, I let him.
From then on I was broken. I was clay in his hands, and I submitted to his will, because I had no one else to turn to. I couldn’t tell anyone. I will not go into details of what happened over the course of the month that followed. I lost my virginity to a predator, a man who manipulated and abused me. I always said no, to the very end, but I never fought. Three years afterwards I still see this whole situation through fog. Sometimes it is as though it never happened, as though it was all a bad dream and I’m about to wake up. But it did happen. Back then I told people around me fractions of the story, people I knew would never tell my family. I told them it was love. That he loved me. That was a lie and I apologize to everyone I’ve ever told this to. I wish you could have seen all my fruitless efforts to get rid of him. All my attempts to get him to stop persuading me. He did not love me, that I know for sure. He used me, abused me and raped me. I do not care if you think I should have fought harder. I couldn’t have won the game he played. I had no experience and my cleverness could not save me.
So I need feminism. I need feminism because men like that exist, because he honest to God doesn’t think he raped me, because there are abusers out there and we live in a world where I’m the one left broken and ashamed, not him. I have nothing to be ashamed of. It wasn’t my fault, and if something like this has happened to you, it wasn’t your fault either. You are no less of a women or man because of what someone did to you. You are powerful and you deserve so so much better.
I am autistic, I am naïve, I do not understand subtle clues. He worked me like a puppet, but I will not let this beat me. I am a woman. A no is a no, and fuck I said no a lot, and he heard me! He is the only person in this world I will never forgive. I cannot forget him or what he did to me, so now I’ve made sure that he never forgets about me either.