Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I Rage

I speak up about sexual assault not because I'm humiliated that it ever happened to me, but because I want other survivors to know that they're never alone. 

I rage against this patriarchal society we're in, one that so thoroughly devalues women, that female rape victims are treated more harshly than the male rapists, because I was once told I'd encouraged my attacker's actions and had ruined his life by telling. 

I was five.

I speak bluntly about the prevalence of molestation within families and spheres of influence because someone has to and I'll be damned if I speak of it from a parent's perspective- this cannot happen to my children.

I mourn when rapists and child molesters get a pass in order to "live normal lives" because the privilege to that same normalcy is denied to victims the instant they are attacked. Why are the guilty lives preserved when the innocent's are tossed away?

Why ask what someone was wearing instead of asking why someone felt the need to rape? 

Why is it that, when women are raped, our pasts are examined to the nth degree, trying to find some pattern of behavior which suggests we deserved to be raped? Why is it that men's lives are looked upon as having potential lost due to a woman pressing charges or making accusations. How in the hell does this make sense? 

And so, I rage. 

I rage for every woman (and man) who has ever felt we have to keep our mouths shut because what the hell is the point in telling? I rage for children whose innocence is lost before they're old enough to speak or dress themselves. I yell for the girls who've been groped by their "friend zoned" guys. I do it for the women and men who have had something slipped into their drinks and have little to no memory of anything after that. I've been in every single one of those situations and they, too, fuel this slow burning rage. 

I rage that I've already had to explain to my eight year old son that females, from the day we're born until the day we die are trained to always be cautious around men. That we, as women, are told to ignore the boys who give us unwanted hugs or kisses- they're only doing that because they want to be our preschool boyfriends and isn't just too cute? That we're forced to hug near strangers and this lends to a lack of feeling in control of our bodies.

That, when he hit a girl, I hoped her daddy told her that my son was an atrocious jerk and not someone who was sweet on her. I'm furious I ever had to explain to him the why behind that.

I explained this to him because I refuse to raise my future men with the notion that rape or assault might ever be okay. As women, we have to fight for the body autonomy which is denied to us early on and  he, as a male, has a place in society to stand up for what is right and not buy into the same misogynistic bullshit which has played out for us in centuries past.

I rage because people think that rape culture and revictimization don't exist when they so clearly do. 

I rage because someone, somewhere, once implied to all of my attackers that my body was theirs for the taking and it was okay to call me a bitch and threaten me when I said, "no." That, when I walk down the street and hear someone catcall me, I always tense up because I know if I don't smile, the words, "fucking bitch" are likely right behind the "heyyyy, girl! You gotta fine ass!" 

I'm spent because this is a never-ending cycle of violence against women and it seems to grow worse yearly. 

I'm so tired of raging. 

1 comment :

  1. I hear you beautiful and you are correct it is absolute bullshit. People have a right to say no and to have their boundaries respected. But the ones who need to hear you cannot hear beyond the anger in the rage to see your love, compassion, humanity and voice to change. It is when we stand in the still of this rage and whisper that are voice becomes exalted. Whisper love and watch what happens.