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Monday, September 20, 2010

Seeing "the Other side"

Something I really take issue to is people who make rape jokes. How shocking! Oh, you're horrible! Look, you're saying something inflammatory and unexpected to get attention. Really, these people are just live trolls or outright idiots, who are using the protections they think that socializing and friendship award them.

I'm here to say that it doesn't make you look cool. Neither does victim blaming, slut shaming, or making light of the situation. The situation being that there is something desperately corrupt about our society, one that does not take the sexual autonomy and sexual integrity of the individual seriously.

Some people may mean well by defending an exclusive situation they know about, such as a false rape accusation. Making blanket statements that are meant to slut shame the accuser does not help anyone. Let me repeat that: Slut shaming does not help anyone. Slut shaming, even if directed at a true case of false accusation, only adds to the con-artist versus dupe mentality of rape and sexual consent, which further stigmatizes the real victims. Also, people are far more likely to hear about a false rape accusation, or where the accusation is in question, than of supposed "clear cut" cases.

It has taken me years to fully grasp what has happened to me and to be able to come to some sort of understanding in a way that I can communicate the incidents with others. There are cases when I did not give consent and verbalized such. I meant it when I said it. The psychological abuse and fear of physical violence of one such incident further traumatized my sexual identity-- something I still have not fully come to understand because of what has happened to me.

I have mentioned before how I freeze up on occasion during consentual sex. Another time when I did not give consent, I was with friends I trusted and was taken advantage of while I was too intoxicated to leave on my own. This such time was one that I also froze up. It further complicates things when emotions were tied into it. Yes, I am resentful. No, I'm not sure I would describe the last such time as a date rape, but I do know that while I never consented and verbalized such, I did freeze up and enable further harm to myself when I was reliving some of those past memories by "giving in", or not fighting when I should have.

However, even though I am resentful, I have never used the situation to slander the other person. I did not even fully understand what happened to me until recently. BUT when I see inflammatory remarks about how so-and-so is just a "vengeful slut", it infuriates me because I feel like I have been on the other end of that misconception. There are many out there who would describe my experience as date rape, and others as "buyer's remorse". This is what I believe it was: my own trauma and years of psychological abuse VS. someone who buys into the meat-market "game".

Ultimately, this mentality comes from the way we are socialized and raised to view sexuality, as well as those who are so absorbed in the self that they are threatened by the concept of no.

So, really, what I'm saying is that I don't need to "see the other side". The facts show that false accusations comprise only 5% of what such crimes are reported. However, the victim blaming and slut shaming does directly adversely affect ALL legitimate rape victims.

Sure, I can be angry at those who falsely accuse, but they don't do nearly as much damage to legitimate rape victims as those who use such examples to cause the victim to prove his/her innocence.

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