TW: RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT
[My State’s] Penal Code Section XXX.XXX et seq.
Sexual Assault (generally): Sexual assault is defined as any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.
I need this to be crystal.
ANY form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.
Ok. It’s about to get bumpy in here, folks so hang tight for just a while. I promise to be more gentle with you than
he was they were with me. I’m going to start with the most painful first. As the #metoo movement continues on, I find myself becoming more and more angry and it more and more difficult to stay quiet. When I say “angry,” I’m not pissed about the movement – quite the opposite. It’s time for us to stand up and speak out. I’m all for that. I’m angry at something completely different. I’m angry that there needs to be a movement at all. I’m angry that there are so many of us. I’m angry that there are still so many women, even after Dr. Ford’s testimony, have the chutzpah to discredit what was so clearly a re-telling of a trauma.
Don’t. Don’t make any of this about politics. Don’t make any of this about religion. This is about my body. This about the right I have to walk down the street and not feel like someone else has the perceived right to assault me because they have a dick and it’s Tuesday, OK? I am mad as hell. I am mad because I, my mother, my sister, my sister-in-law, my best friend, my other best friend, and countless other women AND MEN on this blue ball have been FORCED, INTIMIDATED, or COERCED into unwanted sexual contact.
This week was hard for me. I was trying to reconnect more with my Dad and there was this undercurrent of #metoo all over the news from the Kavanaugh Scandal. I went out to eat with my stepmother (not my choice) and we got to talking about random stuff and the subject of college came up. I told her that going to my particular alma mater wasn’t all that rosy (despite the brochures and reputation), as I was molested on my first night on campus and raped my sophomore year. This was the response I received:
Why didn’t you call me? Did you tell your father? He would have done something. I would have kicked him in the nuts. He wouldn’t have been too powerful for me.
I want to know. I really want to know how someone who’s never been in my particular position, in my skin can tell me exactly what they would have done? That’s childish. And thank you. That’s how you respond to a survivor. You respond by telling me exactly what you would have done, implying that what I did was wrong. That’s victim-blaming and victim-shaming. How goddamn dare you. And let me know when you can take a 200-something-pound, all muscle, 6-foot-something guy down with your pants and underwear around your ankles. Yeah, let’s see you high kick like that. Did we forget he was fresh the eff out? Parole? Armed and effing dangerous? OK? People love to talk a big game like that doesn’t scare them until they are actually in that situation, then they turn into Bill Paxton in True Lies. It’s bullshit.
And let’s be clear. I did tell my father – a year after it happened. You know what he did? Nothing. Not a motherfucking thing. I expected what every girl expects her father to do in those situations – kill him or pay someone to do it for him. My Dad didn’t do any of these things. Instead, he played “inquisitioner” and asked me a bunch of questions – I can only guess to surmise whether or not I was full of beans. We never talked about it again after the night I sat him down to talk about it.
Later on in the week my husband and I were out to dinner and my Dad called. I answered the phone to make sure everything was OK. He started talking to me about random stuff and then segued into talking about Bill Cosby. Here we fucking go.
I don’t understand these women. They took the money from him, that’s tantamount to getting paid for sex. They got their money, why come back, 30 years later and ruin his career? They already got the money – move on already! You got what you wanted! If a guy answers his door in his bathrobe and gives you a pill, you know what he’s after – don’t be naive. If you didn’t want it, you should have just come back when he was fully dressed.
Then he goes on about Stormy Daniels, but I’m just not in the fucking mood – OK? The Bill Cosby stuff was so enough. He said about 10 minutes more, but no. I hung up the phone and my husband could just tell the conversation did not go well.
How the fuck do you have that kind of conversation with your child? Your daughter? Knowing she’s a survivor? Knowing your other daughter was molested? How the hell can you talk about taking too long to report sexual assault when your youngest NEVER reported? She stopped speaking to me when I spilled the tea 20 years later. I actually told campus police that John was stalking me and they said there was nothing they could do. Why in the hell would I go to the REAL police once campus police basically told me “uhhh we’re going to let this guy come and stalk you after he raped you for months, isolated you from your friends and family and stealthed* you, giving you an STD.”
…But no. You should always come forward, right? You won’t be treated like the criminal. Like when I was on the couch that night I told you I was raped and I got asked everything except HIS SSN? Or when campus police told me that in a building that required key card access they couldn’t protect me, so I had to move off campus and further isolate myself from my friends?
I had to take my white board off my door that year. He kept writing horrible things on it – calling me a “bitch,” “whore,” “slut,” “fuck you.” I changed the name on my door so he thought I’d moved but it didn’t work. None of my friends knew. My mother didn’t even know and she was my best friend. She knew something was wrong, but didn’t know what. I flunked everything that semester and my clothes got way bigger – I was eating more, but mostly I just didn’t want anyone to see me. I bought XL everything and would hide inside my hoodies. I wanted to disappear.
After he’d leave, I’d run to the community bathroom with my tray of soaps and turn on the hot water. No cold. I would let the steaming, burning hot water scald me between my legs. Burn away the shame. Burn away the layer of skin he touched. I’d stand there until I felt nothing but numbness between them and the tears ran down my face. This would happen sometimes three times a week for the better part of 3 months.
He’d lean over my face after using my toothpaste and sing about his minty breath. I can’t smell toothpaste mint without getting sick to my stomach.
But, I asked for this pain, right, Dad?
I cried to my Mom the other day about this. The stories on the news, all of this is fucking triggering. You know what she said to me?
I’m so sorry, honey. I’m sorry.
Because there’s nothing else to say. It’s already happened to me, to her, my sister, sister-in-law, best friend, other best friend and countless others. That should say something – that I could throw a dart and hit someone who’s been assaulted. It’s not about teaching our boys and girls to be safer. It’s about teaching people not to fucking rape and assault others. It’s about consent and respect.
*stealthing – non-consensual condom removal