It was not the first time I heard about or read about a woman being raped that bothered me. My family is full of sexually assaulted women so knowing women get raped is not news or shocking.
It should be.
But I am Black in America so I accept that rape is a possibility. Sexual violations were a part of my upbringing. To a degree, being around trauma victims is a comfort as it makes a different kind of protective community. But it was the rape accusation of Anita Hill, the victim of Brock Turner, and the induction of Kavanah that really made me pissed. Along with an article from Cracked on a male who was trained to believe that silence equaled consent and proceeded to become a rapist.
This male was not trained to think of women as active participants in sex and that was okay with him. He did not consider that her silence was a no and he was raping a friend. The situation was terrible on both ends as she was painted as being too afraid to say something that would cause him to do more hurt than he already was and he was trained to think that rape is only rape if she fought him off.
I remember when my mom told me about how to handle an assault. She told me to let it happen and get away with minimal scars. I was ten when she told me that was the way out of a harmful situation. I told her that I would rather die fighting than carry the burden on my heart. But in the heat of the moment, what will I do when the time comes?
That thought razored through my brain throughout my teens and every walk I went on until I was 25. Then I thought about it and armed myself with some statistics. I relaxed knowing that the hiding in the bushes rapist is not that common, the date rapist is one. The date rapist is the one that fucks your mental up. S/he is one that was great in the foreplay but won’t stop until he is hitting your cervix.
I remember when I was a peer navigator and a man asked how they could tell if a woman was raped and I went through the list of symptoms: The woman is not aroused so there is internal tearing (lubrication is needed on both partners. Use it.); depending on the woman she will lay passive, as I was encouraged to, cry or fight you.
These are things he did not know as a sexually active person but I and my quest for knowledge had in spades. And I needed that information that day I think. It may have saved a woman from being raped because that man in his horniness would not have considered asking his partner for permission to have sex but assumed that as long she was present, she was into it.
Goes back to looking at women as possessions instead of individuals.
What brought this up again you may ask? Oh, my best friend had a rape mid sexual encounter. She was willing to have sex but he ignored her request to stop and be gentle. She likes rough sex on occasion but with safety measures in place. Then it is something she can deal with. But knowing her first sexual encounter being the stain she has to deal with, I wonder if she is really okay with this.
I sure the hell am not equipped.