Published July 9, 2012
I have reached my limit. I read yet one more harrowing account of rape and one more intelligent dissection of the case and the reactions from certain people and the reactions to those reactions, and I can’t take any more. I have reached the limits of my rape quota. So I did what any normal insomniac would do. I ranted
Usually when the subject of rape comes up, I change the subject. I do not want to discuss how a woman was brutally attacked a block away from my home or how sick it is to show the picture of an alleged victim on a popular website. I am disgusted by the continuous underhanded references by mainstream media that the victim’s behaviour somehow led to the rape in question. I am even more sickened by their less than subtle sympathy for the rapist. I really am afraid that I have little energy left. I am so damn tired of rape. I am tired of reading about it and talking about it and trying to figure out why it occurs and how we should prevent it.
I am amused at the novel ways women come up with to get their point across, like the Reykjavík Slutwalk (that was clever). I am saddened by victims’ Facebook pages or campaigns against rape where victims use their pain for the good of others (I think you are amazing). I am exhausted by endless debates by intelligent people discussing rape and arguing over its roots in society. The discussions are complicated and circular to some extent. The participants in these discussions are most often women. These are women who use their experiences, intelligence, pens, time, energy, care and education to somehow make a dent in men committing violence against women. For even braver women who feel like sharing their story to help others, I am in awe. For those who would bring rape charges against a powerful man, to then be raped again in the media, you deserve my fierce support, but I have little left.
I have warned my daughter about certain men and explained rape, sexual abuse, and inappropriate touching despite the infringement on her innocence. I have explained to my older girls why we don’t leave our drinks on the table, why we never go out alone, and that you can say “no” at any time. I have forgiven and released any anger, self-loathing, and sorrow, which lived in my body for a long time.
Although not everyone is open to discussing it and many would not admit it, even to themselves, most of the women you know have been or will be sexually abused, sexually harassed, raped, or find themselves the victims of violence at some point in their lifetimes. This violence will occur at the hands of your cousins, your friends, your brothers and your sons and yourselves. Swallow that truth down.
When we think of those icky subjects we tend to feel uncomfortable, in fact many have stopped reading by this point, “rape… yada yada..women…yada yada… feminists…yada yada… .zzzzz.” We think of rape as a woman’s issue when in fact it is the opposite. RAPE IS A MAN’S ISSUE.
I do not feel that violence against women will stop the way we are going now. Women have organised, talked, and become angry. We have calmed down, discussed and intellectualised the problem to death. We have started programmes to educate and to help victims. We have to some extent created a safer environment for victims to come forward. We have established that date rape is indeed rape. These are great strides. Yet to progress we need something more.
We need YOU to help us. We need men to talk to their brothers, friends, and sons. We need the Rape Talk to be another one of those uncomfortable talks dads have with their sons, not unlike the Boner Talk or the Safe Sex talk. We need men who at this point in time think, “I’m not a rapist,” or even worse, “I don’t want to get involved,” to understand that there is a serious problem that YOU need to handle. There is no way that all this fucking raping and sickness is going on inside a vacuum. Handle it!!!
Men, I appeal to you. I speak to you on behalf of myself, my daughters, my friends, your sisters, your mothers, your daughters, your friends, and your partners. I think men are wonderful and I love you. I know that you guys love us too. I am sure we could count on you to go kick some sick fuck’s ass, but that isn’t how we handle problems in our society; we have evolved. We need you to actively, aggressively and without shame or embarrassment do your part to PREVENT further violence against us. TAKE CARE OF IT! TAKE CARE OF US!
Sincerely, A. Woman