Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Perks of Crying Rape

**Trigger warning**

The wrongness of using qualifiers to modify rape has been been hashed and rehashed by reporters and bloggers these past few months, as various politicians have said ludicrous things and perhaps even derailed their own campaigns. I thought this post from Jezebel explained the issues of attaching qualifiers, quite well.

Of course, qualifiers of rape are nothing new, but the political stage is a grander and more terrifying place to invent  them. Yet in the conversations surrounding the issues it's rarely pointed out that these qualifiers originate in a general concern that people, particularly girls, routinely lie about being raped because of some perceived benefit it gives them.

Even people who say they are sympathetic toward "real rape" victims have asked me: "But, what about the girls who lie because they regret having sex?" Or, as Ken Beck once called it, who suffered "a case of buyer's remorse"?

Really?

It's like people think there are actually perks associated with telling the world you were raped. Like sympathy will rain down on you, and life will be made good---so everyone wants to do it.

So, allow me to tell you some of the many "perks" I enjoyed as a result of telling the world I was raped, (keeping in mind that my experience is literally one step removed from a "best case scenario"):

  • First, I got to tell two male police officers aaaaaaall about it. 
  • I got to have a rape kit performed, where I was intimately invaded, a second time--as well as photographed without clothes on. Good times.
  • My peers called me names, both to my face and behind my back in whispers. Some were creative, others less so. My favorite was: "Dildo!" which is why it made it into RAPE GIRL. Because it's great, right?
  • I lost friends--well and truly and forever. But, then, I guess they weren't really so--woohoo?
  • Everything I'd ever worn (particularly that tan miniskirt I once borrowed from my sister) was the  obvious reason for my rape, as one grown woman helpfully pointed out. 
  • Other girls came forward to say they'd been raped by the same guy, which you think would support my case. 
  • Nope my "lies" were renamed a "conspiracy".
  • My mom received hate mail. Threatening hate mail, for believing me and the other girls and encouraging prosecution. 
  • Rumors at school made me seem a lot more exciting than I'd ever come close to being.
  • All but one of the other girls dropped their charges.
  • I got to repeat the details of the worst experience of my life ad nauseum, for hours upon hours in the prosecutors office preparing for my trial. Because there was an actual trial--a rare thing. Jealous, yet?
  • At the trial I was questioned, and accused, by grown men in front of a microphone while trying to avoid my rapist's eyes
  • The prosecutors "failed to establish my age at the time of the assault" and my case was dropped.
  • He was convicted in the other girl's case and was sentenced to less than a week in jail and some community service.
Awesome, huh? Doesn't it sound fun? I mean, why wouldn't a girl want to falsely accuse someone of rape when she might get to experience any one of these things? 

Truly, support is rare. Belief is rare and precious. Telling never makes life easy.

The only real perks are in discovering who your true friends are, preventing wounds that fester when you don't tell, and maybe making other girls think twice about dating the accused. 

Is that what you're talking about, politicians? Yes? Then I guess crying rape made me a regular lucky duck.

The fact is, rape is rape. And anything less than "yes means yes" is damaging. I'd like to see that on a campaign trail.












3 comments:

  1. You tell them, Alina! I have been so outraged throughout the entire election campaign period by the ignorance and lies from those people who want to represent the populace. Really?? Do we want these thoroughly ignorant and hateful people to be our representatives in government?

    As you already know, I thoroughly admire your courage to stand up for yourself and what it right. I wish nobody else would ever have to face what you had to. Hugs!

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  2. I can't say AMEN loud enough! Thanks for being so open about this issue. We need more Alinas in this world.

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  3. Such an important post, Alina. I was astonished, disgusted, and just so saddened by the words being uttered during this election cycle. Incredible. I can only imagine how they impacted survivors. ((hugs)) to you~ <3

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