Fifteen years ago I was raped by a stranger, 20 meters away from home. I was about 21 and never told a word to my family, I didn’t want to be regarded and treated like a victim. I just decided it had not happened and so I went on with my life. I think I did a good job since it didn’t affect me profoundly, as I’ve seen happen to other women. I said to my self I had been lucky because he didn’t transmit me any infection, didn’t make me pregnant and didn’t kill me as he said he would. I was starting to go out with a guy and his answer to my story was: did you like it? Of course I didn’t answer back nor saw him again. Two years ago, when I was 34 I was starting to go out with another man, 38, and when I told him that story he looked distressed, and finally told me: if you had told me that story a couple years ago, I would have left you straight away. Now I don’t like it but will do the effort of digest it. I didn’t have the strenght to leave him, even though I knew deep in my heart that his feelings weren’t right. It seems like sexual abused women are somehow rejected by other men and by accepting that, we normalise it to the point of feeling shame. Have you heard this before?
I have felt sexism in many other ways everyday in my life, but I just want to share one more thought: in social media it has become a continuous bombardment most people seem to regard as normal. I have left many whatsapp groups I wanted to keep because they kept me in touch with family and friends away, and I left them because I couldn’t stand the overt sexism in jokes men and sometimes women sent many times a day, and everybody seemed to find funny or just tolerate as normal, everybody but me. Today I recieved a joke in one of those groups, it went: Spanish minister of public health doesn’t believe in the nutritious facts of semen: in other words, she doesn’t swallow it. I was the only one protesting. It makes me want to become isolated, I have found very few people, mostly women, that understands this is not normal, and we are always told we don’t have any sense of humour. I love laughing, but that just sucks.
Thank you very much Laura for your support and congratulations for your brave enterprise, I really admire you.