(Sorry bad English) Warning, mentioning rape. This has bothered me for years. We were about 20 years old and a guy told this story at a party. He and some pals were on a cruise and found two willing women they took (is this a word?) to their room. The guy telling the story had sex and fell asleep. His friend apperently could not get it up. So the story went: Suddenly I woke up and this other girl is riding me… The guy looked a little bit unsure when he said that and a little bit like he should be proud… He got a lot of “woohoo” and pats on the back. I was very uneasy and said nothing. (Therefore the regretts) Ten years later and I’m still thinking about this guy being raped in his drunken sleep. I wish I had not been so shy. Why diden’t I speak up? Maybe it would have made a difference to this guy if someone acknowledged how wrong this was? I guess many guys (women too) prefere to think of them selfs as studs and not weak and being abused. But GOD DAMN IT WAS RAPE! and nobody really cared cause the victim wasen’t what you expected. And sure… when you started reading… diden’t you think something was going to happen to the women? We are all guilty of sexism and I love this site for existing.
I started University in the Netherlands at the age of 17 with a steady boyfriend in Germany. I was excited and unafraid, primarily because I had never recognized other negative encounters for the warnings that they were. I honestly thought that feminism wasn’t something we needed in the west anymore, because I had never felt hampered because of my sex. I never realized how sheltered I was. When I turned 18, I decided to throw a big party for the first time in my life. I wanted to let loose, to prove that I wasn’t “stuck up” and “prude,” that I could have fun. So when a friend asked if they could invite a classmate I didn’t know, I agreed without thinking twice. One by one, everyone left. The people I had asked to keep an eye out for me went home or passed out in their rooms. I was alone, more than a little drunk, with someone I didn’t know. I’d been friendly to him all evening, because I was in a social mood, so we’d chatted a bit. I told him my boyfriend lived in Germany, and he somehow took that as an invitation. He started kissing me, and I pushed him away. I told him I couldn’t do this. Somehow saying “stop, I don’t WANT this” was beyond my capabilites as a polite hostess. He persisted, reaching up and down and touching things he shouldn’t. I walked away and said I was going to stay in my friend’s room for the night, since the friend he had come with was passed out on my bed. He followed me, and while I rang her doorbell hoping against all hope that she would answer, he continued to touch me. She was passed out, and didn’t hear me. We went back to my hallway, and I said I would try another friends room. But he said “no don’t worry, I promise I’ll stop. I wont do anything you don’t want.” Being exhausted and drunk I wanted to believe him, because more than anything I wanted to go to sleep. He didn’t stop. The rest is too difficult for me to describe, even after two years of therapy for PTSD. Nowadays, I work on projects to raise awareness about sexual assault in the Netherlands and at universities in general. I’m trying to turn the worst thing to ever happen to me into something positive.
I’m at university and I live in halls with 13 other people. There are 9 boys and 5 girls, so we are outnumbered. However the thing that bothers me is that some of the biys make rape jokes. The make a joke and everyone but me laughs. I don’t see how people can find it funny. I really don’t. I find it disgusting. I called them out on it once and they all looked at me and were defending themsleves; how they would never do it, how they think it’s horrible. But if they did they would not make jokes. What’s even more shocking to me is that one girl is doing her degree on law and human rights, another psychology and another criminology and myslef sociology. We have all looked at rape in our sujbects, be it either the legal apsects or the impacts. So the girls know how horrifying it is, yet thery still laugh at the joke. I hate it.
This morning, one of the meme pages I follow posted a picture with the caption “The ‘I report memes on Facebook’ starter pack”. It wasn’t at all offensive in itself, only showing the typical traits associated with a 30-something year old mother, for example the “I want to see the manager” haircut and a pair of squabbling children. But perhaps my next move was all too naive. I commented “Once I reported a rape joke (more like a threat) thinly disguised as a meme once, and FB reckoned it was ok”. Which is true. It had been in the style of those typically douchey “I may not have x, y, or z, but I can still win your heart <33333" memes. Instead, it said: "I may not have the biggest muscles, or the best looks, or the best salary, but I can still rape you". The face of the man in the photos was terrifying on its own, but he also bore a striking resemblance to my rapist. As one would expect, my reply to the post quickly saw a reply of its own, from some young chap telling me that memes are funny and I should "stop being gay". I explained to him how traumatising the aforementioned "meme" had been, and how the man looked like the man who assaulted me. I don't know what madness was going through my head. Soon the replies to my comment spiralled out of control, with many a white man thoughtfully weighing in about how I couldn't take a joke, and how I should get off all meme pages if I didn't enjoy that type of humour. On a completely different page where I had posted a comment, I even got a reply saying: "lol you're that perpetually triggered girl I see on other meme pages talking about rape aren't you". Goodie. I have a reputation amongst meme page commenters, apparently. Nevermind any valid point I could raise in reply to them, their tired old comebacks of "haha triggered", "take a joke" and "you're too ugly to be raped" will flow in like they always have, One guy even claimed I couldn't be telling the truth, because of how openly I discussed my problems. And all of this could have been ok in the end, if it hadn't been for the fact that I saw him again today. As my bus entered a tunnel not too far from my house which is currently being reinforced, there he was among the workers. It was for the tiniest sliver of a second, but I was absolutely certain. And after that, all the vitriol and verbal abuse from those online strangers just became too much. They likely didn't give anything they said a second thought, but I don't have that luxury. It's every day for me, every minute of ever hour. Every time I post here, I start to feel a tiny bit better, but nothing really helps.
I need feminism because when I was 4, we learned the colours. After class, a group of boys came up to me and asked what my favourite colour was. I said “blue” and and one of them replied, “you can’t like blue, it’s a boy colour”. Upon telling him that my dad’s favourite colour was purple, I was told, “your dad must be a girl then”. I didn’t tell my dad because I thought that being compared to a girl would upset him too much. My dad is a feminist. I need feminism because when I was 13, my class worked on a project with NATS AIS. In the final stage of the competition, I was transferred into a group with 6 boys ‘for representation’. As project manager of my last team, I assumed that I’d have some creative input and delegation opportunities. I was put on research with a guy who played 2048 the whole time but still took full credit for the work I did. One lesson, the project manager was away so I took it upon myself to show some initiative and start the PowerPoint presentation. The next day, it had been deleted without a thought and a new one was being made; it was exactly the same but grammatically incorrect. When I tried to argue, I was called bossy and told to ‘get back in the kitchen or wherever [I was] supposed to be’. I need feminism because I saw the bewildered look on Harvey’s face when I did better than him on a physics test., despite the fact that I had beaten him on every science test beforehand. He used to call me dumb every lesson, still does. He just can’t believe that a somewhat attractive girl has the capacity to be good at science. Or maybe his ego’s just big. I need feminism because a girl I go to school with got raped by a boy in our year. For three weeks leading up to the event, she had reported him to the school 6 times for touching her inappropriately in class, she even had witnesses. He got a ‘serious talking to’ and nothing more. He wasn’t even moved away from her in class. She came into school crying and she stopped talking for a few days. One of our mutual friends got really mad at her for ‘being over-dramatic and complaining too much’. When I got angry at this, she said “well if it had been me, I would’ve just told him to stop and kicked him in the balls’. I had no words.
When I was a young girl I was raped. But when I explain that my rape was oral sex and fingering people refer to it as assault.
I was working at a day hospital that only has emergency clinics available after hours. We have the sexual assault clinic there. A patient came in and the nurse that was on call was taking longer than expected. Being a rape victim myself. I tried to give her space but support her. She sat in a room with a friend of hers. My partner (male) said to me “i bet they went out drinking last night”. This is exactly whats wrong with society. Rape culture. Labelling her and assuming she was drinking. Unbelievable.
I want to share my story without my last name so I’m not identifiable (or at least easily identifiable). When I was 17 y/o, three days before my birthday, I was in a pool party with my high school classmates. I was taking pills and irresponsibly mixed them with alcohol. I was aware of everything, but my body didn’t respond; I couldn’t move nor talk correctly, but I was aware of everything. My (then) best friend thought it was a perfect opportunity to rape me, so he did. People began talking about me being a slut and such, because they didn’t know I was raped, they just “saw me leaving with the dude” (he was carrying my indefensible body, I was not leaving willingly, anyway…). For two weeks aproximately (the time a gossip usually lasts in school), when people asked me what happened I’d say that it was all consensual with him, ’cause I was embarrassed and felt guilty for my rape; I felt it was my fault, so I’d say that it was consensual to avoid victim-blaming and maybe to trick my own brain into believing it didn’t happen. For years I lived with guilt (since I thought what happened was my fault), until recently (two years, a year and a half, maybe) when it really hit me. Feminism helped me realize it’s not my fault at all. And I began talking about it without that much shame. Now, the only thing I regret was not reporting my rapist with the authorities (or at least with the school) and telling everyone who he really was. Now, I conciously know that my rape was nobody’s fault but his. BUT, unconciously, I still blame myself. I hate it. I hate that I can’t change my unconsciousness. It harms my physical wellbeing, my sexual life with my loving, feminist boyfriend. It harms my interpersonal relationships in general. I don’t know what to say. I just feel a little bit better when I talk about it because I feel a physical relief from my shoulders. Thanks for the space. – María
I remember being objectified as a woman as long as the boys noticed I didn’t just add ‘pointless’ tidbits to classes but I also had breasts. I remember in primary school the confusion when I argued with boys, even if I didn’t get it. I remember hitting puberty at school and being openly groped by a boy in my year at 14+ everyday at lunch with both hands and as a reflex laughing it off and feeling as if it was a compliment. I remember being harassed throughout chemistry about whether I ‘shaved’ or not. I wish now I had learned to make a fuss, not to just be complacent. I always believed myself to be a strong woman as I was always raised but as long as I just didn’t stand out too much. When I got my first boyfriend at 17 I remember being picked apart ’til I I felt there was nothing left, being called ‘unattractive’ in the shower and asked to lose weight. When I once plucked up the courage to tell him I thought he should get more muscle-y his response was simply ‘no’. I also remember the two times he raped me and how he apologised but did it again. I remember how it took over a year to come to the conclusion it was rape, because we were in a relationship and I guess these things just happened. I remember at 20 when my boss continually harassed me by text and after many rejections told me I ‘deserved to be in (his) pants’. I also remember how he stood in the way of another guy I liked, how he wouldn’t come near me because even though he appeared to be disgusted by his behaviour explained to me quite plainly it was kinda like a guy code. And I still don’t know by which of these two men I was offended more by. But I can say this. As a 21 year old woman I am loud, I speak out, I tell men and woman who are sexist exactly why their behaviour is wrong, I am sarcastic and I am confident. Because of projects like this I know I am not alone, that I do not deserve this and this behaviour is not normal. I now openly tell people my boss is a sexist prat that doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together and have managed discuss with friends the verbal abuse I suffered under my ex boyfriend and utter to even a few the categorical rape I have suffered. Because no this is not normal and no this is not okay.
My friend was raped at university very, very recently. The uni have been supportive but the man is by all means getting away with it. I am more than furious as I am sure most of you will understand. He is about to graduate as a lawyer and make a successful career for himself, yet he is not being held accountable for his actions. Why?