[BIGGER THAN USUAL TRIGGER WARNING FOR GRAPHIC AND EMOTIONALLY INTENSE RAPE TALK, SERIOUSLY, I MEAN I EVEN TRIGGERED MYSELF]
Yeah, that’s what I’ve kinda been freaking out about tonight. I started out ticked off about this whole GMP thing, but in my usual relatively-detached way, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks: how would my rapist describe ME?
Then I kinda had an eensy little meltdown. :/
(It’s also been a very hard day at work, and I had my final exam yesterday, and I’m pretty tired and stressed about a bunch of stuff really, and… oh my God look at me making apologies and excuses for being upset about rape.)
I mean, I’m very sure he wouldn’t say “Well, I just decided I was going to treat her in increasingly cruel and bizarre ways until I finally straight-up sexually assaulted her. I guess I made that decision because I’m a narcissistic misogynist and I don’t really think she’s a person.”
He wouldn’t say that because I doubt he’s said it to himself. He’d say that it was very, very confusing. And I was very unreasonable. I did agree to have sex with him that night! But then I got all weird about it and withdrew consent, but he couldn’t understand why, and that’s hardly fair. Besides, I was quiet and wishy-washy and “um please maybe not right now?” about it, so how’s a guy to know. And he really just wanted to please me. And he didn’t even know it was rape until I suddenly started screaming at him like some kind of unpredictable crazy lady. And we were kinky, which you know just muddies the water even further. And he did stop eventually, it just took him a little while to understand my bizarre mixed signals.
Oh, and by the way, he’s a very nice guy with a good job and a lot of friends and a complex emotional life including past traumas of his own, just so you know. It’s not like he’s some rapist type. And you should know, this whole experience has been very upsetting for him and he’s still in the process of recovering from it.
It’s very, very easy to construct the whole situation as “gray” and “complicated” and “confusing”—and to characterize me as incredibly unstable and hysterical, while he’s a baffled victim of circumstances that could happen to any unlucky guy—and not even technically lie about it.
(If you’re thinking “shit, maybe it was kind of confusing after all,” all I can tell you is that I was saying “no, safeword, no, stop,” but he didn’t untie me until I said “I’m going to scream until the neighbors hear.” A little harder to put yourself in that “gosh, I might have done the same thing” place now, isn’t it?)
I would not like my rape written about that way.
I do not think it adds to the world’s knowledge about rape to hear a rapist’s shitty, dishonest self-justifications. We don’t learn about what causes shoplifting by letting a shoplifter write about how he thought it was free and anyway he forgot it was in his pocket. At best it’s useless and rubs salt in survivors’ wounds; at worst, it’s feeding social validation and prefab alibis to future rapists.
I would not like my rape used that way.