A couple of weeks ago, I was in class with a few of my friends cracking jokes before the start of the lecture. I happened to be the only girl in that group and things were pretty funny until one of them made a rape joke. He started laughing but soon stopped upon noticing that I was not the least bit amused. I told him off, and so did another friend who admonished him in a way that implied he should not have made that joke because I was around; because there was a girl amongst them. It made me wonder what if it were just them with no girls present? Would they have found it funny?
Today, something related happened. It was not a joke but another case of belittling rape. I was so repulsed I had to leave and go somewhere else. I could not stand to sit there and continue talking with this ”friend” after he had made such repugnant comments about it. We were two girls and one guy talking about casual relationships. The supposed “friend” was ranting about how some girls are in the habit of teasing a guy and leaving him hanging. He then went on to say something to the effect that that is why women get raped; because they tease men.
I told him off, telling him that a woman does not invite rape and that it is not her fault if she falls victim to it. He seemed to concede slightly, however still maintaining his stand that a percentage of rapes occur because the woman calls it upon herself. I let that one slip. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he went on to say that he would advise a rape victim to “enjoy” the ordeal as it would lessen her pain…
I could not believe it. I was raging inside and had to excuse myself from there as I just could not tolerate being there any longer. It made me wonder how such an educated, young adult could hold such a warped and disgusting opinion. What is to enjoy about an ordeal that is an assault and an aggression towards a person’s body, spirit, dignity and pride? My female friend who was present asked something that was quite chilling. She asked whether men think that rape is wrong because a male friend of hers had told her there is no difference between rape and normal sex.
I am not on a men bashing spree here because I fully understand that a well formed, mature, normal man would find rape to be abominable. How come then is it that a number of my male peers find rape to be something to joke about or belittle? How many more seemingly normal people out there hold the same twisted opinions about rape?
I was sexually abused as a child by an older relative. The details are quite foggy and I am still not sure what exactly happened but a few details of it have been coming back to me of late. It was not forceful. He made it look like something good and made me want it. Once I experienced how “good” it felt I would seek him out to give me the feeling again. For years growing up I thought I was weird. I questioned whether it still qualified as abuse because I wanted it even though I was just five years old. He was in his late teens but he should have known better.
I wonder whether my “friend” would still think of my case as sexual abuse if he knew of it or whether he would dismiss it because I “brought it upon myself”. It is searing to the heart when someone makes such dismissive and shallow comments about such a beastly act. It is a terrible ordeal regardless. It needs no qualification. Rape is rape, it is not normal sex. And it is wrong.
I am being haunted by vague childhood memories and I am frankly too exhausted to go into an elaborate discourse on the matter of sexual abuse. It is just plain wrong. Simple.