9 Things I Learned After Writing About Being Raped

ChameleonsEye / (Shutterstock.com)
ChameleonsEye / (Shutterstock.com)

It’s been two years since my ex-boyfriend raped me. I don’t know the exact date or the exact time when it happened. I just know that on an afternoon in August two years ago, I stared at the ceiling above my bed as my boyfriend decided to punish me for cheating on him. This February, I wrote a piece describing my rape and the abusive relationship that followed, only to discover that my hardships were far from over. My abuser’s words and attitude lived on in the comment section of my article and men’s rights forums. Men (and a few women), furious with my story, found it necessary to invade my sole means of catharsis and try to break me down.

The following beliefs are all examples of rape culture that people felt inclined to share with me. You can click on the numbers to see screen captures of what they said.

1.

My experience is not valid because my rapist was my boyfriend. I had previously consented to sex with him, so how was he supposed to know that this time was any different? It would be completely irrational for him to ask for consent every time we were intimate, so when he raped me, my consent was obviously implied. Real rape only happens when a stranger ambushes someone in a dark alley and holds them at gunpoint. You cannot be raped by someone you love.

2.

My experience is not valid because I had cheated on my boyfriend, thus giving him a legitimate reason to hurt me. My rape was a crime of passion and my boyfriend simply could not control himself. My infidelity drove him mad and I must take responsibility for the pain I caused him. Cheaters should expect their partners to hurt them, because, quite frankly, they deserve it.

3.

My experience is not valid because I did not go to the police to press charges or get a rape kit done. Talking to the police and having them discourage me from taking action just means I should have tried harder. Since I took no legal initiative, it is my fault if my rapist hurts another girl.

4.

My experience is not valid because I’m a slut. I slept around before and after my rape. A real rape victim is virginal and “innocent.”. Sex is off-limits to anyone that has been assaulted.

5.

My experience is not valid because the piece I wrote about it utilizes language that is too dramatic. My writing sounds like a “bodice ripper” and doesn’t depict that I’ve been traumatized. Creative language should never be employed while describing an event. My story is not my own to tell.

6.

My experience is not valid because I stayed in a relationship with my rapist for several months afterward. If I was really raped, I would have ended my relationship right after the assault. I should have ignored my boyfriend’s threats against me, my loved ones, and himself and just stopped things abruptly. Safety should be disregarded.

7.

My experience is not valid because I didn’t scream, fight, or say no while being raped. Lying beneath my boyfriend, crying and avoiding eye contact after he just hit me in the face, means my rape was actually just “hate-fucking” that I agreed to with my silence. Affirmative consent is feminazi propaganda; real rape involves shouting “NO!” and punching your rapist repeatedly until they flee.

8.

My experience is not valid because I’m crazy. The lack of support from my community proves that I’m bat-shit insane. My stay in the hospital following the end of my abusive relationship is a sign that I’m a psycho. I cannot be trusted because I have emotions.

9.

My experience is not valid because I’m a feminist. I obviously have an agenda to kill all men and my story is just a fictional account I made up to try to persuade people to become misandrists.

Notice a trend among these nine things? I do: They’re all bullshit. Unfortunately, I’ve heard them over and over again, both online and in person, so sometimes it’s hard for me to distinguish them from the truth. As many times as I repeat, “It’s not my fault,” these comments still find a way of burrowing into my head and making me doubt myself. Maybe I did deserve it, maybe I could have prevented it, maybe I’m just a whore. Or maybe this rape culture we live in just wants me to believe all these things so rapists can continue raping. TC mark

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