Tag Archives: rape

Shades of Grey

18 Feb

I am so over hearing about what a horrible risk the 50 Shades of Grey movie is for the values of America and how God is going to smite me if I go see this depraved, women hating perversion of a movie. Let me just preface this as saying that I have not seen the movie, nor do I plan to while it is in the theaters because, A, the movies are never as good as the books50-shades-of-grey-sortie-soiree-paris-sadomasochiste are and I just don’t want to ruin it for myself and, B, I refuse to pay that much to see a movie anymore. However, I have read the books so I am not like most of the people who are commenting on this topic without any frame of reference.  Let me also preface this by saying that I am a survivor of rape and domestic violence so the subject of both is particularly sensitive to me.
50 Shades of Grey is NOT the second coming of the Antichrist. It is not a violence laden book written to exploit women or to glorify rape or non-consensual sex. It is a story of a young couple who participates in premarital sexual relations, something that regardless of whether it is right or wrong goes on thousands of times a day every day in this world. It is a story of a women who loses her virginity to a man who enjoys having control. It is a story of a womans sexual awaking, her personal sexual revolution if you will, her discovery of what pleasures her and what she finds enjoyment in. She enters into this arrangement fully aware of her choices and the consequences of them.
Now, I am not an expert on the BDSM lifestyle although I do know a little about it. I know that there are people in the BDSM community who detest this movie and the books because it is not an accurate depiction of the lifestyle. This may be completely true, I’ve never known of any Dom/Sub that actually went through with a legally binding contract like Christian and Ana do in the story. What I do know is that true BDSM is never abuse; it is always consenting and everyone that I have ever had the chance of meeting from within this community goes to great strides to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all involved. If the truth be told, although the person in the submissive role has chosen to enter this role on their own it is the submissive who holds the control of the situation at all times, with a simple word or gesture all play can and does come to an end until the submissive is again comfortable with the situation.
Today, I read an article on line in which Olympian Lolo Jones goes to great strides to blast the film and books as well as members of the BDSM lifestyle. I applaud Ms. Jones for having the moral fortitude to remain a virgin in this day and time but for her to take to social media and basically shame an entire group of people, well, way to not cast the first stone there. She is quoted from her Twitter feed as having said, “…God didn’t create sex for that purpose…”. Ok, so since you and God are on a daily speaking scheduled, what did he create sex for? Procreation would be the standard answer and yes, you would be correct, it was created for procreation but I somehow doubt that the Lord created this act expecting us to never find some pleasure in it, otherwise our bodies would not have been designed to experience an orgasm. So, my thought process is that if he created us to feel orgasms and planned for us to enjoy the act of sex then why would he frown upon our exploration of such an act and what brings us pleasure?
There is nothing wrong with basic “vanilla” sex and if this is what you enjoy then bravo, however, there is also absolutely nothing wrong with exploring all avenues of sex, weather it be the addition of watching a porn video as foreplay to adding a few toys to the mix to exploring your darker side with some role playing or a little bondage. If you discover though the course of this exploration that something does not tickle your fancy then there is no harm in having found out but to go your entire life wondering what it would be like to experience something and then miss out on the chance to discover something that would bring you some pleasure, well, that to me is a travesty.
Basically, what it boils down to is what happens between two consenting adults in the privacy of their home (or in an accepting safe environment) is between them and no one else. It is never anyone’s place to pass judgment on what someone decides to do, even if it is something that you yourself find abhorrent. There is but one judge in this world and he died on a cross some 2000 years ago so until you learn how to walk on water keep your sanctimony and your hands to yourself.


Just Another Small Town Friday Night

23 Mar

Ah, high school, the glory days of your youth.  We have all been there, that feeling of being invincible, like nothing bad will ever happen to you.  unfortunately, a group of teens from a small town in eastern Ohio have found out the hard way that everyone has a kryptonite.

This last week in Steubenville, Ohio the rape trial ended for two of the Big Red football team; a group of boys who it seems were kings in the small mill town near the Ohio River.  Seventeen year old Trent Mays and sixteen year old Ma’lik Richmond were convicted to at least one year in a juvenile correction center with a possibility of having that sentence extended until they are 21 upon the recommendation of state child services, Mays was also sentenced to an additional year for the distribution of child pornography, they must register with the state as sex offenders for the remainder of their long lives.  All of this stemming from the 2012 rape of a sixteen year old West Virginia girl who had come across the river, as it would seem she had done many times in the past, to party with the local teen heroes of the Steubenville High School football team.

0312_Steubenville_screen_grab-592x369The media and people surrounding the case would have you believe that this fateful night in August this young girl fell victim to the unwanted advances of Mays and Richmond after having entirely too much to drink for a 40-year-old man, let alone a sixteen year old girl.  Photos were taken and shared via social media of this girl’s limp body being “carried” by the defendants and witness accounts tell of the girl violently vomiting outside of another players house earlier in the evening before the defendants were seen groping and fondling the girl in the back of a car while another person video taped the incident.  The girl’s mother is quoted as saying “The adults need to take responsibility guide these children” while giving a statement to CNN’s Poppy Harlow and I whole heartedly agree, the only problem with her statement is that she is one of the parents that needs to take some responsibility.

As a rape survivor, I of all people understand what this girl is probably going through.  She has the upside of the alcohol impairment that fogs her memory since she was not even aware that anything was amiss until she started seeing the comments and photos on social media, I on the other hand have a vivid memory of that night, one that took many years to not haunt my dreams at night.  No woman asks to be raped and no man has the right to say to himself or his friends that her words say no but her actions say yes.  No one should ever have to feel violated because of the clothes they wear and the way they walk or talk, the look that they give someone or for just simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

These boys were all old enough to understand right from wrong, old enough to understand that just because she didn’t fight and scream no that she was in no way able to consent to what was happening, old enough to understand that passing around photos of a half-naked or naked teenage girl was not only legally wrong but morally wrong.Their friends that night are guilty of complacency, seeing the events and doing nothing about it, not stopping the boys from assaulting this girl and also of seeing that she was impaired and not calling a sober friend or parent to come take her to safety.  The citizens of Steubenville (and of any number of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of small towns just like it) were guilty of turning a blind eye to the “youthful indiscretions” of the Big Red players and their friends, guilty of providing an atmosphere that encouraged this behavior and enabling them to become the hellions that they had become.  The parents (like so many parents these days) were guilty of failing to see that their job, first and foremost, is that of parent to these children, because, at the end of the day, they are still simply children; they lack the perspective to see the consequences to their actions that an adult has.  They were guilty of mock ignorance, assuming that their “angels” would never do anything wrong.  Guilty of placating their children, allowing them to run amuck and failing to give them structure and a foundation of discipline.  They were all guilty of arrogance, thinking they were above the law, above authority, that this would never happen to them.  Yes, guilt can even be placed at the feet of the victim and her parents here and that , I think, is what frustrates me most about this situation, this “taking responsibility” quote from the victim’s mother.  Why does it simply fall to the boys parents to take responsibility for their actions?  Does she think she is above reproach here?  Where is her responsibility for knowing where her sixteen year old daughter was and not knowing that she was across state lines drunk and incapable of making that call.  This, I think, is the ultimate arrogance of all.

Pride goeth before the fall and there may be more fall to come in this case as the district attorney investigates the loose ends I expect to find a string of people who should all be held accountable for the blatant narcissistic behavior of the fallen heroes and its likely that none of them will have any real justice.  Immunity has already been granted to the witness to the crime, the boys who saw and said nothing.  There is no crime in feigned ignorance and arrogance, at most the stores and bars that supplied the alcohol to the teens may face fines and in the grand scheme of things that is a small triumph in a case where so many were guilty and the lives of a generation were altered in the click of a camera.

She Asked to be Raped

16 Aug

orig. published 3/12/11

Question, do women who are raped ask for this to happen to them by the way
they dress or act?  As a survivor I racked my brain for years wondering what I
did to ask for this to happen, surely I had done something to provoke this
horrible act, this invasion of, not just my body but my spirit as well.  I hear
people talk about women as objects to be leered at and just today I read an
article about an 11 year old girl from a small Southeastern Texas town who was
raped not once, not twice, not even three times, but eighteen times by multiple
men, all of whom ranged in age from high school to late twenties, some of them
star athletes at the local high school, some convicted criminals, one the son of
a school board member.  Yet, somehow, these men, these perpetrators of such a
horrific atrocity found support, people who don’t deny that they committed these
acts against an 11 year old child but yet can still defend them by saying that
this girl asked for this to happen.  Some say that she dressed too provacatively
for her age, some just flat out said that she must have lied about her age to
these men, they are not responsible for their actions because she put herself
out there in such a way that no man would be able to control himself.

I have heard this kind of argument before, a woman who jogs in the park in
the mornings in a pair of shorts and a sports bra, a woman on her way home from
a night out with friends in a dress that is a little too revealing, the woman at
the office who jokingly flirts a little with the guy down the hall, they must
all be asking for it, right?  Where does the line of this foolishness end?  When
did we become the society that justifies the brutal, offensive violation of
someone with the excuse that someone could not control themselves?  When did it
become OK to blame the victim and sympathise with the attacker?

One woman was quoted as saying, “She lied about her age. Them boys didn’t
rape her. She wanted this to happen. I’m not taking nobody’s side, but if she
hadn’t put herself in that predicament, this would have never happened,” Some
said that she consented to the sex and therefore in their minds these men did
not commit a crime, because, yes, we all know that an 11 year old is capable of
making rational, wise choices.  Maybe she is, at least more so than these men
who seem to think that she enticed them with her siren song.  A guest speaker,
invited by a local pastor, spoke to a group of about 130 people, he asked why
this girl did not report this crime herself to the police.  Even as I write this
I am shaking my head, easy for him to say why didn’t she report it herself.  See
at 20 I was raped by a boyfriend, I didn’t report the crime becasue I believed
him when he said that he would kill me, he had not done anything other than beat
and rape me so what reason did I have to believe that he would not kill me.
Secondary to this reason, rape is such a hard crime to investigate, it happens
more often than you would think that a girl cries rape because some guy slept
with her but wouldn’t date her or return her calls, or maybe he broke up with
her , for whatever reason there is these false claims of rape make it very hard
for those of us who are genuine victims of the crime.  The police are not much
help either, you go to them, vulnerable and afraid and they did up every little
thing that you could have done to “ask” for this to happen or some way that you
consented to this, and when it is a date rape situation its just that much
harder.  So what if she didn’t report the crime herself to the police, as many
as 60% of rapes go unreported each year, so why would this little girl who was
told she would be beaten up, told that no one would take her home, who probably
had no clue what to do go to the police?

Some say where was her mother and that is an interesting and good question,
one that I myself would be interested to know but where this child’s mother was
has no bearing on the responsibility that these 18 men held in these attacks.
In the state of Texas, 17 is the age of consent, the state concedes at this age
a child is old enough to know right from wrong and has the ability to make a
wise and informed decision.  No longer are your parents responsible for you
actions, before this age your brain is not quite mature to judge all the
consequences of the actions you are making, but some of these men are in their
late 20’s, obviously they should be able to say to themselves, “this is a child,
this is wrong” no matter if she asked them point blank to have sex with her,
they all knew better but they all chose to pursue the crime.

I feel for this child, this girl whose youth has been torn from her, her life
will never be the same again.  I sympathise with this child who will no doubt
question her worth because of what these monsters did to her, this girl who will
probably find it harder to trust a man again, fear that they all end up like
these who attacked her, I feel for her most of all because I do believe, after
reading several articles on this story, that she is a misguided child who was
looking for attention and found it in the wrong way.  I want to tell her that I
love her, even though I do not know her, I still love her and that she is
valuable, I want to reassure her all the things that I fought to re find after
my attack.  Do I feel sympathy for her attackers?  Not in the least and I am
puzzled by how anyone could defend them by saying that she asked for it.  No
woman, regardless of age or race or socioeconomic background, no one deserves to
fall pray to this kind of viciousness.  We are all human and as such we all
deserve to be treated as one, with respect and consideration, these boys, these
men, they know better if for no other reason than this, she is 11 years old.

I do not feel sympathy for these men but I will pray for them, pray that one
day they understand just how this child does and that they never forget that
feeling when they do.