It was my intention to write a post about something else this week. But our discussion about rape at Coffee and Conversation, as well as seeing Vagina Monologues for the second time (still amazing) has made me think, and there are some things I need to say.
The only real role models I have ever had are women. Powerful, incredible women. All my life, I have been surrounded by them. I believe I know more about, and have more respect for, women than most men. But I’ll never really understand. I’ll never know what it is like to be a woman. I won’t know what it is like to walk home, alone, in the dark, and be afraid that you might be assaulted. That you might be killed. I’ll never know what it is like to wish you had been killed, because you can’t live with what was done to you. I’ll never know the unfathomable anguish the women of so many war-torn countries go through when they are violated by knives, guns, sticks, bottles, men. I can’t even imagine it. No matter how gruesomely it is described to me–and it has been–I won’t ever be able to imagine it. I don’t want to be able to imagine it. I wish no one were able to imagine it. I wish it were gone.
It’s so surreal to me. Because the women I know are so strong. Stronger than I could ever hope to be. I can’t understand the men who think themselves better and stronger than women – the men who think women are weak, who think they have the right to objectify them. I challenge anyone of the male sex to give birth. The human species would vanish in a generation.
I know women who have been assaulted. Women in my family. I know women who have been raped. I will never understand. How anyone, regardless of sex, could think another person so un-human as to do something like what is done to so many women, children, as well as men. It makes me incredibly unforgiving. If Obama were to ask me to vote for a law which would have us cut off the hand (or better yet, penis) of anyone who ever sexually assaulted another human, I would vote yes. I don’t see how anyone deserves mercy. I know that more violence doesn’t solve anything, but that is how I feel.
We talked a lot about grey area in Coffee and Conversation. If you have sex, and both parties are drunk, and there’s no explicit consent, does that make you a rapist? I’m not naïve. My question is this: why do you want drunken sex? Do you think the sex better when you wake up next to someone and don’t remember what happened? Is that quality sex for you?
There should be no questions. There should be no questioning of whether it is rape or not. We should have enough respect for ourselves, and each other, to want to be with someone who wants to be with us, and actually be present and have a clear head. It should be a given that rape should not be used as a weapon of war. That it shouldn’t be used ever. But it starts with us. It starts with us respecting each other, and having zero tolerance for disrespect of any kind. There is no excuse, none whatsoever.
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center hotline: 800-841-8371