Thursday's Child ... has far to go ... (0nm10wn2feet) wrote,
Thursday's Child ... has far to go ...

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An Unpleasant Confession ... you may want to skip this ...

There is a post that is making its rounds through LiveJournal (and elsewhere, I assume). It has to do with rape. Since the post is probably getting a lot of play on LJs all over, I'm going to put it behind a cut. I am, however, going to share MY experience with sexual abuse out in the open. I was six or seven when my neighbor's big brother showed me how babies were made. My mother didn't really ask me what went on, she just heard from the neighbor's mom that I was undressed in her basement. I don't remember much of it, thank god. Especially since the neighbor's mom made a big deal out of the fact that HER boy couldn't have done something so horrible ... I was the one who initiated stuff according to her. Since the boy was 16, I kinda don't think so, but like I said, I don't remember much.

The most memorable incident came about when I was living with a friend. Her brother had breezed into town after being down in Texas for a while (hiding from the law, it turned out). He asked if he could borrow my car and assured me that he would have it back in time for me to go to work the next day. My car, at that time, was a 1970 GTO ... and I loved it. But everyone made me feel like a real dumbass for being reluctant to let him use it, so I gave him the keys. I went to bed and woke up at 3:00 am to see that my car still wasn't back. While I was looking out the window, he pulled up and parked it. I laid back down and pretended to be asleep, even tho the door to my room was shut anyway. He came into my room and slid right into bed with me ... telling me that if I made a sound, he would tell his family that I came on to him. I mean, I was living in his MOTHER'S house. What was I going to do? Being 19 and stupid, I kept my mouth shut and laid there like a rag doll.

I said something to his sister the next day, but she just couldn't believe that her big brother would do something like that. And that wasn't the only time he did it either. Too bad they didn't have locks on the doors of their rooms, you know? In the course of the four days he was there, he managed to "have his way" with me twice. Both times telling me that he would convince the whole family that I was to blame. I have never felt so dirty, sick, ashamed, disgusted, or worthless in my entire life. And, I seriously thought that I had done something to merit that ... I thought back and went all through the "I should've" and "if only's." I berated myself for my stupidity for being awake in the first place, but not my stupidity for not saying anything to anyone. I still feel ... soiled ... when I think about it. Of course, the term "acquaintance rape" hadn't even been coined yet. "Acquaintances" didn't get raped; after all, they KNEW the people, so they must've LET them do it. People who didn't have bruises all over their bodies weren't considered rape victims. Coercion and threats weren't considered serious enough to warrant calling the act 'rape.' If not threatened physically, it couldn't have been rape, right?

That was the prevailing sentiment in the mid-70's. I worked at an insurance company where the sales manager used to crawl out of his office and behind my chair with one of those bristle-things from a car wash trying to see how far he could stick it up my skirt before I noticed it. I had an employer tell me that I "owed" him when he physically removed a guy who had hit me in the head and face with a broom. I had a manager tell me that I was "too dumb to walk and chew gum at the same time," but I was probably pretty good in bed. I had a guy grab me from behind in a parking lot outside the bar I worked part-time at (in addition to my full-time job). As tired as I was, I just got mad ... I came down on the top of his foot with all my weight on the 4" wooden platform sandals I was wearing. He stumbled off and I dove into my car and drove away before I even thought to look around to see who had done it.

I worked at a four-year university in my state, on the third floor of one of the classroom buildings. I came into work late one day. Working out of sight of the general public, I was allowed to dress casually, so I was wearing a tube top and a pair of jeans. As I was walking into the building, I noticed a guy on the third floor looking down at me on the sidewalk. As I started up the stairs, he came down them - in the center of the staircase. I was adjusting my purse on my shoulder as I passed him and he reached out and grabbed my breast. I was absolutely in shock. It was too strange to even believe, but yet, it had happened. I could describe the guy perfectly, but I didn't think to watch to see which way he went when he left the building. Two weeks later, I saw him again ... again I was alone on the stairs, but I held all my belongings in front of me like a shield. He just reached around this time and grabbed my ass instead. I called the campus police, gave them his description and told them I was going to keep an eye out for him. I saw him one more time a month after the last incident - and I followed him to the parking lot, along with a group of other people. I managed to get his license plate number, ran back into my office and called Campus Police again.

So, what did they do to this nasty little vermin who evidently got his jollies by groping random women? Not a damn thing. Not a god damned thing. Why? Because they interviewed him at his home and then came back to talk to me. The detectives basically told me that it would be pointless for me to press charges against this guy; he had a wife and baby at home, he cried when they confronted him, it was "only" groping ... hey, c'mon, let's be a sport about it! And, yes, once more, I caved. I did nothing. I have no idea if the perv went on to molest other women or not. And I'm more ashamed of that than anyone will ever know.

A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts. Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. Fuck, they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all. Instead of that bullshit, how about: if a woman is drunk, don't rape her. if a woman is walking alone at night, don't rape her. if a women is drugged and unconscious, don't rape her. if a woman is wearing a short skirt, don't rape her. if a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don't rape her. if a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you're still hung up on, don't rape her. if a woman is asleep in her bed, don't rape her. if a woman is asleep in your bed, don't rape her. if a woman is doing her laundry, don't rape her. if a woman is in a coma, don't rape her. if a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don't rape her. if a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don't rape her. if a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don't rape her. if your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don't rape her. if your step-daughter is watching tv, don't rape her. if you break into a house and find a woman there, don't rape her. if your friend thinks it's okay to rape someone, tell him it's not, and that he's not your friend. if your "friend" tells you he raped someone, report him to the police. if your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there's an unconscious woman upstairs and it's your turn, don't rape her, call the police and tell the guy he's a rapist. tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it's not okay to rape someone. don't tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape. don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x. don't imply that it's in any way her fault. don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl. don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself. If you agree, repost it. It's that important.

"Evil unchecked grows, evil tolerated poisons the whole system." - Jawaharlal Nehru

[I am finally refusing to tolerate the evil any longer]
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