While it’s nice to have the support of both friends and strangers on the internet who tell me I’m brave for writing about pain, the reality is, I wish I weren’t. I wish I didn’t have to do any of this. I don’t write about the raw and the personal to prove that I’m strong, but because I’m angry as fuck. I wish I could trade all the positive feedback for a different narrative of my life.
When writing about a topic that many people misunderstand, there’s always something that gets left out because I can’t anticipate every ignorant reaction from trolls. This is what I left out:
When it comes to rape stories, there’s just no satisfying everyone. I knew the person and dated him for five years, so clearly I’m either stupid for not recognizing the pattern (more like outright denying it) or out for revenge because he dumped me. I decided I don’t care if people think that, because if he were a complete stranger in the park, people would inevitably want to know the hour in which I was jogging (is it early morning or late evening that is considered The Raping Hour?). If he were an acquaintance at a party, people would want to know how much I flirted and how much I drank. Just when you think you’ve come up with a scenario in which the assault is indisputably the assailant’s fault, someone who wasn’t there will fight you on it.
We live in a world in which children are blamed for being molested, for fuck’s sake. So what, pray tell, does a “true victim” look like? What will it take to change your mind?
“Innocent until proven guilty” applies to the accuser as well as the accused. But guys, rape is the only crime in which the victim is asked to prove they are actually a victim in order to be taken seriously. I find that inexcusable, don’t you? Wouldn’t any reasonable person?
So as much as I don’t want to, until rape culture is treated like the legitimate threat that it is, I will keep on writing.