What if My Rapist Doesn't Know that He's a Rapist
A precursor to this post: I do not have an answer to this question. These are simply the thoughts running through my mind as I try to navigate the politics of sexual assault and harassment while challenging my own internalized notions of self-blame.
Saying no can be a fucking scary situation for many individuals out there.
It shouldn’t have to be. But it is. And quite frankly, that’s a scary thought.
CONSENT IS SIMPLE.
This is a statement that I know to be true. But, apparently, there are many individuals out there who do not agree with me.
A “grey area” is often the term coined in murky situations where both parties end up with diverging
experiences gained by the end of the night.
But what is murky about rape?
Either it happened or it didn’t. Either everyone gave consent or they didn’t. Either yes or no.
But what if you can’t say no?
And I don’t mean that in the literal sense (although that can be a possibility as well).
Have you ever thought of that?
Let’s think about it.
Able bodied. Heterosexual couple: man, woman.
MAN: her superior at work BOTH: fall in love MAN: wants sex
WOMAN: doesn’t feel like it tonight MAN: gets angry, ignores her at work WOMAN: can’t afford to have bad relationships at work MAN: wants sex WOMAN: thinks about last time WOMAN: can’t say no SOCIETY: the woman is at fault because she shouldn’t have fallen in love with her work superior in the first place
Able bodied. Heterosexual one night stand: man, woman.
MAN: only speaks his native tongue WOMAN: is trying to learn his language MAN: wants sex
WOMAN: screams NO MAN: yells at her in his native tongue demanding a reason for her rejection WOMAN: literally has no words to explain her feelings towards him in his language MAN: explains to her how that is not how we do it in his country WOMAN: wants to fit in, needs to fit in WOMAN: can’t afford to be alone WOMAN: obliges SOCIETY: the woman is at fault for not being able to speak the man’s native tongue, she could have said no
Able bodied. Heterosexual acquaintances: man, woman.
BOTH: their first time meeting WOMAN: needs information on what the man is an expert on
MAN: wants to talk to woman
MAN: wants sex with woman WOMAN: wants to keep this platonic MAN: asks woman about her sex life WOMAN: uncomfortable MAN: asks woman about her sex life WOMAN: asks about his expertise MAN: ignores her request MAN: will only give woman the information she needs if she has sex with him
SOCIETY: the woman is at fault for using the man for his information
Do you think MAN considers himself to be a rapist?