lets talk about … rape. Part 2

i woke up this morning … and little did i know, that by the end of the day i would be blogging about a topic i have already written about once. I always intended on writing a Part 2, and in fact had a draft already typed, but thats deleted now. I’m starting over, because this week, the word ‘rape’ has been front page of most media types due to some french bloke i’d never heard of until his arrest for allegedly raping a hotel maid, and now comments made today by the justice minister.

two things i’d like to start off by saying :

first one is: this blog is about RAPE. As i start writing, I have dont have any idea of where my writing will go, but i feel it fair to warn you of the topic nature, if you hadnt picked it up by the title, so if your sensitive to it, or it potentially could trigger you, consider yourself warned.

second thing is: i am not a profressional. I dont write for a living, i dont have any academic qualifications that give me a right to have an opinion, i’m not a ‘well known’ person who’s opinion matters to people.  i’m just me. a little dot in this huge world who takes some space, and attempts to write about issues that mean the most to me. i write about my life, and the life that goes on around me. I am perhaps not going to be writing anything any different to the many blogs always written, lots today by people. i definitely not able to express words and thoughts as eloquently as the things I have read today.

if you want some background and an idea as to why i am writing about this topic, now, then please feel free to check out ‘lets talk about … rape’ – link is below.

lets talk about rape

in my previous blog i gave some definitions of the word rape. essentially it is imposing sexual intercourse on someone who does not consent. that could be a man against a man, a woman against a man, woman against a woman, and the most widely talked about variation of a man against a woman. it is really really important to acknowledge that all variations exist, and do happen, and that rape as a whole is so very under reported anyway, and so by default some of the variations, for example males being raped are even less reported, but still happen.

Last week I got embroiled into an argument on facebook. as some of you will know, getting into debates/disagreements with people on social networking sites such as FB or twitter is not a rare occurance for Fragz, although lately the occasions have become much less. Anyhow, last week, someone who is on my facebook, and an odd exception to the ‘i only have people i’ve met on my FB account’ rule, posted the most offensive thing i have ever read my friends post. I am used to people updating status’s with stuff i dont agree with, lame jokes, filthy stories about whatever, however i have never been so offended by anything as the status that said ‘i’m sorry, but woman should take responsibility for being raped, after all men are men arent they’.  WHAT?  When I dared to totally disagree with this line of thought, i was told i was mis hearing what was being said. I disputed that too. I was not mishearing what was being said, i was simply disagreeing. I heard what was being said. I just didnt like. I still dont. This person’s argument was that if a skantily dressed woman is raped then they should accept some esponsibility, especially if they walk around looking like prostitutes (their response, not mine!!). Their trying to condone their thoughts just seemed to make it worse, because in my view, it is not acceptable for a non sex worker to be raped, and it isnt acceptable for a sex worker to be either. end of.

I was blown away and stunned by the response this status got, and the fact i was the only person arguing a womans right to say NO, and that ‘men being men’ is NOT an acceptable reason for raping someone.

Rape is rape. Whether you are out having a drink, whether you have gone to a dance, whether your walking home at night, or in the day. Whether you spend your time on the streets, or whether you meet someone for the first time while out and get chatting. Whatever the situation, whatever happens, if you DO NOT WANT SEX and someone forces you too, in my mind that is rape.

There is no ‘serious’, ‘more serious’ or ‘less serious’ rape, as has been suggested by Ken Clarke, the justice minister no less today.

I am aware some people will be saying that his comments were taken out of context, some will be saying, including himself that this current media storm is ‘spin’, however, my own view is, that if he didnt feel/think what he said, then why say it? he knows the position he holds, he knows he is talking to the media, he knows what he says is going to be reported. he says he knows that rape is rape, but to be honest, does he really? someone who says rape is rape, AFTER suggesting there are more serious ‘rapes’ than others, and who is also suggesting sentences for convicted rapists are cut, doesnt seem to have a clue, does he?

I am not sure that he really understands the effects on a person, a woman, a man, a child, who is raped. the life changing, heart breaking, never going to be the same effect is has.

I’d like to invite Ken Clarke to live the life of a survivor of rape. Maybe to live the first 5 years of their life or longer after the event. To live through the pain, hurt, anger, desprair, self loathing, blame, nothingness, dirtiness, the depression, the flashbacks, the nightmares, the tears, the sleepless nights, the fear of going outside, reliving time and time again what happened. Maybe he would like to live a life with feelings, that for some never go away. For some, maybe the moving on can happen, but where the memories never leave. memories that are always there, even if not in forefront of a mind, memories that are never far away, ready to come flooding back at the click of a finger. maybe a smell, a sense, something that triggers the mind to flood back the memories.

Maybe he would then understand that rape is rape, whether it was violent or not.

I am unable to do this topic justice, really. I just get sidetracked. So I’d like to recommend, if your interested, two beautifully written articles, one by Johann Hari, and one by Laurie Pennie.

johann hari – the prejudices that allow rapists to go free

laurie penny – ken clarke comments rape

both blogs express eloquently what i wish and want to, but am unable to.

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10 thoughts on “lets talk about … rape. Part 2

  1. You did great in expressing your views. I would have been furious with the person who said that about rape and women dressing to be raped. That is ridiculous. I would have told him so too. Some people are just stupid. I hate the word stupid so I don’t use it lightly. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about rape. I agree with you.

  2. I think you did a great job. Writing about this stuff is emotionally draining. I don’t think any person who hasn’t been raped or survived an overwhelming trauma (which by my definition, rape is) can understand how the trauma takes over your life completely and does so for decades on end. Not until they walk a mile in my shoes will they ever understand. There are a lot of good and knowledgable people out there. They want to be supportive, but they just don’t understand the enormity of surviving trauma.

    To all persons who would ascribe the fault of being raped to the victim, I just have to call them poop brains (which is another way of saying S#&t Heads). what garbage, what absolute stupid crap. Keep up the good fight!

  3. one rape is the worst crime anyone can commit. two you are a good writer. three you are loved. four i am a man and any person that rapes should be shot. five survivors of rape do not have a sign saying i have been raped on one that says rape me. six if any one given a problem over this it is rape the same. send them to me and i will educate them. thank you and god bless.

  4. I agree with you that rape is a terrible crime and certainly is most often a crime men commit against women. That doesn’t mean that in *reality* some rapes aren’t worse than others. That’s just how reality is. Some are more brutal, more devastating and more serious. To deny that just because it seems wrong to use the words “less serious” in conjunction with something as terrible as rape is not the right approach.

    For a sensible take on this point of view, from the legal standpoint, read this (short) article from a blogging magistrate:

    http://thelawwestofealingbroadway.blogspot.com/2011/05/beyond-our-ken.html

  5. Rape is rape, violent or not. However I do think that… force and violence are a little different. Not in terms of the actual rape, but because if there is violence involved they should be charged with battery, assault or whatever charge is appropriate as well.

    As for your “friend”, I’d have kicked off at him so bad.

    The only thing I will accept people not understanding about rape is the after affects – now I don’t mean I’d be fine with them being nasty about it. But rape is rape, that’s simple to grasp in my opinion. But the after effects are so very complex it’s unbelievable and I don’t think it’s something you can truly understand from the outside. It’s not just being upset about it, it brings so many fears, depression, anxiety. So many things, so many pieces to have to put back together.

  6. i didnt realise i never replied to some of the replies here!
    apologies for that.
    and thank you for engaging with me, and this topic, all of you. i’ve just reread your comments and appreciate people taking the time to read and reply especially on such an emotive topic
    x

  7. Thank you for opening up this very difficult area of human relationships for discussion.

    Given his brief, I wonder if Ken Clarke was thinking about sentencing guidelines when he suggested rape might be categorised by its severity?

    I’m thinking as I write here, but possibly an analogy with burglary might be helpful? More serious burglaries (e.g. where a firearm or offensive weapon is involved) can be charged as “aggravated burglary” and their severity is reflected in the sentencing guidelines.

    Would you consider it possible to reach agreement on a definition of “aggravated rape” without, in any way, minimising the impact of rape upon the person who has been raped?

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