rowanf: (cat - can you hear me?)
[personal profile] rowanf
Toward the end of May, after Isla Vista (which felt very close to home since E&R live there and I've visited often) and in the depth of the #yesallwomen meme, I was really triggered and sat down (in the middle of the night) and wrote out a lot about my own sexual history (basically puberty to meeting Russell). I am a #yesallwomen statistic, a few times over.

To be more explicit - three rapes, a couple of assaults, harrasment (lost a job), indecent exposures - the usual kinds of things a woman faces.

It was interesting to write about my age 11 rape because I had never put together in my head that one of the reasons I didn't tell anyone was because a friend of mine had had consensual sex with one of the stable hands and been sent to reform school. Given how little use there was reporting a later rape, I can't say I'm sorry I kept it to myself even at eleven.

I grew up before the craziness of modern rape culture, with date rape drugs and even more dehumanisation of women than we faced. Men thought we were lesser, were childlike compared to them (men & girls), but I do think most of them considered us the same species. Reading the comments and the What about the Menz!? comments on threads where women were discussing their pain or even in places I'd expect to be more neutral (like the Southern Poverty Law Center's article on Isla Vista) made me crazy.

And yet, sitting down and writing out my history was therapeutic. Yes, I have had some horrible experiences, but I also had some no-so-good ones, some good ones, and some great ones. And the older I've gotten the more wonderful and amazing my sex/love/relationship life has become. I am privileged to have the life I lead.

I admit I kinda keep getting re-triggered by things. Like the George Will column wherein he says women claim victimhood to gain "coveted status". (I do appreciate Dianne Feinstein and others writing to the WaPo) Or the fact that two of the women in my URI network was assaulted on a bus -- by the bus driver -- in India last week (they survived, one with two broken fingers). It seems that not a day goes by that sexual assault isn't a big topic in my world.

This is kind of rambling but it has been really up for me. Though I admit reading #survivorprivilege and #yesallwomen articles keeps it that way.
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