I’ve almost finished reading an article I found on the internet today, and I felt compelled to write something about it. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to write, but first up, I say thank you, and I urge other people coming to this blog to take a look at the article too. This is an article which on the face of it, is about a book for young adult readers, but it is about so much more than that.
As a person who has been up close and all too personal with sexual abuse, I can feel the shame of others who have been raped. The should haves, and could haves, and the would haves can tie us up into knots, and then nothing at all might happen to try to make anything at all better. I am certainly living a much better life now, a more ordered life, a safer life, and I feel safe and loved. I am grateful of this fact, but I am all too aware of how that could so easily go wrong.
If I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, then I could become a rape victim, again. And where could the wrong place, and when could the wrong time be? Well they could be anywhere, and any time. It could be the next time I go out at night by myself, or with others, it could be at home at night, in the morning, at lunchtime, in the afternoon. Every time I am out, I could become a victim of rape. And I could be a victim of rape in my own home too, any of us could, man, woman or child.
And of course the latter two, child or woman are the more vulnerable to attack, simply because they are weaker. But more than that, they are both sexualised and desired as objects, when we’re living in a society (in the western world) where being able to get what you want is what we are trained to believe in as our divine right. Well, not all of us feel like that, but certainly a large proportion of the those in society do.
I’m not pointing the finger at any particular group, you can do that yourself. Well I will point the finger, actually, because it’s obvious to me that it’s privileged people who most strongly believe they have the right to get all they desire, and the most privileged people in western world are of course white men. Not every white man is a rapist or even a potential rapist, but they are more often the perpetrators of this crime. And yes, men get raped too, but are more likely to be by another man, although sometimes by a woman. This is not something I know about personally, that is not what I know enough to write about.
And as soon as a woman stands up and says she was raped, many people, white people of either gender, will tut tut at what she was wearing, question her wisdom in being where she was, wherever she was, and for whatever reason she was there. The truth is, women should be where there want to be, and should be safe while they’re there doing whatever they want to be doing.
If I could do one thing in my life, I would like to say to all people who have been raped that it was not their fault, it was the fault of their rapist. Please dob’t ever believe you deserved this.