Stop. Right now. And read this link. (http://therumpus.net/2011/03/the-careless-language-of-sexual-violence/)
How many times have you seen a news story like this floating around, one about sexual violence, or heard a news story on the radio or on TV, and just flipped past it, without paying attention to it? It might be well-intentioned--there are things so horrible you don't want to think about it. I'm not too proud to admit I've done it. I block it out. I try to pretend it doesn't exist. That eleven-year-old girls don't get gang-raped and then blamed for it.
That has to stop. Now.
I blame this on ignorance. Many people seem to come by it honestly--they really don't realize how pervasive rape culture is. We're an advanced society, right? We know rape is bad and awful and wrong. We accept it. So that must be it. It must not be important anymore. Fuck. That.
When I was 13, I was molested. And I never told anybody. This is the first public admission I've ever made. Why? Because I blamed myself. And because nothing I ever saw or heard ever encouraged me otherwise. Because as much as I heard "rape isn't your fault," why would I listen, when every other nonverbal message said the contrary? And let's talk about molestation for just a minute. Somehow, a brutal rape often carries less fault and more victimization than molestation. How many people have stayed silent, like me, for almost half their lives because of this idea?
I had the idea that I was going to post this big essay about rape culture, but I can't. I need to, because something needs to be said, but right now I am just...it is too much. Too. Much.
If you don't read that article, if you don't process it, if you don't take a hard look at how long you have tolerated rape culture, and if you are not upset enough to at least spread the message, please never speak to me again. And I am dead serious.