There have been many conversations sparked recently by assault and honestly? I find it exhausting.
Don’t mistake me – survivors’ stories, especially high-profile survivors of multiple genders, are incredibly important. It is the public reaction that tires me.
“But she got in the film, so she traded her integrity for her career. I don’t feel bad for her.” and “but he’s a huge, buff guy. There’s no way.” and “I don’t see what the big deal is. All men in power are like that, they should’ve known better.”
You know what fucking sucks about assault and rape culture? If we speak out against it, if we explain our experiences, then we’re told we
1) should’ve said something sooner.
2) asked for it.
3) can’t possibly mind the attention.
4) are lying.
But if we don’t say anything for a long time because we’re afraid – of the repercussions, of the blame, of opening the floor for everyone to comment on one of life’s darkest experiences – then nothing changes.
There is no winning. Where do we go from here?
I’ll tell you where I’m going. I’m writing for other survivors, through and through. I’m not writing to convince anyone of what’s happened. I fucking know what happened. Your boyfriend, your brother, your sister, your son, your daughters – every hand that’s ever laid on me without my explicit consent? They know what happened. And I’ve already learned that it’s a lot easier to be angry at the woman who tells you she’s been assaulted than it is to be angry at the assailant – especially when it’s someone you love.
I get it. No one wants to believe they’re getting in bed with a monster. But that doesn’t mean I won’t raise the alarms – that doesn’t mean I won’t draw explicit, angry boundaries to ensure my safety.