Was It Still Rape If I Said Yes?

Was It Still Rape If I Said Yes?

We teeter on this thin gray line of what is rape and what isn't...and its hard.
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Rape, by definition, is a type of sexual assault that involves intercourse against or without the consent of another person.

By these concrete standards, it seems like rape is something that is painted in only black and white. However, these colors smear together and form a gray area that is unable to be fully distinguished. Is it mostly black? Or white? Or is it neither? I only thought about rape as being the act of being pinned down and forcibly penetrated by a criminal, having the tears stream down your face as they hold a gun to your temple. My naive nature has matured to show me that these rape incidents are not just from masked men in alleyways.

They are from fathers and mothers.

They are from boyfriends and girlfriends.

They are from best friends.

They are from brothers and sisters, classmates, teachers, tinder dates, team members, frat stars, youth group leaders, roommates, lovers, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

With the boisterous calls of survivors ringing out across the country, the urge to stay silent is diminishing and we begin to piece together the incidents of life. Rape is no longer defined as just intercourse without consent: it is intercourse with coercion, intercourse while intoxicated, intercourse with guilt, intercourse in exchange for power, intercourse without recollection.

With these new ideas, and that of the budding feminist idea of rape culture... we can't help but ask?

Was I raped?

These new ideas of non-consensual intercourse have people shouting rape from the hillsides. Now, I am not saying that these instances are not rape. That being said, what is rape for one person and consensual to another? How do people define this line, and how can we interpret it ourselves?

I personally will never admit to being raped, but with heavy reflection and consideration of these standards, I have been raped.

I have had boyfriends trick me into having sex when I was not ready.

I have had sex with people and not remembered the next day.

I have had sex where I cried and vomited from shame and disgust.

I have had sex not for pleasure, but for sheer boredom or pity.

I have had sex with people without protection... and my permission.

I have said yes to sex and not wanted to.

With all these considered, I would feel ashamed to say I am a survivor. Where does this leave the thousands of men and women who fall trapped in this gray space, hidden and silenced by the cries much louder than our own? We chose to stay quiet from shame, but can't speak up for fear of exclusion. How can we give ourselves closure, and reflect on events that have happened to us?

We go with our heart and say fuck these Wikipedia definitions.

If you feel like you were violated, then you were.

It doesn't matter what happened to another person: it's about your incident and how it affects your life, your growth, and your ability to move on. It took falling in love to realize this, and it will take the rest of my life to continue to fall in love with myself. But every day, I feel better, I feel whole, and you will too.

Cover Image Credit: Peter / Flickr

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12 Things Only Low-Maintenance Girls Understand

I promise we aren’t lazy, just easy going.
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Sometimes low-maintenance girls are looked at as lazy or sloppy. But in reality, I think low-maintenance girls are just so confident in who they are that putting in that extra effort isn't important to them.

Here are 12 things that only low-maintenance girls understand:

1. Leggings or sweat pants and a T-shirt is your normal everyday outfit

Why spend the day uncomfortable in some tight jeans or mini skirt when you can lounge around in some comfy clothes? We aren't here to impress anyone, we are just trying to sit back and chill.

2. Makeup is a special occasion

If you catch a low-maintenance girl with makeup on, take it as a compliment. We are trying to touch our face and rub our eyes as much as we'd like without makeup getting in the way. Not to mention, we wouldn't dare spend over $15 on some foundation.

3. We would rather stay in with a movie then go out for the evening

Something low-key and low stress always sounds better than spending the time, and the money, for a night out. I am perfectly content with taking advantage of my $7.99 monthly payment for Netflix.

4. You're always the first one ready

While your friends spend hours doing their hair, makeup and then finding the perfect outfit, you sit around and wait. Your 10 minutes thrown-together-look gives you time to nap while everyone else takes their sweet time.

5. When you say you "don't care what we do," you really don't care

Seriously, a date night off the McDonald's dollar menu is fine by me. I am not expecting you to wine and dine me on a big extravagant evening, I'm just trying to get a Big Mac in my mouth.

6. Your messy bun isn't a fashion statement, it's actually just your hairstyle

We aren't about to spend time curling or straightening our hair everyday. Every day is a good day to throw your hair up into a ponytail or bun.

7. The extent of your jewelry collection is one pair of earrings and maybe a necklace

Who needs more than one pair of earrings? Diamond studs match everything… right?

8. And your shoe collection is even smaller

Should I wear flip-flops or Converse?

9. Shopping isn't exactly your favorite thing to do

Who has patience for finding the perfect designer brands or finding the best fit? I am perfectly content with my T-shirts and leggings. One size fits all.

10. Your favorite gifts are the sentimental ones, not the expensive ones

A homemade card or a small gift that makes someone think of you is forever better and more meaningful than an expensive present. I don't want your money, I just want to know you thought of me.

11. You don't put in the effort to chase after a guy

I'm awesome and I know it. If a guy is worth it enough to be in my life, he can come after me. I am not down for any games or players. Just someone who embraces my low-maintenance qualities.

12. You are always the first person to help someone out

Giving your friends a ride or lending them two dollars isn't a huge deal. Just helping someone out gives you peace of mind. Everyone should have time to help a homie out.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.cosboots.com/sale/christmas/christmas.html

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As A Victim Of Sexual Abuse, Painting '#MeToo' On A WWII Statue Is Taking The Movement TOO Far

There is a line you should never cross and that is it.

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The famous picture of the sailor kissing a woman was taken right on V-J Day, when Japan surrendered to the U.S. in World War II. For decades it was seen as a representation of how excited and relieved everyone was at the end of the war.

The picture touched the hearts of thousands as you could feel the overwhelming amounts of joy that came from the snap of the camera. While the woman in the picture died back in 2016 due to a struggle with pneumonia, the sailor just recently died on Feb. 17, 2019 at the age of 95.

Most people saw it as both a heartbreak and heartwarming that the couple that was once photographed were now together.

Other people saw differently.

There is a statue made of the picture that resides in Sarasota, Florida. Police found early Tuesday morning of Feb. 19, two days after the sailor's death, that someone had spray-painted #MeToo on the statue's leg in bright red.

As a woman, I strongly encourage those who have been sexually assaulted/abused in any way shape or form, to voice themselves in the best way they can. To have the opportunity to voice what they went through without being afraid. As a woman who has also been a victim of sexual assault and has been quiet for many years...

This act of vandalism makes me sick.

While the woman that was kissed by the sailor was purely kissed on impulse, she had stated in an interview with 'The New York Times' that, "It wasn't a romantic event. It was just an event of 'thank God the war is over.'"

People were celebrating and, as a sailor, that man was so over the moon about the war being over that he found the nearest woman to celebrate with.

While I don't condone that situation, I understand both the reason behind it as well as the meaning behind the photo. I understand that, while it wasn't an intended kiss, it was a way of showcasing relief. To stick #MeToo on a statue of a representation of freedom is not the right way to bring awareness of sexual abuse.

It gives those the wrong idea of why the #MeToo movement was started. It started as a way for victims of sexual abuse to share their stories. To share with the world that they are not alone.

It helped me realize I wasn't alone.

But the movement, soon after it started, became a fad that turned wrong. People were using it in the wrong context and started using it negatively instead of as an outlet for women and men to share their horrific experiences of sexual assault.

That statue has been up for years. To wait until the sailor passed away was not only rude but entirely disrespectful. The family of that sailor is currently in mourning. On top of it, it's taking away from the meaning behind the photo/statue. World War II was one of the darkest, scariest events in — not just our American history — but the world's as well.

Sexual abuse is a touchy matter, I encourage everyone to stand up for what's right. But to vandalize a statue of one of the most relieving days in America's history is an act that was unnecessary and doesn't get the point of #MeToo across in the way it should. If anything, it's giving people a reason not to listen. To protest and bring attention to something, you want to gather the right attention.

This was not gathering the right attention.

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