An Open Reaction Letter To "I Didn't Know I Raped My Boyfriend"

An Open Reaction Letter To "I Didn't Know I Raped My Boyfriend"

I am survivor, I have lived through the very thing you so casually admitted to doing online for the whole world to see.
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Sexual assault does not discriminate. Rapists do not care what the color of your skin is, how tall you are, how old you are, or if you are male, female, underage or elderly--and the rapist will mostly not care if you are in a committed relationship with them. Sexual assault is a prevalent problem not only in the US, but around the globe. Sex crimes are rising and it is only now, in 2017, that people are becoming more aware of it. Consent and “No means No” has become something we are learning the true complexity of--but is it truly complex?

I’ve always stuck to the rule, “Stop” means “Stop”. That “No” means “No.” I can say no and change my mind--I can change my mind after saying no, change it again and say “NO” again. That’s consent. Without a clear, concise “Yes” there is no consent.

So, to the young woman who posted an article stating, “I Raped My Boyfriend and I Didn’t Know It", I am officially calling you out.

You stated multiple times in your own account of events that what you did, as you did it, you were aware that it was wrong. Yet you continued. You confessed to pressuring your partner into sex--which is called “coercion”. That does not equal consent.

You stated because in previous conversations you had with him he expressed his interest in having sex with you. You then went on to say since you were together, you saw no problem going into a room where he was sleeping, and going on to “fuck” him--while he was asleep, responding--but still asleep. That was rape. When he woke up and tried to fight you off, and asked you to stop and repeatedly told you no, you coerced him into letting you finish raping him. You didn’t fuck him. You raped him.

I have rarely said this aloud, and in the times I have I could barely stand to continue with the conversation: But, while I was in a committed relationship with a male partner whom I had regular sexual intercourse with, we were beginning to instigate sex. My best friend called, and I tried to tell her it wasn’t a good time--but everything changed. She needed me, and conveniently lived down the street. When I heard her crying, telling me it would be okay and hung up--I told my partner I couldn’t continue, and I had to go. He dismissed it, tried to get me to see that my Best Friend was a grown up, and could handle things on her own. But he never really cared to know about how things between me and my lifelong best friend worked. He didn’t know as much about me and my friends and family as I knew about him.

I told him I had to go, and it wouldn’t take long--worst case, he could grab some food from the kitchen and we could have our little rendezvous later in the evening. But he wouldn’t listen. I kept saying no as he pulled off my pants and continued to initiate sex, but because I had conditioned myself not to scream in situations where I was being harmed--from a lifetime of abuse--I had conditioned myself to laugh instead. So while I said no and kicked at him, he saw me being playful. I am naturally a playful, cheery and laid back person. I tease and taunt and enjoy cracking jokes. And boy, I love laughing. But I gave in, because 1) He was stronger than me 2) I was in love with him 3) I didn’t want to lose him, and 4) Because the sooner he finished, the sooner I could yell at him, tell him to leave and go help my best friend.

The moral of the story is: You don’t write an article confessing to a crime and make yourself the victim, claiming you didn’t know what you were doing. You yourself claimed to have taken multiple classes on consent, sexual assault and healthy relationships--you knew what you were doing, you knew you didn’t have his consent, and you did it anyways.

My ex, he knew I had been abused, and he knew when I said “No” I meant “NO”. But because of years of abuse and conditioning myself to laugh instead of scream so I could avoid further injury or damage, he went with it. He thought, “She’s mine to fuck whenever I want. She is always up to fuck. Her best friend can wait. She’s laughing, she’s play fighting. Her no isn’t real--she’s being a tease.”

I wasn’t being a tease. I was withdrawing consent. He raped me. I can barely type it, say it or even think it. Because despite the fact he didn’t love me as I loved him, despite the fact he didn’t respect me at all, despite the fact our relationship wasn’t what it was meant to be--I can’t bear the weight that will be put on my heart and my soul to admit that someone I trusted, someone I loved, could do something so careless, and that I allowed it.

I am a victim--no--I am a survivor of sexual abuse and sexual assault. Childhood, Adolescence, and Spousal abuse/assault. All of it. It has, unfortunately, plagued my existence.

So what I will say to you now is fuck you, and I pray that you see the horror of your ways, the damage you have permanently inflicted and I pray that this never, ever happens to you. Because, if it happened to you, it would be a different article, a different conversation, and yet, it would still be disgusting, and horrible to have to think about.

Do us and everyone a favor--turn yourself in. You have an online confession, so just follow through and go to the authorities. Allow your ex, your victim, to heal. And please, never assume you have consent again.

Sincerely,

A survivor.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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'The Farewell' Brings An Asian-American Narrative To Hollywood

I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.

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The trailer for Lulu Wang's "The Farewell" was recently released. The film, based on Wang's own experience, stars Awkwafina as Billi, a Chinese-American woman who travels to China after learning her grandmother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. "The Farewell" initially debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in January, and currently holds a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Farewell" is an exciting film for members of the Asian-American community, as it encompasses many of our own experiences in having family overseas. Having this Asian-American narrative portrayed in Hollywood is especially groundbreaking and important to the community. "Crazy Rich Asians" has received much well-deserved acclaim for its leap in Asian representation, but the film did not necessarily depict a completely relatable experience and was only one story out of many in the Asian-American community. There were aspects of the characters' cultures that allowed the Asian-American audience to connect with much of the film, but the upper-class narrative wasn't quite as accessible to everyone.

While "Crazy Rich Asians" portrays Asians in a way that is very much uncommon in Hollywood and American media in general and had a hand in helping to break stereotypes, "The Farewell" introduces a nearly universal first-generation American or immigrant narrative to Hollywood. In doing so, the film allows many members of the Asian-American community to truly see their own experiences and their own stories on the screen.

For me, the trailer alone was enough to make me tear up, and I've seen many other Asian Americans share a similar experience in seeing the trailer. The film reminds us of our own families, whether it's our grandparents or any other family living overseas. I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.

"The Farewell," which is scheduled for release on July 12, 2019, depicts a family dynamic in the Asian-American experience that hits home for many, including myself. The initial critical response, especially towards Awkwafina's performance, is certainly promising and will hopefully motivate more Asian-American and other minority filmmakers to bring their own stories to Hollywood.

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