Archive for August, 2012

My Legitimate Rape

There were two incidents. The first was actually an attempted rape. I was 14, I think. We lived in Georgia and were preparing to move to Texas. My parents were both in the Navy Reserves and were in Atlanta for the weekend. My friends in the neighbourhood were dropping over frequently to commiserate with me over having to leave when the cute boy I was crushing on had finally started noticing me (my skin was the wrong colour–he preferred black girls, and no one at school could understand it or at least would admit to understanding it). The woman who was staying with us for the weekend was very ditzy. I was in my parents’ bedroom, changing the sheets on the bed, when one of my friends arrived. He came into the bedroom and was chatting me up. I don’t remember how it happened, but suddenly I was on my back on the bed and he was on top of me, pressing his lips hardly against mine, pressing his body against mine, attempting to pry open my legs. I remember finally getting the strength to shove him off, and ordered him to leave. He was ashamed. He let his emotions for me take over, and lost me as a friend because of it. My mother was a police officer, and I knew to call the cops. They came, and smirked at me because I was wearing a tank top and short shorts (please–it was in the 70’s), like they thought I was asking for it. After they left, I took a shower and scrubbed every inch of my body until it hurt. The case did go to trial, and if I recall correctly he was given community service. I could never look at him again. Even seeing him in the courtroom was painful. How had my friend turned into a predator?

My legitimate rape, where my rapist succeeded, got me when I was drunk. I might have even been high–I think I smoked pot definitely once, perhaps twice. I was 19, living on my own. I was lonely, scared, needy. He was a new neighbour–his family had just moved in next door and I, trying to be a friendly neighbour, took over a cake or some cookies or something to welcome them to the apartments. A few days later, when I was either drunk and/or high, he came over and started kissing me. I wasn’t prepared to have sex with him or anybody else, but he forced me, and I did not have control over my body. He was on top of me, there was a sharp pain, and he got dressed and left. I was just laying there, wondering what the hell had just happened, seeing the blood stain on my comforter. He took my virginity when he raped me.  I didn’t get pregnant, but it’s not because it was or wasn’t a legitimate rape. It was a rape. He hurt me. I couldn’t consent. I couldn’t fight against him. I don’t even remember his name, or what he looked like. I just remember that he hurt me.

Another man at that same apartment complex tried to rape me. Fortunately that night I hadn’t smoked any pot, and I don’t know if I’d even had any alcohol. It was the night before I was moving to live with my mother in another part of the state, and I’d asked if I could stay at their apartment that night. They were going to help me load my trailer in the morning. So I was on the sofa, almost asleep, when I felt a hand on my breast. I screamed, got up, grabbed my shoes and ran to my apartment and bolted the door. That man sat outside my door, knocking for literally two or three hours before he finally gave up and left. I couldn’t call the police because I didn’t have a phone. At 3 a.m., I threw whatever I could move by myself into the trailer, and abandoned everything else and left at 4 a.m. I didn’t trust him or anyone else at that point.

When people try to say that a situation wasn’t rape, or that it wasn’t legitimate, it’s like being raped again. Eve Ensler wrote a brilliant article on that issue in Huff Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-ensler/todd-akin-rape_b_1812930.html). Take a few minutes and read that. Sadly, the men and women who share opinions comparable to Mr. Akins probably will never read it, never understand why the things they are saying and doing are so terrible. I hope that they never have to deal with it in their own lives and families, but I do hope that somewhere along their journey they are able to develop compassion and understanding.

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I’m having a rocky time right now.

Back pain that is so bad I can hardly walk from my car to my desk, from my desk to my car, etc. The doctors just throw meds at it–steroid shot, muscle relaxers–and none of it helps. I’ve been getting massages. Not helping. I tried contacting a chiropractor near work today and didn’t get a call back. Gonna try another one tomorrow.

House crap. The bank won’t release the next draw until they get a copy of the scope from the adjuster for the insurance company (I thought they already had it). They also won’t release the next draw until Joe and I pay our portion, as the contract is for more than what the adjuster said. The insurance adjuster’s not returning my phone calls asking for a copy of the scope, because our copy is either in our current garage, our storage unit, or Clover’s garage, and I have no idea where. And I can’t exactly go through piles of boxes, because of the back pain (see above). I met our contractor after work and gave him a check for $5K. I don’t know how we’re going to be able to afford the replacement furniture we need, because between the public adjuster who soaked us for $13K in exchange for doing jack, the company who did the pack-out and inventory and didn’t even both delivering all of our furniture (e.g., they gave us our headboard and footboard, but not the side rails) for $21K, and then the lovely cleaners who charged something like $6K for cleaning not even a third of our clothing, we’ve given away almost all of the money the insurance company gave us for our contents. Anyway, our contractor told me today that they’ll be able to get the light fixtures and sinks and bathroom fixtures and door handles and etc. with the check I gave him today, and the countertops have come in and are beautiful. But we had to sign another 4-month lease with the apartments because we don’t have any idea when our house will be ready, and we had to move to another apartment because we’d overoptimistically given our 60 days’ written notice and we couldn’t stay in our old apartment because they’d already rented it, which means we had to pay new application fees and new deposits. And Emmylou’s already destroyed the carpet, and we haven’t even been here a week. We moved in Thursday. She behaved herself Friday (Joe’s out of town until tomorrow), and she was good this weekend while I was out. But when I got home from work today, I found poop on the carpet (not on any of the 4–count ’em, 4–pads I left out for the purpose), the mail that was in a wire basket to keep everything together had been shredded all over the floor, and the carpeting and carpet padding in front of our bedroom door has been torn to bits. I’d left the bedroom door closed, you see, because I’m currently sleeping on an air mattress and don’t want her to ruin that. Anyway, we’re out the deposit already, natch.

I’ve not gotten any of the promotions I’ve applied for. The last hiring manager, when he called to break the news, suggested that I seek lateral transfers, so I can learn more about the business by doing it instead of by testing it in compliance. I thought that was a good idea, so I’ve applied for 2 lateral transfers. Haven’t been called for interviews yet, so I don’t know what’s happening there. Jehara has kindly been sending me job postings where she works, and they look interesting, but I don’t have the experience they’re searching for. I know that I can sell myself with confidence, but right now between the physical pain and the frustration over the house and everything else, my confidence isn’t there. I got a journal yesterday to start recording affirmations, and trying to get myself into a place of power as opposed to a place of fear and pain. It’ll take a while, but I know I can get there.

And then there’s this moron:

If you don’t like ugly language, please skip the rest of this post. Todd Akin is a dumbass motherfucker. He has it on the best scientific authority that pregnancies are seldom a result of legitimate rape.

I’ll pause, and let that sink in.

When I was a kid, we had a neighbour. I don’t remember her name. I only remember that she insisted we kids call her by her first name, but I grew up in Georgia in the 60’s, and kids didn’t call adults by their first names or we’d get a whupping by our parents. So I compromised. I called her Miz Whatever when Mom was around, and by her first name when she wasn’t. Anyway, I remember this woman being pregnant, and her husband was not happy about it. I didn’t know the family dynamics or anything. I just thought it was cool that she was going to have a baby. My mom told me later that this woman had been raped, and the pregnancy was the result of a rape. If I recall correctly, she didn’t report it to anyone because she was afraid, and her husband had had a vasectomy so he knew he wasn’t the father, and it was a lot of unpleasantness for all concerned. But according to Akin, since she got pregnant, it apparently wasn’t a legitimate rape. This woman would disagree.

I was raped once. It was a date rape type thing; I was drunk, and in no condition to give my consent. It hurt. It was embarrassing. I felt totally shamed and degraded. I didn’t realise it was rape at the time. I’m not sure that the concept of date rape existed then, the way it does now, or perhaps I’d have realised it sooner. I didn’t get pregnant. Does that mean that my rape was legitimate?

It doesn’t fucking matter. Rape is rape is rape is rape is rape. If a woman cannot and does not give consent, it’s rape. If she is drunk or high or otherwise impaired, and if she would not normally give her consent, even if she doesn’t fight against it, it’s still rape. Even a married man or woman can rape his or her spouse. Rape happens in marriages as well as out of marriages. Prostitutes–there’s an old joke about what charge to file against a person who raped a prostitute–rape, or theft of services. That’s not funny. Yes, it’s possible to rape a prostitute. If you’re reading my blog, you already know how I feel about things, and you’re probably well educated. But if you want to know more, you need to check out STFU Rape Culture. They say it a lot more eloquently and decisively than I feel like I can right now.

While I’m not a Republican anymore, and have turned into quite the liberal, I am not naive enough to think that Akin’s idiocy is reflective of the Republican party in general. While a few have spoken out in his defense, overall I get the impression that the GOP is distancing themselves from him, as they rightfully should.

But Science Committee? You need to get rid of this moron.

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