That’s what it feels like when I want to respond to some of the comments I read online on rape.

This morning, my husband and I were talking about the negativity that most people seem to be drowning in and we agreed that as a creative, it’s very difficult to create if you allow yourself to continually wallow in all that mess.

Does that mean ignore it? No. It means if you can’t say nothing good, don’t say nothing at all.

If you are not offering a solution or comfort, then be quiet. So I prefer to be quiet. I have my work. I have my family. Life is good. God has been faithful.

But I cannot keep quiet about this. So I hope I can somehow communicate to you that…

NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED.

She wore a mini skirt.

NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED.

She shouldn’t have gone to that party.

NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED.

She shouldn’t have gone there by herself.

NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED.

She should have had a guy with her.

NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED.

She is a runs girl/prostitute/stripper.

NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED.

To say, any of the above shows that you are ignorant, smug and self righteous.

At my University, girls were raped by their neighbours/friends/study partners – explain to me how they asked for it?

At my University, girls were raped for going out on a date – ???

Girls were raped for saying no to a date – ???

Girls were raped at parties – ???

Girls were raped in their dorms/rooms/hostels – ???

Girls were raped on their way to/from class – ???

Girls were raped on their way to/from Church/Fellowship/Prayer Meeting – ???

Girls were raped during riots by fellow students and security personnel – ???

The list goes on ad infinitum ad nauseum.

To try to defend any of it, is to reduce even more the safe places where women can simply be.

I wish I could explain what it feels like to be constantly afraid that you have caught the wrong person’s eye by being too happy, or too much of a loner, by being too stupid or too brainy, by being too friendly or being completely unfriendly, by attending all the parties or by avoiding all the parties.

I wish I could explain what it feels like to pray as you walk home, terrified, from class after studying every night.

I wish I could explain what it feels like to pack your bags and run away from your room after only one week into the semester.

I wish I could explain what it feels like to be afraid to allow guys know where you live because if they know, they will come for you, right?

There is no criteria that makes it alright.

THERE IS NO CRITERIA THAT MAKES IT ALRIGHT.

If you must defend this barbarism, EVEN AS A JOKE, then you have declared war on women.  You are saying that to live in fear is the way we should live our lives because men…

Also, to my brothers, fathers, friends, do you really accept that you are this feeble minded? Do you really accept that your control is not within you? Do you not see how you are giving away your power? Masculinity is not toxic or predatory. DO NOT ACCEPT THIS LIE. You are bigger, better, stronger than your urges. Your brain is not broken. And if alcohol or drugs break your brain, then it’s time to take ownership of yourself and stay clean.

If you are a woman, spouting any of this nonsense, then I ask you to look at your life critically and ask how this fear and self loathing has caused you to reduce the number of safe spaces where you can simply be.

I ask you to be careful with the “She should haves…” Self righteousness is pitiful armour when the monsters come.

 

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