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Kitsap Voice

How to know if you're a rapist

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Posted October 08, 2018 | Beth Wilson

The #MeToo movement should have given men a better idea of how pervasive sexual assault is in our society. Maybe it really was an eye-opener for a lot of them. What it did for me, and probably for hundreds of thousands (millions?) of other women, is show me that I'm not the only one. I willingly added my hashtag to the lists on social media, but I didn't say anything about my experiences. I didn't want to make them public.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's experience changed that for me, though, because I saw her courage, and I saw how other people reacted to her courage. I saw women standing up for her, and supporting her, and adding their stories to the discussion. And I saw men do everything they could to tear her and the rest of those women down.

Now, instead of feeling ashamed and anxious, I'm angry. Angry with the system that's allowing men to attack women and get away with it, and angry with the people who made me feel like anything that a man did to me was my fault, and something to be ashamed of. It turned around the narrative of my experiences in my head, and they kept spinning around and around until I finally had to write about one of them.

I'm not sharing my experience because I want attention or even an apology. I'm sharing it because I want everyone to recognize rape for what it is, and put the blame for it where it belongs, on the rapist. I want our society to finally recognize that this behavior is not acceptable, and treat it like the crime that it is.

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How to know if you’re a rapist

if you tell her like you like her, too, but she can’t tell anyone

            because she’s 15 and you’re 21

if you pressure her for sex and she says no

            even though she’s said yes to other guys

if you get up in the middle of the night

            and sneak into the family room where she’s sleeping

            on the fold-out couch next to your sister

            and you half wake her up, then carry her to your room

if she tries to hug you, thinking you want to snuggle

            but you push her away, take off her shorts,

            and lie down on top of her

if she squirms like she wants to get away from you

            but you pin her down and put your hand over her mouth

            and then you fuck her

You are a rapist.

But don’t worry about getting in trouble.

after you finish,

            if she grabs her clothes and hurries across the hall

            to the bathroom

            and you stand outside the door for a long time,

            but she doesn’t come out…

Relax. Go back to bed.

            She won’t tell anyone, because she knows

if they believe her, they’ll blame her

even if she gets up the nerve to say something 28 years later.

It still won’t affect you at all.

But if you’re reading this,

at least now you know.

You are a rapist.

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