We need to talk about rape

 I was talking with a friend of mine a few days ago, a guy friend, about a plan he was devising to create a dating app similar to Tinder. He wanted to build an app with solutions to the prominent issues that the current online, match making site had.

“The biggest problem for girls is they don’t want to be raped or roofied, and the biggest problem with guys is they don’t want to be catfished. So…. to fix the guys’ problem….”

I didn’t let him finish that thought before I interjected with “Oh, so don’t fix the fact that women are being raped by participating in online dating?”

“Yeah I mean, that’s just too difficult to do,” he responded.

Is it too difficult to keep men from luring women in through dating apps and websites to rape them? I don’t want to compromise the integrity of a friend of mine, because it isn’t particularly his fault to think this way. Society has made rape and sexual assault a taboo topic.  It’s “embarrassing” or “inappropriate” for women to have discussions on their experience with rape. It’s unsettling to feel like there’s no answer to sexual abuse for the fact that men, quite frankly, don’t want try to find an answer.

So, let’s talk about it.

Recently performing artist, Kesha, has been in the public eye dealing with her court case to get out of her contract with Sony. The case was brought on over the ordeal of her claims that producer, Dr. Luke, had sexually and physically abused her. She didn’t even want to get out of working with Sony altogether, but simply asked to record an album without interference from Dr. Luke and Kemosabe. Yet in her case, the judge ruled against her. Another instance where a woman’s claim of sexual assault is dismissed, where her words weren’t enough proof.

In a study done by the Department of Justice  on Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization of College-Age Females, 80% of students and 67% of non-students surveyed didn’t bother to report cases of sexual assault to police. Reasons for not reporting a case included believing the “police couldn’t do anything to help” or “fear of reprisal.” I read these statistics and try to wrap my mind around a man in fear of reporting any crime committed by a woman because he was scared of retaliation. Would that even happen? Why would women feel comfortable making their case for sexual assault when high profile cases like Kesha’s are clearly dismissed?

 Kesha isn’t the only one undermined by sexual violence in the work place. From personal experience, even from the age of 17, I’ve had cases where male managers have said crude things to me in person, via text, etc. I was put in situations  where I could playfully brush it off or lose my job. Sometimes I wonder, what would have happened if I would have spoken out? When the result is typically a scenario like Kesha’s, where NOTHING was done, where she is expected to play nice or see her career crumble, it makes it very difficult to believe that anything beneficial would have come from it.

What is it going to take?

We, women, need to come forward and talk about rape.  We need to make people uncomfortable, like we have felt. 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, and who knows how many unreported numbers could be factored into that statistic. Our voices are a lot louder than they were decades ago. We have power to make it known that we are not the perpetrator’s of rape, we “don’t ask for it,” and we deserve our cases to be taken seriously.

We need to work to get to a point in society where fear of being raped isn’t “too difficult” of a scenario to solve in dating apps, or any case, period.

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One thought on “We need to talk about rape

  1. I was talking about this last night and the biggest issue isn’t whether rape is real or not, because it is real and happens to all people: men, women and children. The real issue, especially dealing with Ke$ha, is what is “rape”. The definition of rape gets really fuzzy in instances where both parties are heavily drugged and alcohol-ed up. Later, sober, the original party is applaud that the other party would take their words and actions as consent, knowing they were under the influence of drugs and alcohol. So now we have to go back to the original of the meeting and once a person is drunk/on drugs we should stop contact because even though they said “yes”, they weren’t in a coherent state? It’s really complicated to figure out what, besides the obvious norm, is rape. A girl wearing a short skirt with her tits out on the dance floor and walking home alone shouldn’t ever have to worry about being raped. However if that same girl meets a dude, goes back to his place, gets naked, does things her sober mind is going to regret because she was so messed up out of her head – welllll I’m not so sure she doesn’t take responsibility for her actions and stop claiming it was rape. We’ve all woken up with nights we’re horrified to replay. But if I’m in a sexual situation that I consented to and wake up regretting it/wanting to stop in the middle (and the other party stops) I really have no one to blame but myself. I feel like we’ve gotten to a comfortable place of pointing fingers instead of taking responsibility for our actions. I don’t know Ke$ha’s situation personally, but as I understand from multiple media sources there were plenty of years that she was drugged/drunk out of her head. I know of plenty of other people who are using sexual assault as a result of their horrible decision making. Then is comes to the other fuzzy line “when are they drunk or just too drunk” to consent? You make valid points, I’m just not so sure Ke$ha isn’t upset because she partied it up with her manager and now wants to go her own way and is calling multiple consensual sexual acts “rape” because in her sober mind she regrets it? Of all those allegations of rape and being force drugged, there are no tests to prove that. Word of mouth is not only unfair (to both parties), but it’s really hard to prove. Hopefully this inspires more people to speak up, get tested, have proof. I’m not saying the manager isn’t a complete dick and ignoring her strive for “fame” – but I personally think there’s way more to the story then he raped her, especially after she denied the facts on the stand in a 2011 case.

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