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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm having a hard time getting over what I read in HuffPo yesterday:

Rick Santorum: "Make the best out of a bad situation"

Rick Santorum is awful for a number of reasons, many of them excusable. (hey, he can't help being a TOTAL MORON.) But one thing I can't stomach is this culture of rape acceptance. It's maddening.

I used to be a rape acceptor. I used to be one of the people who thought:

"Of course you're going to get harassed with your tits hanging out!"
"If the guy was bothering you why didn't you just get up and leave?"
"Sure it's tough, but it's just a part of being a woman. You have to expect that kind of behavior from men."

I also made jokes about rape, laughed at jokes about rape, didn't think too much when I heard about rape. Then I realized I was nuts. I don't care how common sexual assault is. I don't care how short someone's skirt is, or how out her tits are hanging. We should never have reached a point at which we simply don't care that a person has been raped. I actually reached this epiphany one night when two of my closest friends jumped down my throat. I had been with a guy who used me for sex, never talked to me again, and left me with a nice little reminder of the occasion for which he never expressed concern. It was not assault/rape by any means, but the blame barrage that followed from these two friends was plain hurtful:

"He didn't even like you. I tried to tell you that."
"You knew what he was like and you still went after him."
"Maybe he never said anything because he was too ashamed. You should have confronted him first."

After that, I could only imagine how terrible I'd have felt had I been assaulted. What if I hadn't chosen it? What if it had been forced upon me, and I still had it thrown in my face? What if, on top of all that, I became pregnant and were forced to bear a child and potentially parent it?

What so many fail to realize is that rape hurts. It's frightening, it's disgusting, and makes you feel like a pile of shit. It can affect the rest of your life. Moreover, it is a crime. Remember that part? Nobody seems to care about this anymore. Why are people more upset about an aborted rape pregnancy than about the rape itself? Rape is fundamentally wrong, and before we can even have intelligent discussions about how to deal with rape pregnancies people like Santorum need to first get on board with the fact that something illegal happened. (Referring to the rape, of course. People also seem to forget that abortion is legal.)

While pondering this matter I discovered "Project Unbreakable". The brains behind P.U. is a young woman who wanted to provide a way for sexual assault victims to heal. That is, by using the words of their assailants to regain their strength after the event(s). Rick Santorum needs to see these. He needs to know exactly what happens to people during rape, the kinds of hateful words they endure. In any case it's a powerful movement and I encourage you all to have a look. You can even participate if you feel so inclined, and bless all your hearts for being in the right place.


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