Normalized…(Content Note – Rape)
The Guardian online this week (27.11.2013): "Sexual Coercion is becoming normalised, warns researcher..." http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/26/rise-women-coerced-into-sex-uk-survey-finds?CMP=twt_gu
I read, and re-read that sentence this afternoon - the thought that follows reading is always 'so does that mean there was a time when it *wasn't* normal'?
I forced to think about my first 'boyfriend' - I still use the term loosely. He was 15 years older than me, the son of friends of my parents. Maybe that is why I thought he would be safe. I wanted to be safe you see, I craved it, longed for it like a parched garden after too many hot days.
I had been abused as a child, by a group of people who lived locally. I had not even acknowledged that to anyone when I started going out with... well, let's call him Graham.
We had been going out for a couple of months. He had a car and he would take me to his house and we would sit with his Mum and younger sister watching the television. On Sundays we would go to some local football match. And that was it really.
But he was older, and could pick me up from work in his car, and he loved his Mum. It wasn't exciting, I didn't want exciting. I wanted to be safe.
It was a Thursday evening. I remember that. We had the house to ourselves, and he wanted.. well, he wanted.
I told him I wasn't sure. I told him, I'm not ready. He persisted. He told me not to be such a prude.
I wasn't ready.
Afterwards, as he was buttoning up his shirt, he said "There - that wasn't so bad, was it?"
I wasn't ready. But it was done. I couldn't undo it.
3 months later, he raped me for the first time. I know it was rape because I said no. But it didn't matter - not to him. The second time, he raped me with a wine bottle.
The last time, he put his hands over my nose and mouth and I couldn't breathe.
I suppose that Guardian headline is right - sexual coercion is becoming normalised.
But it was becoming normalised a long time ago.
(I would prefer for this to remain anonymous. Thank you for giving me the space to write this. You are doing work that is invaluable).
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In reality male sexual coercion against women and girls has always been normalised because it is central to men’s construction of male sexuality which is that women and girls only exist to be males’ disposable/interchangeable masturbatory objects.
However, because men are the ones continuing to define what supposedly constitutes ‘real sex’ this means male sexual coercion; male sexual aggression is accepted by males as natural male sexual behaviour not deliberate male sexual power enacted over women. Furthermore men created institutions and structures which reinforce mens’ lie that male (pseudo) sex right to females is sacrosanct! One example is how men have created rape laws and sexual assault crimes wherein it is always the female victim who is on trial never the male perpetrator(s). The male sexual predators’ viewpoint is accepted by male supremacist law as ‘the definitive truth’ which neatly erases womens’ and girls’ lived experiences of systemic male sexual coercion and enactment of male (pseudo) sex right to their bodies.
So this latest piece of research merely confirms what innumerable women and girls know and that is male (pseudo) sex right to female bodies is sacrosanct and only males are accorded right of sexual autonomy and ownership of their bodies.