I Looked At A Rapist In The Mirror And Saw Him Smiling Back.

By Hari Ziyad

*This piece has been published with permission of the referenced ex-partner. Other relationships may have been slightly altered to protect specific identities.*

The first time I was sexually assaulted I must have been 9 or 10 years old.

I was violated by two family friends who were brothers and who would have been about 14 and 15.

Or maybe that was the second time.

The first time might have been by an older female cousin around the same time. She pressured me to go into a closet and make out with her. I think we may have done more, but I don’t like to think about that.

I didn’t object to any of these interactions. I was too young for that to matter, of course, but it was difficult for me to make sense of the fact that I consented without having the agency to do so, thus I had a hard time using the words “sexual assault” to describe what happened to me for the longest time.

I don’t like to, but I still think about those events constantly. They affect me. I am different because of them, and sexual assault is exactly what they were.

In high school, the boys played a game called “nut check” in which they’d go around and grab or hit each other in the groin area. I have no idea who or what started this – the devil, probably – but it was routine.

It was also sexual assault.

I can’t remember the first time I sexually assaulted someone else. I recall clearly that, as a teenage boy, I touched people – boys and girls – without their permission. I never played the nut check game, though, that would have been too close to admitting I was queer, but I did ignore consent. I thought I was just making jokes, of course, and I didn’t mean anything by it. The victims would generally slap me away and shrug it off. They shouldn’t have. It was sexual assault.

I don’t like to think about that either.

It’s not uncommon for me to go out to clubs and be touched by people I did not invite to touch me. I’ve been in situations where I have had to say “no” multiple times before the person stopped trying to force me into some sexual act. Perhaps it’s just me, because I rarely hear anyone else talking about it, but sexual assault is a horrifyingly normative experience.

Or at least I don’t hear anyone else naming it as sexual assault.

Two nights ago, a friend laughed with me about how he brought a boy home in whom he had realized he had no interest before they left the venue where they met, but because they had already decided to go home together, he felt compelled to follow through. They fell asleep and my friend woke up naked.

He laughed about how awful the boy was. This was sexual assault, I told him, but he didn’t want to think about it.

And the people who assault don’t want to think about it. And most people who have been sexually assaulted don’t want to think about it. So no one thinks about it.

Even though 1 in 5 women in the U.S. report being a victim of rape or attempted rape.

The last time I assaulted someone was a few years ago. He was my boyfriend at the time, and a friend now. Before I wrote this, I asked him if he thinks what happened was assault. He says no, we were both drunk, it didn’t go far, I stopped when he told me to etc. etc. etc., but it was. I was drunk, but not as drunk as he, and he could not consent to me putting my hands on him.

Maybe I didn’t know how drunk he was.

Maybe he told me earlier in the night what he wanted.

Maybe I didn’t mean to hurt him.

None of that matters. It was sexual assault. I told him that I know he doesn’t feel that way, but, by definition, it was an assault. He shrugs and asks me what I’m doing tonight.

He doesn’t want to think about it, either.

Sexual assault happens. We have to talk about it. We have to own up to it.

I don’t think we yet have the language to discuss the sexually violent things we do and experience. It is so normative and yet so terrifying that it’s almost as if addressing mere reality makes us all demons, and no one wants to be a demon.

We all have demons, though. Who is going to tame them if we pretend as though we can’t see them? As if we don’t feel them scratching at our bones from the inside, trying to find a way out? As if we haven’t seen them burst through? As if we haven’t been attacked by them?

I don’t know if what I did makes me a monster. Maybe it’s not that simple. I was a monster in the moment, for sure, and a monster as long as I didn’t admit to what happened. Maybe I’m still a monster. More importantly for me, though, is the acknowledgment that there is a monster in me somewhere, full of a violent demand to own what isn’t his to own and to claim bodies that don’t belong to him. He has gone unchallenged throughout his formative years when he should have been learning about consent instead of the positions people shouldn’t place themselves or the clothes they shouldn’t wear to avoid violation. He has been bred and groomed by a patriarchal system that says whatever he does is okay. That says don’t think about it. That says it isn’t wrong. And if it is wrong, it’s only so if you admit to it.

When the news of Bill Cosby’s admission broke, I went into Cosby-defender-shaming overdrive. Why must we wait until an abuser admits abuse before we accept that it’s abuse?

But the answer is simple: if we don’t wait for admission before an act becomes a violation, so many more of us are implicated. If what I did was wrong before I admitted it, then that would make me a monster. And I was.

I was tearing into Cosby defenders, but I was really tearing myself apart. I had to. I want that demon annihilated and it is still in here – in me. It was in those two boys when I was 9, too, and in my cousin, and in those high school boys grabbing each other’s dicks.

It might be in you.

I’m not writing this to say that because assault is routine and some of us have done it that it is okay. I’m not writing this to say assault is normal so we have to accept it as a natural way of life. I write this piece with more trepidation than I have ever had in writing anything because I know the monstrosity that is sexual violation. I know that I’m putting the monster inside of me on display and I may never be able to tuck him out of sight again. I know that he might be all you see when you look at me from now on.

But we can’t fix a system that we perpetuate without fixing ourselves, and we can’t fix ourselves until we admit that we need fixing.

I have never raped, but I have looked at a rapist in the mirror and have seen him smiling back. Right now, I’m more terrified of him than Cosby.

If Cosby is a rapist, I’m a potential rapist, too. If his defenders reinforce the idea that rape is acceptable, those of us who have attacked others and go about living as if we did nothing wrong reinforce the idea as well. If Cosby is a monster, I’m nothing more than a monster in remission.

And I don’t want to think about that, but I have to.

Hari Ziyad is a Brooklyn-based storyteller and the Editor-in-Chief of RaceBaitR. Their work has been featured on Gawker, Out, Ebony, Mic, The Guardian, Colorlines, Paste Magazine, Black Girl Dangerous, Young Colored and Angry, The Feminist Wire and The Each Other Project. They are also an assistant editor for Vinyl Poetry & Prose and contributing writer for Everyday Feminism.

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  1. “…it was difficult for me to make sense of the fact that I consented without having the agency to do so, thus I had a hard time using the words “sexual assault” to describe what happened to me for the longest time.”

    Sounds familiar. My rapist was my first partner and I’m still unclear of what happened, over a decade later I still struggle to really acknowledge was rape – it was (but…). I always thought I’d talk to him about it one day to make him aware or see how aware he was of what he did, but he died so I’m stuck still trying to figure it out by myself.

    [I’m a white cis woman] In school I grabbed a boys genitals in the hall, it was a result of being taught sexual aggression showed power – when I was otherwise powerless – he responded absolutely correctly, scolded me and very firmly told me not to ever do that again. I shrugged it off and laughed, but I took the message on board and I thank him for that…not many people his age could have been so vocal and bold in putting me in my place.

    Fast forward to my thirties and I realize I may have raped someone ten years ago – [she consents to my sharing this] – the person in question assures me I didn’t rape her, in fact she insists that she consented and I was showing love so it wasn’t rape, but I still know I did wrong. I had sex with her trying to show her love, but after sex she’d fall into a PTSD type state. What I didn’t know at the time was that she was a trans woman still living as a man so had a complicated relationship with her genitals, she was forcing herself to have sex with me to try to be ‘manly’. I should have recognized that her ‘consent’ with me was like my ‘consent’ with my first partner, she was forcing herself, my experience of rape should have made me able to spot it…I couldn’t at the time.

    Rapists aren’t the monsters we recognize as evil things hiding in bushes to violently assault people in the dark, rapists can be people who are known to be nice and respectable people…and rapists can be normal people who are completely unaware of what it is they have done because we’re told only monsters rape.

    • Thank you for sharing your truth. This is necessary.

    • First, I identify as Black Genderqueer.

      Reading this along with your comment has spoken to the fear I’ve tried to supposed that I’ve indeed experienced a sexual assault of my own in a previous relationship. Forced consent that usually resulted in regret, anger, sadness and reclusion on a regular basis. I hated myself bc I felt like your trans friend; I wasn’t comfortable with my genitalia but also didn’t want to face the rejection of my partner. My “no” wasn’t respected much, but I believed it not be a big deal. I thought it was just sex, but I was extremely wrong and I hated and still do hate myself for it. I’m unsure of what to do now with this new information. Perhaps I’ll just absorb it and all the emotions that come with it. Maybe I’ll reason again why it’s not sexual assault and convince myself I’m overreacting. I just felt compelled to comment because this entry and comment spoke inwardly to me. Thank you for sharing and opening the conversation.

  2. Reblogged this on Shauna Aura Knight and commented:
    Intense, and perhaps difficult to read, but this articulates so well what is meant by “rape culture.” We live in an ambient, unseen culture of sexual assault, and until we look at it in the mirror, look at these behaviors, look ourselves in the eye, we cannot move beyond this culture.

  3. Reblogged this on anomalouslady and commented:
     Why must we wait until an abuser admits abuse before we accept that it’s abuse?

  4. Reblogged this on oddity in motion and commented:
    I think this is one of the most important blog posts I have read this year.

  5. Certainly gives perspective. Thank you.

  6. This was interesting and informative.

  7. This should sit with us everyday.
    A real eye opener. Thank you

    Make it

    Akwasi, tyablogger, thetyablog.com

  8. Reblogged this on theaatef and commented:
    I understand

  9. Raw truth is always terrifying. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Interesting perspective

  11. Why must we wait until an abuser admits abuse before we accept that it’s abuse?

    Even when an abuser admits abuse, it’s excused, further blamed on the victim or society, on and on, so I’m not sure what the answer is, or if there even is one. Like you, like your friend, like Kay’s friend (above), like anyone any of us who have been forced or may have forced, we would all do well to accept their/our admission, admit they/we did wrong, and work to understand the dynamics of the situation so it doesn’t happen again. That’s really what apology boils down: admitting wrong and working to avoid repeating the wrong.

  12. This was a very good read and very insightful. I feel that rape culture is a huge issue that nobody truly understands but I think if they read this they’d get an insight and have a different perspective about it.

  13. Reblogged this on typicteen and commented:
    The truth unscripted

  14. Reblogged this on dailyreflectionswithjohnny and commented:
    This is such a great piece. Please read

  15. What a nuanced look at how our society views sexual aggression and assault. This was a really fascinating read!

  16. This is incredibly powerful. Thank you for sharing. I wish this could be a more open topic among both men and women.

  17. I find this incredibly powerful and honest. As a two-time victim of rape, I certainly found later sexual interactions to be laced with the strange and heady fragrances of anger and possession.
    I do not see my rapists as monsters. I see them as people, just like me, who experienced the same brokenness in the world that I did. I see the sexual world as one riddled with difficult patterns and repressions. I also firmly believe that everyone, even my rapists, are doing the best they can in every moment with what they have. Sometimes this means that you have very little to work with besides hurt, paranoia, anger, and confusion. Sometimes this means you have a lot of ingrained reactivity and not a lot of space in your head for pausing before acting.
    I find this topic highly engaging, and I hope to also include a post that addresses this concept on my blog.
    Thank you for your openness and for your story.

    • Liz,
      I just wanted to say how much I respect and admire what you said about your rapists not being monsters but as people who have experienced brokenness in the world. Also the statement about others doing the best they can in every moment with what they have. I strive to live that belief as well. It’s difficult at times but it makes such sense. We are all imperfect. Thanks for your inspiring and encouraging comments.

      • Thank you so much for your reply. We are all in the same experience together. I am so honored to know that you are part of this perplexing, beautiful world. Take the very best care of yourself. You deserve it.

    • But of course rapists are monsters and are a small percentage of men. Not sure why you need to dignify people who transgress in this way. Would you offer the same understanding to someone who just beat you up instead?

      • Yes, I would, and I have.

      • Let me further explain. Understanding the brokenness of the human condition does not condone this behavior. I do not support the perpetuation of violence. However, I do believe all beings deserve the right to human dignity, regardless of their transgressions. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel blinding rage, work diligently to come up with solutions to protect victims and stop the cycle, or excuse or pardon any act that continues the cycle of human suffering. This just means I am able to see its roots and have compassion, which enables me to see more clearly in order to fight it.

    • Liz, thanks for the thoughtful reply and it makes clear to me where we differ. You see, human nature is immutable and completely immune to your desire to “stop the cycle” because there is no cycle, this isn’t about misogyny or patriarchy or male sexuality – it’s about one man’s issues. Some people will always transgress our norms – there is nothing we can do about it other than to protect ourselves and then remove such people from society. The idea that you can rehabilitate violent predators has been shown to fail utterly – it was tried for a very long time.

      Now let’s be clear about the nature of rape. Valid and reliable studies on the subject (most feminist propaganda studies on rape have neither validity nor reliability – a technical statistical term) show this. Some small pct of men 3-5% commit the vast majority of rapes. It’s not a coincidence that this is also the percentage of men who are violent criminals as well. They are transgressive, violent and unrepentant and will always exist – there is nothing to be done other than to lock them up. Studies of such men finds that they are often responsible for vast amounts of assaults and rapes, numbering into the hundreds over the course of their lives.

      These same studies show another class of man who mostly had one forced sexual encounter with a friendly girl, a date rape kind of thing. While still horrifying and inexcusable, men who do this report real regret and can mend there ways and for the most part don’t repeat.. This still isn’t the majority of men. Such men aren’t irredeemable and accordingly, I do agree that they should be punished with an eye towards rehabilitation and perhaps even some therapy. It’s usually young men, fyi, who run out of control. Don’t get me wrong – this is not something I excuse or even understand, but it’s utterly different than the sexual predator type. But still, do we think we can eliminate this? Such men have grown up in a culture that shames rape for their entire lives and still do this. I think they know what they are doing but just don’t care during the act. They do report regret and not repeating though, which makes sense for this category of assailant who has a conscience of some sort.

      The rate of rapes in the U.S. has been dropping for 25 years and this is likely due to three strikes laws and longer prison terms for violent offenders in general. By getting the serial predators out of the population we improve our society dramatically. But in the big picture, we do not have a rape culture nor are women under siege. Yes, rape happens, and will continue to occur, but just as we never are going to stop murder or theft, some people will always choose to be transgressive. There is also a growing body of evidence that many of these serial predators have biology that drives this which can’t be overcome yet. Perhaps some day we’ll be able to alter the biology of these folks – but we are a long way from that.

      In either event, I have no mercy for either type of rapist. I save my compassion for victims and the rest of us who control ourselves and behave with decency as we are the real heroes in society. Those who transgress? They deserve our derision, not compassion. Sorry, it just seems ass backwards to look at it the way you do. Nonetheless, we can agree to disagree as I can tell your heart is in the right place, and you are attempting to do some good. Me? I’ll bring my baseball bat out and deal with it my way, as I did to a stalker harassing a female friend of mine. Funny, compassion did nothing for him but a tuneup with my baseball bat? He was never seen again…

      • I guess we do see it differently, and that is okay with me, too. I can definitely understand your point of view. I appreciate you taking the time to write me such a considerate response. As a victim myself, thank you for having compassion for us. It is a very difficult thing to go through. Where I have arrived, too, is part of my personal healing process, and I understand that it is mine alone. I speak only for myself and my journey. I wish nothing but the best for you!

    • @Liz – You give me hope that we may be able to heal the growing gulf of anger between men and women that is growing in our society due to the demonization of men by radical feminists who have built an entire epistemology of thought that sees masculinity as innately dangerous. I did a little experiment with you, as another woman here immediately called me a “predator” because I dared disagree with radfem orthodoxy. So I intentionally didn’t sugarcoat my views to see if we could actually have a productive interchange and you did. So first, thank you.

      I was the asst director of the anti-rape task force at my university years ago and have been aware and active around issues of abuse and sexual violence for decades, in part, due to my own experiences with it. As a result, I have boundless compassion for victims such as yourself. I have to say that I’m blown away and truly touched by your real compassion, but it’s also what I have experienced myself when I’ve spoken to rape victims. Fyi, I don’t like the term “survivor” as I think it actually helps stigmatize rape victims. I’m could call myself a “survivor” of sexual abuse and severe physical abuse as a child, but I don’t that. I’m just a guy who got abused and now I’m healed.

      I also think our society needs to have both people such as yourself and me involved in these issues. The idea that we don’t “other” transgressors and diminish their humanity is crucial, and is something that can lead to healing But I also know that there are some people who are just so violent and without a functioning conscience that the only choice is to use force against them and lock them up. If only 50% of our criminal justice spending wasn’t wasted on the “drug war” (can you believe we actually spend that much on a non-violent crime) while rape kits wait years for analysis and our prisons become Walmart like warehouses that strip people of their humanity. As an aside, I recently read a great book on prison culture called The Social Order of the Underworld which studied why many prisons have become run by gangs. Turns out it’s very simple – they are too big so violent gangs fill in the vacuum with incredibly vicious codes and governing approaches. Prisons with 250 inmates or less never have this problem.

      It seems to me that even if some folks seem irredeemable, once we’ve got them locked up, we could at least try. I have a close relationship with a man in Australia who counsels violent inmates and he seems to think we can affect some of them.

      Your point is well taken – they are not garbage, they are humans. Perhaps there is room in this world for both of us – taking a hard line to get them out of society but then treating them with compassion and hope. I’d be all for that.

      Last. All you angry feminists who think that it’s okay to just denigrate me because I disagree with radfem orthodoxy, listen up here. Pay attention. This is what constructive dialog is all about. Finding common ground, treating those you disagree with respectfully but also being unafraid to disagree. Liz, you have made my day!

      • Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to enter a respectful dialogue with you. My heart opens for your healing process and to all of your ideas, which surely come from your own experience and knowledge. I agree wholeheartedly with you about society needing many opinions and ideas involved in the discussion around these heartbreaking, difficult issues. If we all agreed, what compromises could we reach? What conversations could we have? It is imperative that all of us who want justice can come to the table together and communicate openly, honestly, and with respect for our differences and our sameness. I would be honored to come to such a table. And to eat. I’m very grateful to have had this interaction with you, and I wish you a wonderful weekend!

      • Your conversation about “the demonization of men by radical feminists who have built an entire epistemology of thought that sees masculinity as innately dangerous” is completely irrelevant to this discussion. Feminists did not create your problems. You are a backlash. You shouldn’t confuse the discussion calling people fascists and go after feminists. In fact: men rape men and women more than women do and and white men rape more than black men in the U.S. and this is not because of feminists even if they are radical ones…

        Women who are bi-standers to rape are often abused and don’t know how to break the cycle.

        Women who are abusive are under the same scrutiny… of course, but you are the one demonizing people and then finding who will receive you the way you prefer so your day can be made bright and happy than oh yeay! Men and women can get along. Of course they can get along. That’s not a big deal if you aren’t a binary thinker stuck in the hierarchy created YES by men and YES colonized to the benefits of white privilege… and you don’t have to feel defensive to admit these things. You just don’t have to buy into this whole women have demonized men. Men have made their own beds, fella… time to fess up.

        The author of this blog is fessing up… levels and degrees of what happened to him as well as what he did.

        You too are capable of such generosity and surrender.

        You don’t gotta hate on feminists. They have their reasons for why they have boundaries. They are individuals and not a “hive mind” and you do such a disservice to the women who fought and fight for equality.

        The first feminists were black women. There are no feminists without them. They came out of the civil rights movement and get little recognition for their work. They have not made the world against men. They have made the world better for everyone.

        I don’t appreciate you mixing up the discussion with your politics. Rape shouldn’t happen to LGBTQ people or straight ones. And you are turing it into boys v.s. girls. I never met a rape counselor like you before. And I’m a survivor. I’m not a victim of anyone o anything. I don’t see why you want to make this argument with Liz… or why you need to convince anyone that what the author wrote wasn’t already sensitive enough.

        All this “respectful” dialogue crap… is crap. I’m honest. I don’t coddle my transgressors so they can feel comfortable… why should you get to call feminists fascist and then receive respect? You have a double standard. You are sexist.

        • Lol, you prove everything I say with your vitriolic comment. Enjoy the hate – I have none of it in my heart, but you most certainly do. Liz and I had a very civil exchange, and the contrast between her and you is all people need to see, they can make their own judgments about who you are.

          I spent a good chunk of time helping run an organization that actually helped young women on college campuses be safer – a walking and van service, but I was not a counselor. Victims would end up coming to us as a resource though, and also victims sometimes came to us because they wanted to do something to make a difference and our organization actually made a difference. I have nothing to prove to you, and it would be hard for me to imagine caring less about what you “appreciate”.

          I wonder if you even understand what you are doing here? You are a totalitarian, meaning that you not only want to affect outcomes but you also want to control what other’s think. That makes a fascist, just in case you don’t realize it. Truly Get a grip on yourself.

          • No, Scribbler…there’s no LOL about rape and sexual harassment conversations. That’s a pretty obvious flag to me you are not serious and harbor resentment towards women that is seeping out in our exchange. Even in a heated exchange. You don’t need to go after a group of women (radical feminists) or anyone in a generalization to help survivors of rape. When you help a rape survivor you don’t first try to tell them how to get along with men… or their abusers. You should validate their experience. It’s not about helping the survivor accept mankind.

            By wondering if I “even know what I am doing here” you are assuming I don’t have capacity to make my own decisions or use my own voice, which is also entirely non supportive of rape survivors and their individual experiences as well as SEXIST.

            I am here because I’ve been sexually harassed my whole life (it’s what happens to “pretty” girls for sure. I’ve known no other life) Most film and television and books and schools and jobs and institutions are from the white male “gaze” and so you have certain privileges that allow you to disregard me altogether… you don’t have to consider my world as a woman… you can wonder why I exist HERE… but not really care.

            As I told you I was molested and raped in my life time. I am here because I have just as much stake in the conversation as anyone else.

            I am bisexual and care about LGBTQ issues, both where they meet and where they divide. Because I have met lesbians who are prejudiced against trans people and it shocked me at how ignorant and hateful they were. How they were sexist and exclusive and not in my mind feminist at all…

            I am here because the author wrote about the topic in a way that considered others and also himself so that education and healing and sensitivity might happen, and which I see other readers responding to because he met a need in them.

            I have never been a “totalitarian”. Your use of labels is bizarre.

            I do not need to get a “grip” on myself.

            What I’ve expressed to you, is that you might refine your process. And instead you’ve been defensive.

            I’m not “vitriolic” and I don’t “preach” and I’m not “pretending”.

            All survivors have different modes of healing and different helpers. Not all teachers are the best for all students. I am saying, that you have triggered my intense feelings as a rape survivor towards the negative and all you can do is tell me I do not belong here and call me names.

            Again, you are sexist.

          • I was a woman sexually harassed by my Don. That’s the person you are supposed to look up to for advice when a freshman in college. It’s like a “homeroom” where you go to… and he said when I was born, my “after birth must have looked like a long black slinky dress”. He was known as Joe “Foreplay” by the female students and then he got tenure… because he’d spent soooo long building his academic, professional reputation in architecture… and architecture (environment and space) influences civilization… an our awe of it. I was raped on campus as well and me and my student allies formed the sexual assault task force that changed campus policy btw, scribbler. We drove the student cans and beefed up that walking patrol too. We don’t have to trump each other… on helping rape survivors. I do not challenge feminists when I help rape survivors. I do not think what you have said to me is acceptable… but I do know what I am pointing out to you is.

        • I just have to add one point here. For you to pretend that feminism as it’s preached today – 3rd wave feminism with all it’s ideas about patriarchal oppression and things like rape culture – is not demonizing men only speaks to your inabilty to see reality. Men, masculinity, fathers and boys are demonized non-stop by these radfem freaks. And yeah, I’m not polite about it cuz I’m a sentient man with dignity and self-respect. Even in this thread you claim to be “transgressed” and that this gives you the right to be an obnoxious cur because you conclude that calling feminists fascists is sexist. One wonders if you even know what a fascist is? You act like a fascist. On the other thread you jumped in and decided I was a “predator” from the outset – who was doing the transgressing there?

          I have no hope of changing your hateful ideology and warped view of the world, but you need to get that it is you who is vicious and judging and denigrating, all while claiming to be a victim. It’s sickening.

          Funniest? The very idea that white women in the west are oppressed, I just have to giggle when absurd women like you go on as you do. You have no awareness of how ridiculous you seem to people who aren’t brainwashed by your hateful ideology. But many others see it.

          Enjoy your righteous rage and hate. Mousolini would have loved you…

          • I now consider you a rape culture troll after your “one more point” scribbler. Why would you speak of mouslini in relation to me? That’s absurd.

            I don’t “enjoy” these “fights” They cause me to not sleep so well, because rape upsets me as does online abuse.

            Your whole reaction is alarming and cruel. It’s good you don’t have that job anymore, scribbler… You’re not careful or caring or sensitive.

            I’m think you found someone you could “groom” here like Liz that would treat you so sweetly… but that you are actually dangerous.

          • And my one more LONG point is this:

            Feminism mattered and matters. You can’t take away my history. I want feminists to stay in my history. I do not want them erased. I want them differentiated and specified. I want them unique. I do not want them blended… melted… covered up… appropriated…

            Third wave feminism is your illusion. I don’t buy your definitions. Feminism isn’t one movement. It’s several movements. They don’t all meet, but then which one does? Not all democrats are the same. There are blue dogs. Those are the conservative dems. (For example)

            Republicans are not the same party either… neo-cons changed them and not the tea party is…

            Feminism isn’t supposed to be static or “done” but is just one of the evolution steps…

            I am not a “feminist” it’s just something I do… to liberate my human. I’m human and there is not equity or equality for pussy yet, so I like feminists… okay? I like women who fight on behalf of women… and that’s not man-hating at all. You help women and the world does better… women are exceedingly use to being helpful… helpmates… so the natural helper comes out… not man hating.

            I am also an artist…

            I also eat lettuce…


            I only started calling myself feminist again because people were trying to get rid of the word and young girls started believing it meant man-hater due to a backlash that suggests women shouldn’t find each other’s company enough without men. Because sometimes it just is okay… to be without men. And men don’t like hearing that. It’s all held by the standard of men… that you would call me a man-hater… and make me prove I like men… in order to be a better woman.

            Giggling about white women in the west is your thing as well. You are in fact happily oppressing them yourself as best as you can by giggling and not bothering to see where they aren’t equalized…

            I have not “righteous” rage or hate.

            My anger is because I love. Hate has nothing to do with me.

          • apologies for typos… scribbler…

            there are a few…

            obviously we drove cars not cans.

          • Hi scribbler… my incoming-freshman college diversity workshop had a guest teacher named bell hooks who is a feminist. I love her and am influenced by her radical thinking… yes, but not at all is it “totalitarian” thinking… here are some links that help better discuss my point of view as a woman and what I mean about white supremacy and the white male gaze…


            above link:
            bell hooks – Are You Still a Slave? Liberating the Black Female Body | Eugene Lang College


            above link: Transgression in Public Spaces with Arthur Jafa & bell hooks

            I’m not trying to convince you or chase you… or have you prove anything back to me… but I do think these lectures might expand on transgressions and what I mean by a white supremacist reality that does not intend to “man hate” but rather address colonization and it’s effects.

      • @scribblerg – I really wish you would stop with your illogical, irrational hatred of feminism in these comments. I allowed this to go on because I was hopeful there might be an educational opportunity, but you do nothing but antagonize, name-call, hyperbolize and self-victimize. You seem incapable of self-reflection, which was the whole purpose of the piece. Please don’t bother commenting any further unless it is an apology to all the people you demonized and attacked. I’ll simply delete.

  18. Very compelling read. It’s a difficult subject, to be sure. It raises questions about sexual consent. I personally feel that if a person consents to have sex, even if they don’t want to or feel like it at the moment, then the other party isn’t automatically guilty of assault. If it’s plain that sex is unwanted, then I agree that it’s wrong, or at the very least inconsiderate, of the other person to forge ahead. Also, I have been wondering how abuse affects people who were not aware they were being abused as a child. Someone in my family was sent to prison for child porn, and before he went to prison it was revealed the he was molested by an older relative, and the he in turn molested his younger brother when he was 13. To me, it appears that often sexual assault leads to more sexual assault, which is why it is important to label it as sexual assault instead of shrugging it off when it happens. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Reblogged this on My Blog and commented:
    Not my work but honestly something that we all need to realize as a truth. A very powerful piece might I add. It gives a different kind of perspective to rape culture and how we handle it on a day to day basis.

  20. I get this completely. Informative.

  21. wow. very insightful post. rape culture is one issue usually brushed aside or misinterpreted. more power to you! 🙂

    kisses and love from the Philippines! <3 https://shalloweuphoria.wordpress.com/

  22. We dehumanize rapists and it alienates them from humanity. When we are raped by them, we feel alienated too. They are not monsters. Rape is not rare. It is shocking because we think, before it happens to us, that it only happens to people who did something to invite it, or by someone who is a monster. We are all involved with rape… victims, enablers and abusers. We could fix this problem by communicating about it. Thank you for your courage.

  23. Nice post… thank you for sharing

  24. What you’re saying is true. I was molested by both brothers at a young age.
    At the time I didn’t realize what was happening to me until the second brother started.
    I felt the only way getting back at him was teaching his daughter some inappropriate things to get my message across that I was not going to be a victim anymore.
    And yes it’s true I don’t want to think about it either. Even though I did not physically touch her I still regret what I’ve done.
    I understand what you say about the monster inside of you. And ignoring it won’t do any good whatsoever.
    It takes a lot of strength to own up to things we have done. I admire your honesty.
    When I looked back on what I taught her. I had decided that I was not going to be like those other people who abused me in that way.
    I haven’t touched anyone sense.
    Mostly I did it in anger. Being 11 years old and taken advantage of but a lot of pain to my life.
    I was also going through physical abuse from my father at the time as well.
    This is not an excuse. When the years can’t rolling by I learn to deal with it. I still think about those moments and they’ll be some things I can never forget.
    You have to admit that you have a problem. And then finally is to deal with it. And also not to inflicted upon others as well.
    Just remember you have control of yourself. And you have to make the choice for yourself.
    Stop looking at yourself in the mirror telling yourself you’re a monster. Yes you were a victim but don’t become the offender.
    Just remember how you felt when it was happening to you. That is what kept me from continuing a pattern that was sick and ignored.
    My first brother was cut. The second wasn’t. I had to live in secrecy because of the threats they posed on my life.
    I was forced to see my abuser every day after he turned 17.
    It was hard to be in the same house knowing that that person took my right away of choice of free will.
    I agree people should not ignore the monster within but face their demons. That is the only way to get rid of them. The scars remind us that the past is real. But it’s what we do from here on out that changes the future.

    • Den u surely r d hero here.i liked this sentence of yours ‘but its what we do from here on that changes the future’This I think is the lesson fr d whole blog.Rape can never be justified whatever d circumstances be.oderwise if we go on giving justification to monsters aal d jails in d world have to be shut down. Of course everyone has their own story behind what they are but humanity is to do humanity howsoever bad dat story be.

  25. Reblogged this on ellamentrish and commented:
    the smiling rapist.

  26. Interesting topic and what you have mentioned does make sense. Despite being so advanced in so many things we tend to over look the basic of life. Anyway i hope you are in a better position that before to be a better man.. ✌?️

  27. Damn, boy. Way to speak out about something that, like you said, no one wants to think about.
    It’s true, it’s a hard subject to broach, and made even more so by the fact that few people do. We need to change this. We need to speak more about sexual assault, so that it CAN be spoken about.
    It takes a lot of courage to admit to what you have done. If you are a monster it is because our society raises monsters– creates them, shapes them, helps them to grow. Keeps them safe. But the first step is recognizing, accepting, talking about this. We have to do better.
    If you don’t know what consent is, how can you ask for it?

  28. This was intense. Really. Really. Intense. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Reblogged this on The Delirious Mind and commented:
    Truth could not be better exposed. This account strips the lie we live every day naked. This IS the naked truth. Read it. It certainly is the most important post I’ve read till now. I’m no rape victim, but I feel a rapist clawing at my bones every half-hour, caged within my prison of rusted virtue. This was the light for me to shine in my head. This is how reality is.

  30. nooneknowsthisishere July 11, 2015 — 11:36 am

    I’m so glad that you wrote and posted this. You are a very brave person, and much stronger than I think you believe you are. You have figured it out; you are now in control. And hopefully, the more people who read this, the more people will take control of what we all see and ignore.

    I’m glad that I found this today. I have been struggling with seeing the good side of people since yesterday. An article in our Local paper reported an “alleged” viscious physical and sexual assault on a young woman for which no perpetrator had been identified. I questioned why it was written as an “alleged” assault; surely the evidence was here that an assault had in fact occurred? The response I got from men, some of whom I had considered friends, was that she was obviously making it up, trying to ruin this man (they assume it is a man, I say it may or may not be male, and who has not been found). They angrily pointed out that she must be lying. Having not intended to start a discussion about consent, I was a bit shell shocked. Your article has helped me to make sense of this mentality. It is so important that we challenge this. Thank you.

  31. nooneknowsthisishere July 11, 2015 — 11:37 am

    Reblogged this on Nooneknowsthisishere's Blog and commented:
    I needed to read this today; maybe you do but maybe you don’t. It contains triggers.

  32. Reblogged this on Harmony In the City and commented:
    This brought up so many memories I have been trying to forget. I have been sexually assaulted. I figured since I didn’t say no it wasn’t sexual assault but I didn’t want to. I only did because we had gotten that far. I did for a lot of reason. Because they would tell or because they simply said to. It became something I expected so I began doing it to boys. I became the assaulter. Younger boys older boys, didn’t matter. I passed down everything I’d learned to them. I regret it and think about it every night but as much as I’d like to forget… I think I’m going to just have to own up to it.

  33. Reblogged this on beyondlockeddoors and commented:
    I have heard many stories of sexual assault and I would always wonder, ” why not tell anyone?” I then realized that it wasn’t that easy and it will never be that easy. Society would rather put the blame on others, rather than looking deeper to uncover the real problems. My heart goes out to you, and anyone else in your position. God Bless!

  34. This is a very brave and honest post. I applaud you.
    You’re right, it’s something you have to think about if you’re guilty and also if you’re a victim, you have to think about and open up to because their privacy was invaded and their right as a person was taken from them.

    Mental health stigma, ignorance, fear and pain are some reasons people don’t think about it, admit to it, and talk about it.

  35. Im a counselor of sex abuse children and young sex offenders. We must be proactive in preventing abuse and exploitation.

  36. This should be made as a pamphlet and distributed so that the people acknowledge their inner untamed monsters and not shrug away its existence. This is a huge problem.

  37. This is such a precarious topic, and you approached it deftly and with dignity. A long, hard road begins with just a few steps. Thanks for starting an important discussion.

  38. What on earth are you talking about? Bill Cosby is very typical of an actual rapist – a serial predator who uses many methods to coerce women into sex, including violence drugging someone is to use force against them, hence it’s violence). There are a small pct of men who are like this and they commit the vast majority of rape.

    You are not a potential rapist because you are a man. Most men never rape. Most people to have some bad sexual encounters and even some pushing and pulling when they are maturing sexually. To conflate all of this into actual rape is ridiculous.

    Interestingly, it sounds like you were actually seriously sexually assaulted by your female cousin – hmmm, could it be that your own “lived experience” proves this is not a gendered issue?

    Also, the 1 in 5 number includes a wide range of experiences, many of them a long way from rape.

    • Your noted degrees and minimization of sexual assault and rape are typical of PREDATOR behavior. You might want to check your personal lack of empathy and disregard for sensitivity and NOT be here commenting to trigger survivors. The only thing you are offering is Bullshit.

      • Wow, the fascists here deleted my critical but civil comment back at you. Do yourself a favor and look up the world “totalitarian”. Totalitarians aren’t content with compliance, they want to control how people think and speak. You folks have become loathsome and ridiculous. Truly.

      • Sorry, no dice. Rape is penetration, period. Sexual assault is something else. Words have meaning. And nothing this guy described in his piece – except for the attack on him by his female cousin rise to the level of a crime. Making distinctions is a key part of how we reason and evaluate things. You should try it sometime.

        • First thing you shouldn’t do is argue with survivors of rape.

          Second thing you shouldn’t do is call the ally’s of survivors fascists when they help each other from abuse.

          Third thing you should know:
          Here’s the actual info so you don’t have to be a predator, a minimizer, or an insensitive man:

          SAR: Understanding Predatory Nature Sexual Violence

          by David Lisak

          The following link is for the full/original article that contains the information (edited) below.


          …Terms such as “acquaintance rape” and “date rape” emerged and took hold.

          Unfortunately, these new terms have created a new mythology about sexual assault. The term “date rape,” which has become woven into the fabric of public discourse about sexual violence, carries with it the connotation of “rape lite.” Victims of”date rape” are typically viewed as less harmed than victims of “stranger rape”; and “date rapists” are typically viewed as less serious offenders, and frankly less culpable than stranger rapists. Date rape is often viewed more in traditionally civil than in traditionally criminal terms; that is, as an unfortunate encounter in which the two parties share culpability because of too much alcohol and too little clear communication. When jurors in a criminal case adopt this view, they are likely to apportion blame to both parties, and are thereby less likely to find the defendant guilty (Estrich, 1987).

          This gap began to close with research that began in the mid-1980s and focused on non-incarcerated rapists. Researchers discovered that it was possible to gather accurate data from these men because they did not view themselves as rapists. They shared the very widespread beliefthat rapists were knife-wielding men in ski masks who attacked strangers; since they did not fit that description, they were not rapists and their behavior was not rape. This has allowed researchers to study the motivations, behaviors, and background characteristics o f these so-called “undetected rapists.”

          Motivations and Characteristics. Many of the motivational factors that were identified in incarcerated rapists have been shown to apply equally to undetected rapists. When compared to men who do not commit sexual assault, these undetected rapists are measurably more angry at women, more motivated by the need to dominate and control women, more impulsive and disinhibited in their behavior, more hyper-masculine in their beliefs and attitudes, less empathic, and more antisocial (Lisak & Ivan, 1995; Lisak & Roth, 1988, 1990; Malamuth, 1986: Malamuth et al., 1991; Ouimette & Riggs, 1998).

          In the course o f 20 years of interviewing these undetected rapists, in both research and forensic settings, it has been possible for me to distill some of the common characteristics of the modus operandi of these sex offenders. These undetected rapists:

          • Are extremely adept at identifying “likely” victims, and testing prospective victims’ boundaries;

          • Plan and premeditate their attacks, using sophisticated strategies to groom their victims for attack, and to isolate them physically;

          • Use “instrumental” not gratuitous violence; and they exhibit strong impulse control and use only as much violence as is needed to terrify and coerce their victims into submission;

          • Use psychological weapons power, control, manipulation, and threats backed up by physical force, and almost never resort to weapons such as knives or guns;

          • Use alcohol deliberately to render victims more vulnerable to attack, or completely unconscious.

          Serial and Crossover Offending.

          The data most emphatically contradicts the mythology about date rapists, namely, the misconception that they are somehow less serious offenders than their counterparts who attack strangers. In fact, the findings from recent studies indicate that these men are as likely to be serial and multifaceted offenders as are incarcerated rapists.

          To illustrate, in a study of 1,882 university men conducted in the Boston area, 120 rapists were identified. These 120 undetected rapists were responsible for 483 rapes. Of the 120 rapists, 44 had committed a single rape, while 76 (63% of them) were serial rapists who accounted for 439 of the 483 rapes, averaging six rapes each. These 76 serial rapists had also committed more than 1,000 other crimes of violence, from non-penetrating acts of sexual assault, to physical and sexual abuse of children, to battery of domestic partners. None of these undetected rapists had ever been prosecuted for these crimes (Lisak & Miller, 2002).

          A recent study of US Navy recruits replicated these findings. Of 1,146 men assessed, 13% acknowledged having committed rapes. Of these rapists, 71% were serial offenders who committed an average of six sexual assaults (MeWhorter et al., 2009).

          Implications for University Communities

          The implications of the research on undetected rapists research that has largely focused on men in college environments point to the similarity of these offenders to incarcerated rapists. They share the same motivational matrix of hostility, anger, dominance, hyper-masculinity, impulsiveness, and antisocial attitudes. They have many of the same developmental antecedents. They tend to be serial offenders, and most of them commit a variety of different interpersonal offenses. These data indicate that they are accurately and appropriately labeled as predators.

          This picture conflicts sharply with the widely-held view that sexual assaults com- mitted on university campuses are typically the result of a basically “decent” youngman who, were it not for too much alcohol and too little communication, would never do such a thing. While some campus sexual assaults do fit this more benign view, the evidence points to a far more sinister reality, in which the vast majority of sexual assaults are committed by serial, violent predators.

          This reality has potentially significant implications for how universities deal with sexual violence within their communities. Prevention efforts geared toward persuading men not to commit sexual assault are very unlikely to be effective. Lessons can be drawn from many decades of experience in sex offender treatment, which have demonstrated that it is extremely difficult to change the behavior of a serial predator even when you incarcerate him and subject him to an intensive, multiyear treatment program. Rather than focusing prevention efforts on the rapists, it would seem far more effective to focus those efforts on the far more numerous bystanders men and women who are part ofthe social and cultural milieu in which rapes are spawned and who can be mobilized to identify perpetrators and intervene in high-risk situations.

          The more sinister reality of sexual violence in the university setting also carries implications for university judicial processes. A judicial board would hardly seem the appropriate venue to deal with a sexual predator. Further, cases of non- stranger sexual assault are extremely difficult to properly investigate and prosecute; they are in fact far more complex than the majority o f stranger sexual assaults. A proper investigation requires skilled and specially trained investigators working closely with specially trained prosecutors. Absent a proper investigation, almost every non-stranger sexual assault case quickly devolves into the proverbial “he-said-she-said” conundrum, and judicial board members are left helpless to discern what actually may have occurred. This situation increases the likelihood of inadequately or even poorly handled cases, thereby increasing the harm done both to the victim and to the larger community.

          And here are some more facts from A crisis center in Seattle:
          Common Behaviors and Characteristics of Sexual Offenders

          Most sexual offenders think about their crimes ahead of time. Sexual assault is rarely an impulsive act although sometimes sex offenders take advantage of opportunity to offend. Offenders most often know their victims and use these relationships to set up situations in which a chosen victim can be sexually assaulted. Sexual assaults can involve physical violence, threats, or overpower- ing. In other cases victims go along with the assaults because they are afraid to resist or to try to get away.

          Planning and manipulating relationships over time to commit sexual offenses is called grooming. In these situations victims may come to believe that they are responsible for what happened even though this is never true. After the assaults, offenders often threaten, pressure or use guilt to keep victims from telling anyone.

          How Offenders Justify Their Behavior

          Offenders may justify their behavior in several ways:

          Denial is used by offenders to avoid facing the consequences of their actions. Denial means that offenders refuse to admit to others or sometimes even to themselves that they have committed sexual assaults. They may say, “It’s a lie. I never did it,” or “That wasn’t really rape, she agreed to it.”

          Rationalizing involves blaming the victim, other people or circumstances. Typical thoughts are, “It wasn’t my fault, she led me on”, “he didn’t fight back” or “I didn’t know what I was doing, I had too much alcohol…” These are ways of placing responsibility on someone or something else.

          Minimizing is used by offenders to deny the seriousness of the acts or the harm done to the victims. “It wasn’t that bad – he liked it,” or “I didn’t really hurt her.” By minimizing their actions, offenders try to make it seem as though what they did was not such a big deal.

          Common Conditions Which Contribute to Sexual Offending

          Several conditions can contribute to the likelihood of sexual offending. Typically a case involves a combination of factors and circumstances. It is important to understand that sex offenders always make a choice when they commit sexual offenses no matter what the reasons are that go into why they did it. They decide to act even though they know it is wrong. Nothing a victim does can make a person commit a sexual offense.

          Feeling Motivated –Offenders often have abnormal or unusual sexual interests. They may be sexually attracted to children or young teenagers. It does not bother them to have sex with someone who doesn’t want to.

          Antisocial Attitudes – Some offenders believe it is acceptable to take advantage of other people or break the law. They may not understand or care about the feelings of others and put what they want first.

          Background of Offender – Some people who have been abused, mistreated or neglected develop negative feelings and beliefs about themselves and others. They may try to gain control over their lives or relieve emotional pain through abusive sexual behavior towards others.

          Lack of External Controls –Offenders create situations that give them the opportunity to offend and where there is little chance of being caught. In the case of child molesters, they may put themselves in situations where they are alone with and have control over children. Rapists will often get victims away from friends or in isolated situations.

          Vulnerable Victims – Although the responsibility for sexual offending is always with offenders, rapists and child molesters may look for vulnerable people to victimize. Victims can be vulnerable because they are young, have a disability or are impaired in some way. People can be victimized because they are alone in an isolated area, asleep, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or suffering from emotional problems. Offenders want victims who cannot protect themselves.

      • As the former assistant director of the anti-rape task force at my university where I put 25+ hours a week of volunteer work in dedicating myself to supporting women’s safety, I can be pretty sure that I done far more actual work dealing with rape than you. Ialso have likely dealt directly with more victims of rape than you.

        And guess what? Rape victims are not fragile little wallflowers and can easily take having open and honest conversations. But here’s the real trip for you – I didn’t call a rape survivor a fascist, I called out who ever deleted my comment as a fascist. Yet you are in such a rush to paint me as a predator as you did in your first comment that you can’t even base your reasoning on facts. As for the rest of your blather, please it’s all standard already debunked rape culture theory nonsense. But lets not leave it to what I say, why don’t you and others here read what the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the largest non-profit actually offering services to victims of rape has to say in their letter to President Obama on how the feds approach to rape prevention was misguided. From their letter (full text here https://rainn.org/images/03-2014/WH-Task-Force-RAINN-Recommendations.pdf) What they say is just so sensible and is based on reality, unlike your ideological victim memes.

        “In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming “rape culture”
        for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campuses. While it is helpful to point out
        the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important to not lose sight of a simple
        fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small
        percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime.
        While that may seem an obvious point, it has tended to get lost in recent debates. This has
        led to an inclination to focus on particular segments of the student population (e.g.,
        athletes), particular aspects of campus culture (e.g., the Greek system), or traits that are
        common in many millions of law-abiding Americans (e.g., “masculinity”), rather than on the
        subpopulation at fault: those who choose to commit rape. This trend has the paradoxical
        effect of making it harder to stop sexual violence, since it removes the focus from the
        individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions.
        By the time they reach college, most students have been exposed to 18 years of prevention
        messages, in one form or another. Thanks to repeated messages from parents, religious
        leaders, teachers, coaches, the media and, yes, the culture at large, the overwhelming
        majority of these young adults have learned right from wrong, and enter college knowing
        that rape falls squarely in the latter category.
        Research supports the view that to focus solely on certain social groups or “types” of
        students in the effort to end campus sexual violence is a mistake. Dr. David Lisak estimates
        that three percent of college men are responsible for more than 90% of rapes.iii
        studies suggest that between 3-7% of college men have committed an act of sexual violence
        or would consider doing so. It is this relatively small percentage of the population, which
        has proven itself immune to years of prevention messages, that we must address in other
        ways. (Unfortunately, we are not aware of reliable research on female college perpetrators.)
        Consider, as well, the findings of another studyiv by Dr. Lisak and colleagues, which surveyed
        1,882 male college students and determined that 120 of them were rapists. Of those
        determined to be rapists, the majority — 63% — were repeat offenders who admitted to
        committing multiple sexual assaults.v
        Overall, they found that each offender committed an
        average of 5.8 sexual assaults.vi
        Again, this research supports the fact that more than 90% of
        college-age males do not, and are unlikely to ever, rape. In fact, we have found that they’re
        ready and eager to be engaged on these issues. It’s the other guys (and, sometimes,
        women) who are the problem. “

  39. you are the victim. always remember that. thank you for sharing. so powerful.

    • Here you are again… Wilson… THE classic wordpress Predator who always asks, why he’s being accused of being a rape-troll. And you always ask what is a rape-troll… as if this is a casual forum you belong in. Nice. Good you found some people willing to say they have raped while you still deny it… and point fingers at victim. So sweet of you to go around trolling for your victims… looking to victimize again and again and again and again… are you drinking again too? Is this just one of your LOL drunk comment times? You’re such a transgressing, mean spirited, and hateful person.

      • Hi katherine. Good to see you’re keepin up the crazy.

        • Okay, Wilson… I see you belittle black people on sites where people don’t want cops shooting black men, and on sites where you called a teacher who teaches with hip hop an idiot, and you go after women for their self esteem, you prey on younger girls on line admitting you want get some “rug”, you go after depressed people, rape survivors, and survivors of domestic violence and you only ever laugh at loud call people crazy…

          So I’m just letting the people here know… as per usual.

          In case it might help them. Not you. You’re a drunk predator.

  40. Reblogged this on himalayashop and commented:

  41. Only those who can see the ‘perpetrator’ in themselves can truly bring about change. The rest are liars or saints. Not saying you have to be a perpetrator just see how you might be.

  42. This is a really touching blog. An abuser admits abuse. I know you’ve been sexually assaulted but don’t let the monster get into you. Now you know what you did (i don’t blame you, you were being affected by the bad surroundings), i hope you won’t do that again. Important blog!

  43. Reblogged this on ramelam's Blog and commented:
    REAL ISSUES.. #Perspective

  44. It’s very strong act of admitting truth. I’ve also heard lot of people who sexually assaulted someone,and most common thing they had was they assaulted someone during early years of Teenage around 14. Yes assaulting someone is never good thing but if you later realise that you made mistake ,then no need to keep blaming yourself about it. I think important part is that you are aware about your mischief and if u are aware then surely you won’t do such thing in future.

  45. So refreshing that you’ve exposed the truth knowing that it may cause you harm – but also that it could change the course of this world! I believe you’ve done the latter, and I hope more people can be as brave on this issue as you’ve been.

    Christian love, Ufuoma.

  46. Well, you have a few rape-culture trolls commenting here, so be very careful… this site is ripe for harming those that need help. The rape trolls now have all of your readers vulnerably speaking up… and right where they want then so the trolls can make up things about how the assault or rape isn’t real. And Wilson is not okay to allow commenting if you want to help people avoid rape and assault triggers. He has hounded so many blog writer/survivors on countless sites for well over a year… and he doesn’t care that he harms people’s feelings at all. He just laughs and calls the people who ally with survivors crazy…

  47. Real eye opener . thanks for sharing.

  48. nice to see all this opened up..

  49. That pretty abnoxious

  50. Wow. You have shared something so powerful and used your skill as a writer to do it in a way that will reach so many. Your words are beautifully arranged and I commend you for using this talent in such a brave way with this post.

    [I am a cis woman] I have one experience that haunts me. It was with a guy I dated in high school. He broke up with me and I wasn’t happy about it. We never had sex in our relationship, we were both virgins, but we messed around. A couple weeks after our breakup we ended up hanging out with two other friends because of a broken down car and a chain of events that he did not choose. Meaning, he did not choose to even be around me that night. I pushed myself on him. I tried so hard to get him to hook up with me. I thought I could use my body to get him back. After a short time he got really upset and ran out in a way that left me feeling completely horrified by my actions.

    For some reason I couldn’t fathom at the time that I could assault a man (or boy). I was 17ish and this was about 1999-2000. I also couldn’t fathom a guy not wanting to hook up with me. I had never had that experience, although I’d only been physical with a couple guys by that age. My truth was that guys ALWAYS want to be physical with girls, that I was attractive, and that if I reminded him of our fooling around, he’d want to take me back.

    He never looked at me the same way after that. We were never friends. I never apologized. I never addressed it. I’ve spoken about it at times over the years, but this is the most directly I’ve ever addressed it as assault.

    That’s my story.

  51. This is so relatable. Can’t thank you enough for sharing! 🙂

  52. Very deep and enlightening.

  53. I suppose if everyone turns their back towards the notion of sexual assaults then “it didn’t happen”, ignorance is truly bliss. Great post!

  54. Thank you for sharing this.

    It took me nearly 10 years to accept & come to terms with what I did to my ex. Since then, I’ve spent that time on rehabilitating myself & confronting that monster & darkness. Outside of here, the only person I’ve told was a therapist that I was seeing for a time, before I took a break to take care of personal business. Single for 7 years, I do know I still need some intense counseling should I happen to have another romantic relationship again.
    We haven’t spoken in years. I would like to apologize to her one day, if possible. I’ve read that it may not be a good idea to do, as it may reopen old wounds? So it could be more of a selfish act of healing my own self inflicted wounds more than trying to make amends? I hope I’ll have the time for thinking that through should the opportunity arise… I suppose for the time being, the best I can do is work on self, confront rape culture when I can find the words to communicate effectively & continue to amplify victims voices.
    It’s a monster that I would like to publicly acknowledge & have this discussion about. If not for employment instability, poverty & possibility of being homeless again, I’d like to put my name, face & voice into having these conversations. It’s not something I want to keep to myself & go another few more years before I speak about again.
    The sooner more people come forward to have these conversations of confronting & rehabilitating their ideologies, behaviors, monsters & the resulting actions, the sooner we’ll influence others to notice this & put in work towards changing themselves & their surroundings.

  55. Reblogged this on teesandie's Blog and commented:
    Can I put your story on my blog. It’s so nice

  56. Hand clap!!! This is raw. Calling for accountability and examination is beautiful. What courage. Beautiful.

  57. Siti Lutfiyah Azizah July 13, 2015 — 12:57 am

    Reblogged this on Azizah SL and commented:
    Oh yeah, maybe we ‘raped’ someone more than a rapist do, but we didn’t know we did it. We thought it as a normal act for joke, even that’s not normal in fact. (Maybe) that’s why rapes still happen today *and the idea made me think about ‘bullying’ term too*.. 🙁

  58. I just have no words except to say that I’m touched by your brutal honesty.

  59. Reblogged this on Get It 2Gether Moms and commented:
    Exceptionally great read. Some quiet incidents should be spoken about.

  60. This post is so sad. I don’t understand why a person who gets molested would do it to someone else.

  61. If we will not stop training our mind with pornographic things …… unconsciously or consciously we will come across this kind of violence. The tendency of human mind to cross the barriers bringing us somewhere below human.

  62. We all have the potential for greatness and wickedness in some shape or form. I agree that all stems with the individual and culture. American culture is sexually dysfunctional in a myriad of ways, normative sexual assault only one twist on a theme.
    Behavior will change when individuals learn not to other-ize and realize we are the image in the mirror and the mirror too.
    This is an important piece as are all pieces that voice the underlying problems seething beneath a society. Doesn’t hurt that it is well-written too 🙂

  63. I think this is amazing. Such important piece of writing in a time when we are reaching into the thing that no one wants to talk about. And as the facts are telling us most sexual “assault” is between friends, acquaintances and lovers, this IS the place we need to own our demons.

    My quandary is with the word “Assault” or “Rape”. As applied to the situation with your boyfriend. When you use those words – You are admitting to a criminal action with possible legal ramifications: jail, a record, and a whole bunch of other things that ruin your life. They are words with connotations of violence and physical force but I am sure the offences are more about crossing boundaries without asking, playing too rough or any other thing that happens in the very physical act of sex.

    So how do we treat this kind of offence? How do we talk about this? Straight males are especially vulnerable to being charged and convicted of crimes labeled with the same words you mention. Straight males that may want to atone for their sexual sins are unable to because it means loss of their life. How do we describe things that happen, admit to them, heal them and make a better world without them being called Rape and Assault if the healthy admission has such horrid external repercussions?

    “I don’t think we yet have the language to discuss the sexually violent things we do and experience. ”

    Here you address the same question but again use the word “violence.” What if it does not involve violence? The “normative” things you speak about that happen all the time, commited by everyone on the gender spectrum surely shouldn’t involve putting you or your boyfriend or your older female cousin in jail?

    This is a question

    • I think we need to acknowledge that there are levels to assault.
      That does not take away from the fact that it is still assault or still a violent act.
      What I did was undeniably violent. I think the only way to address the nuances in violence is to first admit what it is unequivocally.

  64. Wow. That was such an incredible read,and definitely something that needs to be talked about. Glad you could share your story and hopefully this will encourage other to share theirs 🙂

    I wish you the best.

  65. Thank you for your confessions and acknowledgement of the severity of this offense in our society, and amongst individuals.

  66. Excellent post. It is brave, brutally honest, and insightful. Over the last year or so I have come to a similar realization about myself. It hurts to admit it. What do you think this says about human nature?

  67. Interesting and insightful post, Hari. Something for everyone to ponder.

  68. You damn near broke me with this post. I cried while reading it, because I understand the way being assaulted and abused from a young age trains you to be accepting of future violations against you, and the legacy of confusion it leaves you with – about yourself and sex, it’s place in your life, and even your comfort with it en total.

    I don’t often read anything about abuse or rape, because I don’t cope well with either of these topics’ ability to open my own old wounds and the resulting aftermath. I deal with enough crap on the daily thanks to my own history, so I avoid things that are sure to add fuel to the ptsd fire. But… I read this because, from the opening, it was so raw and honest, and I saw the phrase “we don’t want to think about that.” A more brutal truth could not have been written.

    We *dont* want to talk about anything related to a society that is obsessed with sex, consumed by the power of it, and so afraid to admit it that we would rather blame victims for not being smart enough to know how to protect themselves from victimization than hold predators accountable. It’s easier to just look past it, pretend it’s not a real issue.

    Because we don’t want to think about what our cultural acceptance of predatory sexual behavior says about us. We don’t want to talk about how poorly we have come to value each other as people, or how little we have come to value the preservation of innocence, and the fact that we have made the sexualization of children a multibillion dollar industry. We don’t want to address how intoxicated with fame we have become or how that intoxication has pickled our morals to the point where celebrity and notoriety now automatically imply lesser responsibility for one’s own actions. And we certainly don’t want to talk about how easy it has become for us as a society to justify or excuse unjustifiable and inexcusable behavior.

    How on earth can we possibly talk about it when we don’t even want to think about it?

  69. Wow. Wow. Wow. Thank you that’s a truly brave to come out admit what one otherwise can’t admit to oneself nevermind other people. It really makes me sad that a violation so old manifests in ways that you or others can not see the boundaries of respectful behaviour between one another. I was raped as a child so I understand. I know its not your fault but continuing that is also unhealthy and wrong. Today, anyone who was assaulted, abused, violated etc. Is an adult. They have the power and responsibility to break the chains of a their pasts. Even though its not our fault, our actions impact the lives of others. In ignorance we may continue sexual assault, which modern culture and society has normalised. Thank you for sharing your truth. Hope you have managed to get some support for your journey.

  70. Thanks so much for sharing this content with us. Nobody wants to reveal these kinda stuff happened with people out of fear. It require guts.

  71. We must love the good and the bad in ourselves and others, and keep choosing the good, moment to moment. We are always free to choose the good. The past can’t harm you if you learn from it and let it go. Peace and healing to you!

  72. The strength that goes into acceptance is often undervalued. I think you’re an incredibly strong person to be able to look yourself in the mirror and come to terms with telling someone, in a brutally honest reflection, the very things that make you almost cringe away from you. I do really hope you find your peace. Please don’t ever give up on yourself.

  73. Reblogged this on missasomani and commented:
    I just had to post this one…

  74. Reblogged this on Ramona Flowers vs The World and commented:
    This is an eye-opener for me. Reading this at 3am makes me think if I was ever sexually assaulted… By Hari’s description of it, I figured out that I was.

    When I was a small kid, I had a playmate which happened to be my uncle’s son. We would play in their house, in the bedroom. There was a time I was lying down on the bed and he sat on top of me. He touched my genitals. It was my first time to be touched down there and I couldn’t figure out what kind of feeling that was, so I ignored it. We kissed, though we were small kids. I could have said no but I didn’t, because I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was a normal thing to do.

    After that happened, I couldn’t even look at his face and he did the same. We avoided each other and we never talked again until now.

    A few months ago, I left an abusive relationship with my former boyfriend who abused me in all ways.

    Of course I didn’t know it was sexual assault and I didn’t want to think about it when we were together because I was trapped there.

    He would touch my butthole all the time when we sleep. I had told him so many times that I don’t like that kind of thing, he likes anal sex and I never even dreamed of doing that. For me, it’s gross.

    He would always say, “but I like touching it”. I would always get upset, have nightmares, or would not sleep. I was grounded, I couldn’t even go out alone because he wouldn’t allow me. He was very jealous even with my family. I know that he is a psychopath.

    I am just truly grateful that I’m not with this person anymore.

    This is my first time to share my experience.

  75. Thank you for your brave honesty. I work with victims of sexual violation and this piece has given me a look into the mind of not only the victim now but the victim growing up. You are right about the demon……only this demon has a friendly face and look like someone you can trust, whilst he is destroying you. You will never be a rapist because you have broken the power over you by recognising it. Good luck to you!

  76. Great read, I definitely can relate. Being a female in U.S. society and coming from a poor urban neighborhood, there are sadly normative elements of sexual abuse that, because of lack of education and a dulling of the human conscience are not addressed in many societies. I agree with your comments that we push things to the ‘non-existence’ corner in our minds, but I think its a bigger issue than what you speak of. The desire to be normal and accepted is inborn and having and event happen ‘out-of-the-norm’ is still shunned and looked at with stigmas. You are strong to realize the wrongs that were committed against you and that you committed, but the collective conscience of the United States society is being ‘dumb-ed down’ so these recognition’s would have to be in the upper echelon of society first to trickle to to common society. I truly don’t believe that the 1% is ready to admit any wrong-doing. Loved your article.

  77. Wow reading this I really don’t know how to feel. As a rape survivor I have never looked at things in the way in which you did in this post. I would love to pick your brain about a few things. ALso this made me think of the time prior to my rape to a time when I was young as was introduced to sex but didn’t understand what was going on. Idk…

  78. Reblogged this on aleahkch and commented:
    This is really deep…

  79. Honestly us girls and boys been through that its life everything happens for a reason just cause that happen don’t mean you have to go give up fast keep trying and tryin when the time is right those will pay the price life goes on and it’s hard to keep thinking about such a thing

  80. Its true no one likes to think about it, but we can’t categories assault as a normality. Being assaulted almost ruined my whole life, because one can never forget we dive into narcotics and alcohol to numb the pain and still the memories but when you sober up it all hits you like a train. And that’s why 10% of assaulted teens commit suicide 50% create new pain by cutting themselves 20% are drunkards and weed heads 5% are in mental hospitals or rehabilitation facilities 5% managed to get over it and move on while the remaining 10% live there lives in fear of the opposite gender. Let’s put an end to sexual assault please….. think of your future children and what they might have to face because you didn’t speak up.

  81. And also, I admire you greatly for your openness,I applaud together, I know it couldn’t have been easy. And by coming out you are setting an example. I’m honoured to have a glimpse of your experience. You are a brave member amongst the few society has to offer, I tip my hat to you

  82. Can been assaulted while young lead to sex addiction?

  83. Please help me out here

  84. Reblogged this on jennmelo and commented:
    Puts things into perspective. Sheds a different light on a very touchy subject.

  85. This is a powerful piece on the male patriarchal society. I completely agree with you on your line of thinking. System creates monster and maintains them in disguise.
    Regards, Chaitanya Haram

  86. This is beautiful. I admire your strength and ability to see the good in all people, and realizing that everyone battles with their own issues. More importantly, you really captured the essence of our culture today and how sexualized we all are. We learn to accept abuse because we interpret it as love or just “what happens.” My favorite part of your article is that you speak about men being sexually assaulted as well. Many people wrongly attribute assault or rape to being something that only happens to women (a whole other story, in general), but in fact, both genders suffer from it. Wonderful article. Perfect title. Glad to have read it.

  87. What a powerful piece! I’m appalled at how many people around me have been sexually offended in some way. When you’re young you think these things are exceptions (super rare) but that’s exactly what society wants you to think and it’s so important to open up your eyes to the truth. I really enjoyed reading this!

  88. This is a very very powerful post! I feel that you just made the world better by posting! ❤️

  89. Very insightful read. Sexual assault happens everyday and no one wants to think about nor admit that it happens.

  90. Wow! That was … powerful.

  91. It always takes courage to share a story like this. Well done

  92. Thank you for sharing. Have you heard of The ACE Study?

  93. Anyone who didn’t grow up on the sunny side of the street has those moments in the mirror. We may not all see a rapist, but we see things like an abuser, a drunk, an addict, a slut. The thing we have in common is that the root of our problems come from childhood, when we couldn’t discern whether or not touching your friends twenty year old brother’s penis was right or wrong or if it was really a game, like he said. We couldn’t see that drinking the few ounces of booze in the bottom of your mom’s bottle would set you on the road to being an alcoholic at she nine. The single thing that we all have in common is that, once the mirror reveals our true self to our everyday self, we all have the option to change. But it has to start with letting go of the past…the shame…the guilt. We have to forgive ourselves, try to wash of the icky of it all by doing what’s right Ebert day, then getting on with life. That’s what I think. It’s the human condition. But it’ll be ok if we make it ok.
    Big huge hugs to you and much love. 🙂

  94. Reblogged this on Tina Bausinger and commented:
    Compelling story told from an unexpected point of view.

  95. This is a brilliant, thought provoking article on a subject which should be discussed more openly. Great stuff! X

  96. Reblogged this on The Azure Diaries and commented:
    One of the most powerful piece of writing on sexual assault I have read so far. An important question raised.

  97. I realize that they few times I was kissed and fondled without permission was sexual assault. So many times people feel it has to be penetration to count.

  98. Amazing post. Also, it is takes a lot of courage to talk about these things. ?

  99. I am greatly sorry that you had to live this nobody should. My husband’s soon has and does a lot of the stuff you described in your post. I am saddened for you what you had endured and now my step son is in a facility that his mom court ordered him to but not for any reason that he is showing their but for her own selfish reasons… I don’t know how to or find out if my son was introduced to sexual assault but I do know at the age of 8 of younger while living with his mother not allowed to visit his father and I he was introduced to pornography was by his older cousin it was also shown to him and his younger cousin in the basement they were made to get naked and masturbate with the cousin and brother of the young cousin he is suppose to be getting counseling for this and seems he is not if so he is acting in ways that in some of your post that you said you did to others he is doing… I have tried to speak to the facility he is at and we are in progress of trying to move him because he sends to be getting no help not are we getting any answers very concerned parents if you can tell us where to turn who maybe a can talk to you can email me please nobody else use this email in subject box add step son response I don’t know if you can will be able to if not it’s okay to I appreciate your sharing this such private information sorry if I am out of line I need help though and wishing you luck… It took courage to share your story…. someone cares Tammy

  100. Thank you for this piece. I was raped twice at the age of 14 while i was a runaway from the foster care system and if the acts themselves weren’t awful enough on their own, but how about we add that with the first time i was arrested for false statement cause there were a few of them against me so got a story in sync and no one even showed any interest or concern the second so i suppressed it and in my mid 20’s was diagnosed with bipolar 1 and Borderline Personality Disorder which is an illness that is usually developed so now am looking at how things really have affected me.

  101. Reblogged this on Mish_The BossLady and commented:
    Read and share.

  102. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Thank you for having the courage to own your dark side.

  103. Reading this sent chills down my spine. I am glad that you brought a particular situation to light. I am very proud of you.

  104. This is tough and your not alone it takes a couregous person to open up.. god bless u

  105. Thank you for opening up a can of worms. Something that should be spoken about.

  106. Wow this is very interesting! Thanks for sharing this story.

  107. To minimize our acts. To trivialize them and not call them what they are: sexual assault. It is criminal. This post is a mirror in and of itself. Not just for u, the writer, but for the readers. And i can tell it was intended to have that effect. Thats the importance of it. The need to name things. Thats how we will be able to get justice for the few who pursue it because they knew its name. They knew what to call it. But even they may not realize the behaviors that they have exhibited that were also sexual assault. We do need to see it within ourselves. That doesnt mean others should see themselves as victims though. Its a fine line. Wow.

  108. This leaves me almost speechless.Writing like you have here is such an important act for you personally and for those that read and talk about the subject. As I came forward about abuse, I was shocked that it was in service of so many others that needed to speak but couldn’t find the way. I hardly know what else to say here, except to add that I am extremely moved by your actions here. Wow.

  109. Your words entangled with the sublime power of truth and redemption, its very courageous of you for sharing your story with us.

  110. Thank you for being brave and write about this subject. I was sexually abused first time as a four year old, and was not my last abuse. It’s such an important subect to think about and to actually see our self what we do and what been done to us, because it easy to laugh and pretend it was ok. Very well written!

  111. Reblogged this on Black Queer Nomad and commented:
    I appreciate his candor in his storytelling and willingness to have real, continuing conversation. We must rethink the way we think about sex, consent, and respect.

  112. This perspective is amazing. Really makes me look at my own life with a clearer view. Thank you.

  113. A powerful story. Thank you for writing it. Abusers seek two things….power and control.

  114. I can relate to the aspects of not talking about it and struggling to classify what happened. It’s almost as though if you classify it then it makes it definite and if it’s definite and solid then you have to find a way to deal with it… Which takes so much time and energy. Besides, if you talk about it, it’s only those with a deep level of compassion or have experienced it themselves who will actually get you.

    Paint the picture of your future that makes you happy and then find a way to make if come to life… & if by talking about it you help both yourself and other people, then you’re surely winning…?

  115. This is a strong piece

  116. Then we are all rapists and we have also been raped in life ……

  117. Same thing happen wid men too..check dis for more
    This would shock u

  118. Follow me for good poetry

  119. Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope. Good luck in all your endeavors.


  120. Very touching. It is so sad how many more potential rapists there are out there, but can’t see it…actually, not just rapists, potential everythings. We are so ignorant that we never even think that far.

  121. This was amazing and very touching. You should check my page i had this short writing about rape. I am not very old am actually quite young but like anyone who sees this is welcomes to look at my blog

  122. Extremely powerful

  123. Thank you for being so openly vulnerable. This is smart and wonderfully written but that’s the least of it.

  124. There’s a reason why they’re called private parts. When we were in grade school and before we knew any better, my friends and I would “Nut Check” and “Jimmy Tap” each other all the time. Why? Well because we were desensitized to it. Now 10 years removed, I see it’s so much more than “Boys being Boys.” No. It’s violating someone’s privacy. But the problem is that treating this behavior as minor leads to the mentality that other offenses are also shrug worthy. If we want to stop the problem of sexual assault on college campuses and in general, starting with education at a young age is a huge part of the solution.

  125. Thank you for writing about this subject. When people are molested very young their appropriateness pattern becomes “off” they have a hard time understanding what is appropriate behavior and what is not. Mom and Dad may be telling you touching another persons private parts is wrong, but the teenager, child, or adult is telling you its okay. The confusion is horrible, as The Watchful Walker said in some ways we are desensitized to it. “Nut Check” and “Ass grabbing & patting” during foot ball is still inappropriate behavior. I agree as a society we need to stop sexual assault, but how do you do that when the person committing the sexual assault is your own parent and the media portrays ass slapping as a way of congratulating someone? Education is a huge part of the solution but monitoring who your children are with including the other parent. Ignoring the signals is not going to make it go away.

  126. Wow, this is exactly what I needed. I’ve just started blogging, and I’ve been posting excerpts from a book I’m writing. It has three volumes, 1-introspeciton of my depression, anxiety, and PTSD through personification of an old home I’m remodeling, 2-my life from childhood and the trauma that caused the above mental issues, 3-living well, healed, with joy, happiness, and hope. Now, this is where you come in. I’ve wanted to post an excerpt from Vol 2, explanation of one of the events that still haunts me, but I was frankly scared. I’m scared of hurting someone, anyone, and I’m scared of putting it out there for the world to see. You speak of some of the same things I’ve written about, and in a similar way that I’ve explained it, even using the term monster. For me, this is a sign, confirmation from God that I need to share what I’ve written. I want to thank you for you openness and vulnerability. I’ve always known that I’d write about all of this one day, and that would be my way of healing, getting it all out. I did feel some release when I wrote it initially, but I’ve always known that for me, in order to truly heal, I would have to hit “post’ or “publish.” May God heal you as He is healing me. I encourage you to at least read the blog post I’m about post, because it’s only through your courage that I’m able to share this. jrenee

  127. i found your approach towards this sensitive topic to be very open and positive ..everything heals with time and this will too

  128. This is beautifully written. I’m glad I found this. Makes me think of how the rapists are the victims too. I hope you are able to forgive yourself. If you have, all the better. It takes a great deal of courage to tell people about it. I know.

  129. Something surely to be thought about. I’m proud of you

  130. Thanks for sharing. Your bravery and transparency must be cathartic and will surely help us all re-evaluate what we believe about this sensitive topic.

  131. Reblogged this on Finding My Way Black and commented:
    This post is shared in light of the ongoing conversation regarding Bill Cosby and the proliferation of sexual assault cases in and around college campuses and the world. Racism, sexism, class-ism, and all the other -isms that cause us to dehumanize others need conversation and cognizance.

  132. I think I was 9 or 10 when a boy at church said he’d show me what the high school boys do. He took me to the only restroom at church that locked, locked it, and pulled his pants down. He cajoled me into licking his dick, but I only licked it once, partially because it tasted nasty, partially because I did not like this whole situation.
    I believe his dick was flacid. Probably that’s what he was hoping to fix.

    I ran away. He did not try to stop me. I do not think of it as sexual assault, because assault implies physical violence, or at least physical coercion. Probably it was child molestation, but minor as child molestation goes. That he himself would’ve been I don’t think it has affected me very much. I did not tell anyone about it, because I at least understood he would get in trouble if I did, and I did not want him to. I think it affects me a little more as I get older, because as I get older the memory means more to me than the event ever did. Occasionally he tries to friend me on Facebook, and I decline.

    There was a boy in Boy Scouts who went a little far with horseplay–dryhumping while we were (awake) in sleeping bags. It was annoying. The boys themselves felt he’d gone a little far, so perhaps someone told an adult. We felt the adults went much, much too far when they expelled him over it, perhaps thinking he was gay, and perhaps they were right. I do not call this sexual assault. He was a pre-teen dealing poorly with still new impulses, and those impulses perhaps happened to be of a sexual nature.

    This post is very powerful, and personal, and self-excoriating. I do not know the details of your incidents, because you have understandably not provided them. Likely enough some of them are much more extreme than my experiences, because my experiences strike me as very minor. But I do not think it is necessary to paint all incidents of sexually motivated misbehavior with the broad brush of sexual assault.

  133. Thank you very much. I admire you for taking the time to write this.
    I think I was raped almost a year ago, or maybe it was sexual assault… or maybe not. I don’t know. I was very drunk that night and I said ok when a boy asked me if I was going to have sex with him that night. Two hours later, when he came to me to start having sex (even before he kissed me) I said I didn’t want to, I said I had said yes because I was drunk at the moment but I had changed my opinion and I didn’t want to do it. He didn’t stop. He started rubbing me and kissing me even though I was screaming “no” and telling him to please, stop. He hit me several times and forced me to lay on the floor and don’t move. Next morning when I woke up he was lying next to me and all I could think about was if I had been raped. I told my self “no, you have not been raped, that only happens in movies and books and you are not that important: you said no and he didn’t listen to you, that’s all, that doesn’t mean you have been raped. You can walk perfectly, you said “yes” before saying “no” and he put his t-shirt on you after the sexual act (I thought that meant he was a gentle person). Basically, I pretended he had not forced me and I told my self I deserved it. When my friends asked me what had happened that night I said I had sex with a guy. How stupid I am.
    (Sorry for my pretty bad english)

  134. Hi Hari! I wanted to let you know that I am exploring the sexual abuse in my life and would love to hear more from you on your perspectives.

  135. We all have demons, though. Who is going to tame them if we pretend as though we can’t see them? As if we don’t feel them scratching at our bones from the inside, trying to find a way out? As if we haven’t seen them burst through? As if we haven’t been attacked by them?….This is very beautifully mentioned. You are right …we ignore the obvious demons inside us so much..we find it hard to even find the right words to describe what it is like to be one. Its like we refer about another person in another life!!!

  136. Very moving. Very brave. And on a personal note, very relatable. Thank you for sharing this powerful article.

  137. Thank you so much. That truly brought me to tears.

  138. Amazing writing here. Very strong and brave of you to write this, and it is so important. Thank you.

  139. I felt a sense of belonging to this story of yours. Salute to your courage. Have a blessed time ahead. 🙂

  140. Wow, thank you for sharing this, it must have been really hard to do and I admire your honesty… the biggest step to fixing something is admitting there is something that needs fixing and you have done that, monster, I don’t think so, human yes, monster no! Nice work, thank you. Michelle

  141. Whoa. Love this. Made me feel uncomfortable and made me think about the things that have happened to me that I don’t like to think about either. And I can tell how much you don’t like to think about it by the way you wrote this piece and I also know how confusing it all is.

  142. This is probably the deepest thing I have read concerning sexual assault or rape.

  143. Incredibly bold, brave, powerful, and insightful post. Thank you for opening yourself up to readers and being so honest, not just with us but with yourself.

  144. I also had a cousin who would take me into a closet and shove his tongue down my throat.. I never really thought of it as sexual assault until now. He would disguise it as a game of ‘truth or dare’ and would get mad when I would say ‘truth’ so I felt forced to say ‘dare’. I knew that dare meant I would have to go in the closet with him. I hated it. I hated going to his house. I hate him to this day. Thank you for helping me realize this, a lot of relationships and experiences in my life make more sense now.

  145. Reblogged this on Maya's Monsters and commented:
    Something to note.

  146. This was very powerful and eye opening. x

  147. This was a brave, beautiful, necessary post. Thank you for adding to this discussion. We ALL need to talk more about consent, about assault, and about the right we all have to say no, even to “jokes” and “teasing.”

    Thank you.

  148. I am wondering if the part of you who you feel has the ability to rage against another human being would ever have been created had your young self been safe?
    I don’t know anything other than survival. It’s as if I can’t stop dying the death sentence passed on me when someone put their hands on me around age three. I’ve been a prisoner ever since, with abusers since 3 ready to remind me they were going to drag out the death penalty longer.
    I was conditioned to behave a certain way. It was my normal. When I discovered in my late teens that they were wrong, the damage was done. I’d already learned how to hate and express it. I was afraid of myself because I didn’t know if I owe could control me.
    I’ve been in therapy for a good long time now. What I’ve learned is that I’m not them. I’m nothing like them. I feel empathy. I want to help. My first inclination is to help. I sure go in mama bear mode if I see a child in need…….. But I wonder, had I not been given a chance at peace and healing time, would I be like the people whose memory keeps me up so late?

    Ps Bill Cosby is guilty as sin.

  149. Hi Hari, I read an article of yours on Everyday Feminism recently. You mention that consider a drunken sexual encounter with your ex-boyfriend to be an assault. First of all, it’s incredible that you are able to reflect on your past sexual experience as you do, and it makes for a very powerful piece.

    I’m particularly interested in how you think about sexual assault. You mention that the encounter *definitively* amounted to sexual assault regardless of the victim’s state of mind or thoughts on it, and then put forth a very powerful suggestion: we do not have the language to discuss sexual violence. Running with this, if we don’t have the language to discuss such things, then the law, as bound to tradition and unable to change pace as it is, will not apply in a satisfactory manner.

    Legally, the accused must possess the correct mens rea or state of mind for the acts in question to amount to sexual assault. This varies by state in the US — that state of mind could be flat out intent, knowledge, recklessness, or negligence. There’s a secondary question of how we make the relevant determinations about these states of mind — is it ‘objective’ (based on the what the ordinary person would understand) or subjective (based on what the person in question actually understood)? The difficulty with a subjective test for something like consent is that so long as we cannot literally peer into the mind of another, we have to use external factors to determine what was actually understood. What I’m trying to suss out is just how tremendous the difficulty really is.

    Surely there is a state of intoxication (through drink or otherwise) at which point the accused also loses their agency? It’s a kind of automatism. If you can lose agency through drinking, that has to be a two-way street. It can’t change based on what you do after agency is lost in the first place. The article mentioned that you’re in New York. Under the New York Penal Code, you could not have committed sexual assault (or rape) without the state of mind of intent. It’s a general intent standard, so you need to have intended to commit a crime (none in particular). In particular, for sexual assault (known as forcible touching) your physical conduct (what you term the assault) must be accompanied by subjective knowledge as well as having a conscious objective to to engage in the illegal conduct. I do not mean to use the penal code as an anchor for proposing that ‘you couldn’t have assaulted your former partner because the law cannot acknowledge it.’ I don’t know. My thoughts are obviously also not fully formed about this.

    But what do you think about how the law (and I don’t mean its implementation and how empirical occurrences have interfered with it) sees that circumstance? Do you think you should be guilty of committing a crime?

    n.b. I just finished law school and started practicing bribery law at a firm in boston (literally this week).

    • Thank you for responding thoroughly and thoughtfully. A lot of people are misreading this part of the piece. It was never a two person consensual act, even one influenced by alcohol. Though impaired, I was aware. Though I misread signals, he never consented. Though he did not hold it against me, he was not okay with what happened (he told me to stop. And I did). I’m not trying to create a victim here where there isn’t one. I’m glad I wasn’t thrown in jail for this and I’m not saying I should have been. I’m not even saying that he was assaulted – if he says he wasn’t who is to argue? – but can one assault without there being someone assaulted? Maybe. I’m just saying my actions were inappropriate and should not happen again. Can the law address all of these nuances? I don’t know.

  150. I applaud your courage and thoughtfulness in this post. You’re right – no one really wants to think about this, but it’s such an important topic. Thank you for sharing your story.

  151. Reuben Naranjo Jr October 30, 2015 — 7:55 pm

    Very straight on and realistic piece. No nip and tuck.

  152. What a great post. How courageous to be so open, honest and thoughtful about something that ranges from the everyday (which is very unfortunate) to rape and beyond. It’s not easy being even in a longterm relationship where certain behaviors are welcomed and accepted one day but may not be the next day. Personal space is just that – personal. And therefore, the boundary to that is ever changing. And it’s something that is very difficult to explain to a partner without them going to the extreme defense of being likened to that of a rapist. Assault can be subtle more often than not. Thank you for articulating that difficult topic so well.

  153. I loved the piece.It shows the ignorance that is still embedded in our society regarding wat sexual assault really is.Thanks for sharing.

  154. A very brave and powerful post.
    Well written; bravo!

  155. That was needed for people in todays society to look and realise that we have embedded a culture of rape into our own. We allow sexual assault to happen because we have come to terms with it happening. The only way we stop sexual assault throughout society is to let people know that it is wrong, and how it affects someone like yourself. We have to let people realise that an unwanted advance in a club is sexual assault. That cat calling and wolf whistling is sexual assault. That things people do everyday, thinking they’re allowed because they’re accepted by society and not spoken of, not challenged are indeed sexual assault. I wonder if you branded all these unwanted advances people make as ‘sexual assault’ for society to see if they would continue to carry them out? Sadly, they probably would but perhaps it is needed to stop those in society who are unwittingly sexually assaulting people unbeknownst to them. How many times has drunk sex occurred between two people because one was less drunk and ‘coerced’ the other into the situation? And it was just excused in the morning because the two parties were ‘so drunk’. How many people in this world have unknowingly sexually assaulted someone and all because they think in the slightest that its ok? It needs to be said, it needs to be explained to people that its not ok and that it is wrong. And you did that. Thank you.

  156. Wow! Courageous of you to even write this let alone post it! It is eye opening nonetheless. Well done and thanks!

  157. Wow its a interest story.

  158. I saw the title and was intrigued. I’m glad I clicked it and read more. The way you have written this is very strategic. Great writing and confidence in what you have shared. Keep writing. I look forward to reading more!

  159. at first me and my sister didn’t know what a rapist was but when we realized what it was we felt like we should pray for that rapist

  160. Sexual violence and assault are things that need to be discussed and debated upon. For far too long we have kept our eyes and ears closed and our mouths shut thinking that doing so will keep these monsters away from us. But the truth is, people who commit these crimes are not raising themselves from hell, they are amongst us. And many a times, a proper communication channel in the community can open someone’s eyes to these things and might even stop a potential assault before it happens, in the perpetrator’s mind.
    Thanks for sharing your story and starting the dialogue. You have immense courage. Bravo!

  161. Reblogged this on Drem and commented:
    A powerful piece.
    Survivors, we must survive. #WriteToHeal

  162. Yes it’s the reality, great post thanks for sharing, every one should think about it. Thanks from shareofheartblog.wordpress.com

  163. Bravery on your part to share this, and what a great concept to your writing. The title had caught my attention, but your writing kept me entertained. No one really likes to talk about this topic and feel comfortable, but you made it interesting. Good read.

  164. Very brave and very interesting… thanks for sharing and paying my attention to the subject as I have never thought about it to be honest…

  165. What is interesting here is actually the part where the victim doesn’t want to talk about the assault, so they don’t. People are learning how to just shove things under the rug. Reason? I think one reason people do not want to admit the pain of being victimized- is retaliation. We fear as a society built on justice that once we breath the truth of being a true victim of sexual assault that we become a target for other more heinous acts because we fear we can not protect ourselves or that the city won’t take the proper action to protect us from retaliation. I think that is a huge reason we are in the predicament we are in.

    I really respect your piece and appreciate your ability to divide yourself from who you were (and your past tendencies), and who you have become (and your healthy boundaries).

  166. That’s really brave of you posting this. I did not even know that jokingly touching others without consent would be sexual assault. I’m glad I know that now!

  167. This has some heavy truth in it.Good read

  168. I see your post as radical honesty. I think it is absolutely what is needed so that we can change – individually and collectively. I have been touched and more without consent and without ethical consent so many times I cannot remember. I have also become aware of the monsters within myself over the last while. They are different to the one you speak of. I have noticed as well, how much effort people put in to not seeing themselves, as I did. Thank you for sharing.

  169. What transparency! I first want to congratulate you on your bravery to share your experience that even in 2015 seemingly remains a taboo topic. Prior to your enlightening post, it could very well be true that no one else has even viewed the aforementioned actions as sexual assault. Who knows, maybe exposing the strong man that has been able to develop in hiding has now been exposed, thus no longer having a strong hold to keep you, and the readers of this blog captive.

  170. this is such a great article. a couple of days ago a friend of mine was sexually assaulted. and its happened to her before too. but she never accepts it. and that is so dangerous for her.

  171. Love your honesty. However, I think to put the games people play in school (though they are inappropriate and shouldn’t be tolerated) in the same category as sexual assault is somewhat minimizing to those who do recognize what’s been done and the trauma that it’s caused. Playing “nut check” or having boys pull your bra strap (as they did in my elementary school) is a far cry from being sexually violated in the more common use of the term. Just my opinion…

  172. Well said! It’s only hypocrisy and shame that prevents most people from spilling out their own experiences. We must change ourselves if we are to make the world any safer for us or our children. Thanks for sharing… Nice story!

  173. BRAVERY! Thanks for sharing your story. I guess one never knows… But this is something that must be discussed. It’s a serious topic, and people are afraid to talk about it.

  174. So interesting to hear this point of view. I have been thinking about the Cosby situation in relation to my own experiences with sexual assault, and I would love it if you read it and told me what you think. (I promise, I’m not just trying to link my own blog, I really truly would like to hear your opinion as it is so closely related.)


  175. To put into words so eloquently, situations that many of us have faced either as the “abuser” or the “abused” without even realizing it, is monumental. Reading these words may very well be the first indication to either person, that something was just not right about those particular sexual experiences. These acts, have ever lasting affects and ultimately may very well lead to emotional “blockers” which inhibit our very lives in negative ways in the long run. Thank you for displaying your own experiences, despite the negative exposure you may encounter because of it.

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