Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Rape, Or Not?

The Columbia Spectator has a look inside a reported sexual assault at that school, as recounted by an anonymous victim.
He cries as he pulls you closer. You stay and are sexually assaulted. Such an action requires the passive voice because it is a passive act. Rape is enacted on someone, not with someone. It may be uncomfortable for you to tell people you were raped, so instead you tell them you were “sexually assaulted.” That is what the administration calls it; it is the legally appropriate term, and it seems more academic, safely distanced from the experience.


You had told him no before, repeatedly, throughout the two weeks you dated. The night the assault occurred. The moment he held you below him. There was never consent. There was, however, the continued feeling of obligation to stay and the shock that caused your body to shut down, to become limp and compliant. Unprepared for abuse, you had no idea of what to do. So you lay there, stupefied. You were too afraid to move until he gave a last, too-hard thrust that jolted you from your inertness. You left. The pain stayed with you for the next week.

His perceived vulnerability, his stated mental issues: They are no excuse for what he did. To play both the victim of his own depression and the aggressor of sexual acts is not permissible. It is manipulation and blurring of consent that cause the victim to question, in that moment, their ability to leave their abuser.
The highlighted sentences strike me as being key to reading this as actual rape, but then, her "manipulation and blurring of consent" that makes me question it. It reads as though she might have been okay with this until he hurt her on that last thrust; she later writes that gay friends "[c]alling sexual violence “rough sex” makes it consensual", which, no; the point is more that she didn't say "no" clearly enough. More strangely, "Your female friends do not feel threatened by your rapist because he is homosexual", which implies to me he's actually bisexual. And why is she not kicking him out of bed? The mind boggles. (H/t @QuayBangz.)

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