Lately, I’ve read several posts on WordPress and other sites about rape. After reading this post on Buzz Feed, I felt compelled to share it with you. This lady is so brave for sharing her story and her personal thoughts, as are all of the other women and men who speak up about their experiences with rape and sexual assault (or in this case attempted rape). I salute all of you. I salute the ones who fight each day to take their lives back and not let this experience define who they are. #Salute
**Trigger warning for rape survivors.
Here is an excerpt from her story:
He was waiting outside the passenger door of his car when I got outside. He told me I looked beautiful as he opened the door for me, guiding me into the seat with his hand on the small of my back.
“I was going to show up with flowers, but I thought that would be too much,” he said, laughing. I resisted asking him what I would have done with a bouquet of flowers at an open-floor concert and smiled back at him.
When the band started playing, he moved behind me and wrapped his hands around my waist. I squirmed away from him under the facade of my own poor dancing and stood next to him instead, claiming I couldn’t see over the person in front of me.
I glanced at my phone and wondered how long the concert would last.
After the band finished, he asked if I wanted to grab a beer and head to a smaller show his friend was playing at. I knew I was ready for the night to be over, so I told him I was tired, blaming my early wakeup call the next day. Again, he offered to drive me home, refusing to take no for an answer. I hesitated, but reminded myself that he had done all the generically “correct” things when it came to dating: He texted the next day, he told me I looked beautiful, he arrived on time, he opened the door. He’s a nice guy, I scolded myself.
On the ride home he placed that familiar unfamiliar hand on my leg. He touched my stockings, snapping them against my leg. I flinched in surprise.
“These are sexy,” he said.
“Thanks,” I said, wishing I had worn jeans instead.
When we arrived on my street, he began looking for a space to park.
“You can just drop me off,” I interjected.
“Could I grab a glass of water? I had a couple beers, so I probably should,” he said.
“OK,” I said, telling myself I didn’t want to be responsible for a drunk driver.
When we got into my apartment, I went straight to the kitchen to get him water. When I walked back into the living room, he was sitting on my couch, leaning back and surveying the place.
“This is cute,” he said in a way that made me unsure if it was an insult or a compliment.
“Thanks,” I said, handing him the water.
He took a small sip before putting it down and standing up.
“Can I get a tour?” he said.
“There’s not much to see,” I said, laughing and trying to ignore the nerves suddenly pulsing through me. “This is the living room, that’s the dining room, and that’s the kitchen,” I said.
“Where’s your room?” he said, smiling.
“Through there,” I said, pointing down the dark hall and hoping my roommate was home, too.
He sauntered toward my room and turned on the light. I stood in my door frame, my arms folded across my body.
Before I could ask what “this” was, he walked over to me and grabbed my jaw in his hands, his tongue forcing my lips apart. I closed my eyes and let him sloppily kiss me. I tasted the beer on his tongue and thought about the nearly untouched glass of water in the living room.
I pulled back, but he pulled me toward him harder. I halfheartedly kissed him back, not because I wanted to, but because sometimes when you realize something terrible might happen, you can’t even admit it to yourself.
He kept kissing me and pushed me against the wall. I felt my spine hit the frame of my closet.
“Slow down,” I said.
I could feel his teeth on my lips as he smiled.
“I’m on my period,” I lied.
“That’s OK,” he said.
“I don’t want to do anything else,” I said, twisting my body away from his.
“Let’s just have fun,” he said, holding my body harder against his own as he kissed my neck.
He moved his hands up my skirt and brushed my hand away swiftly when I tried to block him.
I closed my eyes and wondered when he would stop. I wondered if agreeing to have sex with him would be easier than what the alternative could be. I hated myself for thinking it, but as he pressed up against me I thought, Maybe I should just get it over with.
“My roommate is home,” I said, in a way that I meant as a warning.
“We’ll be quiet,” he said.
“I don’t want to do anything else,” I said this time, more firmly. His hands were up my shirt now.
“Are you sure?” he said, looking at me with the same wolfish grin. I clenched my hand over his and pulled it out of my shirt.
“Yes,” I said, finding courage in the fact that my roommate was only a room away. His expression quickly shifted from playful to angry.
“Seriously?” he said.
“Yeah, sorry,” I said, though I didn’t know what I was apologizing for.
“You’re a real fucking tease, huh?” he spat. He didn’t seem like such a nice guy anymore. “People our age don’t move this slow, just so you know,” he said, as if he were doing me a favor.
“OK,” I said.
“I mean, I took you to drinks and a concert. Most guys wouldn’t go through all that effort for some random girl,” he said.
“OK,” I said, again. My hands started to tingle and I hoped he would leave before I had a panic attack.
When he left, I took off my clothes and got into the shower. I stood under the scalding water and tried to shake the feeling of his mouth on my neck, his hand under my skirt.
In that moment, I didn’t hate him. I hated myself. I hated myself for not being able to just tell him that I didn’t want to sleep with him, for instead claiming I was tired. I hated myself for my own fear of being impolite. I hated myself for letting him drive me, instead of taking my own car. I hated myself for getting him a glass of water. I hated myself for relinquishing my own control because I was too afraid of offending someone I barely knew — too afraid of being a “picky bitch.”
But in hindsight, I can see that I’m not the person to be angry at. Tim is, because I did say no to him, over and over, in as many ways as I could think of, until he finally heard it — until he finally heard me. And what scares me more than anything is that so many men still don’t hear, or don’t listen to, those words. I think some men are raised to believe that a woman’s body is a commodity that comes at a price. And as a woman, I feel as if I’m told to be grateful when I find a man willing to pay that price. I’m told (or I tell myself) that he’s a “nice guy.”
And that’s the thing about nice guys: You can’t always pick them out. They wear Patagonia and have good haircuts. They open doors and pay for your drink. They laugh at your jokes and ask about your family. But sometimes nice guys do those things not because they are nice, in the real sense of the word, but because they associate doing those things with getting what they want. Or, at least, “deserving” it. I found out the hard way that in modern dating, that roughly translates to: If I spend at least $50 on you, you better sleep with me.
She ends by saying this, which I love:
My body is my own. It cannot be bought for three drinks at a dimly lit bar, or with flowers, or tickets to a show. When I do say yes, it will be because I want to.
You can find the full article here on BuzzFeed.com.
Yes! My body, my rules. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
*Photo credit: theodysseyonline.com