I’ve never been raped.

By: Anonymous

I’ve never been raped.

Not in your technical dry as dust definition: Penetration no matter how slight of the vagina or anus with any body part or object or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person without the consent of the victim.

I’ve never been raped.
But I hurt in my heart for those who have.

No I’ve never been raped.

But I remember at age 4, being grabbed by you, a grown man, held down and tickled, begging you to stop until I couldn’t breathe.

Just as I thought I would die from lack of air, I summoned up enough breath to say, “I will pee on you.”

Still, you did not stop until I gathered enough strength to pee on you, even though I didn’t have to. I remember the sly smirk on your wife’s face as she said, “Well she warned you.”

But I was never raped.

No I’ve never been raped.

But I remember the two boys who grabbed me at age 7 as I walked home for lunch from school (yes we could do that in those days). One of them lived in his family’s business, a funeral parlor, and they threatened to tie me up and hide me downstairs with the dead people. I fought and I screamed and sat down on the sidewalk, but they dragged me along. Until one of them saw my tears of fear and said, “We have to let her go.” And the one whose family owned the funeral parlor didn’t want to but he couldn’t pull it off without the other boy.

But I was never raped.

As later I refused to go back to school. My mom received a phone call and afterwards said it was the funeral parlor boy’s mother and the other boy, the one who let me go, told her what they did. She said she had talk to them and they would never do it again. My mother telling me I would have to go back to school and how I begged her not to make me. She said I had to. I had to go back and face my abductors and I remember the look on her face like I was the one to blame.

But I was never raped.

One day at age 10, I walked that same street home from school. The street was under repair and workmen were in the street. Two boys came out of the house as I passed. They were younger than me and asked for my help with getting a broken wagon to the garage. Suddenly , as I entered the yard, an older boy showed up. The three of them began dragging me to the back of the house, threatening to throw me in the cellar and lock the door. I screamed for help as they carried me by arms and legs. I thrashed and fought while the men working in the street just laughed.

I began to cry and the older boy, I will never know why, decided to let me go.

Walking home another boy saw me crying and came up to me. I told him to go away, but he just offered me a piece of gum and asked me to sit down. We split a piece of juicy fruit and he just sat next to me in silence until the tears passed. I wonder all these years later if it was him showing up and witnessing my shame that scared the other boys into letting me go.

But I was not raped.

No, I was never raped, but came close one night at 17. A party in the woods, a kegger. I had to go to the bathroom and was told to go to the woods on the other side of the parking area. Walking past a car, the door opened and a large man pulled me in and began attacking me, trying to get my clothes off. He was older, in his 20s, big and strong. I fought, but could not get away. So I told him he would be accused of statutory rape because I was only 17. “I don’t believe it,” he said. “Look at my drivers license,” I said, defiance in my voice. He saw I was serious and let me go.

But I was not raped.

No, I was not raped when you invited me to your Pentecostal church, you on my left your wife on my right as she began speaking in tongues.  Later you told me how jealous you were of your wife because she got the spirit and you didn’t. But the spirit had told you we were meant to be together and you used your religion and adulthood to seduce me on the front seat of your family car.

But I was not raped.

No, I was not raped, when again at age 17, you, a friendly acquaintance called me over to your car and asked me to look in and see what you had on the seat. You pulled me in through the window and sped down the highway and told me you would throw me out at 70 mph unless I gave you oral sex. And afterwards you drove to pick up your girlfriend, whom you called “No No Nanette.” And she knew and I knew that I was the young bait to make her stop saying no.

No, I was not raped when my husband and I walked into a mutual friend’s wedding dressed in our finest and his best friend undressed me with his eyes and said, “Oh girl you look fine tonight.” Said it in a way that let me know I could not trust to be alone with him. It was then I decided to be fat.

I was not raped. But all of you have shown me by your actions you consider my body just a tool for your own satisfaction, that there is not a soul in this human package that can be frightened, scared, or shamed, only taken. No, I was not raped. Assaulted, bullied, used, crimes of sexual violence, but not raped.

Why doesn’t it feel that way?

:: untitled ::

By: H. D. 

I wanted to talk about a major issue I have with the gender neutral bathroom debate Re: men using the opportunity to assault women. I’m troubled by a lot of what I’ve been reading. I’m sorry for every single girl among us who has felt like her story wasn’t truly heard, and for anyone who feels they didn’t get a chance at justice.

So it is bizarre and frankly a little frustrating that when it comes to rape, THIS is the line people are drawing in the sand as “too much risk”, THIS is the one incredibly rare scenario where people are speaking out in protest and actually advocating for the potential victims. I noticed there’s a distinct and surprising lack of the usual doubt, scrutiny, victim blaming and rape apologies and after a lot of thought and reading, I came to a troubling theory why: Obviously first and probably foremost, it’s because this is an easy cover for people to justify their transphobia and if there’s anything that makes ignorant people uncomfortable, it’s the thought of transgender people among them. (Don’t worry amigos. It used to be the same with openly homosexual people just a generation ago.) But secondly, and this is the one that really bothered me, it’s because it supports the comfortable narrative of what rape “is supposed to”[sic] look like: The menacing male villain in an act of random insanity or perversion preys upon a stranger-an innocent and sober girl with nothing questionable or sexual in her background who was just minding her business in the well lit place at the wrong time. Anything outside of that and they eat you alive. So these phantom rapist hypotheticals are not only perpetuating hate and prejudice against trans people, they’re furthering the stupid and enduring myth that what rape REALLY looks like is a dramatic and violent jack-in-the-box attack by a stranger in a public place. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, because it does. But people are generally very quick to blame even a hypothetical woman if she’s raped outside those circumstances and when all of a sudden the usual allegations of the woman making it up, leading him on or dressing like a whore are gone, you have to wonder why. What changed?

Think about it: in all the posts I’ve seen regarding a cis male allegedly raping a woman who knows him, the responses are always predictably critical of the woman, scrutinizing her every move and motive, and generally the lucky rapist has more than a few Devil’s advocates on his side. They seem to ask questions not to glean insight or to hear her side, but to go down the “legitimate rape” checklist, seeing if her rape fits all the criteria before they even consider blaming her attacker. Well were you drunk? Didn’t you text him the night before? Well if you didn’t want to have sex, why was he in your bed? In the case of the hypothetical man pretending to be trans to rape a woman, the victim is nothing more than a crime scene who did all she could against an unprovoked madman. This is problematic because it removes all human elements from the victim and from the story, and frames the definition of rape to be an exclusively obvious act; an outright assault on an innocuous woman who, as a requirement, did literally NOTHING to perpetuate it and absolutely EVERYTHING short of death to stop it. If there’s any less effort on either part, then the rape is now out of the comfortable narrative and she is met with contempt and suspicion. It also dehumanizes the rapist, making it seem like the only men who rape are hulking, imposing, criminally minded cave men who one day snap on a random woman. This is important because it means the opposite traits prove he is NOT a rapist, and if he’s not a frothing, deviant, perverted, intimidating guy-if he was a clean cut youth minister, or a young handsome baseball player for instance-then he couldn’t be the bad guy could he?

Now, the cut and dry image of “legitimate” rape has become the only acceptable circumstances if you seek justice, and only qualified women may apply. Drunk? Your fault. In his apartment? Your fault. Have a lot of sex before? Your fault. Didn’t get his blood under your nails in the fight? Your fault. Took a shower after and messed up the rape kit? Your fault. Too scared to report him immediately? Your fault. Because thanks to the spread of the “respectable rape scenario”, all your classmates realize the boy from school you said hurt you so badly couldn’t possibly have done it-not when you willingly met him for drinks and even flirted with him over texts. Not when he plays rugby and has a beautiful girlfriend. Everyone saw your arm around him at that party. All of a sudden, your story has human elements to it-he’s not a mindless beast, and you’re no ingenue-and thus, it becomes a tall tale meant to stir up trouble for the young man. The “man pretends to be transgender woman to access bathroom and attack women” scenario is tilting at windmills in the worst way possible, because it’s obscuring the uncomfortable truth of what rape actually looks like with a ridiculously far fetched smear campaign against trans women- and that’s much more dangerous than a phantom bathroom assailant.

A man pretending to be a woman to sneak into a bathroom to rape an unsuspecting woman is not the enemy here. The culture that allows THAT to be the only type of rape that gets recognized or planned for is the enemy.
Look at the football player who assaults several women but is allowed to remain on the team because no one is paying 80 dollars a ticket to watch a woman receive justice.

What about the man who learns from media influence that a woman’s agency is just a lock on her vagina, and he can wear it down with the right combination of drinks, half truths and contrived lines to finally get past it. Who can she go to to for comfort when he finally forces himself inside her over half hearted protests and quiet resignation? Who will believe her when her story is so, so, far from the knife wielding stranger in the bathroom?
When a college fraternity brother drugs and rapes another student, the problem isn’t the act itself, vile and unforgivable as it is. The problem is that he’s surrounded by a culture where roofies and rape and coercion and women being used for sex are all punchlines, and a woman saying she was raped is met with disbelief, disgust, contempt, ridicule, and above all else, permanent skepticism. How can anyone ever be expected to stand up and say “my story has more to it than being overpowered in the bathroom by a stranger, but what this man did wasn’t right”, knowing that what will invariably be discussed is not the actions of the rapist, but her performance as a victim to make damn sure that she got as violated as she feels.

Forcing trans women to use the men’s bathroom is not keeping men OR rapists out of the women’s bathroom, it’s keeping WOMEN out of the women’s bathroom, and it’s perpetuating an ideal crime that invalidates other people’s stories. A woman’s safety, inclusion, and right to basic human dignity (Mystifyingly defended in the context of a public bathroom but not her own bedroom) does not come with ANY stipulations.

Unsilent Blog Monthly Spotlights

The Unsilent blog will consider non-fiction narratives (in the form of poetry, prose, personal essay, memoir, etc) on any subject at any time.

Sometimes people like to plan ahead or have a theme/goal to work toward.  Somtimes courage needs a little heads up.  To that end, please peruse the loose schedule of spotlighted topics for each month throughout the year (if we’re missing any important themes please be sure to let us know)!

At the start of each month, we’ll post a call for narratives and list the themes spotlighted for that month.  Again, we will consider and publish non-fiction narratives on any theme or topic at any time; you don’t have to wait for the month.

JANUARY
• Codependency
• Slavery & Human Trafficking
• Psychological / Emotional Abuse

FEBRUARY
• Black Lives Matter
• Teen Dating Violence
• Intimate Partner Violence
• Bloodstories

MARCH
• Womyn’s Herstories
• Deaf Culture & Experience
• Self-care & Radical acts of Self Love

APRIL
• Autism Acceptance
• Arab-American Experience & Identity
• Child Abuse
• Sexual Assault

MAY
• Mental Health
• Lupus/Invisible Illnesses
• Asian-Pacific Experience & Identity
• Spiritual Abuse

JUNE
• LGBTQ PRIDE
• Belief/Faith stories of inclusion/exclusion
• Eating/Feeding Disorders

JULY
• Abilities/Disabilities Acceptance
• Migration Experiences
• Body Image
• Illness and/or Injury

AUGUST
• Survivor Stories
• Parenting & Child-Free Identities
• Community Violence

SEPTEMBER
• Latinx/Hispanic Experience & Identity
• Suicide
• Self-Harm

OCTOBER
• Cancer
• Domestic Violence
• Infant Loss & Miscarriage
• Bullying

NOVEMBER
• Police Brutality
• Racism
• Indigenous/Aboriginal/First Nations Experience & Identity
• PTSD

DECEMBER
• Family
• Trans* Experience & Identity
• Peace & Global Violence
• Grief & Loss

To sum up: please for sure do send in your truths.  Any time.  Any topic. As often as you need to.