Trigger Warning: This post deals with rape and sexual assault.
As many of you are aware, my article “Was It Rape?” was published on Mamamia and YouShare Project recently.
Both sites didn’t really change any of my wording, but if you would prefer to see the original post click here. The only real differences are the pictures and videos they used, and the ones that I did.
While I definitely expected to see a lot controversy surrounding the topic – as well as people weighing in on their judgement of was it or wasn’t it, I was deeply alarmed about the number of comments who either clearly didn’t read the post (like this guy):
Or people that missed the point entirely.
Despite the fact that I said multiple times that I felt the situation I was in, the one that I had written about, was not rape, and I had never considered it as such, I did expect people to give their opinions regardless.
Yes… apparently sleeping in a bed with someone else and kissing = implied consent. I should just expect to be groped whenever.
I expected others – and I quote (directly from my own article) – to have the reaction that I am “a pathetic woman crying rape because she wasn’t strong enough to say no”.
I definitely received both reactions, which I expected, and neither bothered me because I wasn’t trying to say I was raped. I wasn’t looking for justice, revenge, validation, support or sympathy.
I expected that some would show support and condemn the man and say that I was raped – and many people did.
I was trying to highlight the epidemic of rape culture and the victim-blaming and shaming that goes so frequently with it. I was also trying to bring to light the idea that so many women do ask if they were raped. There are so many people that are unsure if it counts, or blame themselves for what transpired.
If only I hadn’t been wearing such a short dress.
If only I wasn’t drunk.
But he’s my friend …
But he’s my boyfriend …
But men can’t get raped …
Will anyone believe me?
I said yes last time, do I have any right to say no?
But was I leading him on?
While I knew that some people would debate the “was she or wasn’t she”, I had hoped that more people would focus on the real problem.
And some certainly did. Some certainly read the entire post and realised my focus was on highlighting rape culture, and the problem with “blurred lines”, and what we need to do as a society to remove said blurred lines.
However, many people illustrated the very point I was and am working towards highlighting. Which was good, I guess, because it helps to highlight my points about consent and rape culture.
For example, many people – strangely, more women than men – said that by “acting interested” and “sleeping in the same bed as another man” indicated implied consent.
This was my point, my point so perfectly captured.
Sleeping in the same bed as another person does not imply consent to sex.
Kissing another person does not imply consent to sex.
Doing everything but sex, and being butt-naked, does not imply consent to sex.
In fact, consenting to sex does not mean I even have to go through with the actual act. I can ask the other person to stop at any time and if they don’t, then it becomes rape.
Amber Rose illustrated this point quite clearly (and I feel actually quite eloquently given all the bullshit women are frequently put through) when she shut down Tyrese Gibson… and basically everyone else who does not understand the definition of consent.
If you missed it, Rose said, “If I’m laying down with a man – butt-naked – and his condom is on, and I say, ‘You know what? No. I don’t want to do this. I changed my mind,’ that means no. That means fucking no. That’s it. It doesn’t matter how far I take it or what I have on. When I say no, it means no” (Amber Rose, 2016).
And you know what?
Amber Rose is correct.
Absolutely fucking correct.
The people who commented stating that sex was implied are bullshit because of what I was doing, what I was wearing or not wearing, whatever we had done previously, does not give a man – any man – permission to sleep with me.
A campaign was run in Norway to explain the different between consent and rape to men, watch it below. Post continues after video…
My husband, who I’m all pretty sure we can agree that I’ve probably slept with at least once in my life, doesn’t get to have sex with me whenever he wants.
You know why?
Because it’s about consent. Giving consent once does not mean consent is freely available.
If you’re stating otherwise – if you’re implying my actions or anyone else’s – equals sex and that they are “asking for it”, you’re perpetuating rape culture.
You are the reason so few people come forward about rape and sexual assault.
You are the reason that so few people are taken seriously.
You are the reason that some rape victims blame themselves and ask, “But was it rape?”
You are the reason I wrote this article.
So stop. If someone doesn’t consent, can’t consent, or doesn’t appear willing, ask. If they can’t consent, don’t have sex with them because that’s rape. Even if they said yes before, still don’t have sex with them because it still counts as rape.
And stop victim-blaming and shaming.
All you’re doing is giving rapists more excuses to rape, and victims more reasons to hide the assault.
This post originally appeared on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise and has been republished here with full permission.