The bar is set too low — a guest post by a friend of Jilted Ex

Like many of us, I am so angry right now.

I have spent the last few years reflecting on how lucky I am that I’m not a rape and/or molestation survivor. I’ve always considered myself one of the lucky ones. And reflecting more, I suddenly see how low the bar for “acceptable” really is, and how high the bar for victimization is set for girls and women. This is my lived experience of growing up to be a woman who has never been raped:

–My father and his friend(s) posing my sister and I in sexy poses in our two-piece bathing suits for a picture. I was 4. (In the mid-70s, this kind of thing was actually considered normal.)

–In elementary school, during one of our many all-neighborhood outdoor sleepovers: In a tent with the older boy across the street. Other kids were there. He climbed on top of me, pressing his body into mine, wiggling in ways that confused me, and insisted “Let’s pretend we’re married.” Me struggling and telling him no. His older sister finally telling him to stop. I had no idea what he was doing or why that had anything to with marriage. I remember being scared, and glad when he got off me. No idea how old I was… 6, 7, 8?

–In late elementary and middle school, boys loudly and publicly appraising / rating me and other girls on our attractiveness – our faces and various other body parts. This was a regular occurrence.

–In middle school, riding home on the bus, seeing a naked man masturbating out of his window.

–In middle school, “titty twisters.” Boys reaching out, pinching my breasts, and twisting. Titty Twisters were quite the thing at our school, and I think most if not all girls experienced this. –In high school, the boy who grabbed my breast under the stage during play practice, and then insisted that he had had tripped and it was an accident.

–In high school, two boys grabbing my breasts while I was drunk.

–In college, making out with a friend. I wanted to stop, and tried to. He didn’t want to stop. He held me down using his knees to spread my legs and I fought him as hard as I could. I was terrified and could not get away. He finally stopped. (We stayed friends. He was my friend, and he was “worked up” and I could certainly understand that, right?)

–As a young adult, my ass being grabbed in bars, multiple times.

–As a young adult, my tits and ass being appraised loudly, out car windows, by people driving by, multiple times.

–As an adult, riding the bus on the window seat while an older man next to me in the aisle seat took out his penis and began playing with it.

–As a young adult, male co-worker reaching out to rub my stomach and remark on how nice it was. This happens twice, two different co-workers. –

-As an adult, my intimate partner refusing to stop when I said no, continuing to touch me sexually and pursue me doggedly unless I gave in to sex. Often grabbed my breasts or tickled me without my permission or consent, laughed or pouted when I told him to stop. Countless times over several years. Seemed normal to me. I married him.

–As an adult, riding my bike with my little girl, and seeing a man coming towards me with his pants open and his penis out.

Let me be clear. I am one of the lucky ones. This is a typical representation of normal experiences for the women of my generation. The people who hold power over us and our bodies are overwhelmingly represented by men who have no idea what the true nature of the lived experience of girls and women are like. Men who were raised with entitlement, wealth, and privilege, yet somehow believe that they got to where they are today because of “busting [my] tail.” Men who see women’s truth not as an opportunity for reflection, but as a threat which must be silenced immediately.

This should scare the shit out of all of us.

I Didn’t Report Because Fuck You

I Didn’t Report Because Fuck You

I’ve got other shit to do. I work full time at a demanding job. I have two kids. Their dad doesn’t see them or pay child support. I make a decent paycheque which is equivalent to what two parents working at McDonalds would make. Dentist appointments, soccer practice, games every Saturday (my week to supply the oranges), car repairs, my own health (slipped vertebra), I’m out of sick days, recycling day, the kids’ emotional health, help them with homework in the evenings, no minutes on my cell phone, one kid needs braces, figure out a way to pay back student loans, don’t forget bus tickets, I should be exercising more, keep the house liveably clean, really should have a garage sale, car insurance, drive one kid to school for 7:30 twice a week, make sure to have lunch foods, bus tickets, groceries, dinners planned, pay the bills, rake the leaves, bring in fire wood, goddammit forgot to buy light-bulbs again, parent-teacher interviews, Christmas is coming…

So I went on a date and the fucking knuckle-dragger asshole raped me. I will add him to the list of violent misogynists that I know. I’ll add him to the list of men that have assaulted and molested me since my earliest memories in life. The first was when I was five years old–he was a babysitter. What do I start with when I go in to the police station to make my report? Do I tell them about when I was 12 and had to walk past a construction site in Southern Ontario every day for four months and felt literally sick with fear and disgust as the men stared and taunted me? Do I tell them about the time when I was 18 and the older guy I was in love with suddenly decided it would be hot to slap my face while we were ‘making love’? Do I talk about the campus rapes I experienced at Carleton University in 1991? I am forty fucking years old. Where does it begin and where does it end?

I am not ‘scared’ to go to the police. I am not afraid to ‘relive the trauma’ –I live it every day. I am not fearful they won’t believe me or that they will judge and scrutinize me (although they likely won’t believe me and will judge and scrutinize). I know that for each woman this is different and I understand that many are rightfully mistrusting of the police.

But for me? I have enough shit to do. Why the fuck should some asshole cruise along being a total fucking creepy piece of shit and now I have to change my whole life? And give my NAME to all you internet douchebags and rape apologists? No thank you. Who I am is none of your goddam fucking business you nosy shitheels. It is not my responsibility to respond to assault in a way that makes all you assnuggets satisfied. It is up to you–to all of us–to live like decent fucking human beings and stop being pieces of shit to each other.
Fuck you.