February 18, 2014

Women can be rapists too

I am more aware of gender inequality now, and not in the way that most would think.  I still acknowledge that statistically, women are more often victims than men. Many people don't believe how many people are personally victims or try to make it out like the crime didn't occur because they were friends, or dating. But most people still believe it isn't physically possible for a woman to rape a man and that's not true.

It makes me especially careful with my boyfriend, who was sexually abused. I am now very conscious of sexual acts and anything that would fall under the category of seduction because I don't want to hurt, or manipulate him, or anyone else. I am very conscious of sexually charged words, and hurt more so than in the past when people make 'rape jokes' or use the word callously.

Anyone who can't give consent can be the victim of [sexual violence]. Men can be perpetrators, but so can women. Be a friend to victims, regardless of their gender- it's dehumanizing to have a crime perpetrated against you, and it's worse when no one believes it's physically possible. Women can be rapists too.

Socially, I'm a bit of a wreck in the sexual regard when it comes to relating to my boyfriend,(and we're abstaining, I can't imagine the transition to us actually having sex). We speak openly about it, but I still second guess what does and doesn't make him comfortable, even when he says yes. It's a big mind game.

Academically, if I ever think that I've hurt my boyfriend, I can't focus on my work. I'm going to mental health now to talk about it because it's affecting both my job and my studies.

[Note from the editor: This is one of the many anonymous anecdotes and survey responses collected for the dx/dt project that were not used in the film. They are being posted here as contributions to the discussion of sexual violence, relationship abuse, and stalking in the MIT community. Thank you to all of the authors of these posts for your willingness to speak out.]