There’s an excellent read on rape culture and sexual assault over at RH Reality Check that’s worth your eyeballs.
Couldn’t it all just have been … a misunderstanding?
We excuse, or even perhaps like, imperfection in our accused rapists. The monster offers us so many rejoinders to smooth out their stories, a call-and-response to any survivor’s attempt to define the terms of their own experience. Maybe they were just a little confused? Isn’t it easy to misinterpret signals in the bedroom? Couldn’t it just have been an awkward, bumbling attempt at romance? Don’t we all know that the human libido is an unpredictable thing?
From our victims, though, we demand perfection. We offer empowering language to them—we offer them terms like “survivor,” a good, strong word that hisses and strikes at the monster. It is one that I myself claim, perhaps in an effort to appear … more perfect. Less cowed by the monster. Less willing to succumb to its brutal grip.