Lefty Resource Library

Posting articles as I go

Tag: rape culture

‘The only thing common to experiences of rape is the presence of a rapist’

‘At 17, I mixed vodka and passion pop at a friend’s party and woke up the next morning in a spare bed, clothed with the remnants of a half empty cup of coffee next to me and no memory of the night before. I was not raped. Through my early 20s, I drank cask wine at house parties and crashed in beds with male friends. I was not raped. At 28, I spent nights on end in bars in New York with men I did not know, drinking beer and whiskey and wine, before walking home by myself through midtown Manhatten. I was not raped. The first time I hung out with the man I now live with, we sat up until 4am drinking wine on his couch. Later, I fell asleep on it while he slept in his bed. I was not raped.

‘The only thing common to experiences of rape is the presence of a rapist. Alcohol is not a precursor to sexual assault. It may be present (although most often it isn’t [since most rape is perpetrated by families and partners/exes]), but it doesn’t cause rapists to rape. It is perceived opportunity, entitlement and the casual enabling of a society that pins responsibility on women to avoid sexual assault that allows rape to continue at levels not properly examined or even targeted. But still we say, women – if you don’t want to be raped, put down the bottle, all the while forgetting that even if this did work it still wouldn’t stop rape.


‘The Not Rape Epidemic’

The essay that finally awakened me to rape culture, and a deeper feminism and equality activism generally.