After The Rape Stories From New Delhi & Steubenville & Everywhere, Women Are Tired – But Still #ShoutingBack

shutterstock_52671760While I was sleeping, all of my sisters and aunts and mothers and cousins and daughters and friends took to Twitter with a hashtag started by the Everyday Sexism Project entitled #ShoutingBack. It’s a jarring thing to wake up to, reading all of these tweets about how women and girls are subjected to harassment on a seemingly never-ending basis, but in light of recent events it seems that everyone is speaking out against things like this. And even though it is sort of jarring, it isn’t very shocking, because this is the life of women, from birth to death. This is our reality. I don’t care how old you are, or how you look, or what you are wearing, or where you are, chances are pretty good that you will encounter this.

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I love this conversation about sexual harassment, about how we can raise our girls not to be victims and how we can raise our boys not to be rapists, about how we can – how the world can – start viewing sexual assault and harassment for how damaging it really is.

But I hate this conversation. I’m tired. And even though I know that rapes happen every minute of every day the world over, and that women have been writing about this and speaking out about this and protesting about this since the dawn of time, after awhile it seems like no matter how loud and heartfelt and angry you are about the situation, you are still sort of screaming into the ether.

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But, you know, fuck me and being tired and whatever cry-baby thoughts flash through my mind as I think and write about these things, because at the end of the day, this has been another 24 hours that I wasn’t raped. It’s been another week that I wasn’t raped. Which is more than I can say for thousands of women and girls the world over.

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    • the freakish freak

      sometimes i feel like some kinda freakish freak because i’m certainly not afraid all the time and i don’t encounter these things.

      just alarmingly lucky i guess?

      • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

        so you have never been catcalled or had a comment made to you that made you uncomfortable, ever? I’m pretty sure you know people who have.

      • jsterling93

        Must be lucky. On the mild side I have had college boys try to pin me to a wall to “talk” while I was out grabbing a drink with friends. On the bad end I had a “friend” 10 years older than me drug and rape me at a house party while other “friends” watch. I was 18.

      • katydid0605

        not a freak, i am also very very lucky to have never had serious offenses against me. yes, ive been catcalled..which, im really sorry if this offends people, doesnt offend me. Yes, i once had a man i worked with make me uncomfortable…but those things do not make me afraid or upset now, though I am whole heartedly behind all these surivors, their families, families of those that didnt survive, and want a safer better world for both of my daughters. But along with all that, I dont neccessarily have horror stories.

    • traciamc

      I just keep thinking about what an attorney on CNN said the other night. Why is it that in these rape cases, the women’s character is always called into question? When someone gets robbed, for example, we don’t say, “Well, he shouldn’t have been wearing that Tag Hauer watch. He was asking for it,” Of COURSE we don’t! These are victims of crimes, and they should not be the ones on trial. It’s ludicrous, disgusting and disappointing.

      I have two high school aged daughters. They are both black belts in karate. But if they had been in Jane Doe’s shoes, they wouldn’t have had a chance either. I especially worry for my youngest, who has Autism. She’s very high functioning, but she has a hard time knowing when people are really friends, and when they are making fun of her by mocking her and calling themselves friends. Luckily, the kids at her school have been very good with her – she’s a varsity cheerleader, and the girls look out for her. But I worry…what would she do in a situation with an aggressive boy?

      I hate that it has to be all about girls and women protecting themselves, when, in reality, we shouldn’t have to. Something has to be done. Men have to realize that we are not toys – we are equals. And we’re not taking their bullshit anymore.

      Oh, and in solidarity and just for posterity – Michael Nodianos, on behalf of me, my girls, our friends and women everywhere – FUCK YOU!

      • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

        I can tell you this, your daughter now has a whole lot of women who fear greatly for the boy who is ever stupid enough to become aggressive with her. she is the reason it’s so important that we all never ever stop talking about this.

    • DanielCraigForevah

      I’m completely disgusted with the defense attorney in the Steubenville case. He keeps saying she wasn’t unconscious in the photo where the two boys appear to be dragging/carrying her. He also mentioned that they’ll be showing their own screencaps from FB because it will “prove” she’s sexually active…and that somehow means she’s a slut who can’t be raped. Why doesn’t it ever change? WHY??

    • Victoria

      While I’m a hundred percent in solidarity, we’ve also got to figure out how not to live a life full of fear. Our lives are full and rich and spending time fixating on injustice or evil just robs us and keeps us at victim status. We live in a world that’s shitty sometimes, but there’s good stuff there too. Have a daquiri, sign up for some krav maga classes, light a candle for all the girls, and get some rest. -hug-

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Ever notice how all the rape cases that hit the national news involve pretty white able-bodied girls/women?

      Where’s the representation of disabled survivors (such as myself)? Where’s the awareness that we’re more likely to be the victims of abuse — physically, emotionally, AND sexually? And why the hell do the police still treat us like we’re to blame for our abusers’ actions?!