Part 2: What’s a rape?
The Day you’ll never forget when three young men who looked like your kind neighbour, the nice guy from the downstairs coffee shop, your brother or any other guy you never thought he could do such a thing, stole years of your life and made you a another number in statistics. Just like that, to kill time.
Just for fun.
Rapists don’t look like monsters. Very often, they look like an uncle, a family friend, a stepfather, a neighbour, a friend. The most of the time, they look like a boyfriend or a husband. And They also just look like nice guys, who don’t understand that NO means NO and NOTHING ELSE and believe that assaulting a girl on the street, or drugging and raping a student in a party, isn’t serious. So insignificant, that some of them go as far as uploading a video on social networks, thinking they’ll not have any problem. It happened, just a couple of months ago, in France, for example. There’s a name for that: Rape culture. And that’s precisely the point. No matter how it happened, violently or not, and who committed it, (a) stranger(s) or not, a rape is anything but insignificant. It never is.
Pain, fear, humiliation, guilt and judgements.
That’s what a rape is.
Crawling on your knees to try to hide yourself and curling up on the ground hoping that you’ll freeze to death. But no, it can’t be that easy.
Blood, injuries, bruises, emotional trauma and questions. From paramedics, cops, doctors, strangers, your family, your friends, your boyfriend, from everybody but most of all from yourself.
« Was it my fault? Did I do something wrong? Why me? What if…? And if…? Or if…? Am I a bitch? A slut? A whore? SDT? Pregnancy? Abortion?
An infernal loop going around and around in your head.
That’s how a rape looks like.
Saying it’s okay. Saying you can get through. Saying you’re strong enough. Feeling that it’s fucking not true. Trying anyway. Trying so hard and crashing down because it’s fucking not true.
Panicking and bursting into tears in the bus, just because a guy said you were pretty. Standing frozen in the middle of the street when men speak loudly outside of a bar and check you out. And finally, running away and locking yourself up in your flat, for months, because you can’t any more walk down the street, take the train, go to college, sit in a cafe or just live without feeling like you are surrounded by predators.
Feeling ashamed, soiled, dirty, ugly, disgusting and fearing being judged.
You’ll be judged.
« Only bitches deserve that. You are a bitch. It’s that simple.
Should I say that in addition to being a Slut, I’m a Baby Killer? My life. My body. My soul. My pain. My choice. Period.
Was it insignificant?
No, of course not. It never is.
Turning off the phone, hiding from your friends, your family, everybody and waiting for something to happen, anything, no matter what, as long as it’s not painful and it makes you fell like you’re still alive. But it’s painful and you’re not, anyway.
That’s how a rape feels like.
Pills of all colours, to sleep, to smile, to kill the pain, to kill the fear, to kill your mind, to kill your emotions, to live, to try, to die.
Throwing the man you love out because you can’t look him in the eye. Crying on the phone in the middle of the night and begging him to come back, because you feel like you’re drowning and you’ll die of being alone. Hating him because he’s here. Hating him because he wasn’t there. Hating him because he looks at you, he sees you falling apart, he’s suffering too and he has no right to!
Fearing the man you love because he’s a man. Curling up against a wall, protecting your head, because he spoke a little too loudly and moved too fast, and seeing his face getting white as a sheet, at the thought that you could imagine he’d hit you.
Hurting the man you love just because you need to do harm to someone. Pushing him away when he says he loves you and tries to hug you, and watching him break down and cry, without being able to even hold his hand or to say anything, because you are broken, destroyed and full of hatred.
That’s the kind of bitch a rape makes you.
A fucking witch that burns those she loves and smashes them to smithereens.
Hiding in the bathroom, like a child, because it was a bad day, you broke things, you injured yourself and you feel so dreadfully ashamed that you can’t face the man you love. You’re afraid he’d get angry, he’d yell at you, he’d hurt you or he’d abandon you. Even if it’s fucking stupid. He’d never do such things.
Not being able to let an unknown man only touch your hand for years. To make love with your boyfriend without feeling sick. Even if he’s never moved from your side, he knows everything about you, he helps you to overcome that chaos your life has become, it’s all on his shoulders and you with it, and you love him so much. Not being able to, even if it kills you. Seeing distress, helplessness and guilt in his eyes and feeling your heart break, over and over again.
Eating cheese crackers, candies and yogurts with your guy that growls on the couch because you’re so fucked up, you forgot to go to the downstairs shop buy some food. And anyway, you lost your keys, your bag or the both, again. Fucking pills…
Eating cheese crackers, candies and yogurts with your guy that growls on the couch because you tried to go to the downstairs shop buy some food but you were unable to open the door and to come out. You sat on the floor with your coat on and the keys in your hand and the day was gone.
Fearing of being afraid. It sounds like a kind of vicious circle, because it is.
And punching the man you love, who was trying to wake you up, in the face, almost breaking his nose. Completely panicking, because you don’t understand what’s going on, why you’re on the floor and so is he, that your head hurts, because you hit something, trying to escape him, why there’s blood on the sheets… And spending the rest of the night, the next day and all the days after, torturing yourself about it and apologising for being such a crazy bitch.
Nightmares, insomnia, panic attacks and depression.
Every single word of this song is just true.
And finally, giving up, stopping to fight and crashing down.
In French, “être à l’ouest” (to be in the west) means “to be stoned, mixed-up, spaced out”
Drawing, painting, writing all day long, because in your own imaginary worlds, you have total control, you decide, you choose, no one and nothing can hurt you there. But it’s not the real world. And suddenly realizing that you just forgot it, the real world. That the day is gone, your boyfriend is home for hours, maybe he talked to you, maybe you answered him something, or maybe not, and to tell the truth, you really have no idea, because you just were not here.
Explosive combinations of pills. Pills and alcohol. Alcohol and drugs. And the man you love who’s afraid, every time he opens the door, because he never knows whether he’ll have to pick you up off the floor, or not, find you totally euphoric or in tears, busy repainting the walls, curled up on the couch doing nothing…
Or just waiting for him, watching a stupid TV show. Because today was a sunny day. You found your keys on the first try. You went to the shop, bought food, flowers, candles and a lot of useless girly stuff and you cooked for him all day long. Cakes, pretty, small things to nibble on, colourful salads. You cleaned up the place, set a lovely table, put on a nice dress and a little make-up…
You know, like a kind of parody of a perfect life, such as you see in soap TV shows. A kind of parody of a perfect housewife, just for one day, because you’re not a housewife. You have never been, you never wanted to be and you’ll never be a housewife.
You’re a French teacher in London. Even if no one, in London, wants to learn French any more… But it doesn’t matter, you’re 20, you can do everything you want. Even teach French to people who don’t want to learn it. You’re a writer in Iceland, because of the elves and the magic landscapes. A painter in New-Zealand, because of the light. Or you bake French cakes in Australia, just because it’s far and you always dreamed of stealing one of those yellow traffic sign, with a kangaroo painted on. Yeah, stealing a traffic sign, because sometimes, you’re a kind of pirate, who commits bad deeds… No, before, you were sometimes a kind of pirate who committed bad deeds. Quite the opposite of a housewife.
But finally, now, you’re just a housewife. And a fucking bad one, who can’t even keep her house in order. Cooks once a month, only if she didn’t forget to go to the shop. And no one taught you how to be perfect. So you tried to fix your hair, with that kind of girly thing you bought to the shop and you don’t even know how to call it, but you miserably failed. You have a nice dress, but no shoes to go with it. And you felt half-naked only with your dress, and you were cold, because since that day, you’re always cold. So, you put on an old cardigan, which just looks like nothing.
Because you’re not a housewife. You’re just a kind of nutty hippy, a broken pirate who wears DR martens and old cardigans with her nice dresses and use a paint brush to hold her messed-up hair. You finally washed your face, because you cried setting the table, ruining your make-up, because you couldn’t even find a vase for the flowers and two identical glasses to make it perfect. So you put candles in every corners, the lights, at least, don’t need you or anything else to be beautiful.
And now you’re just waiting for your boyfriend, watching a stupid TV show, because today, you just didn’t want to be a selfish, crazy bitch and you wanted him to know that you love him. So you cooked pretty small things for him, all day long and put on a nice dress, an old cardigan and no shoes, but the lights are beautiful, at least…
Good days. Bad days. Crazy days and road trips in the wild wild west. Bad nights, bad nights and broken hearts.
“Definitely, totally fucked up!”
No, post-traumatic stress disorder.
“It’s the same thing…”
Anything but love
It was winter, in the evening, but not so late. I was 20 and was a second-year modern literature student at the University. I shared a flat with my boyfriend and I used to take the train to visit my parents and friends in the nearby town almost every week.
They were three. Young. Good looking…
And because lately it’s very fashionable -AND VERY DISGUSTING- to accuse all foreigners, refugees, Muslims of being potential harassers and rapists, raped women of being sluts, who deserved what happened to them, at the same time, and to lecture others, before putting our own house in order, as did this French politician, on Twitter, after the rapes in Cologne:
«Need we remind savages, that in Europe, women aren’t objects that we assault and cover in black?»
Are you sure, Mr Fillon?
Yet the savages who assaulted me weren’t black, yellow or brown. Not Muslims. Not foreigners. Not refugees. They were French and white. So, in addition of being shamefully racist, these kind of inappropriate remarks are false and misleading.
GOOD WHITE FRENCH PEOPLE followed me THE WHITE FRENCH SLUT, surrounded me, blocked my way…
Did I provoke them?
I didn’t even see them. It was cold and windy, I was staring at the ground.
Was I wearing the wrong clothes?
Which are the wrong clothes first? And even though I would had been half-naked. Are some types of clothes a license to rape? But no, I wasn’t half-naked. Fuck, it was winter, in North-eastern France, it’s fucking cold! I was wearing boots, a dark skirt, not too short, not too tight, a Super-Sexy Duffle-coat, woollen hat and scarf.
I’m not exactly a pin-up, either. The boobs are missing…
I wasn’t drunk or stoned.
I was just walking home.
I was smiling.
How do I know it?
« You have a so beautiful smile, darling, one of them said.
— Excuse me, I’m not your darling, I said.
— Now you are, he said.
And I was.
Suddenly I wasn’t a person, a woman, a girl any more, I was A Darling.
They threw me down some stairs, beat me, threatened me with a broken bottle, lacerated my leg and raped me. All of them. Under a bridge, near the train station, only 5 min walking from my parents’ house. Nobody saw, heard or did nothing.
I got hit, injured and raped because I was smiling and I can’t remember why.
I fucking don’t know why I was smiling.
Did I say no?
Just once and they cut my leg.
Did I beg for help?
With the hands of three men on my neck, my mouth and my nose I begged for air.
Did they really force me to do it?
I was so terrified. I just didn’t want them to hurt me even more.
« So it wasn’t really a rape, isn’t it? And if it wasn’t a rape, what was it?
That kind of love made me crawl on the ground and hide myself to die. When something hurts you so much that you would rather die than face the next day, it’s not love. The man I loved dropped down to his knees and cried on the floor of a fucking hospital and I was unable to look him in the eye! When something hurts you so much that you lose your mind and you nearly destroy the person who matters the most to you, it can’t be love!
We were only 20 years old and those bastards crushed us and stole our lives.
It can’t be love. Fuck NO, it’s not!
But, in a way, I feel lucky
I could have been killed. They could have hit too hard, one time too many, cut too deep in a bad place. They could have pushed me into the river, it was so easy. I wouldn’t have been the first or the last. Or I could have frozen to death before someone called for help.
It could have been someone close, a neighbour, a friend, a family member or even a boyfriend, a husband. It is the most of the time. And then your life turns into a continuous nightmare.
I could have been alone or my boyfriend could have given up on me and run away. He wouldn’t have been the first.
But I could also have missed my train that night, it wouldn’t have been the first time, either. So why not that night?
Bad planetary conjunction.
Lelkem – And Then There Was An Asshole –
“There were so many directions, but then there was an ass hole…”
Or maybe, if I hadn’t made that phone call, on the platform, I would have had the time to cross that fucking bridge before I met them, and I wouldn’t have lost so much years.
Years. Not just two or three days to cry before baking cookies.
THOSE FUCKING BASTARDS COULD ALSO HAVE NEVER BEEN BORN!
If women were not seen, depicted and treated as objects, toys, brainless pretty things, preys, meat, sex-dolls, holes to fuck, sluts, bitches, whores… A woman is a person not a doll that men can own, use, abuse, control, dress, fuck, hit and rape as they see fit!
« So, be a true heroine and not a fucking princess! Don’t let bastards step on your toes. Tell your bad boys to fuck off with their sexy clothes & girly stuff and to pack up their “Supermassive Cock!” and “Quickly!” You don’t need no man to tell you what to do, or not to do. Thrash them at GTA 5, just for fun ♥ And if they grunt, choke them all with “Made With Love” fucking cookies!
♥ One minute of sociology
Hey, guys, did you know that almost 50% of video game players are women. So there’s a pretty good chance that, in your favourite online game, the last big bad bearded warrior, who beat the pants off you and annihilated you, calling you his “Pretty Little Pony”, while he was raping you with his “Supermassive Sword!” is a woman for real.
Yep, sometimes pretty small guys get pwned by powerful big bad girls who “love” them really hard.
70% of women who play online video games prefer to use a male avatar, to avoid rude and sexist behaviour and play in peace. And in mmorpg, in particular, “getting raped” usually means “getting humiliated and totally destroyed in less than 2 minutes.”
That’s a pretty good picture.
So, protect yourselves!
Don’t walk into the lion’s den, especially when you can avoid it. Bad boys aren’t sexy. Bad boys are harmful and dangerous. Violence against women isn’t sexy. Violence against women is lethal. Men don’t need to behave like ass holes to be attractive and sexy. They just need to be respectful human beings. The tattoos and the beautiful eyes are optional. You deserve respect, fight for respect and make yourselves very clear.
And please, think twice before calling a woman a slut the next time. Someday the slut could be you.
Because only in France
-The small country where I live-
Every year, 198 000 attempted rapes are recorded and 75 000 persons are victims of rape (206 per day. 9 per hour). 91% of victims are women and 96% of abusers are men. 74% of them are known to their victim. A third of the time it’s a husband or a boyfriend and 1 in 10 women has been raped or will be raped in her lifetime.
Many victims don’t report it because they’re afraid, ashamed and cops are men too. They know that they have a good chance to be called a liar, a slut, a whore. To be told that it wasn’t really a rape, that they’re exaggerating, that they asked for it, but now they regret it, so they call it a rape. Or that they had it coming, because as everyone knows, women shouldn’t drink alcohol, go outside alone at night and if they do so, too bad for them, because men have needs to satisfy…
« It’s not a big deal, after all. It’s just a rape.
— Let’s make a video, it could be fun!
— Or a love story, maybe?
— Yeah, good idea! With Harry Styles as the violently sexy bad boy!
— His eyes are so amazing, and the tattoos, it’s just perfect.
— Sure, it’ll be a best-seller! Just thinking about it, I wet my pants…
Zayn Malik, Justin Bieber or any tattooed rapper a bit sexy, that’s good too. It’s raining bad boys on Wattpad planet, anyway. Choose yours and let’s go for a kind and girly rape full of love and cookies!
— Up for it?
— Come on, don’t be such a bitch! It’s just stories…
And no, French men don’t rape more or less -whether Mr Fillon and his mates like it or not- than every other men in the world. If there’s one thing that transcends borders, cultures, religious beliefs and social levels, it’s violence against women.
So, it’s better not to rely only on good planetary conjunctions to pass through the cracks…