Thursday, October 04, 2007

How Date Rape Happens

You know I can understand how a woman can end up raped and how her perpetrator can genuinely believe he did nothing wrong.

I really can.

And the reason I can understand this is because in the past 2 to 3 months I've been in more then one situation where I was saying to a young man, "No I don't want to sleep with you." and he was saying, "Yes you do."

SMH.

With 3 or the 4 men in question I spent a lot of time trying to fight them off. And even as I write "fight them off" it seems like such a strong phrase and a little surreal 'cause they're basically all nice guys who just knew that I wanted to sleep with them.

I had one tell me that, "He just didn't believe me when I said I didn't want to sleep with him."

Huh?

And another said to me, when I pointed out to him that he wasn't listening to me, "No I'm not because I'm persistent."

Huh?

Another, once we'd actually had sex (and arguably he was the one where there was no fighting involved and it really happened (the sex) because I knew it was going to be the last time we slept together 'cause I was finally over him and so happy to that I was finally over him that I thought, "What the hell.") I said to him, "You know I really had no intention of sleeping with you. I did tell you to go."

To which he responded, "Yeah but you didn't really mean it."

Huh?

Sigh.

Part of me is angry. Part of me feels like none of the men I'm mentioning has any respect for me as a woman and what I say.

Part of me is shocked 'cause they're really nice guys who, if you asked them, really don't believe they did anything wrong.

So what do you do?

The whole situation reminds me of a quote I heard some years ago, on Oprah I think, "When a man says no it's the end of the conversation. When a woman says no it's the beginning of a negotiation."

And that's how I felt. Like I was negotiating. I mean I'm saying no. I've got my knees in your chest, pushing you away and you're still trying to "convince" me that I want to sleep with you.

WTF?

And the sad part about it is I know I'm not the only woman who's been in this situation. These aren't isolated incidents. This can't be chalked up to "those type of guys."

It just can't.

A serious dialogue needs to be had with young men. They need to understand that no means NO. If she wants to sleep with you she isn't going to need "convincing." 'Cause one day if you try to "convince" the wrong girl you may find yourself in jail being accused of rape and trying to figure out how you got there.

1 comment:

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there!

I am starting an online support group for "Sistas Who Are Survivors" of rape and incest.

There are many sides of this issue.

There are women who say "no, no, I am not interested" but their body language around men gives mixed signals because many black women are taught to allow themselves to be portrayed in a way that fetishizes their sexual identity.

There are, of course, disrespectful men who do not want to accept boundaries...and there is a place for those men... jail...prison!! We need to report those men and not just cop an attitude and then let them walk free to violate the next black women and the next and the next.

Black women may not WANT men who are strangers to define them sexually or to relate to them sexually and THAT will happen even if it is unwanted, but we can stil have a role in HOW we present ourselves to men. We can control how we present ourselves but we can not always control HOW men respond to our representation of our womanhood.

Therein lies many issues unresolved.

I don't care if a woman is walking down the street with a thong on and no bra, it does NOT give any man a right to touch her. Period. Still, one might want to ask if that woman is NOT giving an unspoken message that she is sexually available by the manner in which she choses to present herself.

I hear many black women say "there are so many sexual predators out here" and yes, THERE ARE...but we can get them into police custody if we will make the call. It doesn't matter if it is the most popular frat boy on campus or the star athlete... removing sexual predators from our midst means we MUST TAKE action.

I have talked to men who say 'sistas know they want to have sex but they play hard to get so that you don't think they are easy'. This is true - THERE ARE sistas who will 'play" hard to get they know darn well that they want to have sex. Yes, there are women who will play mind games. STILL...there is no excuse for rape! And these men need to understand that EVERY sista who says "no" is not "playing hard to get". Often, these men think that ALL woman are just playing a game and they are very wrong in assuming. And being wrong in their assumptions is what will put them in jail.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa