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."
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."
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."
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."
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.
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.