So this happened:
And aside from the fact the man sounds ignorant – he wants to enact laws about pregnancy when he doesn’t know how it works – he qualifies rape. If there is legitimate rape, it must follow there’s such a thing as illegitimate rape. And one wonders what that might be, exactly?
Akin has issued an apology video, trying to make amends for his word choice, yet one wonders if he still believes that some rapes are real, while others, are somehow fake? If only he could express the concept more artfully?
Jezebel documents and simultaneously mocks this dangerous discourse here. Tanehisi unpacks the power and privilege underlying the claims here.
Rape is rape. Full stop.
It becomes a stranger invading. It becomes a thief stealing. That is not intimacy any more. You have changed it. It is something else. It is something brutal and violent and mean…
This is from a much longer work-in-progress. In it, I recount a dysfunctional relationship, echoes of which still reverberate in my consciousness decades later. It’s appalling, really. The idea that such an assault is subject to scrutiny – not on whether it happened, but on whether it was legitimate. Whether it matters. Whether it counts.
It counts even though it was not with a stranger. It counts even though the perpetrator was my boyfriend, whom I loved at the time. It counts even though I only show up in the “underreported” statistics because I never reported him. I was too busy trying to convince myself that my feelings were legitimate. That I mattered. That I counted.
And I do.
What is one thing that left you forever changed?
I stumbled across this question while sitting, browsing and mulling – the trio known collectively as my process. Even when I have an idea in mind (I did) I often have to go through this period of germination. I embraced it in grad school, but I kinda want things to move a little faster.
But this is me stalling.
As soon as I read that question, an answer came to mind. I was inspired to respond, completely disregarding my initial plans to write about student ingenuity and punishment. Though as I began to type, I wondered how much I should or would share.
I’m still deciding. I’ll ease into it and see what comes out.
I experienced the first love of my life in high school. I went in with an open heart and came away damaged. Not just bruised. Way beyond heartbroken. Soul shattered perhaps, and I’m not sure that even captures it. For years, literally two decades, I was unwilling to consider the trauma I underwent. I hid it from everyone. Even me.
It left me secretly distrustful. Occasionally dizzy in torrents of “what if.” Subject to mini-meltdowns in intimate spaces.
Last year around this time, I began peeling back the layers, exposing the truth. To myself, at least. During that process I truly began to understand the transformative nature of narrative – the dramatic shifts in understanding that can occur in studying episodes of your own life history.
I was forever changed by the relationship. I was forever changed yet again, in the telling.
I hope my path of facilitating transformation through narrative can help others; but that’s a story for another day.
A thief made off with a prized possession
Snatched from sacred promises of love everlasting
A cage of my own hand
by hurt invisible,
choking out life, love
Twenty years I spent
Captive to that pain
Ignorant of my own walls
Wondering why you couldn’t reach me
Wouldn’t reach out to me
None had eyes for well-hidden pain
And I with it
Cowering behind a guarded heart
Wishes escaped on wings of prayers
Floating beyond boundaries
Sneaking through cracks
Disguised as discarded hopes
Rising above barriers
in my key
Imprisoned heart unlocked
Wishes as balm
As pathway to freedom
Story as star
Illuminating the road home