*trigger – Warning – if you’re not in the right frame of mind to read about sexual assault, don’t read further*
Moving essay. But more than moving, it is shockingly articulate. The idea of a “Not Rape” …
What we were not prepared for was everything else. Rape was something we could identify, an act with a strict definition and two distinct scenarios. Not rape was something else entirely.
Not rape was all those other little things that we experienced everyday and struggled to learn how to deal with those situations. In those days, my ears were filled with secrets that were not my own, the confessions of not rapes experienced by the girls I knew then and the women I know now.
The way rape is perceived – it is seen as the “worst” sort of assault. As if all kinds of sexual assault can be placed on a scale, and rape is the one that gets 10/10 for being the most vicious, or the most harmful. I don’t think it is quite like that.
The word rape itself – it makes people squirm. But words like sexual harassment or even “eve teasing” never really have the same affect. Even if in some cases, casual eve teasing is more physically harmful, more dangerous or worse for one’s self esteem. But it’s unfair to compare.
I don’t want to even think about this anymore – the whole idea screws with my mind and just makes me too anxious.