I will be the first to admit that I have been overly-emotional, lately. And maybe all of this writing about violence against women is finally getting to me. Maybe this is one of those situations where several bad things happen in a row, but it’s stubbing your toe or dropping a glass that finally breaks you. But absolutely everything about this article about a woman who was raped in college and subsequently kicked out of her sorority makes me want to cry.
And I do mean everything — every single aspect of the story. The men, the women, the rape itself. I mean the stupid illustration. I mean the fact that the Times felt the need to not only put the story in the Style section of their paper, but also under the Modern Love heading. — Seriously, a rape story under the heading “Modern Love.” I mean the fact that the word “rape” does not actually appear at all, even though there is absolutely no doubt left from the description that it was indeed rape. It makes me want to cry because, while I believe that women have the right to define their own experiences, I also think that journalists hold some kind of responsibility to the millions of people who will read their writing to call rape what it is. I think that the women who have had similar experiences and blamed themselves need to see it. I think that the men who have “had sex” with an unconscious woman and define it as “bad sex” or just an “asshole thing to do” need to see it. I think that everyone who knows someone that this has happened to, or knows some guy who has done this, or thinks that this type of behavior isn’t “really” rape needs to see it.
I can’t come up with the word to say anymore. So I will refer you to Jay, who manages to say something intelligent about such appalling and insulting, ignorant and stupid human actions.