Revolution #183, November 15, 2009
From a reader:
Hearing about the Richmond Rape and Making the Connections
I sat in the front of the TV for a couple of days getting so angry, as CNN turned the news of the Richmond Rape upside down. They kept asking why she would go to the back of the school with a male friend, to a place were there were no security cameras. Is the first question they ask a shooting victim: “Why did you get in front of the bullet?” No! Asking why she walked to the back of the school, is putting the blame on her! As if it was all her fault, she asked for it! My blood was boiling as they kept going at this point while at the same time they kept calling it a tragedy.
I do not know the particular reason why she walked to the back of the school, but I do know she did NOT walk there to be viciously gang raped and humiliated.
I know why I walked to the house of my brother's friend years ago. I walked to his house, because he said I was beautiful. No one else had said that to me before that day.
I walked to his house because he said I was beautiful, not because I wanted to be violently raped, as every time I tried to yell he said his parents would find me in his bed and call me a whore, not because he laughed and violently went in deeper when I asked him to stop, and not because after it was over he said I should get out, because it was not good for him, and I was worthless as a woman in bed.
I did what the writer of the Richmond Rape article in Revolution newspaper said, I closed my eyes and tried to image what she felt..... I felt violated, humiliated all over again. Being afraid of what people would think of me after that evening. How I would be viewed as a whore, and "damaged goods." How my life was not going to be the same again. How I could not go back to school, because everyone would know. How I could never tell anyone because I knew they would blame me for walking to an unsecure location.
But then I kept reading, and I made the connection.... The first people I told about my rape, were Revolutionary Communists, and they never asked why I walked to his house. They never blamed me. Was it because they were very nice people and knew how to talk to rape victims? No, it was much deeper than that; they understood where the oppression of woman comes from, how rape is not sex, and how it was not my fault. I wanted to let this young woman know, it was not your fault!!!!
Understanding where all this comes from and getting that is not your fault is the first step. But the most unleashing is knowing that there is a solution to this, that there is a whole other way you can live your life for, that all that anger, sadness, and self hatred can be guided towards fighting for a whole new society, where women are not seen as commodities. Where a woman's worth is not tied up with her sexuality or how many babies she can have. Where you can go to a dance, and get your “dance on”! And where you do not have to hear about rape, and the first thought that comes into your mind is, it can easily happen to me!
I want to invite all young woman and men to make the connection! Read “A Declaration: For Woman's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity.” But let's not stop there, have a discussion about it with friends, get it out to others, struggle with people to see the connection and fight to emancipate all of humanity.
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