Making Excuses

The die was cast with Adam and Eve.  Kicked out of paradise and she took all the blame.  She had to.  Safety was the coin of the realm, and the outies had that market cornered.  The innies had to suck it up.  Play along.  Until the innies screamed that they'd had enough of that world, and blew it the hell up.  -  Plum Kettle

She says no.  He says yes.  She says no.  He says yes.

               It happens so fast, so easily you almost miss it.

                              A no ignored, a sexual assault.  Over in seconds.  

                                             Afterwards, he asks her if she wants to sleep over.

There was a warning at the beginning of Rad Fatties, the 8th episode of Dietland.  So I knew at some point in the episode it would come.  Somehow, the thing that burrowed deep during that scene wasn't the rape itself.  It was the complete matter-of-fact, mundane, quiet everydayness of the whole thing.

He pushes her, she says no, he backs off just enough to make her feel listened to.  He pushes her and I know what's going through her head.

Is she crazy?  Is this okay?  Is she being stupid?

He's telling her he likes her and the deep down longing to feel desired, worthy, even just enough is making her unsure.  He's telling her she's stunning, and how can that not feel good?

She says no, and he's telling her he's sorry, but he's not.  He's telling her it will feel good, and it does, does that mean she wants it?  She wonders if she is overreacting.

But she ISN'T.

That rock inside her stomach, that floor-dropped-out nausea telling her to run, it permeates the screen and settles inside me as I watch.

The look on her face as he takes what he wants... it's not pain.  It's not fear.  It's not shock.  It's resignation.

That thousand yard, half lidded stare says, for a moment I forgot, but now I remember.  I am an object.

The lack of obvious struggle as he tells her he loves her fat ass is a clear indicator the light of hope that this one was different has been snuffed.

The deadness in her eyes says, oh.  This again.  Because it happens again, and again, and again.

Women make excuses for the men who rape them.

All the time.

We talk ourselves down from self-righteous worthiness.  We convince ourselves that what is happening to us isn't that bad or that lots of people have experienced worse.  We bury our real, very valid feelings under a pile of things we "should have" done to prevent someone else's abhorrent behavior.

Because the alternative... it's almost unfathomable.

I didn't want to hurt his feelings.  It seemed easier just to let him do it.

The alternative is that as women, we walk in a world where the monster under the bed isn't imaginary after all, it's your date, your boyfriend, your father, your pastor, your brother, your friend.

The alternative is that we have been conditioned to believe that we owe any man a reason why we don't want to have sex with them.

It is hard to explain the emotional labor of judging every man you meet and trying to decide how likely he is to be the one who will rape you.  It happens every moment, every day.

This is not hyperbole.  This is just.... reality.

Jack was like a red flag factory, but he wanted me, you know?

We ignore our instincts, gut feelings cast aside by hundreds of years of programming telling us that we are meant to be grateful to be the object of a man's desire.  If you are fat, you can add the extra pressure of years of being told no one will ever want you, that the idea of someone desiring you at all is a joke.

How is to possible that we can simultaneously be so used to something that it doesn't surprise us, yet unwilling to share what happened because speaking it aloud shrouds us in a shame so heavy it might suffocate us?