There is no beauty in rape.
I’m here to talk about the first time I realized the importance of this. This is a literary confession. Please bear with me.
My biggest regret of my early teenage years is the secret obsession I had with being subjugated, controlled, overpowered by a man. I found it attractive, and I, being an introverted, small girl, confused being controlled with being led.
I thought I liked being the weak one. But you have to understand, this way of thinking didn’t sprout from an abusive childhood or some other explanation people place on girls like me nowadays. I grew up in a solid home with solid values and a solid faith. But I simply didn’t realize until later on exactly how much I was worth. Unfortunately, I had to learn through a scarring experience in the summer preceding my junior year.
It all started with a boy whom I hardly knew at all. (I will refer to him as W.) He and I both attended a music camp held in Denver in the middle of June. It wasn’t long before I heard the rumors – that he liked me. He wasn’t very afraid to show it himself. One night, as I sat crying in a little room, overwhelmed by the stress of camp, he opened the door and asked if I was okay. I nodded and smiled as best I could, but he wouldn’t leave. After about a minute of me saying over and over again that I was okay, he put on a miserable face and left – but not before looking back at me one more time. I figured he was just trying to be nice, so I didn’t think much of it.
About a week later, he stopped me in the hallway while everyone was heading back to their own dorms. I knew what was coming, and I lightly rejected him by merely thanking him for his flattering comments and turning around to go to bed.
I could tell you about all the drama of him asking me to play his composition, on which he wrote “I love you”…but it really boiled down to the hour before I was forced to perform the song. All the kids were sitting outside our dorm building, except W. One younger, loud boy came up to me, and, without any hesitation, proclaimed that W “had the hots for Asian girls.”
I felt my cheeks go red, but I couldn’t pinpoint why. What was it? Embarrassment? Anger? Or both?
Everyone else laughed and gasped a little, but while the commotion continued the young boy whispered even closer to my ear so that only I could hear, “It’s because he watches Asian porn.”
I threw my hands up in the air and began to walk away, stuttering in disbelief and feeling my face just burn even more than before. And then I felt my knees collapse. And then my chest. And I broke down sobbing so hard in front of every single person there.
The rest of the night was pure torture, even though the gracious camp counselors warned both W and the younger boy to stay away from me or else there would be severe consequences. And even after all my real friends comforted me, I dreamt that I was raped by a faceless being.
But it didn’t have to have a face.
I learned from that day on what being raped can really mean sometimes. Is our generation so naïve to think that the pure shame and anger a girl may experience can only result from being physically robbed? I used to think this way. The face of whoever raped me in my dream was not a specific man or human but rather the idea that people could objectify me. A boy reduced me to the pretty face he saw, and I felt the effects of it.
There is absolutely nothing even remotely beautiful, funny, or light about being raped, whether it’s physically, mentally, or emotionally.
Stop laughing it off, and start respecting yourself and others.