I try not to blame culture or society for my issues. Not that we have a perfect country, by any means, but I feel like blaming bad situations on others puts off healing.
That said, there’s something that we as a society simply have to stop doing.
Men rape and abuse because they’re trying to prove something. Like this unspoken contest they’ve got going on about who has the biggest penis. (Sorry, but it’s pretty much a scientific fact). It’s not about sex; it’s about feeling like a macho man.
Which leaves the victims of this worldwide invisible penis-envy contest to heal from the desperate attempts of men to finish first (although, let’s be honest, they all finish pretty quick).
That said, society adds insult to injury. As if it’s not enough for men to go around with a ruler (or a thimble), we start comparing victims.
“Well, she didn’t have bruises.”
“This one had broken bones!”
“That one had a gun pulled on her!”
We rank victims based on their abuse situations. As if the one who had a gun pulled on her has a right to heal. The one with broken bones can heal somewhat, but the one without bruises really doesn’t have any right to feel pain. So, no excuse for the healing process for that one.
We take the victims of abuse and compare the situations. Separate them into categories. Allow some to feel, and some to just shut up and deal with it in silence. Women look at other women and think,
“Well, my situation wasn’t the absolute worst on earth, so I should probably be happy.”
We feel guilty for healing because we feel like we aren’t justified in feeling pain. Pain is only for those who suffered lifelong abuse in a cage in a serial killer’s basement.
So we bottle it up, and every time an abuse situation comes up, it’s just more validation that you didn’t really have it that bad and you’re just an emotional wreck because you’re a subhuman.
This does not promote healing. This does not help anyone.
Pain is pain. Period. You may have different circumstances. You may have never bruised or bled. Or been trapped or held down. Or screamed or fought or pushed him away. You may have lain completely still, aware of the fact that resisting was likely to cause more problems, and gotten in your car free as a bird.
You were raped. Not more or less raped than anyone else. You can’t rape a person less than someone else. Or more. A bruise doesn’t validate it. The lack of broken bones doesn’t mean anything.
You don’t have to be in a locked room to be caged.
As a society, we have got to stop deciding who gets to heal and how much. These situations are so complex and layered that the average joe has no right categorizing it.
Society is not to blame for my situation, but they sure haven’t made it any easier. I’m not going to riot in the streets, start a blame-train, or look for special treatment.
What I am going to do, though, is tell my readers that you don’t have to qualify as a rape or abuse victim. There are no forms to determine your eligibility. You do not need to keep second guessing your membership status to the victim/survivor club.
And yes, this post is laced with anger. I have just finished reading a few comments by a man who claimed a woman was lying about rape because she didn’t come forward the same day, and was not physically injured.
People. We cannot be this ignorant.
I have now fully vented. Sorry for the emotional post today, but if anyone out there can resonate, I would love to know!