Wedding Crashers – Stop Laughing at Rape

How would you feel if you were watching a movie and a scene opens with a man sitting on top of a woman.  She wakes up to see him there and then notices that her hands and feet our bound, tied to each bed post.  She looks nervous, asking what he is doing and as he reassures her he only wants to be adventurous,.  She tells him to let her go, stop, beginning to struggle, pulling at the ropes, only to be gagged with a piece of cloth and duct tape.  Then the scene cuts. 

How would you feel watching that?  Would you think, oh that’s funny or oh my gosh, why did he just rape her?  She looked scared, she told him no, she was bound and gagged, why is that funny??  Would you feel angry? Uncomfortable?  A man just took advantage of a woman, violated her and she had no way to get out, no way to make him stop, he didn’t listen to her.

Over the weekend I just watched the movie Wedding Crashers for the first time and this exact same scene happened, except a woman violated a man.  In the movie, Vince Vaughn’s character, Jeremy, is pursued by a woman named Gloria, who he titles a “Stage 5 Clinger” meaning she is obsessed with him.  However, he is forced to be around her because Owen Wilson’s character, John, is interested in her sister so they go to their family’s house for a trip.  

The first time she assaults him is at the dinner table, where she begins touching him and give him a hand job under the table even though he tells her no, protests and keeps trying to move her hand.  She blatantly ignores him and continues to grope him, making him uncomfortable and violating him, ignoring his requests because he didn’t give consent.

That night he is woken up to her on top of him, tied down and as he protests, she puts a sock in his mouth then duct tapes it shut.  Then the scene cuts.  The next morning, Jeremy even makes a joke about being raped.  As the movie continues, they ignore the fact that she raped him and he ends up marrying his rapist.

I fail to see how this is funny.  We can joke about men being raped because we don’t see it as rape, we don’t see it as a violation of a man becauseOBVIOUSLY men always want sex.  The entire point of Jeremy and John crashing wedding was for the purpose of having sex, Jeremy and Gloria already had sex so we can make that a joke.  I looked up the summary of the movie on Wikipedia, just out of curiosity to see how they described that scene and this is what it said “Later that night, Gloria ties up Jeremy and proceeds to have sex with him, saying she is being “adventurous” and is fulfilling fantasies”. No she proceeds to rape him.

He said no, he did not give her consent and therefore she is a rapist.  If they filmed that exact same scene but Jeremy tied up Gloria as she was saying no and telling him to stop, people would be furious!  Watching that scene we would feel upset, uncomfortable, angry, but we laugh instead.

The fact that this entire event is treated as a non-issue is incredibly disturbing to me and once again perpetuates the idea that men cannot be raped by women, that it isn’t something serious.  It’s an extremely sexist point of view as we join together to destroy the ideas that surround female sexual assault, accepting the facts that a woman can be raped by an intimate partner, that what a woman wears or the amount she drank has NOTHING to do with her being raped, but we collectively laugh at a man facing the same violation?  Why is that ok?

I cannot tell you how many times I have been ask, “A man can be raped by a woman? How is that possible?”  Men can be raped by a woman the same ways women can be raped by a men, except our society laughs as we labor under the delusion that this is ok, that men always want sex and men are strong, there is no way they this could possibly happen.

We have to stop this.  Male sexual assaults are under reported because men typically don’t want to admit they have been assaulted because of these cultural stigmas.  It’s even harder if the perpetrator is a woman.  Instead of laughing, we should be furious!!  We should yell and question!!  Why is this funny??  Male survivors need as much support as female survivors and, at times, they need it in a different way.  We have to rid our society of these gender stereotypes and stop laughing at rape.

Meggie

Advertisements

Learning to Trust

So I had my first young person’s experience last night, at 23 years old and today I am experiencing my very first hang over. 

My relationship with alcohol has been a very simple one, I don’t drink a lot.  The majority of the times I’m the designated driver, but even when I didn’t drive I might have 2 only if we’d be in one place for hours and hours.  I’ve been tipsy once, that’s it.

Last night, I wasn’t driving and I was with someone I felt safe with so I decided to just relax and let go.  It was definitely a strange feeling that I’m really not sure how to even begin to put it into words.  Since my tolerance is so incredible low, it didn’t take a lot to put me into any state different than the state I entered the bar.  It was fun for a bit, the drinks were very sweet so of course my night ended with me being terribly embarrassed and getting sick.  Also, I’m pretty sure my body hates me because this morning I woke with a terrible headache, maybe it will forgive me by this afternoon.

While I have no desire to repeat this event ever again, I do have to say it was nice just to let go, just to not care.  I knew I was with someone safe, I wasn’t driving so I wasn’t putting anyone else in harm’s way and I finally got to have a night of doing something stupid. 

Throughout my entire life I have always been the responsible one, I constantly need to be in control of the situation, I can be uptight and I worry to no end.  When I was in Elementary School I used to wake up crying in 2nd grade about how I’d never get into a college, that’s just one example of how much pressure I put on myself to be perfect, to be flawless 100%. 

Last night I just let go, I acted my age and just did something stupid.  Not only that, I relinquished my control, which is exceptionally  hard for me to do and I relinquished that control to a man which is something I’ve never done.

While of course I’m not encouraging anyone to get drunk and I do implore those who do make that decision to be in a safe environment, please don’t drive, know your limits and be careful.  For me, this was just a moment in life, a change in my life where I decided to step out of my box in a safe, supporting environment.  I was able to trust, and trust a man which was very difficult to do.  Though I feel horrible now, I’m glad that happened last night.

I Want the World

Aside

The day I wrote my love letter, revised my love letter to myself was a day of change.  That day marked the moment I return to my body, when my soul found its light.

In the past 2 years, my soul has dimmed to an ember, only to burn slightly when stroked by my few passions. My work with WAR or Mutual Ground, those moments would breathe life back into my body, a temporary fix to a never-ending problem.

The problem was me losing myself and I didn’t even know it.  I lived a life of happiness only defined by the fake stories I shared with the world, the stories of perfection I painted in bright vivid colors that dazzled all who heard my sliver tongue lie lie lie lie lie.  I’ve always been a good liar, something I had to learn as a child was unacceptable.  Apparently now, I’ve become such a good liar that every sweet fake truth that dripped from my mouth sent me into the poisonous world I had created for everyone else to see.  What I wanted to be true was what I was seeing.  That world would never exist, no matter how much love I put in to build it.

I have slowly been rebuilding myself and have been doing incredibly well.  Not quite a phoenix for the flames, that metaphor is too often used and too majestic, more like the remodeling of a house.  Nice to look at from the outside, but the inside needs work and those repairs take time.  Last week though, last week it was just one of those “Ah ha!” moments, the moment when all those interior projects piece themselves together to look like something amazing, a moment that shocked your system like a punch, hard, quick and lethal, complete with stars and birds twittering about your head.  Sometimes that punch hurts, but it gets the job done.  I mean you sometimes have to use that sledge hammer to get the wall down before you can finish the job.  It shook me out of what was left of my daze and snapped my soul back into place, sending light through my body.

Now I can breathe without this weight on my chest, let my lungs fill with dreams, hope, confidence and faith that I had stored away. I am dying to travel, just get out of here, take a road, any road and go west.  Experience things I haven’t before,  to go out on one of those metaphorical limbs, the highest one I can find and hang upside down just to get a different perspective of life.  My world has shifted back, my world is untainted by the lies which hung from every inch of my being, my world is light.

I have the urge to go out to nowhere and just camp, camp on top of the earth and underneath the stars.  I want the insects and birds to sing me to sleep, the breath of the earth to tousle my hair, the remaining kisses from the sun to warm my body, the moon and star light to dance upon my skin.

I want to drive upon a road I have never been on, winding up into the mountains or dead ending at the ocean, flat and fast on the prairie, hot and untouched in the desert.  I want to talk to people I don’t know, meet new people in new places, see small towns, get away from this big city.  I want to dance and sing my way through my life as I had done before, dreams pulling me forward, lessons pushing me from the past.

Again, once more, I want the world, therefore I shall take it.

♥ Meggie

Why do you always blame men??

I am involved with a variety of issues which are typically considered “women’s” issues.  Domestic abuse, sexual assault, street harassment, human trafficking, subjects viewed as men attacking women, men hurting women, men treating women (for lack of a better word) like shit.  My Facebook wall is a public service announcement 24/7, filled with articles about men taking advantage of women under the influence or how men need to respect women and not shout at them, how women shouldn’t be forced to change the way they dress because some man will shout a lewd, disrespectful comment, men need to change, not women.

Because of all that, I typically get asked why do you always blame men?  There are two parts to this answer.

I am a firm believer that men don’t rape women, men don’t hit women, men don’t assault women, men don’t harass women in the streets.  Rapists rape women, abusers hit women, assault women, shout at women.  If I was passed out, none of the men I hang out with would rape me, they would take care of me.  If I was walking down the street with men I know, they wouldn’t shout at a woman.  If they like her, they would speak to her as an equal.  If they get mad at a girlfriend, they won’t hit her.  Why won’t they do these things? Simple, because real men treat women as equals.  Men respect women, men love women and men take care of women.

The second part of this answer is that a large part of my advocacy and public education is regarding men.  I strongly believe that men are incredibly underrepresented when dealing with DV/SA (domestic abuse/sexual assault) and a variety of other issues.  As a society, we tend to view these as a woman’s problem because the majority of the victims are women and majority of the perpetrators are men.

Not only that, men face different types of problems when trying to speak about any assaults.  “Of course men can’t get raped because a real man is strong and can defend himself.”  “Women cannot sexually assault men, they always want sex, DUH!” “Real men can take care of themselves, right?” This ridiculous stereotypes make it exceptionally difficult for men to disclose their abuse, especially if  a woman is the perpetrator.  This is the main reason why male assaults are so under reported.  This also makes it almost taboo for society to discuss male sexual assault.  Many people don’t know that 1 in 6 men are sexually assaulted before the age of 18, that men can get raped by women, that men do seek out services from DV/SA organizations.  At Mutual Ground, a DV/SA agency in Aurora, 3% of their clientele is men and that is slowly growing.

To create a society where women won’t be harassed in the street, where women won’t be assaulted or raped is to create a society where men can experience the same.  Men deserve as much respect, love and protection as we do as women.  Men deserve the right to come out and receive help & support after an assault.  We have to work together.  We can’t continue to blame 1 sex for “causing” this problem, this epidemic because this isn’t a women’s issue, this is a people’s issue.  Both men and women are the cause of it and both men and women are the victims of it.  Just because the percentage of victims is greater for one gender doesn’t mean the other isn’t affected.

I don’t blame men.  Those articles on my Facebook page aren’t about men.  They are about the real perpetrators, the rapists, the abusers, the cat callers, the street harassers.  Those people make society unsafe and those are who I speak out against, not men.

My Revised Love Letter

I have written a Love Letter to myself in the past, you can read that if you click here.  However, life goes on.  We change, have new experiences, meet new people that change our perception and grow as individuals.  Therefore, our love and our life is in constant flux and that is wonderful.  That is what makes life stunning and mysterious and wonderful.  For a while I lost sight of that, so to refocus, I decided to revise my love letter

Dear Me,

The first part of your original letter, keep that, but really believe it this time.  You rock those stilettos, dresses, business suits, jeans, leather jacket or sweatpants. Don’t change your style and embrace your body, love your body.  It does so much for you!  Keep laughing and smiling.  You have a wonderful laugh.  You have this incredible ability to smile in the hardest times and get through it.  You’re a survivor and you always have been so get it together girl!  Get it together and really laugh again!

I know you’re anxious, that’s ok to an extent.  It’s ok to be cautious at times, but just let life flow, stop over analyzing, stop over thinking.  Lay back and enjoy this stunning ride before you miss every second of it!  You always get so caught up on flipping to future pages, trying to see what is going to happen next, trying to make sure you won’t get hurt or can trust who you’re with, you’re going to miss what’s right in front of you!  You don’t have to be like that anymore. 

You are surrounded by people now who love you, people who care about you so let go of the person who hurt you.  I know you couldn’t trust him, I know you couldn’t feel safe around him and I know it’s hard to get through it, but you have to let it go.  Learn from the past so it doesn’t repeat itself and move on.  The people who you are with now ARE NOT HIM.  They don’t hurt you, they don’t lie to you, they don’t deceive you.  They take care of you, they protect you, they listen to you, they support you, they care about you and that is the most important thing in life, to be surrounded by people like that.  You have the most amazing friends in the entire world.  Don’t push them away because you over think, just enjoy it, enjoy them and love them back with all of your heart.  Please don’t lose sight of what is right in front of you because you’ll end up losing that and that will be one of the biggest mistakes of your life.  What will happen will happen and everything will always be ok.  Do you know why? Because your past is NOT your future.

I know those are things you have to work on, but I’ve also seen so much growth in the last few months.  I see you’re returning to the woman you used to be..  What I mean by “you’re returning to the woman you used to be” is not that you have become stagnant as a person because you haven’t, you have changed and grown and met new people who have enriched your perspectives.  What I mean is that your love for the world is coming back, your thirst & NEED for travel, your confidence, your strength.  At times you back down, you go back to this meek, passive shell of a woman you were for 2 years so stop that!  Stay strong.  The people around you love that about you, and I most importantly I love that about you!  I love your strength, intelligence, adventurous nature, curiosity.  To be honest, you’re pretty freaking awesome so stop holding that back and just go for life like you used to!  Keep growing, keep changing but never lose the core of your being, your passion, your drive, your confidence and if someone can’t deal with that then they aren’t worth your time. That is what I love the most about you and what I always have loved the most.

Here are some final thoughts that I want you to remember every single day.

1. Don’t lose yourself again, you lost yourself for over 2 years.  The core of your being is a strong, loving, loyal, confident, intelligent, stunning young woman who has the entire WORLD in front of her to explore!  You are too young to waste any more of your time lost, come back to me because I love that about you.

2. Always accept change. As people we grow and change so embrace it!

3. STOP OVER THINKING! You’re just going to push people away and stress yourself out to the point where you aren’t healthy.  Both of those outcomes aren’t good for anyone at all.  Marvel in the wondrous mystery that’s in front of you.  You’re happy, why should anything else matter?  You are so happy you can’t even use words to describe it so why think more of it?  Don’t push people away and don’t stress yourself out.  Just love what you  have.

4. Don’t lose sight of your life.  You are doing what YOU LOVE.  Not everything is perfect quite yet, you live at home, insurance isn’t really your thing but time changes those.  Those things are easy to change.  You have PASSION and INSPIRATION!  Those are things people have a hard time coming by and when you lose those, then that’s just not living.  Seriously, have you looked at what you’re doing? Have you looked at the people you’ve helped, you’ve impacted, the work you do? How many people get a chance to truly do what they love and be passionate about it?  Far too few that’s for sure.  You are one in a million who has the confidence to fight for and work at what you love.  Never stop fighting.

5. Also can you be just a bit less stubborn?  Stand your ground, but in other situations you can afford to be a bit less stubborn. 🙂

6. Start really dreaming again, not just kinda dreaming, like you have been for too long, but really DREAMING like you used to.  Fill your head with hope and faith and take a deep breath and jump in.  Get out of this country, go to a new city, camp, backpack, swim in the ocean, crawl through a cave, see the world’s largest ball of twine!  Nothing it out of reach, remember? That’s what you used to say to yourself so start saying it again.

7. Most importantly, I want you to say this to yourself, to us, every single day.  You are amazing, you are to be valued, you are to be respected and that means by you too. Don’t discount yourself or think you aren’t capable of something because you are capable of anything and everything.  Look at what you’re doing, look at what you’ve been through, look at the kind of person you are.  Value yourself, love yourself and don’t ever lose sight of you again. I’ve missed you far too much.

I look forward to reading the next chapter of your life.

With all of my love,

Meggie