Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

H.R.3 – No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

I’ve been debating this post off and on for several days now.  I keep telling myself that it’s necessary, it will be met with support and that I am strong enough to accept the circumstances should they be different than what I expect.  There’s a lot of rhetoric flying around about the Stupak on Steroids bill, H.R. 3, and now I sort of feel obligated.

It’s no secret I’m pro-choice, but that’s not my point today.  My issue is with this legislation and the right wing attempt to redefine rape.  The bill references something called “forcible rape.” Now, I don’t know about you, but my understanding (and the legal understanding as well) is that rape is a criminal offense defined in most states as forcible sexual relations with a person against that person’s will.

Force is hard to pin-down. Heh.  L

I’ve been the recipient of sexual assault at least three times.  They were all by people I knew, one was by my best friend, one by a guy I was acquainted with and another by my boyfriend who repeated the offense on multiple occasions.  I’m not sure any of my instances would qualify under the definition of force this legislation is getting at.

It took me a long time to accept that I’d been date raped.  Rape.  That is like the scariest word ever, you know?  It comes with a whole lot of repercussions and consequences.  I always felt like using that word meant I was shirking responsibility for putting myself in dangerous situations.  I refused to use it when describing how my ex-boyfriend would have sex with me when I was sleeping because I loved him.  It wasn’t okay with me, but calling him a rapist wasn’t okay with me either.

The first time I ever took a street drug was at the International Ballroom in Atlanta.  Richard Humpty Vission was spinning.  The House Connection vol. 1 is still my favorite dance album.  My copy was a dubbed cassette.  My very best friend, one of my only friends at Shorter College (now Shorter University) bought me an ecstasy pill.  He wouldn’t be taking any, you see, because he had a prior drug habit.  I never recalled seeing evidence of this habit, but obviously I supported his sobriety, so it was like, bottoms up.  I remember being nervous.  I had zero experience with drugs.  I’d only smoked pot twice and I wasn’t crazy about it.  I knew he had a big crush on me and we were affectionate, but I had no interest in him romantically.  Of course, that’s sort of the point of MDMA, to give you the touchy-feelies.  We had sex, well; I guess he had sex with me.  I let him hit me in the face.  I think I may have even asked for it.  I really can’t remember all that well.

The next day I was ashamed.  I didn’t tell anyone.  I chalked it up to next day anxiety; you know, like when you drink too much and get too loud and fall down?   I had a lot of people tell me he was disingenuous, that he was a poseur, but he was my friend.  It wasn’t until he left the school that we drifted apart.

I guess I could tell you the full story of the others, but I’m not sure I’m ready for that.  My mentor told me a few weeks ago that it wasn’t my fault.  I’m still not sure I believe her.

If Congress can’t decide what is “forcible” and women already doubt what rape is and what it is not, how are we to solve the pressing and often subtle violence that still assaults women?

This bill makes me sad.  Hiding behind an act of self-righteous indulgence in the name of pro-life priorities, I can’t think of too much legislation that disturbs me more.  Maybe the Patriot Act.

Be gentle.  Thanks.

 

Written by thelittlepecan

February 1, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Posted in atheism

Tagged with , , ,

9 Responses

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  1. I would love to think that the idea of sub-definitions of rape would be to allow more contexts for reporting and prosecuting it. This is not the case with this bill. The idea with this legislation is to create sub-definitions so that the offense can be prioritized relative to the perceived moral questions about abortion. There is a need for both national and local discussions about rape. I am ashamed to think that an immoral attempt at creating equivalency between a safe and effective medical procedure and a crime should touch one off.

    In my local town a couple of years back a 19 year old girl took her 15 year old half-sister to a party. They were both drugged and brutally gang-raped. The 15 year old was taunted mercilessly by her attackers when she returned to high-school the following Monday. She attempted suicide. The counselor was required by law to report the suicide attempt to the state which began investigation of the rapes. The rapists had boasted to many people about what they had done and so the cases went to court, and even before the guilty pleas there was no question of guilt. The white boys who raped the 15-year-old were sentenced to a couple dozen hours of community service each. The Hispanic 19-year-old sister was sentenced to over a hundred hours of community service for “providing alcohol to a minor”. There are no abortion providers in our town.

    Should the brutality of the above crime diminish the importance of any rapes? Of course not! Sure there are differences, but what we need is a society that prides itself on the amount of caring it can provide. The rapes also exist in a context of other laws. The perpetrators would have been more strongly prosecuted if they had been caught speeding.

    It may be worthwhile to note that these gang-rapes might not constitute “Forcible Rape” as defined by the federal context. The desire to attack abortion rights must be greater than the desire to protect our basal morality for the sponsors of this bill.

    AOA

    February 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    • “The desire to attack abortion rights must be greater than the desire to protect our basal morality for the sponsors of this bill.”

      QFT.

      thelittlepecan

      February 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm

  2. If for no other reason that to prove to you (and anyone who doubts it) that you are right in your feelings, I’ll share my story, too.

    When I was 19, I dated a guy who forcibly raped me 1 time. That’s all it took. I didn’t say no again for a very long time. He didn’t have to force himself on me again; I already knew he was capable of it. Does that make the other instances any less rape? No, it doesn’t. I was afraid to say no (besides the forcible rape, he was also verbally and mentally abusive, adding to the feeling that I couldn’t say no). Does forcible rape always include violence? No, it does not.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and your thoughts on the new legislation. We need people, especially women, to speak up and tell our policymakers how we feel.

    I know this blog is about the proposed bill, but to redefine rape as only being violent would be stepping back decades, and minimalize the further ramifications and effects of date rape.

    Teena

    February 2, 2011 at 10:33 am

    • This blog is about rape. The bill is hogwash that won’t go anywhere. Thank you for sharing Teena.

      thelittlepecan

      February 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm

  3. take two:

    I’m so sorry, but I’m not ready to share my story. I do stand with both of you, side by side. Our culture needs to change – in exactly the opposite way that this bill attempts to take it.

    Dianna Pax

    February 2, 2011 at 10:07 am

  4. I’m so sorry, but not ready to share my story. I do stand with both of you, side by side. Our culture needs to change – in exactly the opposite way that this bill attepts to take it.

    Dianna Pax

    February 2, 2011 at 10:04 am

  5. I’ll go too.. maybe it’ll take some of the heat off of you, maybe it’ll make me feel better.
    my first frat party at college- Stanford University no less- I was (date) raped.. they served EverClear punch and I had been told to bring a big plastic cup.. I had several as they were yummy and I had minimal drinking experience and always before with smaller groups of more trustworthy people. I was engaged to my hs bf, I wasn’t prowling for a guy. I ended up stopping out of Stanford several months later severely depressed (for multiple reasons this was but one) and was (date) raped AGAIN by my kinda bf- under the influence again, I was self-medicating and struggling to rebel but was severely held back by my good-grrl-itis.. the guy was a very bad decsion and I knew it but had not an idea of how to extract myself gracefully from his clutches.. and then he raped me in my own home I passed out and woke up the next day with my pants off.. it was very degrading and I felt horrible about myself because I felt I had put myself in those situations and I am a very smart person so how dumb was I to let this happen to me?? I made quite a few more bad questionable sexual decisions over the next few years due to the repercussions of the first act.. I am have felt revulsion and anger at myself spring up randomly and I am still dealing with it in how I interact with people.. trust is hard for me. trusting my own read of people..yikes.. I have to thank you Alana, I hadn’t quite put all of these dots together until now.. I am shaking.. maybe some more healing is coming my way.. ❤

    to have politicians think they can use some sort of judgment over this issue makes my head spin.

    Chris

    February 2, 2011 at 12:11 am


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