Content Warning(s): rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, victim blaming, gender slur, rape jokes, groping.
Submitted for Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Our Voices & Stories.
"I was running with an new guild and was one of only a handful of women in it and we were chilling in TeamSpeak (rip TeamSpeak). Don't remember how the subject of rape came up, but it did, and one of the guys got super into insisting that women never actually get raped or sexually assaulted, they only say that for attention.
He and I (someone who has been groped more times than I can count) argued back and forth and it evolved into him saying even if women sometimes do get hurt by men, it really is their fault unless they take every precaution to prevent it, and that no woman should ever go out without those shorts that you can't easily cut or remove, without the nail polish that changes colors in a spiked drink, the straws that change colors when in a spiked drink, pepper spray (never mind that it's illegal to use in some states). I've literally never seen anywhere to buy any of these except the pepper spray, but he was adamant that if a woman didn't use all of these defensive things it really was her fault she got hurt and shouldn't be punishable.
I was in frustrated tears and the other guys were laughing. I was called too sensitive and a feminazi. For daring to suggest it's a rapist's fault for committing rape. Literally to them this was a joke, all hypothetical situations, and funny. To me? This was me that was groped, and my close friends that were raped."
We're so sorry you went through that, E. Not only did you have to listen to this person blame victims of rape and sexual assault, but you had to endure being mocked for standing up for what you believe in. We want you to know that you're NOT too sensitive. Being triggered is NOT a joke - when you heard these upsetting viewpoints, it put you back into the mindset of how awful you felt when you were groped (and thinking about your friends' scenarios, too, probably). It's something people with PTSD live with constantly, and something that group of guys won't understand because they haven't lived it (and we hope they never do). You're not alone, you're not too sensitive, and we're really proud of you for speaking up when they made you uncomfortable.