Hey guess what I’ve been thinking about again also. Did you guess CSA rhetoric? Because the answer is CSA rhetoric.
Tag Archives: sexual violence
In my first year of high school, I was assigned to read a book with a subplot where a girl has pity sex with a boy because he’s a virgin, and whose plot and characters did not make nearly as lasting an impression as the rape/incest joke I can remember almost word for word. In my second year of high school, I was assigned to read a book where I saw some of my own sexuality represented in literature for the first time, as a key part of a dystopian regime, and where the protagonist contemplates becoming a rapist out of irritation with an evil prude. In my third year of high school, I was assigned to read the friggin Scarlet Letter, a book which could not possibly be more melodramatically obsessed with how awful the Puritans are — not for being racist, or misogynist, or any of the other things that the book gleefully embraces, but for being such darn prudes. In my fourth year of high school, I was assigned to read another book where one of the main characters contemplates becoming a rapist because of an evil prude, a character whom one of my classmates described as an “All-American Hero” and who is overtly celebrated in the book.
You know, sometimes, I feel like how messed up I am is way out of proportion to my actual life experience, but when I get to thinking about the kind of things I had to read and hear as a teen kid, I kinda have to wonder how I didn’t turn out worse.
[cw: sexual coercion]
Okay I know this was several days ago which is like years in internet time, but I keep going back to this post where anon approaches redbeardace about their boyfriend, and. I. *abstract hand motions*
More than a year ago I wrote this post on “gray area” violence that has now made it onto the RFAS Recommended Reading page. Reflecting back on that now, I’ve got some thoughts on how to give reassurance to people whose stories set off those kinds of red flags for you — when someone relates a past experience that sounds, to you, exactly like rape, sexual assault, or abuse, but they themselves explicitly communicate that, for whatever reason, they see it as more of a gray area.
Here’s a rough outline of what’s been helpful and unhelpful, in my experience, from on both sides of the problem.