by Dish Staff
The personal thread takes a new direction:
Thank you so much for continuing the discussion on rape. My rape story is a little different. I never felt a tremendous weight of shame, but rather anger that some jerk could think it was okay to do that to me. And anger at the ways our culture fosters that kind of thinking.
I was a college student living in an off-campus house with several people. My birthday party that night was the usual: a decent amount of drinking and a lot of fun with friends and friends of roommates. I eventually went to bed, alone. My roommate wasn’t in bed yet, so I left the bedroom door unlocked for her. A little while later I woke up from a heavy, drunken sleep to an acquaintance beginning to rape me. He was a college basketball star, and a very tall imposing one. He is black and I am white. I fought him and started screaming, which finally caused him to stop the rape and leave.
I did not report the rape to the police or to the university because who would believe an underage drunk girl against a college basketball star? They would undoubtedly claim I led him on, and if I argued I did not, I felt there was a very good chance they would pull the race card. After all, why wouldn’t I be interested in the attentions of the local sports hero, unless I’m actually a racist?
I will echo some of your other writers and simply say that in a case such as this, of he-said, she-said, I felt it was not worthwhile to fight to be taken seriously. We all have a lot of battles to fight in life, and this isn’t one that I necessarily wanted to spend my efforts on, only to be interrogated, dismissed and have my reputation tarnished.
In the aftermath of this incident, my friends barely took my story seriously and continued to be his friend. I eventually moved away and graduated college elsewhere.
I abhor the worship of university sports heroes and “frat culture,” with its repulsive, dangerous combination of male entitlement and female objectification. I believe it is that kind of misogynist thinking that led my perpetrator to justify what he did to me. But I don’t want you to get the impression that I hate all men. I have been married for more than 15 years to a really great guy, and we are raising two smart, strong girls. I simply feel our culture has for too long tolerated certain behaviors that are not respectful or healthy for women (or men, for that matter).