In conversation with a friend regarding some parts of yesterday’s post, I had a couple of thoughts to add:
It’s so freaking frustrating, isn’t it?
Even when you’re kind of prepared, like, if the jogger hadn’t have been just a jogger, I’m not sure I would have done any better. I just couldn’t stand not knowing what was coming for even a second longer. I’d frozen before that night, and I have frozen since. I’m also always am a little unsure as to whether or not I’d played a part in whatever happened.
For example, my first actual girlfriend was a huge alcoholic. The kind that gets super drunk really fast, completely changes personalities (in her case, violent as hell), and then forgets everything (on purpose or not, I never knew for sure) by the next morning. I never knew who was coming home at the end of the day. She’d either make me dinner or toss me around. One time we were screaming at each other, and I remember she asked what was wrong with ME.
I said I didn’t know. Totally took what little wind I’d had out of my sails.
I used to wonder, though, if I knew what she was like when she drank, did I ever, like, push the envelope? Did I ever say or do anything that might have brought on her rage? And if I did, was it then my fault instead of hers?
If it’s happening to someone else, I am so completely logical about the situation and able to react in a more protective way. I see fault and proclaim judgement all over the place.
When it happens to me, though, suddenly I’m not sure what’s right and wrong or deserved or not. Things are never as clear when it’s me.
Ironically, another thing that happened when I was away at school is something I’ve only told one person. That very same first girlfriend. And she has since passed away from cancer, I hear.
I wonder if it’s a thing with women in general, where we feel less certain of our own rights or place In the world, so we don’t defend ourselves as much. Some totally do – bitches be out there not taking any crap from anyone! But the vast majority…I feel like we try to smooth things over and…what’s the word? Placate? Especially when it’s someone we know and trust, and/or someone in a position of power. I feel like we maybe try to take too much of the responsibility, and the guys/people doing stuff aren’t taking enough.
I guess it’s our society, really, though. It’s much easier and often safer to just work it out ourselves, rather than try to prove wrongdoing to someone else who may or may not be sympathetic. Most rape cases appear to put the victim on trial more than the perpetrator. What the hell is THAT about? How is it any kind of justice to force someone to face their attacker and, if they can’t remember stuff, or didn’t act the way they were supposed to after, use that to decide the attacker’s guilt or innocence? The one on trial should be treated like they are the one on trial. Not the other way around.