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Sandra Newman @sannewman
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
OK I want to co-sign this with a story from my own youth because I have freaking had it with this shit.
So when I was 16, I was raped by the brother of a friend. Apart from being the brother of my friend, he was also a convicted rapist who'd done time for two counts of rape. That's a story in itself, of course, but I just want to say what it was like to tell this to an adult.
It happened that I was in group therapy with the guidance counselor at school because my mother had recently died. I figured this rape story was the kind of thing group therapy was for, and it would be a totally safe place to tell it. WRONG.
Contrary to what you might expect, the other kids were great about it. They were really amazingly kind and thoughtful considering that we were all fucked-up sixteen year olds.
The fucking guidance counselor, however, a 30-something woman, let the kids say comforting things for a while, then interrupted, saying flatly "Sorry, I don't buy it. I don't think you were raped. I think you were fooling around with a boy and things got out of hand."
The "boy" in this case was a 21 year old convicted rapist. She might have assumed I'd made that part up, because it's kind of nuts? I don't know. It still seems like a fucked-up way to handle it, given that my mother had just died and all. Maybe she thought it was tough love.
Anyway, I said (and you have to keep in mind that I'm ugly-crying to a humiliating degree because it's therapy and I'm 16 and all) "No, that's not what happened."
And the guidance counselor comes out with this absolutely breathtaking all-time classic, "Then why do you always dress like you're trying to get picked up?"
People, I used to wear a burgundy corduroy skirt suit with ruffles on it. There were many things tragically wrong with my fashion sense, but "always dressing like you're trying to get picked up" was not one of the things.
This is all to say that, in that era, it didn't have to be a he said/she said for you to be treated like a lying crazy slut. A "she said" all by itself was plenty. You did not tell adults this stuff because your chances of getting a sane reception were about 2%.
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