I will open this story with a painful confession: I don’t know if I was raped or not. I was fifteen, at a party, with people who I trusted. I drank and blacked out, and the last thing I remember is a “friend” trying to take off my pants and I was telling him not to.
I woke up the next morning without any pants on.
This was years ago. I think I was too numb and scared to think about what might have happened to me, and I tried for years to push it away. I have now come to terms with the uncertainty that I could have been violated by someone I trusted, and have learned to cope with the fact that I might be another statistic of unreported rapes. But this weekend I almost fell apart.
I was at a party with my partner; with many people I didn’t know. I enjoy meeting new people though, so I felt it would be a sort of adventure. I introduced myself to a girl with black bangs and a drink in her hand-she seemed friendly enough. We chatted, as people do at parties, and she told me she wanted to be a comedian. Oh good, I thought, I like a good laugh.
We continued throughout the night with the group, laughing, drinking, playing games. My new friend then made a joke about rape. As I usually do, I looked at her and said “I don’t think rape is very funny.” She laughed in my face and continued to joke about it.
I raised my voice. “There is nothing funny about rape,” that was more angry than loud. She looked at me and said “I guess you just don’t like my dark humor. My bad.” And I looked at her straight in the face and said “I don’t think rape is funny, and I’m sure survivors of rape would say the same.” She stared at me blankly, took a drink, then moved on to another conversation.
No apology. Nothing. I was so hurt. So devastated. My own sister did not comprehend what I was saying. Joking about rape only perpetuates the idea that rape accusations can be seen as not a big deal. It only perpetuates this rape culture that I live in every day. Let me repeat myself. There is nothing funny about rape. It is not something to joke about. It’s not “dark humor,” it’s just plain rude, offensive, and ignorant. Rape was never funny and it never will be funny.
I went home and cried that night.