Rape: No uniform and no boundaries

Yesterday evening a plethora of women and men joined in a cathartic moment. They shared what they were wearing when they were sexually assaulted. This conversation started when someone posted an article about a 60 yr old woman being raped in her home. The poster asked the question: “what were you wearing when you were raped?” Some shared information on their 1st, 2nd,  and even 3rd encounter of rape by someone they knew, and was suppose to trust. For some it was their first time sharing,  some wanted to be anonymous, and some quickly shared and deleted after sharing. The point of this sharing moment was not to shame any of the victims or to remind them of those awful moments. The point: rape has no uniform. For some of these women their first assault was at the age of 2. They don’t remember the details, but remembered the violation. It sticks with you forever, and does something to you every now and then. Even if you forgave your attacker it is hard to completely heal from the assault.

Have you had your trust violated by someone you loved, family you trusted, and they took it upon themselves to erase your innocence?  How could you trust the same? I applaud these brave men and women that shared publicly and anonymously because last night they were able to be comforted knowing it was nothing they did, and thousands of us stand with them. I’ll share some of these sans name to respect their privacy.

Also, to the men who were told it was their rites to passage, but deep down they know what it truly was: we acknowledge your struggle, we cry  with you, and we admire your courage. We love you just the same.

To the woman who started this conversation we appreciate you for opening up this platform.

“Age 6, jeans and t-shirt, my brother’s “best friend” forced himself inside of me one day while waiting for my brother to get back home.”

“jeans & t-shirt, my HS bf, my house, my virginity. He justified by telling me “you didn’t say no, you said stop”

“first time 19- long jean skirt and a white blouse with flowers second time 28 sweats w/ a fever of a 102”

“1st 18, jeans, sea green T. 2nd 20, jeans, white sweater, drugged. Bf called me a cheating bitch & dumped me when I told him”

“19 jeans and raincoat, in an elevator. 27 jeans and a purple sweater, roofied. ok RT”

“A tank top and wrap around skirt. Age 5. RT.”

“in my underwear in bed. my now ex-husband said he “needed” it & didn’t take no for answer & after awhile, I stopped fighting.”

“You’re the only person I’ve told. I’m 36, married for 12 years & my OH doesn’t know. I was wearing whatever kids wore in the 80’s.”

“first time, 7 or 8. denim shorts to my knees, polo button up. socks, sneakers. my uncle forced oral. you can tweet.”

“2nd time. Pajamas. Female relative. She was “showing me” what they did on the movies that came on Cinemax.”

“jeans, nbc sports t-shirt, nike running shoes. he was a childhood friend.”

“Navy capri pants, lilac tank top, black cardigan, flip-flops. I was 14, in public. He was my friend. Okay to RT.”

“I was wearing a brown Garanimals-type shirt w/green frogs on it, a brown fringe jacket, Wranglers and B. Brown loafers. 6. OK to RT”

“1st of multiple times by the same family member was at 7…wearing pajamas. 2nd time I was 12…sweatpants and tee…youth pastor”

“12, mother’s friend son, shirt & sweats. Happen twice..told me ill never be pretty enough & it was the only option to take..”

“one-piece bathing suit. I was 17 & a lifeguard. He was a co-worker. It was my 1st job. Ok to RT. thank you for twitter conversation”

“A hoodie and jeans.”

“Jeans, vest top, shirt, and no make up”

“T-shirt and jeans. I was 12. I never spoke of it until my late 20’s. Alway thought it was my fault because I looked nice. (Ok2RT)”

“I don’t even remember what I wore cuz it happened so many times between ages 4-6. Obviously wasn’t wearing anything slutty.”

“I was 4. Pajamas. My brother (11)…My 1st time ever sharing.”

“The first time? I was 8. I had on a sweater and jeans. The 2nd, work clothes: dress pants and a button up blouse”

“Age:13, nothing but a towel wrapped around me. I was just getting out of the shower (Ok to RT)”

“I was wearing a poofy pink Easter Sunday dress. My older cousin did it… It was my 7th birthday.”

“…I got gangraped when I was 19 by some boys I knew in HS. I wasn’t healthy for a year 1/2 after.”

“in my room and forced himself on me. Said I wanted it. Captain of the basketball team at the college near by. (Okay to Rt)”

“Naked and engaging in consensual sex that turned… awry.”

“1. A nightie, 2. a nice blouse and long skirt, and 3. a sweatshirt and jeans.”

“Pajamas. Woke up to assault, I was in grade school (don’t remember exact age). Last time I ever wore a nightgown. Ok to rt”

“23, black dress, sweater. I was in my car, got stuck up at gunpoint.”

“The 1st time I was wearing a pink nightgown, I was 7. The 2nd time I had on jeans and a tshirt @ 22 ok to rt”

“past summer. flower harem pants & long sleeve black linen shirt. my home. RT.”

“Freshman in college by an RA and I had on slacks and I think a button down shirt. (OK to RT)”

“9 years old pink Disney princess pajama set days after my dad died”

“Ages 7-9, usually a nightgown *sigh* Ok 2 RT”

“A dirty Arby’s uniform. 20.”

“1st time: jeans, tank, + a hoodie. Was 14, + was how I lost it. 2nd: jeans and a tee, was 17. 3rd: a dress, 18 at a party. Can RT.”

“1st time I was sleeping in a baggy tshirt & woke up to a stranger inside of me. 5 yr later, the exact same but it was a friend I trusted.”

“My minister threw me down, tore my blue skirt off and penetrated me. 5 minutes later he has leading prayer for the congregation.”

“pink top and blue jeans shorts (first time I remember) 5 years old molested by my stepbrother almost everyday until I was seven”

“3rd time was actually last month when I went to London. I think it was two ppl but I don’t remember. Was too ashamed to say anything.”

“1st rape at 23 blue dress, Betsy Johnson pumps. He held me down and sodimized me. 2nd time my ex wouldn’t take no and forced it in.”

“was 4 when it happened…It’s the only thing I remember of my childhood…Nightmares still come back…I’m 23 now…It was my father. He hates me.”

“I was ten, and in the shower at camp. No clothing on. Camp counselor.”

“my then gf, now wife, was 21. Out w/ her HS friends while I was at work. Jeans & modest top. Woke up after passing out to find her former friend on top of her, having pulled off her pants while she was passed out. You can quote.”

“I had on a salmon colored skirt & top. My grandmother told me that color looked good on me when I left the house. For my date.”

“frilly white dress, white lace tights. he insisted on “helping” me take off said tights; we were at a beach {me: 7, him: 30s-ish}”

“When I was 22, I was brutally raped and beaten by two men. In the hospital for 2 weeks. Jeans, a sweatshirt, and flip flops.”

“Age 18, first ‘real’ job. Business suit/jacket/blouse. Boss. I got away,hit him with chair,complained.He got promoted. OK to RT”

“Molested @ 11 by my ex stepdad. Told my mom. She called me a liar. Never told my dad. Gained 50lbs in mos. to cover the shame.”

“2nd and 3rd time, same dude, break in, same pajamas.. Told me he was falling in love with me as he raped me.”

“Raped by ex-gf @ 17 wearing sweats. Wanted to “make me hate her” (her words) so easier 4 her 2 move on after cheating. Ok to RT”

“On the hood of my car in plain view of my 5 year old sister. She saw everything and is terrified of anyone named ____.”

“4th time was this past September. I’m 24. I had on a church dress and some flip flops. It was outside his apartment complex.”

“I was raped. That’s why I left the Army. Never told anyone publicly (only a select few know about it).”

“I was first attacked at 2 yrs old in my nursery by my mom’s brother. He was trying to force himself into me! I locked my hips.”

“1st time: sundress. 2nd time: tshirt and sweats.”

“Forced himself on me. Removed my panties and I wasn’t aroused and I said no. He didn’t care. Removed my panties…spat on me…and did it.”

“Multiple times when I was little. Probably wearing a nightgown or pjs. & again in high school wearing a graduation dress. RT”

“5 yrs, pink nightgown w/a bow on the neck. My dad had his drunk friends over. I’d made my 3yo sis sleep under the bed that night..”

“office work clothes. collared shirt, cardigan, pencil skirt with tights, flats. you can RT.”

“24. t-shirt & panties. at knifepoint in my own home. I said “no” & almost didn’t live to see today. (ok to RT)”

“On one occasion: Oversize everything. Another: Jeans, shirt. (s’ok to RT)”

“oh yeah and age 2 kinda blurry but rugrats shirt and short set pink sneakers a friend of my mom he had a fish and it was pic day”

“6-10, t-shirt, shorts, pajamas, jeans, dress, didn’t matter. 15 jeans & a t-shirt, 19 sweatpants & t-shirt, 35 a dress. RT at will”

“A navy blue maxi dress from WALMART. I was getting ready for school…To teach. I was 31. 6 am. (Ok to RT.)”

“leggings and a baggy t shirt (ok to rt)”

“I was wearing a tank top, jeans & flip flops. Now I wear loose clothing & a hat when I’m out alone. I don’t want any attention to my body”

“I was wearing jeans and a button up shirt. It’s ok to RT.”

“age 13, pajamas. Age 16, jean skirt and short sleeved shirt. Age 30, ex s/o @ home. Ok to RT.”

1st time, nightgown. I was 5. 2nd&3rd time, jeans and a tee or tank top. 4th time, nothing. It was by my (then) gf, we were in bed. Ages 5, 13, 16, and 22.”

“An old baseball team t-shirt from goodwill and some black pants from NY&CO; my pajamas; a mickey mouse t shirt and jeans. And yes that was 3 separate occasions”

“school uniform….my sorority t-shirt and jeans… A black party dress (can retweet).”

“my school clothes. a jacket, screen print shirt, jeans, and snow boots. Okay to RT”

“I was 12, it was 4 guys. I had on an army green coat and acid washed skinny jeans w/zippers & bows at the ankle. You can RT”

There were so many more stories, but it’s draining.

If you would like to share with us what you were wearing publicly or privately let me know. You are not alone.

xoxoxo

Jae

Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh

This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman…

I love a feminist man because his love for me is pure. He loves my womanhood,  celebrates my humanity and embraces my imperfections.  He places my entire self at his level, and our equality is not to be compromised.  He believes that we were both created in the same beautiful image–from his rib I was birthed because without me his existence was far from complete. My feminist man lets me choose the role I want to play not because he’s a punk, and bends to my every command, but because part of our equality includes freedom and freewill endowed to us by our creator. The role I choose so happens to be one that allows me to cater to, create with and provide for. It also allows for him to be in the kitchen with me because it’s a task without support I can’t seem to enjoy. My feminist man doesn’t tell me what I should do or not do because I am a woman, and for that I am thankful.

My feminist man’s love for social justice is matched with my passion. We speak against the bigots, the sexist, the abusers and the wrongdoers with the same tone–fierce, with love, sans condemnation and with truth. He argues against why my sisters should be slut shamed, why my black sisters should be equally worthy as my other sisters, and why we should all #fuckthepatriarchy. When my sisters are sexually abused he doesn’t look to what they were doing, how they did it or what could have been avoided. He looks to the perpetrator, and demands justice. He doesn’t get brownie points for being a feminist because it’s not something he does for show. He does it because he believes it’s his way of life. In fact he doesn’t label it feminism because equality doesn’t need any other name.

Together we fight against misogyny and misandry that pollutes our community. We believe the hate and animosity keeps us from achieving the most important tasks of loving our neighbors, breaking through barriers that keep women at the bottom and confines us in boxes to be opened for sexual purposes. We fight against these things because a united front is necessary to get what we believe is deserved all in the name of equality.

My feminist man and I make plans to have a future. We plan on having Sean Bell’s, DJ Henry’s, Trayvon Martin’s, Rekia Boyd’s, Renisha McBride’s and Jordan Davis’. Black boys and girls who lives matter. We plan on raising them to ask for help without the fear if being shot in the back,  playing loud music that helps them get into the groove, and wearing hoodies that keeps them comfortable. We plan on teaching them to give the utmost respect to all of humanity regardless of the differences that exist. We don’t plan on raising martyrs, but fighters, survivors and truth sayers that will change the world.

I love a feminist man because the worth that I carry is not only contained in my vagina, but in my mind, soul and spirit.  All these things indeed make the most passionate/explosive night, but also a passionate speech, a Voir Dire and a winning POTUS campaign (lol). I love a feminist man because he is an educator, humanity lover, community warrior and family builder. I love a feminist man because it’s my choice.

En tout cas,

Me

Wearing Everything on my sleeve

There was this one Tuesday when I wanted to crawl back into my bed. I wanted to stick my middle finger to the whole wide world, and no one was going to stop me. I think I mustered enough strength to beat Mayweather in a ring full of barbwires to not say screw you to the first person that wished me good morning. I woke up so pissy you would think I slept on the wrong side of someone else’s bed upside down. Today had to be the day where I took all 4 of my nips to work because I wanted to be numb. Not sure why I woke up feeling like this, but I was ungrateful for every breath that I took that morning.

Fast-forward to 8:30, and I am strutting into work with my extra pouty lips, eyeliner and mascara to accentuate the attitude I planned on having the entire day. Being the softy (insert your eye roll here) that I am I just couldn’t do it. As soon as I got to work my whole ice queen thing melted. The first person I see is our old maintenance man.  He stops me while mid-strut and tells me how he enjoys seeing me every morning. Immediately my creep radar comes up, but disappears as quickly as it came in. He continues to tell me how pleasant my spirit is, and how there is so much joy in my soul. He instructed me to keep doing whatever it was that I was doing because it was radiating through my entire being, and giving him light. I graciously thanked him for noticing this about me, and told him what I usually say “I’m just tryna hug the world”.

As I walked away I felt awkward because what he saw was not what I felt that particular morning. I felt like I wanted to be in bed, and sleeping instead of sharing the love and light that I know I have to give. I didn’t need him to validate anything about me, but I needed to be exposed. I needed to truly understand that underneath all the vile venom that I was shooting out this morning there was something that someone needed that I had. I needed to keep my light untainted, unselfish, and uncompromised because my light is good and worthy to be shared.

I also became a little confused about my early morning feelings. Was it really a feeling? Was it just a state of mind? Is my love really that strong? Does love over power hate? How will someone know when I’m really upset if my love was so transparent? It made me really uncomfortable that everything that I am, and will ever be was just laid out there for the world to take a piece of. I want to share it, but what if someone takes it all? Do I need a signed agreement regarding the terms of my love?  

Thankfully I ended the day on a much different note, but still so much to think about. I’ve come a long way from the person who was so hard to read, so hard to break down, and never showing emotion to the girl who loves so much it bleeds through her exterior.

En tout cas,

Me