9 Novembre 2016
When I was seventeen years old, I was raped. Since then, I have gone back and forth in my mind on what I should do about it. My final decision was to not do anything; the lack of proof, the dread of an unending trial whose outcome would only rely on the credibility of my word against his, and, above all, the prospect of the pain that would be inflicted on my family guided my decision to never make my rape public.
Why, then, did I decide to do it now?
I could have decided to come out as a rape victim after Brock Turner was sentenced to 6 months in prison (of which he served just 3) after raping an unconscious woman.
I could have done it after watching the documentary "Audrie and Daisy", which shows that no matter how strongly people say they condemn rape, you are better off being a perpetrator than a victim.
I could have done it after Twitter users mocked Kim Kardashian for fearing that the man who robbed her was also going to sexually assault her. Because the fact that she is proud of her sexuality justifies taking her body when one feels like it.
In a woman's life, there is no shortage of reminders of how fragile our claim to our own body and well-being is, of how hard we have to fight to be respected as autonomous human beings. We are never allowed to forget the fact that we can be hurt in the most traumatic fashion by another or several other individual(s) and then never have our pain acknowledged, never obtain justice.
However, until now, I have been able to see the positive side of things. For every judge who sentences a confirmed rapist to a meager 6 months in jail, there is a conscientious journalist fighting to call international attention to that injustice (and a victim brave enough to write the most heartbreaking open letter about her plight).
For every sheriff deeming that what a teenage girl has gone through can't be called rape because she was drunk , we have a film maker ready to tell the victim's story to the world.
For every Twitter user snickering about the possibility of Kim Kardashian being raped, there is a feminist armed with tons of patience and willing to take it upon herself to calmly explain to that person why something like "slutty behavior" does not justify the loss of your integrity as a human being.
Yes, until now, amazingly, I have remained optimistic. I was truly convinced that decency and love would eventually triumph over ignorance, misogyny, violence, and (honestly) cowardliness.
Therefore, November 8th has been an excruciatingly rude awakening.
I absolutely thought that the leaked audio of Donald Trump in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women lost the election for him.
Then again, I didn't think that anyone with his ideas and personality had a chance in the first place. But despite his early successes, I really thought sexual assault would end it for him; like it should for anyone.
Would you vote for someone who has sexually assaulted women numerous times? You wouldn't. But, then again, neither would Trump supporters. Or at least that is what they believe. Want to believe.
One single accusation of sexual misconduct on Trump's part should have been enough to stop anyone from voting for him until his name was cleared.
There have been numerous accusations. So many of them in fact, that the media had to constantly update the list of women who came forward. Yes, it is possible that some of those accusations might have been false. But even if that were so, why such a ferocious desire to believe that the women coming forward were liars? Is that desire akin to the one that drives some people to believe that most young black men are thugs? That most non-white immigrants are self-interested parasites?
I can't answer all these questions regarding prejudice. I can't tell why all those elements that came together, informing us about Trump's behavior towards women, didn't raise alarm.
All I know for now, the only certitude I have is the paralyzing pain I feel from so many people actively supporting a man who has hurt women time and time again and is not ready to make amends for it. I can just watch and suffer as I see a wave of people asserting their lack of interest in protecting (or even just respecting) women despite the fact that, as several shocked Republican figures have reminded us of recently, they probably have mothers, wives, sisters and daughters they care about; some of those Trump supporters might actually even be human women. And this is how much they care about the rights of their own sex.
Well assholes, I am, like many, many other people an actual rape victim, and I see you.