Not the Righteous Rape

If it wasn’t for Date Rape He’d never get laid.

Aaaahh… Sublime circa 1992. There I am at 12 years old rebelliously using my parents’ coffee table as a stage with three of my best friends, belting out the lyrics to Date Rape. To us there’s nothing more to that song than a catchy beat and lyrics we can easily sing along with.  I mean in the end He got what was coming to him. Wouldn’t it always be that way?

Fast forward 19 years and my best friend is in a brand new relationship, a woman he met on an online dating site and I start thinking:

“maybe that’s the way to go.”

I’ve been skeptical of online dating in the past and am a careful dater to begin with but *shrug* that could be the reason I’m not in a relationship. We’ll save that analysis for another post.

Anyway…

With aspirations to have my dating life go a new way I sign up for an online dating site that’s also a social networking site: Skout.com. Browsing around on there I find that it’s actually more like messaging back and forth. You find someone you think is cute or that you might be compatible with and then you message back and forth. Immediately I have matches and messages and I start thinking:

“this might be easier than I thought”

Feeling pretty good about myself I begin chatting with a couple of men and am checking out their profiles. This goes in for a majority of the night and although I’m feeling really good about things the chatting doesn’t seem to be going any further than some light getting to know you questions. I’m just starting to Doubt that this is the way to get a date when I start chatting with Him—and he’s a firefighter. We flirt and get to know each other through questioning for about half an hour when He says:

“I don’t normally do this so quickly but…do you want to get a drink tomorrow night?”

A grin lights across my face. A date! I bite my lip as a nervous feeling flutters into my lower abdomen and I begin contemplating replying with a no, before remembering that the whole reason I’m on this thing in the first place is to take a new action that will produce a different result than the ones I’ve been getting.

I write back: “I don’t usually say yes so quickly but…sure.”

We make plans for the next evening and with promises to see each other soon we sign off for the evening.

She heard a noise and she looked to the door. Saw a man she’d never seen before. Light skin and light blue eyes. A double chin and a plastic smile. Well, her heart raced as he walked through the door and took an empty seat at the bar.

The next evening arrives and at a quarter to six I’m perched on a barstool in Brooklyn wondering if He’s actually going to show up. I’m chatting with the bartender and sharing my awe that my first actual attempt at online dating has produced a result when promptly at six o’clock in He walks. A tall, extremely muscular, dark, chocolate man. For a moment I’m able to take Him in before He sees me and I drink in his gorgeousness as I mentally applaud myself for accepting this date.  I give a small wave and He comes to greet me with a light peck on the cheek and settles onto the barstool beside me.

After about two hours of good conversation, a little food and some wine He suggests we go to a bar around the corner that He knows of, for another drink and some sushi. I agree. Once there I switch to water and have a couple California rolls while He has another glass of wine and some steak. The night has begun to get late and I tell Him I’d better get home. After all, this princess does turn into a pumpkin as soon as the clock strikes midnight.

My brand new car is parked right outside, how’d you like to go for a ride? She said,  “wait a minute I have to think.” and he said, “that’s fine, may I please buy you a drink?”.  One drink turned into three or four and they went and got into his car. And they drove away some place real far.

He offers to drive me and since we both live in the same area I agree. As we drive along the route home we chat amicably and as we continue driving some flirting begins. I’m starting to think there might be a possibility for a second date in the very near future and for a while I’m  literally along for the ride. It isn’t until I’m noticing that we’re in my city but not in my area that I begin to find it weird that He hasn’t asked me for directions. So I ask Him,

“Do you know where you’re going?”

No reply.

Out of the side of His eye he gives me a knowing glance. Confused I double blink and pull out my phone, figuring He just doesn’t want to have to ask for directions. I begin to map the current location to my house and start directing Him toward my house.
No reply.

Now babe the time has come. How’d you like to have a little fun? And she said “if we could please be on our way I will not run.”.

Just as I’m reaching a panic moment He pulls up in front of an apartment building and stops the car. Cutting the engine He turns to me and asks,

“Won’t you come up?”

In a single moment I take in the LCD reading on the clock that says 11:30, my surroundings which are completely foreign to me and His size which completely overbears me and I realize I am trapped. In letting my normally fully-armed guards have the evening off I’ve gotten myself in a dangerous situation, one I’ve feared and had nightmares about several times as an adult woman living in New York City.

Okay, I take a deep breath and turn my body to look at Him. As I do He grabs the back of my head and roughly pulls me toward Him, our lips locking in an absurd kiss as I work to keep mine firmly pressed together while He uses his tongue in an effort to saw through them. He grabs my hand and yanks me toward Him so that as He climbs out the driver’s side door I’m forced to fumble my way out as well. Tripping up the stairs behind Him, my wrist firmly palmed inside of His hand we continue to climb the stairs to His apartment building and I don’t scream, I don’t attempt to run, I really don’t even pull away. The entire time I’m lost in my own thoughts, thinking about the night and wondering if I’ve somehow misled Him, I must have at some point confused Him and given off the cue that I wanted the night to end back at His place. As He unlocks the door with one hand, holding my wrist in the other I try again.

“Umm…I’d actually appreciate it if you just took me home now. I really did have a great time to tonight but now I’d really like to go home.”

That’s when things got out of control. She didn’t want to. He had his way. She said let’s go.  He said no way. C’mon baby it’s your lucky day. Shut your mouth I’m gonna do it my way. C’mon baby don’t be afraid, if it wasn’t for date rape I’d never get laid.

With a dreadful click the door unlocks and He pulls me inside behind him. Closing the door and locking it, He once again grabs the back of my head and pulls me into another attempted kiss, our bodies mashed forcefully together. When I don’t respond He thrusts me onto the couch, standing over me and grinning. Fears lights through me as He stands above me and the full realization that this night will end exactly the way He wants it to washes over me. Still, no screams emerge but I embrace the realization that what I do in this next moment will be my final attempt at walking away unscathed. I kick my feet up towards his chest and He laughingly grasps both ankles in one hand and pulls me onto the floor. Thrashing wildly, I continue to work to free myself from His grip, not making it easy for Him to drag me into the bedroom and still He manages. Once in there He scoops me up and tosses me facedown onto the bed, tearing my panties off with one hand and unzipping His pants with the other.

Noooooooo!

I scream the word we’ve always been taught means for a person to stop immediately.

Noooooooo!

I struggle against the hand that holds me pinned as I listen to the tearing of the foil wrapper from behind me.

Noooooooo!

I weep as he peels my legs apart and repeatedly slams into me from behind.

“Stay still. Stop fighting and just lay there.” He orders through clenched teeth.

Noooooooo…

For the first time it didn’t mean no.

He finished up he started the car. He turned around and drove back to the bar. He said “now baby don’t be sad, in my opinion you weren’t half bad.”. She picked up a rock, threw it at the car, hit him in the head and now he’s got a big scar.

“Stop crying. Get up. I’m taking you home.”

I lay face down and completely still on the mattress, unable and unwilling to move. Not wanting to face my attacker, to face the fact that I’d been attacked.

He slaps me on my ass hard and I roll over and swing my legs off the side of the bed, wincing as the pain travels through my groin and up my spine. Head down I slowly gather my torn panties. Never making eye contact I follow the trail of my belongings back into the living room. I stuff my panties in my coat pocket as I follow Him to the door, into His car and numbly direct Him to my house.

Cautiously I curl up on the corner of my bed, pulling my coat around me like a blanket. I wait for tears that never fall and as my body begins to thaw out my thoughts slowly break through the cloud of numbness filling my normally over active brain and I call my best friend. I lay the phone on the bed beside me and repeatedly press redial, each time letting the phone ring out until it goes to voicemail. Seven rings the first time, three rings the second and third time and then finally straight to voicemail. Silent voicemails he’ll wonder about in the morning. Words contained in a strand of air that won’t escape the back of my throat to unfold the night’s story. Carefully I attempt to piece myself together and I call a cab.

“Take me to the local precinct, please.”

The next Day she went to the drawer. Looked up her local attorney at law. Went to the phone and filed a police report and then she took the guy’s ass to court. The Day he stood In front of the judge he screamed “she lies that little slut!”. The judge knew he was full of shit and he gave him 25 years. Now his heart is filled with tears.

Laying back in only a paper gown, both feet in stirrups as I’m being swabbed I answer the questions of an officer on the other side of the thin paper curtain:

Had you been drinking?

Yes.

Did you know your attacker before tonight?

No.

You willingly went to his home?

Yes.

Did you use your cell phone to call for help?

No.

Did he use a condom?

Yes.
Is there anyone you’d like us to call to be with you right now?

No.

Are you sure you’ll be okay?

I… don’t… know.

The most demeaning experience of my adult life all laid out in an inquiry.

I pressed the charges, I dropped the charges. He was a firefighter, one of the city’s celebrated heroes. He had asked me out and I’d said yes. I’d had too many drinks and not enough dinner, possibly I’d led Him on. I didn’t say no until it was too late. If there was a crime to be recorded it was one we’d both committed.

I never stood in front of a judge. He called a couple of days later and promised He would get help, if not for his sake than for his daughter’s. I believed him, if not for my sake than for the sake of not having to publicly relive that night. As Megan Greenwell writes in Good Magazine, “Sexual assault is impressively effective at making smart, confident women feel like idiots. And for women who pride themselves on being independent—those of us who have a difficult time asking for help or admitting weakness of any kind—embracing the role of “rape victim” feels particularly unnatural.”

Moral of the date rape story: it does not pay to be drunk and horny. That’s the way it has to be.

For three months I refused to allow myself to be touched… by anyone. I went the quietest I’ve ever been, cutting myself off from most contact and refusing to be alone with anyone other than myself. Finally, my best friend invited me to dinner and asked:

“What’s going on with you?”

And I revealed to him for the first time the horrors of that night. We began talking about all the projects we could create to give voices back to women who’ve been silenced by rape, violence or sexual assault. We planned a Take Back the Night Rally, we planned ways to work with city officials to really get their heroes the help they need. We planned and we planned and we planned all the ways to help the victims and then I got it. He’d asked for help. He knew what we let our own fury blind us to. The most effective way to help the victims is to help the attackers.

I called him that night and invited him to take the Landmark Forum. He gladly accepted and on the night participants of the Forum invite their graduate friends to be with them I proudly stood on behalf of myself and all his other victims and applauded the courage it took him to make a commitment that I would be his final victim.

She didn’t want to. She didn’t want to. She didn’t want to… take it!

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Comments
2 Responses to “Not the Righteous Rape”
  1. DJPM says:

    What a tragic story. I don’t understand why you dropped the charges. He apologised privately, but in his heart he chuckles, and feels he can get away with it.

    • DJPM says:

      I always thought the message of Sublime’s “Date Rape” was for women to stand up for themselves and report rapes. It’s a tragedy for such a scumbag to get away with his crime- and how many times in the past? How many times since? If he’s the hero of the city, so what? He should’ve been tried for his crime… because no means no, whenever you say it.

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