You, asshole. You are the reason women don’t report their assaults.

by renegademama

To every one of you asking “Why don’t women report their assaults?”, I will tell you.

You. You are the reason they don’t report.

Because you are the same people who declare that Trump bragging about grabbing women by the pussy is “locker room talk.” You are the same people who voted for him to lead our country, as if sexual assault is a tiny transgression, a thing to joke about, like stealing candy from a store when you’re eight.

You’re the same people who say “boys will be boys.”

You think all men do this? Wtf.

I don’t know what kind of shitbags you hang out with (although I have a few ideas), but men I know have never assaulted a woman, even if he had the opportunity. Even if he was drunk. Even if he was young and drunk. Even if she was hot, and they were both young and drunk.

I have been straight wasted in a room full of men, all of us half-dressed, all of us in college, and none of us were touched against our will. I have “led men on” and changed my mind and dude says “okay” and we have a beer and hang out and I go home.

I have been in “dangerous” situations and walked the fuck away because ONLY BAD MEN RAPE. ONLY BAD MEN ASSAULT.

Assault is not a “normal part of male development.” It is a development unique to sick, violent, deplorable human beings.

Is that the missing piece for you misogynist assholes? Do we need to say “Rape is done by bad guys, always?” Like never ever is a good guy assaulting. Never ever is a good guy attempting assault.

We don’t report it because the first question many of you ask when you hear of a woman raped while jogging is: “Why was she jogging alone?”

We don’t report it because when you hear of a high school girl gang raped in a bedroom at a party, the first question you ask is: “Was she drunk?”

We don’t report it because when you hear of a woman targeted at a night club, or walking home after a night out, you ask: “What was she wearing?”

We don’t report it because no matter what we do, we can be blamed. We led him on. We were wearing the wrong thing. We were drinking. We were alone. We dated bad men. We conversed with bad men. We were in the vicinity of bad men. We were at a bar. We were at a party. We kissed him. We didn’t kiss him. We were wearing a skirt. We were wearing a tight shirt. We were too pretty. We were sluts.

And even when we do report it, you say we’re reporting it to “ruin careers,” to get back at him, to get money or fame. Even when we do report it, our attacker can get a mere slap on the wrist, but we will forever be the woman who accused. The woman whose sexual history was put on display. The woman whose attack was detailed on a stand to determine if it was big rape or little rape. Everyday assault or casual assault.

The kind of assault that gets you jail, or the kind that gets you into the White House?

We report it and the man can be sentenced to nothing. We report it and you cry about his swimming career. We report it and you say “losing his job is a life sentence.” We report it and you say this is his “one pass.”

Is that it? Are men allowed a courtesy assault? A courtesy rape? A get-out-of-rape free card? Just once! You get one free rape, guys. But after that, unacceptable! (Unless you’re a GOP senatorial candidate and raped underage girls, in which case, go team.)

This is why we don’t need you. Because you can’t even wrap your heads around the fact that all assault is bad. Wrong. Violent. Violating. An indicator of a morally bankrupt human being.

This is why you’re dead to us. This is why you’re dead to all of us fighting for our lives and our daughter’s lives, while you scream at us to settle down and take it. We won’t. You’re done. The levee has broken and women are furious.

You can try, and you will win a lot of battles, but you will not get out of this undisturbed, un-fucked-with, unscathed. We will tear your shit down with everything we’ve got, because this isn’t about us anymore. We already lived your hellish reality.

This is about our daughters.

Have you ever seen a mother protecting her children? Have you?

She’s fucking crazy. She’s full beast mode. We may look like normal people, but fuck with our kids. Fuck with our babies. Tell our daughters to be quiet and take it. Tell our daughters nobody believes them. Tell our daughters a boy has a right to “just be a boy.”

Just say it. And watch.

Ah, wait. You’re saying it now. Are you watching?

You see, we know what you’re about. We used to be like you. We believed it, too. That we have no power. That it’s “the way it is.”

We are the girls who stayed silent when they snapped our bras. We are the girls who said nothing when our cousins, uncles, and stepfathers came into our rooms at night. We are the girls who bowed our heads on Sundays though we all knew what the church leaders did. We are the girls who silently avoided the boss who cornered us. We are the girls who shook it off after the sex we didn’t really want, the submission because we thought we had no choice.

We are the girls who lived it, year after year, humiliation after humiliation, shame after shame, and now we are the women fighting for our daughters, and you are small, hypocritical, and on the wrong side of humanity.

Get the fuck out of the way. We’re coming for you the way you came for us, with no regard for what you think you deserve, but unlike you, we’re on the side of safety, of bringing dark to light, of freedom and fairness, and we’ve got nothing left to lose.

We have only the faces of our daughters looking up at us, generations held in their eyes, and the fiery knowing that this fight is ours.

You. You are the reason they don’t report.

And we are the reason they will.

no worries, though, unless you harass, assault, or rape women.

 

****

Are you in Oakland? I will be this Thursday.

Join Nancy Davis Kho, of Midlife Mixtape, and me for a conversation on womanhood, motherhood, and the bullshit therein.

Oh, and we’ll be discussing my book, and the bullshit therein. Wait.

Thursday, September 27, 2019, 7pm

A Great Good Place for Books

62 Comments | Posted in feminist AF | September 25, 2018
  • Barb

    Yes! You go girl, and all of us girls out here! Vote, talk, yell, scream. Time for women to take over, the men have done a crappy job

  • ZBB

    I love this. I love you. Thank you.

  • Amy Duckwall Courtney

    FUCK. YES. EVERYTHING.

    I continue to be blown away by how articulately you lay down the thoughts in MY head about these issues. THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Agata

    Sharing this shit every damn where.

  • Keli

    All of the yes!

    Thank you for bringing an absolute clarity to something ‘they’ always seem to make ridiculously unclear. There is no misunderstanding this message, unless they’re one of the assholes, in which case I hooe they see the rage… and that it chokes them.

    Thank you for speaking out for me, my nieces and us all x

  • Kat

    Oh fuck, Fuck, FUCK YES!!!

  • Kelsey Nicholson

    Best damn thing I’ve read, maybe ever. Sharing this shit everywhere.

  • Anna

    YES! I am in tears in my office . . . I reported sexual misconduct at work and it has been horrible ever since (just as you described)…but I will not stand for this shit for me or my daughters or women anywhere.

    Thank you for your words.

  • Phyllis

    And granddaughters. I came into this world covered with blood and screaming. I have no problem going out the same way.

    • Katie

      Well said, Phyllis, you are awesome

    • Mrs. Toxic

      Yasssssss!

    • Amanda Moon

      Fuck yes, Phyllis!! 👊🏽

  • Katie

    Hey, thanks a lot for writing this. I think you could get it in the New York Times for an op-ed piece, just saying, it’s pretty damn good. I think the sad and horrible realization I am coming to, is that MOST men are this way. The good guys are the minority. At least that’s my view of it. I would say that maybe 60 percent of men I have interacted with are complete heartless dicks when it comes to getting what they want. “Oh it’s because they are men, the human race would die out if men were just spineless lap dogs and they didn’t pursue woman” Seriously, that is what someone told me, a woman, in fact, using her biblical beliefs as her platform for such twisted logic, and unfortunately raising her 4 boys to be “real men”. Sick, just sick. As a mother of 2 boys and 4 girls, I have worked very hard to break any messages they received from society as to what roles they should be playing. Keep fighting the good fight for us, using your voice and audience to bring this to light. Thank you 😘

  • Katie W

    P.R.E.A.C.H.!!!!

  • Emily

    Well we are taking over but that makes me sad, certainly not celebratory.

    It is extremely sorrowful when the women have to take things into their own hands because that means the men have not done their job. They have not protected, guarded, guided and trampled upon the evil.

    And I also believe that just because one commits one of the above heinous acts, they cannot not be repentant and even change. I know it’s not most but it does happen.
    I am one.
    That is not saying you shouldn’t report. On the Contrary! We must report, face the evil and hold each one of us accountable.

    And even if the wrong doer gets away with it, I believe justice will one day be done. Vengeance belongs to the Creator. And the tables are beginning to turn.

    • Katie

      Nah…I like for us to have the vengeance.

      • Emily

        I understand. I do.

        Just fyi, I was molested for the first time at age 5 by a 12 year old boy at my babysitters.
        Then I was molested by a group of boys on the school bus, regularly.
        By middle school, I was being chased in the hallways and molested in bathrooms.
        By high school, needless to say I was a functioning alcoholic. Now having been raped, beaten and thrown around like some rag doll. Yeah, Shit was bad, very bad. By college I was a cocaine abuser. Broken and jaded.

        My sister had been raped by her boyfriend in the school wrestling room.
        My niece was raped by a friend who was a boy at a football game.
        And although I had never been molested by any family member ever, I’m sure some of the ones who molested me were learning it from their family.
        And yet my parents still do not recognize this kind of stuff goes on. Many including them act as if it never happened(s). Like they just can’t hear, it. is. real!

        while reading your post, I was like how come you have never run into such happenings while I on the other hand have always dealt with it? “Is it me, my fault”, is what the devil whispers in our ears. But I didn’t turn ugly until I carried all the ugly with me.

        This is why, I wholeheartedly agree we must acknowledge it. But we also must find a way to move on without being bitter and letting the ugly get the best of our own souls.

    • Jennifer

      But who said it was men’s job to protect, guard and guide? We women have been doing that for centuries, and we find a way to do it without being abusive. We just don’t get the credit we deserve for it because we don’t write the narrative. So it’s high damn time we take it all over and re-write the narrative while we’re at it.

    • Chandra

      I can certainly understand your viewpoint… but I completely disagree. Although they are two completely different fights, in this instance I would look at the (continuing) Civil Rights movement. As a white person, I have a responsibility in this fight to push for justice and equality. To never back down, to say enough is enough, and to not allow the normalization of racism to continue. HOWEVER, I will never fully understand what it feels like to experience in my daily life, I will never feel that pain. I can never fully express the same passion that someone who has personally witnessed and lived through racism and exploitation has within them. I have had to see it in my face, to have it explained to me by those who have experienced it. And that is as it should be. As women (and men) who have lived with the normalization of our own sexual assault, this is OUR fight. These are OUR experiences. And yes, we should be emboldened by men who say enough is enough and fight to change the narrative on THEIR story. But they will never have the same passion and understanding. Our lives, our stories, our experiences, and OUR FIGHT to win.

  • Beth

    SO SAY WE ALL! Fist bump and feeling all the feelings for this post. This only could have been better if I wrote it, because yeah, than I’d be a bad ass author and blogger like you. Next lifetime. ps; love your book. KEEP IT UP, SISTER!

  • Amy

    OMFG!!!! WE ARE THE GIRLS! Yes.

  • Annabel

    YES! THIS, a thousand times over! It ends here.

  • Barbara

    You’re damn right…on every count! This shit has to stop!

  • Andria Redlin

    Such a magnificent post, and only 17 comments? Shared this with all my followers—too good not to. Gave me chills!

  • Renee

    Anna – BE STRONG AND DON’T LET THEM GET TO YOU ! You were right to report anyone who harassing you at work. Go to your HR department and ask for help. Don’t let anyone intimidate you! I wish we all could stand with you. Listen to Janelle’s words of wisdom. Like you, we are all very, very sick of being treated like door mats. We are very, very sick of the good ‘ol boys club. We are very, very sick of the mulligans that the men seem to get when it comes to sexual misconduct. WE SHOULD NOT STAY SILENT ANYMORE! This 64 grandmother does not want this for my granddaughter, my daughters, my friends daughters or for you Anna. Stand your ground, Anna. Maybe we can’t physically be there with you, but we are there, WE ARE THERE!!!

    • Scott

      I’d skip HR and go straight to the police. HR will always put the company’s interests first.

  • Marianne Hopewell

    Yes!Yes!Yes!! Best thing I’ve read in a while! Sharing!!

  • April

    After I was raped by a man at gunpoint, I went to the police. I was relieved that it was a female officer. She told me that she talked to the guy’s girlfriend and she said he was home all night and so it couldn’t have been him. Imagine that. I persisted. I wrote the entire story of the night in specific detail on the report because I am a writer and because I WAS raped. The female officer came back later and told me that she didn’t arrest him, but she did talk to him and he seemed like he would never do that again after she talked to him. I am serious–that is what she said to me. I got crabs from the rape. Four years later I came home from work and two officers were at my door asking if I’d come to the prosecuting attorney’s office. I went. She wanted to see me because a woman had been raped at gunpoint by the same man. She found my detailed story in his file. She told me to wear my hair up for the hearing because it was too long, too sexy. I testified at his trial with my hair in a tight bun. I pointed to the female officer, a witness now, and told the jury that she had told me that she gave him a stern talking to and that he would never do it again. She just put her head down. He went to prison. Even the police don’t listen when you tell them you were raped, especially if you’re sexy.

    • Karen

      I have long known that if this situation, police or jury blowing off an attack, happens to me or to someone I know I will not hesitate to take justice into my own hands. I’m not saying I would kill the perpetrator or have them killed but there would be some kind of physical retribution. I would also paper the town with flyers and signs outing that person for the animal they are.
      I’ve been told that this is wrong and “forgiveness” and all that BS but I don’t even care.

  • kathy sokol

    This should be required reading for everyone in Police academies, law schools, hospitals, colleges, high schools, middle schools, grade schools, churches–yearly, monthly, daily! Thank you Janelle

    • joeblow

      and every Nazi rally.

  • Karen

    This. All of this. Unequivocally EVERYTHING YOU SAID.

  • Agata

    Wanted to share this, because it made me extra raging this morning. FUCK!!!!

    https://jezebel.com/man-who-strangled-woman-unconscious-wont-serve-jail-tim-1829192899

    Also, you, and your supporters, are a big sparkly light in all this swampy darkness. Keep shining! THANK YOU

  • Bernadette

    You are fucking brilliant. I just posted a link to this spectacular piece of writing on my Facebook page.

  • Scott

    As a Male survivor I can empathize with the situation. When it happened when I was 4 years old, I was told I should be grateful for having sex so young, that it was a blessing, etc. When a senior manager continually assaulted me in my early 20s I was told I should be grateful that such a successful and powerful woman took an interest in me and to use it to my advantage.

    I think part of the issue is the unhealthy belief that sex is a reward for those in power.

  • Emily

    Fuck yes! That’s all I have to say. Oh, and thank you!

  • Norita

    FFFFFFuck YES! Every! Word!

    Kavanaugh, Judge, you’d better think about your daughters, your mothers, your sister, your aunts when you testify.

    Is it OK for men just to be “uncontrollably men”, whatever the fuck that means, with YOUR DAUGHTERS? With YOUR WIFE?

    Um yeah. Probly so. They need to just take it, Huh?

    ENOUGH of this bullshit. DECENT, HONEST HUMANS DO NOT ASSAULT, OR RAPE, OR ATTEMPT TO RAPE OTHERS. EVERRRRR. Is that clear enough?

    SEE Y’all on Tues Nov. 6, 2018 to vote at Mid Term elections !!!!

  • Mrs. Toxic

    Ay-fuckin-men Janelle! Amen!
    *claps*

  • Amanda Moon

    Janelle, you are a complete fucking badass and I will smear my face with moonblood and follow you into battle any day!!!

  • GrammaMe

    I read an article in which some Repub politician was moaning that if the Kavanaugh nomination fails, it means that no man can get confirmed to the the court. The immediate take of the woman author was, well I’m fine with an all-woman court.

    Great post. Clearly the equal of Rebecca Traister’s article on the same subject – https://www.thecut.com/2018/09/kavanaugh-sexual-assault-deborah-ramirez-christine-ford.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Intelligencer%20-%20September%2025%2C%202018&utm_term=Subscription%20List%20-%20Daily%20Intelligencer%20%281%20Year%29

    I agree you should send it out to the NY Times, WashPo, Slate, DailyKos, Alternet, etc etc. Not to mention your local paper.

  • Larissa

    Thank you for this. This is exactly what I want to say to all the people in my life who say Trump and men like him are just “being men.” People I love and respect and who have never hurt someone in their lives say this hurtful thing. It leaves me speechless at times. At other times raging. But it almost always makes me sad. This post made me feel strong. So again, thanks.

  • Brittany

    This is fucking awesome! This is what every woman against this shit is thinking!

  • Dom De Bellis

    Thank you for this. I’m a man but I’ve held my sisters through their assaults and helped them get through the trauma and wanted to tear a hole through the system that betrayed them and made them small and made it all worse for them. And I don’t want to live in a world where this is acceptable and your post meant so much to me, like we have hope to make it different somehow. I am so pissed at this whole drama around the Kavanaugh hearings as I around the Thomas hearings and around the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. I am sick of the double standards and the knee-jerk misogyny; sick of the duck-and-cover bullshit that gets white boy sons of prominent men out of jail when they rape especially . . . So thank you for making a weak man feel strong for once. Thank you for some courage in the face of injustice.

  • Betsy Bierhanzl

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

  • Laura

    Yes!!! I am mama, hear me ROAR!!!

  • Jennifer

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you for writing this powerful piece.

  • Bridgette

    I overheard two women at the gym this morning defending men in that way we’ve all become accustomed to hearing.
    “Why should careers be ruined for something that he did when he was young?”
    “We all make mistakes.”
    “I feel bad for his poor wife and daughters, they have to hear this stuff about a great man who, even if it’s true, made a mistake when we was young.”
    This went on and on. I tried to ignore it, but my daughter’s face kept coming into focus. My own story was right there, raw and real. I got mad at these white, Christian women. These grandmothers who always smile at me and offer to pray for my family. The more they talked, the angier I got.
    Then I left.
    I left.
    I didn’t know how to say all the things I wanted to without losing my shit, without making a scene. That’s old conditioning, I know. Next time I’m quoting this. Thank you. I won’t be silent again.

  • Jamie king

    Thank you. This is everything and more, I’m sharing this everywhere. As I am now raising a little boy – my son is just 5 months old – I feel an immense responsibility to raise him right. To not make excuses for him because boys will be boys…to not allow other to make excuses for him (why are people so conditioned to excuse men???) and to serve as a strong role model.

    When he’s old enough, I hope he’s reading articles like this and remembering that there is only right and wrong ….not boys just being boys.

  • EKATARINA SAYANOVA

    YES! Took the words right out of my mouth! Thank you.

  • Amy

    Thank you for this. You are speaking the words that are banging around inside my chest cavity this week, and last, and basically every week for the last oh, approximately two and a half years. I’m fucking finished with the bullshit. I have no tolerance any more. Not one tiny crumb. Oh, and thanks especially for shining a light on the fucking disgusting masterbator in Alaska who, tragically, suffered loss of paycheck after kidnapping that woman, who by the way was an Alaska Native woman, who are paid the least respect of any of us. We must stay mad until justice comes for ALL of us – intersectional AF.

  • Susana

    I am writing in response to your comment “First, why, if this happened, didn’t this 15-year-old girl immediately tell her parents that she was attacked and then report to the police? The police could then have questioned everyone at the “gathering.” Your comment of skepticism, although it may make sense to you, is just not true. Many teenagers back when this incident was alleged to have occured, would not tell their parents or anyone. Here is why back in the day, rape was a term you applied to a stranger who broke into your house, tied you up, held a gun to your head and assaulted you. When I was a teenager, if a girl was assaulted or raped by someone she knew, she would not call it rape. She would likely be very ashamed and blame herself. She might even suppress it and consider that it never really happened. Please believe me. I know of what I speak. Once again, only commenting on this one point.

  • Cheryl Soler

    AMEN.

  • Suzanne

    FUCK them all. All the men who think they are entitled to our bodies. FUCK them all. Boys will be boys? I raised two boys who are now grown. I told them that if they EVER touched a woman without consent, I will personally drive them to the police. FUCK all the white men in suits who think they know what’s best for women. FUCK YOU Mitch McConnell and all the other GOP FUCKERS, evangelical hypocrites, and trash who think they have power over us. FUCK, FUCK, FUCK.

  • TanyaTransforms

    Bravo, Janelle, Well said! We are angry! We are into action! And we are voting!

  • Krissy T

    OMG this is the most magnificent thing I have read!! It’s resurrected many memories I have pushed aside that have happened and it’s validated many others. It’s justified the ways and things me and so many women have used as crutches to cope, and I am fucking fired up and proud to be a woman right now!!
    Look out fuckers- women will make this shit right again!

  • Cindy F

    Every. Damn. Word. !!!

  • MaryBeth West

    Yes, every word. And every time Anita Hill’s name is mentioned, I get mad all over again. And why is that guy with absolutely no regard for women still in the White House???

  • Diane Burright

    Or at the time the rape happened we were married to the rapist and rape in marriage didn’t happen,we didn’t tell our parents because a: we didn’t want our dad’s to go to prison for murder and b: we didn’t want our moms to go to prison for attempted murder/mutilation! I divorced my first husband but I never told anyone about that incident, it still lives in my mind from 49 years ago

  • kate

    thanks for saying all that. now we wait.
    then the fur flies. one way or another.
    (terrible phrasing. yes. but true.)

    • Katie

      Ha ha, I love your wording, pun or no pun! 😂

  • Sarah Riedl

    YAAAAAAASSSSSSS! PREACH!! AMEN, SISTER!

    We can do this.

  • Tara

    Holy fucking yes to all of this!