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Thread: Open Letter to my Facebook Friends (opinions requested)

  1. #1

    Open Letter to my Facebook Friends (opinions requested)

    I WILL be posting some form of this on my Facebook. My emotions are high and I ask for your opinion and advice, as I'm not sure that I'm in the right frame of mind to be properly sensitive and tactful at the moment.

    For the second time in the last month or so, I have lost a friend because of a disagreement about an article they had posted on their Facebook about rape.

    So consider this a Trigger Warning, for those of you who need such things.

    I am a rape survivor. I have been raped, multiple times, by three different people. As a child, when I was between 4-6 years old, I was sexually and physically abused, repeatedly, by my stepfather. I was too young at the time to know that there was anything wrong with the sexual abuse, but I completely understood the beatings, many of which I provoked in hopes of venting the anger of my stepfather, who was a severely mean drunk, so that he wouldn't hurt my mother, or my sisters. And in most cases, beating me until I was black and blue was enough for him.

    This is not something many people know about me; it's not something I EVER really talk about. But if you've read this far, you know it now.

    Later in life, I was "raped" on two other occasions, by two different women, when I was in my twenties. I put "raped" in quotes because the authorities who write the statistics for these things don't believe that a woman forcing sex on a man (unless she penetrates him with an object, or manually) is rape. I never reported these, because my feeling was the same as the feeling of most men who are raped by a woman: I told myself that I wouldn't be believed; or that people would laugh at me for suggesting that I, a fairly big guy, could be raped by a woman; or that people would just tell how 'lucky' I was to have been raped and try to high-five me. In the last case mentioned, I was not confident in my ability to refrain from physically assaulting any such person, and wanted to avoid that situation altogether.

    Rape, no matter who does it or who they do it TO, is a heinous crime. It affects you in ways you can't ever really completely understand, and for those who have not been victims of rape, I would be hard pressed to relate the experience except to say that I am exceptionally glad you have not experienced it.

    As a rape survivor, it's vitally important to me, personally, to understand rape, and to have good and reasonable information for all the questions surrounding rape as an issue. Why, and how, does it happen; what happens to perpetrators and victims, and why; how society looks at the issue, and why; and many other questions.

    In fact, most everybody who reads this is going to look at me differently tomorrow, and I imagine that at least half of you will view me more negatively just for talking about it.

    I think these issues are all important, and need to be discussed, argued, sources debated, evidence given and examined, etc. I'm looking for truth, not ideology. If you have an opinion that differs from mine, give me evidence, and if it contradicts my current understanding, I will seek more evidence to corroborate and/or refute it.

    You see, as you might expect from a living person, rather than a robot, my emotions are very charged over this issue - that is, I hate rape, rapists, and all other forms of sexual assault. But it's precisely BECAUSE my emotions around this issue are so high that I feel the need to be as open to differing positions and as coldly skeptical of all information as possible. I'm looking for answers, not ideas.

    And, as you might also expect, I conversely hate those who show so little respect for these issues that they would make false reports and muddy the waters for those actual victims that need help in the form of support, services, and justice. It is THIS opinion that has just apparently lost me a friend. That person asked to see my evidence suggesting that false reports were even an issue, and I provided several links to academic studies, and practical examples, which led to me being de-friended and blocked within minutes.

    The thing is, I WANT to hear other sides! Please, show me that my sources are wrong, and provide me with new ones. As I said, I'm looking for facts, not ideas. I have heard plenty of ideas. I want to know which ones are supported by evidence, research, and example. If you can prove me wrong, you will not only gain the satisfaction of being right, but also an ally who will from then on support your opinion.

    And I don't want to lose friends over differing opinions. I'd much rather talk about things and reach a point where we understand one another, even if we still disagree.
    Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the Patriarchy. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.
    Neo: What truth?
    Spoon boy: There is no Patriarchy.

    Apparently, women get only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. We only have 23 cents left, but feminists insist they want the rest.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ComradePrescott's Avatar
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    RE: Open Letter to my Facebook Friends (opinions requested)

    My advice on this sort of thing is to not post it immediately regardless of other things. Don't be in a rush to post it. Sleep on it. Hell, let a week pass and forget about it. Then read it again. You can probably tell yourself more about it than I can once you've come back to it.

  3. #3

    RE: Open Letter to my Facebook Friends (opinions requested)

    So consider this a Trigger Warning, for those of you who need such things.
    I have to say that as another survivor of sexual assault, the idea that I am a precious little flower that can't even bear to hear about such things is horribly offensive.

    Later in life, I was "raped" twice more, by two different women, when I was in my twenties. I put "raped" in quotes because the authorities who write the statistics for these things don't believe that a woman forcing sex on a man (unless she penetrates him with an object, or manually) is rape. I never reported these, because my feeling was the same as the feeling of most men who are raped by a woman: I told myself that I wouldn't be believed; or that people would laugh at me for suggesting that I, a fairly big guy, could be raped by a woman; or that people would just tell how 'lucky' I was to have been raped and try to high-five me. In the last case mentioned, I was not confident in my ability to refrain from physically assaulting any such person, and wanted to avoid that situation altogether.
    I had the same experience, only it was when I was 16, and only one woman was involved. My father refused to do anything, and my mother didn't believe me.

  4. #4

    RE: Open Letter to my Facebook Friends (opinions requested)

    I obviously need to edit it, because it was two different times with two different women.

    Thanks for responding, though.

    I am always as happy to hear there's somebody who knows where I'm coming from as I am sad to hear that there's somebody who knows where I'm coming from.
    Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the Patriarchy. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.
    Neo: What truth?
    Spoon boy: There is no Patriarchy.

    Apparently, women get only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. We only have 23 cents left, but feminists insist they want the rest.

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