Really interesting take...on consent, which I have honestly never given much thought to, because I've always been pretty clear on what I want. If I don't want something, I have no problem saying, no. Especially sex, but I can't pretend like I was socially conditioned into the idea that "no" was the default and appropriate response. I was deeply conditioned into that. Who knows how I would have felt about saying no, if not for that conditioning?

Even with all that conditioning, even with being comfortable with a yelling, screaming fighting no, I still was nearly raped on more than one occassion in my youth.

I had to physically fight boy/men off. Most women do not want all that drama. I even had times of submission, because, I just did not want all the drama. Even though technically, there was consent, it still felt like rape, because I just did not want to.

And then...when there was this instance of the real deal rape..."I will crack your skull open if you don't submit to my forceful will," because of the politics or race and gender and this whole thing with athletes in our bizarre American society...there was no justice to be had for me. There was no one to even tell about it...because in even the telling...there would be so much drama...

Yes consent gets crazy messy; and even someone as strong-willed as I am can be forced into consenting or have a lack of consent disregarded entirely.

What you gonna do? Ain't that America? Ain't that the world?

I think of other women, the odds they are up against, when conditioned into yes being the default, when told things like "that is all you are good for."

The trauma of that...how it has impacted them all their lives, their relationships...

I have sat and held space for someone (a few people actually) telling me about how they were raped as children and it ruined their lives. The pain of not being believed by your mother, who is supposed to protect you. I suppose mothers do in as much as they can.

And...to blame a child for their rape...just how sick...how sick this world is...and I understand how lucky I have been to have encountered the threat of a cracked open skull, only once.

In this piece, you speak to all of that and more...and you dance around the unspeakable. You do it well. Thanks for this.

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