Copyright © Leslye Joy Allen. All Rights Reserved.
!!!!!!!!!!WARNING!!!!!!!!!!: THIS BLOG CONTAINS GRAPHIC ADULT LANGUAGE AND GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND SOME PROFANITY.
This is for anyone who wonders about what women who have been raped deal with.
The first thing any college woman is taught in those early orientations is to never allow a man to know exactly where she lives until she gets to know him really well. This one can be tough, particularly when a young woman has had a really nice evening with a guy. She doesn’t think about rape. But, she better. I still remember the night my late friend Lynn called me on the phone in a panic.
“What’s wrong Lynn? Where the hell are you?” I asked.
“Girl, I had to fight this man off. He said he could cook. He wanted to make me dinner at his home. I didn’t think anything about it since a co-worker introduced us. Everything was fine until I got up to leave and he told me ‘You aren’t going anywhere.’ I had to hit him with a paper weight to get out the door.”
I remember that night. Lynn was so upset that she got on I-285, and circled the entire city because she literally forgot how to get home. She’s gone now, but I still think about it.
Then there was the friend that went to a party and woke up on a bed with her clothing on backwards. Scared to death for her, I made her go to the hospital. Well, they found semen with active sperm in her vagina. She never told anyone but me. She told me to “keep my damned mouth shut.” I’ve never betrayed the confidence of a friend in my life, but it annoys me to the point of not sleeping some time. “I just want to forget this,” she said.
I wish I could tell you that this doesn’t happen often, except it does. Every man reading this either knows some guy or guys that have run trains on drunk women or some of you reading this have done it yourselves. Some of you keep each other’s secrets; you shrug it off when a woman complains about some guy that follows her or won’t leave her alone. He’s just being a man, right?
My lifelong friend and brother G told me once that he didn’t like a particular guy we both knew. When I asked him why he didn’t like him, he said, “I think he got __________drunk one night and took advantage of her. I can’t prove it, but I know he did it. I hate that m*therf*cker!” Now let’s be clear, most women that are raped are raped by men they know and most rapes are not particularly physically violent. Most rapes happen in a flash with a much stronger and heavier man easily forcing himself on a stunned woman who may or may not be able to fight off her attacker or get away.
To all those men (and the women that protect them) who worry so much about what some poor man accused of rape is going through even when his alleged victims are credible, I have this to say. I’m not going to chapter and verse anyone about why women take so long to come forward. You already know why. Yet, the following scenario is for all those men who conveniently politicize the whole issue of rape; those men who not only defend their political allies who are accused of rape, but also those who gleefully jump on the bandwagon to support rape victims when the alleged rapist is on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Here’s what I’d like for you to imagine happening to you, since empathy on your part, seems to be in short supply:
Let’s say you find yourself in jail; and for the sake of argument, let’s say you are innocent of the criminal charges that have put you in that holding cell for a few days or in that prison for some years. Now, let’s pretend that some hardened prisoner whose nickname is “Beast,” is known for being a bit of a bully and he suddenly decides to “make you his bitch.” And please don’t even bother to claim that you’re not a Gay man and you would not let this happen. Let me stop you right there. Sex in prisons has nothing to do with anyone’s sexual orientation; no one of any sexual orientation wants or deserves to be raped. These rapes are not aggressive sexuality; these rapes are sexualized aggression and violence, acts of power and control over a victim, because after all, “making you his bitch” is technically saying that he’s turning you into “a woman.” The language itself says a lot about how women are devalued in the first place. Suddenly Beast grabs you; you yell for the guards, but no one comes.
Beast has you pent down, with his knee pressing on your back and his massive hands over your mouth. He tells you, “You know you want it.” He rams his penis into your rectum without wearing a condom and without any form of lubrication. The force of him hurts, but you can’t move until he’s decided he’s finished. Beast tells you that he knows you enjoyed it. He also tells you he will “kill your ass” if you say anything. You swear to yourself that you will tell the guards, that is, if you can muster the courage to let anyone know that you, a grown man, has allowed this to happen to you.
Finally, you get the courage to tell one of the guards that you think likes you and might hear you out. You eventually demand to speak to the warden. When you finally get to the warden’s office, I’m sitting there. That’s right, me, the person writing this blog.
When you tell me you’ve been raped, I ask for proof. There isn’t a rape kit. So you’re forced to pull down your pants and bend over so that I can take a look at the tears and bruises on your behind.
I look at you and say, “I’m sorry about this, but anything could have done this to your behind. You could have fallen on something. Are you sure you’re not just making this up to get out of some of your duties or to get even with Beast about something? Beast has been in here nearly ten years; and he was a lot of trouble at first, but he became a model prisoner. He’s up for parole in about a year. I would hate to ruin his life over something frivolous.” I am the warden and I have your life and well-being in my hands—and I know it.
So, I tell you that I will look into the matter. Without any further conversation I send you right back to your cell. You want special protection, but I inform you that doing so would make it seem like we had already tried and convicted your alleged rapist. I literally send you right back to Beast. After you leave, I tell the guards not to worry about any further investigation because this is a prison, and Beast was probably just another horny and sexually frustracted convict. “This shit happens all the time.” I have no sympathy for you at all. I have work to do, a prison to run. You and your allegations are just another inconvenience…I’m going to stop and leave this right here.
Copyright © Leslye Joy Allen. All Rights Reserved.
This blog was written by Leslye Joy Allen and is protected by U. S. Copyright Law and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Any partial or total reference to this or any blog authored by Leslye Joy Allen, or any total or partial excerpt of this or any blog by Leslye Joy Allen must contain a direct reference to this hyperlink: https://leslyejoyallen.com with Leslye Joy Allen clearly stated as the author. All Rights Reserved.
Great read Lesley! This forum is very much needed. We have to try and mend so many broken women. Their silence is actually loud but, never heard.
Thanks for reading. We do need more open spaces for conversations for rape survivor. I do have a feeling that more voices will be coming forward. (FYI: My name is spelled L-E-S-L-Y-E not “Lesley”)