RAF: Rape vs. Education, Pt III (finale)

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Sex. It’s a taboo subject. Slowly I see this changing. But not fast enough. We were all born from sex. It can be beautiful, celebrated, but we need to be honest about it, with ourselves, and with our children. They are the future. If we don’t teach them, someone else will. Children are brilliant, they will always find the answers they are looking for – the problem is, they may not always find the good or right answers.

You have to understand something about me. When I decided to start this blog, I was overwhelmed by the fear of being counter-productive regarding the progression of female sexuality. A woman putting herself out there, being honest about how she is and what she wants in bed, blurs the boundaries society has set between sexual liberation and sexual degradation. I’m not stupid. I know some people will read my posts and judge, while others will praise me for my candour and courage. My biggest fear was that my posts would somehow give into rape culture. Since I have started this blog, I have received dick pics, as well as numerous sexual offers from men, which at first, only amplified my doubt and caused me to reflect on the reasons WHY I’m continuing to write these posts. But I’ve come to understand that I do this because of those men – the ones who have been taught or believe that a woman who is sexually liberated automatically wants anything with a working penis.

Thank you to all of you who have brought me back to the surface by assuming that my sexuality is inclusive of all males who desire me. Because, this my friends, has made me realize that this blog is not blurring lines, it is setting them straight.

How?

For one, I am expressing what I want and need on a public platform. If my wants and needs are challenged (you know, by unsolicited dick pics), I am capable of responding safely and also publicly to address the assumptions or challenges laid against me, and hopefully help people think before they pursue another woman (or any unsuspecting human) in the same manner. Unfortunately, not every person who has experienced unwanted sexual attention has had a screen and anonymity to protect them. This brings me to my next point on how this blog does not blur lines:

Victim blaming, ‘slut’ shaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of rape, and refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by sexual violence – that is rape culture, and that is what I’m fighting against by being open about my sexuality, my needs as a female, educating and sharing with others my journey and what it means to be female in my skin.

My sexuality is not a representation of all female sexuality. Sexuality is diverse and ever-changing. Sexuality should be approached with curiosity, open-mindedness, and not with force or an agenda to turn it into something else. All I’m doing here is being honest about what I am, in hopes to open the doors for others to feel comfortable in sharing their sexual truths; empower others!

I know what it feels like to be objectified, touched inappropriately, threatened, slut shamed, blamed (even self-blaming), and almost every woman that is close to me in my life has experienced some form of sexual assault.

So, what’s the conclusion here? God, I hope we find one soon. The world will never be perfect, but more and more women are speaking up – and even through the pain of it – it’s a beautiful thing to see; and more and more men are challenging the messages that society has bombarded them with regarding sex and masculinity all their life. Because a patriarchal society doesn’t just harm our girls, it harms our boys too.

If I can leave you with just a few reminders, a few things to take away from this topic, they’d be:

1. Love yourself first, and never let anyone take your worth from you. Bad behavior and violence pressed upon you is never your fault.

2. If you have been raped, or suspect it, please, follow the ste

ps I provided in the first article here. Your local police station, college/university, hospital and family doctor will have resources for you should you need extra care.

3. Educate yourself. Begin to understand the sexual and romantic relationships you want, and don’t settle for less than that. This is especially important if you have children, because they WILL model you and these relationships (research has proven this time and time again!). Don’t know how to speak to your children about sex? An incredible resource is Scarleteen.

4. Frightening Statistic: 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 (National Sexual Violence Center – US statistics). I tell you this because, part of having a sex-positive environment can allow your child to confide in you should they feel uncomfortable about something that is happening or has happened.

5. Protect our boys, too. This isn’t just about preventing rape, but also teaching our boys to not put themselves in compromising situations with girls who cannot consent to sex. We need to remind our sons that there is no place for assumption when it comes to intercourse. “Yes” means “yes,” “no” means “no,” and silence means “no.” Without malicious intentions, sometimes we pursue in the heat of the moment without having that conversation. Remind our sons and daughters, for both of their sakes, that this conversation is crucial, and they shouldn’t engage with anyone who isn’t willing to have it.

6. In addition to #4, this article has been geared towards rape against women; however, men, of course, are victims too. Men may even report sexual assault less often than women due to the stigma attached to it, and the societal pressure of what it means to be “masculine.” A victim is a victim, regardless of gender. I encourage all men who have been assaulted to follow the steps listed in the link under point #2, and remember that the violence carried out was not your fault.

7. In 8 out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the offender; 8% of rapes occur at work; nearly 1 in 10 women have been raped by an intimate partner in their lifetime; 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college (more than 90% of these are unreported); rape is the most under reported crime, and yet, costs the US more than any other crime annually ($127 billion) (National Sexual Violence Center – US statistics).

Statistics are specific to the USA; however, are found in similar if not greater proportions around the globe. For complete publication on statistics (USA), please click here.

Two positive male voices on this subject, and two men who challenge society’s definition of ‘masculinity,’ are:

Lewis Howes (Mask of Masculinity)
Justin Baldoni (We Are Man Enough)

Sending you peace and love,

Educate and fuck-well, my friends.

Who are sex/gender positive role models in your life – whether it be people you know, or follow through media?

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