The Truth of the Monster

I thought I had found the man, third time’s the charm right?

You looked at me with something in your eyes – something other than lust.

Wanting something more than domination, manipulation, and control.

But you ripped me apart, leaving a bloody mess.

 

I became yours for the taking – I felt dirty.

You never asked for consent and you didn’t stop when I said no.

Only physical force saved me – my physical force.

Once again I was violated by a man who wanted to be a pastor.

 

I blamed myself for every girl after me – every one who you hurt next.

But I wouldn’t let the monster of what you did escape from my lips.

I wouldn’t let the bile rise up – I swallowed it down.

I prayed that the others are fine and that no more will be hurt.

 

I justified what you did to me and to them.

Over and over I justified the things you did.

But then some days my head is clear from your grasp.

And I know – I know that what you did can’t be justified.

 

So one day my mind was crystal clear.

And I made my choice in that clarity.

Phone calls were made and cars were borrowed.

A long night in the police station after hours.

 

So I told – I opened my mouth and the monster came out.

The dark mess came out slowly, then all at once, like bile I couldn’t keep down.

I told the police but I didn’t want charges.

I wanted a record for those after me, for those who might come.

 

But then I went back and I told home – our home – yours and mine.

Because even there I needed there to be a something for those to come after me.

I knew there were some to come – I was the frontrunner.

I was the trailblazer for those hurt by you.

 

I told and the monster came out in our home.

Bile rising up – tears pouring out.

I spoke those words you begged me not to.

The truth burned out – I don’t know if even I could have stopped them.

 

In the end even you – even you admitted it.

No punishments happened to you, not a single one.

And I was the one who received the backlash.

Maybe that was the truth of the monster.

Bethany

Don’t Get Too Close: It’s Dark Inside

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When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

– Imagine Dragons

So my anger and pain finally caught up to me and I wrote “to” the guy who sexually assaulted me and who I tried to get justice against. I feel like a horrible person. I feel crazy. I feel ridiculous. But this is what’s inside. My pain and my horrid disgusting inability to forgive. My problem with playing victim. My demons. So here they are; no more hiding.

Letters to Carson: Day 1 through Day 40

My Own Words

“Never run back to what broke you.” (Bigballofwibblywobbly)

171,090 notes. They’re my own words. At least 85,545 people agree with me. (Unless of course someone is obsessively reblogging it.) Those are my very own words. Yet why can’t I follow them?

I can’t stay away from the thing, the very person, who broke me. He hurt me. He broke me. He shattered me. Yet I run back to him. Every time I run back.

I ran back again, and he used me. He tried to destroy me. He tried to get my college campus to believe that I was a slut who threw myself at him. I didn’t. Pictures of me, sent to him because he was badgering me, are being passed around. Everyone knows and many have seen. So I’m done.

I will listen to my own words, and never, ever, run back to what broke me. Him. 

Bethany

This is Why I Need Feminism

I was 5: and I had a tendency to sit with my legs spread wide because it was comfortable. My grandma told my mom that “she’d better teach me not to do that by the time I was older because it sent out a message to people.”

 

I was 7: and I was the only girl on my soccer team. It didn’t matter how good I was. The boys still laughed and told me I was stupid. They told me girls weren’t fit for sports.

 

I was 8: and four boys cornered me during my brother’s soccer game. Two of them held my arms while the other two pulled my hair and tried groping my chest even though nothing was there yet. They poured red kool-aid all over me when I bit one of the boys. None of the passerbys even spared me a glance.

 

I was 10: and my guy friends made fun of me being in ballet. It was then that I was convinced that being “girly” was a bad thing. So it was then that I quit and gave up anything that made me seem like a “girly-girl.”

 

I was 11: and the boys on my soccer team made jokes about me because I was a girl even though I’d been on the team for four years. It was then that they told me that because I was ugly I would never amount to anything.

 

I was 12: and an older boy made several crude comments about my carpets matched the drapes. I was also 12 when a boy on my brother’s football team began to stalk me. He knew we didn’t lock our doors a night and the color of my wallpaper. I was 12 when he started telling everyone the nasty things he wanted to do to me. The other boys joined in too.

 

I was 13: and a boy began to manipulate me to get answers out of me that I didn’t want to tell him. He had me convinced that boys were superior to girls. He didn’t understand no.

 

It was July 2011: and the same boy had me competing for his attention. He told me the other girl was “winning” because she let him feel her up. I wouldn’t put out so I “lost.”

 

It was August 2011: and I told him I wasn’t going to do anything other than kiss or hold hands. He freaked out and told me that he deserved to have more after all he had done for me. It was August when I left.

 

I was 14: and the same boy talked about what a teasing prude I was. The whole town made jokes about me. Boys called me scum for not putting out.

 

It was November 2011: and that boy came back, all friendly and manipulative. Soon he had me believing that he left me and he had come back to give me a second chance. He got me to starts sexting him to “repay him for his grace.”

 

It was December 2011: and I tried to stop because things were going too far. He was mad any day that I couldn’t “help him out.” He told me he would leave me if I did. He had me convinced that because I was a girl I was awful and didn’t have a choice.

 

It was April 1st, 2012: and he shoved his hands in my shirt before he even kissed me. My first kiss wasn’t as great as I thought. He drove me home that night. He parked on the side of the road and wouldn’t go again until I let him take off my shirt.

 

It was April 10th, 2012: and he cornered me and kept pushing for more. That night he convinced me to ask him out. He wouldn’t ask me because he thought he deserved to be the one asked for all he had done for me.

 

It was June 2012: and he left me because I wasn’t giving him enough. He still wanted me to sext him though, because that was the only way he would ever like me again.

 

I was 15: and he came back. Saying I could have a second chance for being such a good girl, but now I wasn’t allowed to hug anyone but him. I couldn’t talk to any boys but him. Because I was a girl, I was dirty and couldn’t be trusted.

 

It was November 2012: and he told me he didn’t love me anymore, so he broke up with me again. He said might be able to get his feelings though if I kept doing stuff with him. Then he told me he would leave me if I said no when he asked for sex. One day he asked. He blamed me when he felt guilty about it.

 

It was New Year’s Eve 2012: and I was cornered by an extremely drunk man at a ski area. He pressed himself against me. Nothing happened. I shoved him away and walked home, but the boy still said I was asking for it. I was wearing ski pants and multiple layers of clothing and a big winter coat. Still, it was my fault. The boy left for good.

I am 16: and this past year and a half I’ve been through another ex-boyfriend using me for my body. I’ve been through people calling me a slut and whore because I’ve slept with someone. I have people chasing after me for sex, and not for my personality. I’ve been pushed around because I’m a girl. I’m 16, and now, my ex-boyfriend’s younger brother, a good friend of mine, started asking me for sex. He wouldn’t listen to no. He told me to stop being so uptight and began begging. The fact that his dog understands no, in English and in sign language, and still understands it better than he does is disturbing. 16 years, and too much has happened to me because of my gender.

The fact that I thought this was “normal” until now sickens me. How far has our society sunk? I haven’t been through terrible things, but this still isn’t okay. This is why I need feminism.

Bethany

#YesAllWomen

Yes, all women have been demeaned by men.

Yes, all women have been harassed.

Yes, all women are disgusted by Elliot Rodgers, a topic which I already wrote about in a recent post.

What is #YesAllWomen? It’s a hashtag that started awhile ago in response to Male Rights Activist’s complaints of things such as “friend-zoning.” However, this hashtag didn’t start trending until about two nights ago.

Since then there has been a massive surge of both women and men speaking up for Women’s Rights. There’s thousands upon thousands of tweets of women and men who are absolutely horrified at the way women are treated. I’d like to say right now, that it is not all men who do this, but it is all women who receive.

Why Do We Need #YesAllWomen?

Weight Room

CapturesputnikBojYLo6IUAAdy34JigsawFacebookJoke(I believe he’s suggesting it’s okay to joke about people being killed because they wouldn’t put out…Not okay.)

#YesAllWomen is the TOP Trend on Twitter Right Now

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#YesAllWomen is important, and no, it’s #NotAllMen but that’s not what these tweets are saying. If you’re one of the males who whine about your own hurt feelings instead of the horrors many of these women have gone through, please go reevaluate your life. Feminism isn’t bashing men. Feminism is getting women on equal ground as men. Many of these women are getting harassed for simply putting their stories out there.

Not all men, but far too many.

I need #YesAllWomen because my first boyfriend told me that if I didn’t sleep with him, I was going to be alone, pathetic, and useless.

I need #YesAllWomen because I’m afraid to walk home alone at night.

I need #YesAllWomen because there’s a teacher at my school who makes the girls with big breasts sit up front.

I need #YesAllWomen because people laughed when I told them I was going on a two week camping trip.

I need #YesAllWomen because almost all of my guy friends have either asked me for sex or pictures.

I need #YesAllWomen because I lost several friends because they got angry when I said no.

I need #YesAllWomen because girls around me are raped and abused.

I need #YesAllWomen because we are told that “boys will be boys.”

The world needs feminism because everyone should be equal. The world needs feminism because rape has been renamed “non-consensual sex” so it sounds better. The world needs feminism because people are being told that acting like a girl is bad. The world needs feminism because misogyny hinders both men and women’s actions.

Men aren’t allowed to cry. Men have to play sports. Men can’t do theatre. Men can’t opt to be stay-at-home fathers. Men can’t wear makeup, carry purses or treat themselves to spa days. Men are restricted from doing certain activities on the basis of their gender just as females are.  (Boys Need Feminism, Too)

#YesAllWomen

Bethany

I Just Don’t…Anything Anymore

I don’t feel. I don’t think. I just…Sit here. I’m numb again, and I don’t know why.

It’s like the colors in my life have been dulled down. Gone are the vibrant beautiful colors of spring. Gone are the vibrant blue shades of my wall. Everything I see feels to be gray. Everything is dull.

I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t want to be on my laptop. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to read. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to sit still. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to be hungry. Heck, I don’t even want to be writing this.

I have no clue what’s wrong, but I’m shutting off. I’m desperately trying to force myself into normalcy, but I don’t think I can. I don’t even know what I want to do. I’m not driven. I’m not craving anything. I have no motivation.

I just don’t…anything anymore.

Bethany

What Does Modesty Mean?

What does modesty really mean. 

To a lot of people, especially, to Christians, it means wearing clothes that don’t show off their body. I’m not here to bash Christianity, I’m a Christian myself. I am here to bash the sexism that the phrase “modest is hottest” implies.

For a couple years I spent a lot of my time on a website called Project Inspired, which is honestly a terrific concept. Project Inspired is basically a site for (mainly) young Christian girls to talk, ask questions, and encourage each other in a godly way. However, I ended up leaving the site because it was just too much. They had an article that would either come out weekly or bi-weekly, I don’t remember. This article was “Modest is Hottest! We Give One Star a Makeover!”

Now, if the only intent of these articles was to provide modest clothing, that would be fine. Honestly I would have liked that. Instead these articles became a way to judge stars on their clothing choices. There was one time I remember that an article came out, and a lot of bashing went onto the star directly, not just her “immodest” clothing.

“When I first saw the ‘Modest Is Hottest’ article, I was quite pleased that Ms. Gaouette was showing young women that it’s okay to dress modestly, that they didn’t have to go with the crowd. By showing PI users pictures of celebrities dressing modestly, you were showing that following your convictions about appropriate dress didn’t make you a loser. I’m all about challenging social norms! However, when I got to the ‘Modest Makeover,’ I felt like the entire purpose of the articles had been turned on its head. First, we were being taught not to be ashamed of our manner of dress, and then we were being told that we SHOULD be ashamed if we dress in a certain way. I felt (and still feel) like this was just creating another ‘crowd’ to be followed, and that’s not right.” (Eurydice)

This Eurydice was one of the girls on the Project Inspired site. Let me tell you, she is fantastic, and I may not always agree with her ways, but I definitely agreed with her in her plight to get the Modest is Hottest section removed or reformed. This is what part of her email that she sent to the writers said. I myself wrote a letter to them, although I don’t actually remember what I said. I do know that my email was never replied to.

An article that she directed me to was “If You Don’t Want Girls Judged by Their Hemlines, Stop Judging Them by Their Hemlines.” This headline stood out to me particularly. One thing in the article that really stood out to me was this quote:

“Telling women to cover it up is just as surely a form of sexual objectification as telling women to take it off. Either way, you’re reducing a woman to her sexuality instead of considering her as a whole person.” (“If You Don’t Want Girls Judged by Their Hemlines, Stop Judging Them by Their Hemlines.”)

A woman is not just how she dresses. She is not defined as how long her skirt is, or how low her shirt is. It doesn’t matter if you can see cleavage, shoulders, or butt. It doesn’t matter. That is not what she is defined as. Wearing those clothes do not, and I repeat, do not, make her a slut. A lot of girls are bashed for their clothing and sex choices. The problem is that no matter what choices a girl makes, she will get bashed. If she wears clothes that are too long or cover up, she’s a prude. If she doesn’t have sex with anyone, she’s still a prude. Now, if she wears more revealing clothes, she’s a slut or a whore. If she’s even slept with one guy, she can still be called a slut. How exactly is this fair?

To me, I don’t see modesty as covering myself up. I see modesty as to why I’m wearing the clothes I’m wearing. Am I trying to look nice? Or am I trying to get guys to stare at my butt.

If I’m wearing shorts that happen to make my butt look nice, but I’m wearing them for the sake that: it’s either hot outside OR that they make me look nice, whoop-de-do. I find that modest. Now, if I’m purposefully trying to make a guy think lustful thoughts about me, and purposefully trying to make it hard on him, then maybe I’m not so modest. I don’t think it’s so much of the clothes, as the reason.

Now, I’m also going to address the issue of girls being blamed for when a guy thinks lustfully about them. I’m sorry, but I don’t care what a girl is wearing, a guy can still think lustfully about them. When I was fourteen I was in soccer with a guy friend of mine. I assumed that because I wore big baggy shirts and big baggy sports shorts that guys wouldn’t think of me in that way, and I liked that idea. Turns out they still thought of me that way. These boys would go into the locker rooms and talk about what girl they would have sex with and whose boobs were bouncing when they ran. I’m sorry, but how the heck is it my fault if they thought that about me? There’s only so tight of a sports bra that I can wear to get my breasts to stop moving.

Maybe girls shouldn’t be taught to cover up, maybe guys should be taught not to look at us as if we’re pieces of meat. It’s the same thing as telling a girl that she was “asking for it” in the way that she dresses. A girl never asks to be raped, if she did, it wouldn’t be rape. A way that she dresses is not an invitation. Modesty isn’t about how or what clothes you wear, but why you wear them.

If I want to wear a dress because it’s fucking adorable, I’m gonna wear it. I don’t care if you assume it’s too short. If I’m comfortable with it, I’ll wear it. If it’s cute, I’ll wear it. I’m not going out to try and make guys look at my legs (why are they so special anyways..?) I’m going to wear them because the dress makes me look goddamn adorable.

Rape Culture: It Does Exist

Today I was browsing through Facebook, and I stumbled upon an article that my friend shared from Time Magazine. The title? “It’s Time to End ‘Rape Culture’ Hysteria.”

That in itself is frightening. Even the idea that we should end the hysteria over Rape Culture is terrifying. The entire article was appalling, which is why I made such an effort to get to my laptop so I could type this out correctly. In the first paragraph, I found myself insulted and appalled.

“Recently, rape-culture theory has migrated from the lonely corners of the feminist blogosphere into the mainstream.”

Excuse me? Lonely corners? Are you trying to make feminist into a bad thing? If so then already your entire article is invalid.

“Though rape is certainly a serious problem, there’s no evidence that it’s considered a cultural norm. Twenty-first century America does not have a rape culture.”

Okay, the article is invalid anyways. I’m sorry, but no evidence that it’s considered a cultural norm? Lemme pull up my statistics.

1 out of 6 women have been the victim of attempted or completed rape in America.

17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.

Women aren’t the only ones who get raped either, about 3% of American males have been a victim of attempted or completed rape.

(RAINN)

People are getting raped. The numbers are too high for anyone to say there isn’t a Rape Culture.

If that still doesn’t convince you about the obvious Rape Culture in America, then maybe a couple examples.

1. It’s actually normal for kids/teens to say things like “I raped that test” or that “I raped them in that soccer game.”

All this means is that they won easily, but they’re making light of a terrible situation. Not okay.

2. People make rape jokes

It’s a horrendous crime, yet people find it acceptable to make rape jokes. It’s not something to joke about, just like suicide and cutter jokes aren’t funny either.

Just stop.

3. Victim blaming

Victim blaming is where the victim of the rapists are blamed for being rape. For example, many girls who wear tighter clothes or more revealing are told that they are “asking for it.”

4. Rape has been trivialized through the media.

Todd Atkin was arguing against abortion when he said that woman’s bodies have a way to shut down during “legitimate rapes” and will not result in pregnancies.

Hold up, so anyone who does get raped and ends up pregnant…It wasn’t a legitimate rape? No.

Not only is there no evidence of this actually being true, but this also goes back to victim blaming.

5. Boys will be boys

This is where the actions of boys tend me overlooked or minimalize their behavior because “boys will be boys.”

There was one rape case where instead of focusing on the victim and how her life would be forever changed, the media focused on the boys and how their sports careers were ruined.

There’s a lot of victim blaming going on. There’s a lot of comments such as: why didn’t you fight him off? Why did you wear clothes like that? Why didn’t you just go along with it? Are you sure it was rape? Why didn’t you avoid that place? Why were you alone?

This isn’t what should be asked. It shouldn’t be pushed onto anyone that it’s their fault for getting raped. It shouldn’t be taught that we have to act a certain way to avoid being raped all the time. 

What should be being taught? Not to rape people.