taking a nap is always so risky like when will I wake up? in thirty minutes? in 2 hours? in 7 years?? no one can be sure
After nearly 15 years of practice, I can assure you that there is a specific look reserved for the moment someone realizes you are fragile. I used to prep prospective partners for this when first dating them. “I have this illness,” I’d explain. “I may look okay now. This is the fun part. We are drinking gin and laughing and my hair smells nice and we’re telling each other our greatest hits stories but one day I will inevitably drop off the radar or my medication will fail. I’ll find myself in need of a gastroenterologist, a rheumatologist, and a steady hand.” My hair does not smell nice at the hospital. They do not serve gin there, but most of the time there’s morphine.
Women hear it all the time from men. “You’re overreacting,” we tell them. “Don’t worry about it so much, you’re over-thinking it.” “Don’t be so sensitive.” “Don’t be crazy.” It’s a form of gaslighting — telling women that their feelings are just wrong, that they don’t have the right to feel the way that they do. Minimizing somebody else’s feelings is a way of controlling them. If they no longer trust their own feelings and instincts, they come to rely on someone else to tell them how they’re supposed to feel.
Instead of asking, “Did she say no?”, we should start asking, “Did she want to have sex?”
Part of the problem with putting the onus on victims to make the rape “official” through refusing and fighting back is the next thing that happens is we get into a quibbling match over whether or not they fought back enough to “earn” the right to have their rape considered a rape. It encourages this mentality where badgering someone until they stop saying no or simply ignoring them so that you can honestly say later you had no idea that they were refusing is somehow in-bounds. It becomes the victim’s fault for not refusing in exactly the right way, even though most rapists aren’t actually going to take any no for an answer, no matter how you phrase it.