Wednesday, 21 December 2011

When did Rape become casual?

Note: Today's post was written by my friend Alex. Alex is in Grade 12, and I've had the privilege of getting to know her as a fellow leader at our church youth group as well as a super fun trip to Calgary last year. (Woo LYC!) Alex wanted to write this post because she felt a strong conviction from God to get this message out there and asked me to help her. (which I was obviously, more than happy to do!) This is the product of her walking in obedience to that conviction. How awesome is that? Honestly, I feel blessed just to be a part of this. Maybe take a moment to throw a few words of affirmation her way? :)

So the other day I was watching a movie called "Bag of Bones" by Stephen King. The movie was set in the 1930's. There was a scene part way through where a woman who had just finished singing on stage was outside having a cigarette and 4 men approached her and started harassing her. They spoke to her in a really demeaning and rude way, telling her that she couldn't expect to put on such a performance and then not do anything about it afterwards. At this point I started feeling uncomfortable about what I was watching, but the scene progressed really quickly.

One of the men raped the woman while the other three men held her down. It was disgusting. Horrible. Heart wrenching. It made me feel sick to my stomach and broken hearted all at once.

Our society has been desensitized to the reality of what a horror this is. The physical and emotion damage that women go through... it's a big deal. And it's NOT a joke. But unfortunetely the word "rape" is used out of context in jokes, and passing comments all the time.

Take a walk through the hallways of highschool and you'll hear comments like "I was just raped by that test" or "This week was so busy, I feel like I've been raped" I've even heard someone refer to a dirty mess on a table as "It looks like that table was just raped"

This has to stop.

Do you think that the table suffered emotional damage? Had to go through years of therapy to be able to trust men again? Probably not. And the insinuation that the word "Messy" is congruent with "Rape" is insulting in itself.

Sometimes I just want to throw a dictionary at people and tell them to read the definition of Rape, and then tell me if that is how they are feeling. Why can't you just say that you feel like the test was difficult? Or that the week has been really hard? Difficult? Hard? Those are words that only scratch the surface of what a victim of rape might be feeling.

I haven't known anyone in my life who has been raped, and Thank God for that, but I can say that when I was watching the scene in that movie my heart was broken for any woman who has. I don't have to know her to feel her pain. When I was watching that movie scene I felt a heaviness- the feeling of God's heart being grieved, and sharing that grievance. As a Christian I wonder how Christ would want me to act, and I picture Him standing beside me with a broken heart when people use this word in such a vain way. Those are his daughters. My sisters in Christ that have had to endure these things, and here we are joking about it? How on earth is that Ok?

I know that you're going to say that it's just a habit, or that it just comes out of your mouth. "You don't mean it." When I realized the weight of this word I stopped saying it altogether, and you know what? It wasn't that hard. So please, just think of what you're saying before you make jokes. Think of who you could possibly be hurting with your words.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Alex, great post! On Melissa's "Jokes" post i commented:

    "The ones that bug me the most are rape jokes. Not funny at all. I work for a billing dept at a call centre and a man once said our company was "raping" him every month. All i could do was ask him to refrain for using such expressions... :S "

    Drives me insane. I know someone who has been raped several times by different men. All date rape situations. There are tons of rapes that go unreported. What's really horrific is that when my friend reported two of the rapes, the police liaison discouraged her from taking legal action because it would be "too lenghty and difficult". How terrible!

    My thought is: if rape is often committed by people we know, and not strangers, have we ever been in a social situation where a victim and an attacker are in the same room? How does the victim feel when someone makes a "rape joke"/comment? Bet she doesnt feel like she can confide her secret. So tragic. Thanks for posting Alex.