Intersectional Confessional: “People like me don’t get raped”

Intersectional Confessionals is Intersections’ new column that highlights personal narratives from students from marginalized identities. This installment focuses on a student’s experience with sexual assault and may be difficult for some readers. For more information on Intersectional Confessionals, read our letter from the editors.

Yesterday, the man who assaulted me waved to me as I passed him on McAlister Drive.

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t realize that he assaulted me. I’m pretty sure a lot of the rapists on this campus wouldn’t categorize themselves as such.

It happened on the first floor of Mayer in the second semester of my freshman year. I was into it until he took what we were doing way too far without asking, way further than I would ever consent to going. It hurt, I said no, he stopped (consent comes before, bro), the damage was done. He was older and pretty clearly more attractive than I was. It was my first experience with casual sex.

I didn’t understand what happened. I actually gave him a blow job, worried he would get upset if I got up and left before he finished.

It wasn’t until I felt how sore I was the next morning in the shower that I really took stock of what happened and let myself cry. It wasn’t until I described the encounter to a friend and her roommate said, “Dude, that’s rape,” that I really understood. I laughed, as if to say, “Rape, ha, people like me don’t get raped.”

It took me months to stop laughing it off. It took me months to let myself feel violated, to let myself be angry. And I am angry, and sick and sad.

If I didn’t even realize, how could I expect him to? The culture surrounding masculinity on this campus and beyond, especially for attractive, cisgendered white men tells him that of course he can do anything he wants without asking. It isn’t within my purview to have a problem with something that he’s into.

My friend made out with him at The Boot, calling him “an asshole” when I told her to be careful for her safety because of what he’d done to me. It didn’t stop her. She called him “aggressive,” but it came out like she thought it was hot.

The culture here — the culture that taught me not to understand that someone literally forcing themselves inside me without asking constituted assault, the culture that tells this man that’s a perfectly acceptable thing to do to a drunk 18 year-old, the culture that tells my friend that hot white men can’t be dangerous — has to change.

And please stop waving to me.

The writer of this article wishes to remain anonymous. She is a sophomore in the School of Liberal Arts. 

If you want to contribute to Intersectional Confessionals, email us at [email protected].

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