Why a Rape Victim Defends Men and Criticizes the #MeToo Movement
Long before the #MeToo movement, I wrote about my own sexual assault. I described it in a post about gun control on college campuses, though I didn’t put my name on it at the time. Later, I referenced it when I wrote another post about sexual assault and harassment during the 2016 presidential election.
Not many women would want to write down the details of their sexual assault and share it. I did, because after decades of processing it, I am now able to face it, describe it, and discuss it. For many years, I didn’t. Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to have this conversation. Now, I can tell my story. It’s my own kind of therapy—a natural expression as a writer.
We already had sex earlier that day, but he wanted more. I didn’t want to do it again. The evening had been a disaster. Out drinking with friends—his friends. Bar hopping. Dancing. Tequila shots. He was in one of his moods, and the drugs didn’t help. It all started with some guy flirting with me. He blamed me. He always blamed me. Now he wanted to mark his territory. I was his, and he had to prove it.
“Take off your clothes,” he said, sitting on the edge of the bed, sweat glinting on his forehead, his pupils dilated. He didn’t even look like himself.
I shook my head. “I’m tired, and I really don’t feel like it.”
“Come over here,” he said. “I’ll make you feel like it.”
I turned away and shoved some clothes into a drawer. “You should just go back to your dorm. I don’t want to fight.”
I wasn’t prepared for what came next. He lunged across the room and grabbed me, pulling me onto the bed and crawling on top of me.
“Get off!” I said. “I told you I didn’t want to.”
“But I do,” he breathed in my ear, ripping off my underwear. His elbow dug into my breast, and I cried out in pain. He didn’t care.
I struggled, kicking my legs. He held me down. I couldn’t believe how weak I was compared to him. Never had I felt so helpless, and it terrified me. He was too strong, too heavy, too in control. I was so angry—at myself for being weak, at him for being cruel.
“Get off me!” I cried, the tears streaming from the corners of my eyes into my hair. I remembered how it felt cool against my skin. Strange that I would remember such a tiny detail.
“You’re hurting me!” I sobbed. “Please stop!”
“I know you want it,” he said, and he pressed harder, holding my wrists together with one hand while spreading my legs with the other, his nails digging into my thigh.
“I said stop!” I yelled, hoping someone in the hall would hear. He clamped his hand over my mouth, leaving me to beat him with my fists. It didn’t faze him.
“Feel that,” he whispered. “He could never make you feel like this.”
I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. All I felt was him, as if I didn’t even exist. Over and over again. I thought it would never end.
When it did, he passed out, snoring as if nothing had happened. I slipped out from under him, pulling on my clothes, shaking, forcing my legs to move, rage ripping through me. That’s what I would always remember so clearly—the rage I felt. He had betrayed me, and there was nothing I could do about it. Nothing.
In that moment, as I looked at him lying on the bed, I wanted him to pay for what he’d done. I glanced over at the phone. Should I call the police? No, I didn’t want to get them involved. This was personal.
He groaned and turned over, still snoring. I ran to the bathroom and shut the door. I wiped myself off and slumped to the floor, rubbing the tears from my eyes. Anger and shame pounded in my temples. I imagined, for a moment, hurting him like he had hurt me. I pictured him bleeding, his eyes open, staring at my face—the last image he would ever see as he slipped from this world. I hated him for making me feel this way, for thinking such hateful thoughts—becoming, in a way, like him.
While it’s therapeutic for me to write this down, I don’t like sharing these private aspects of my life so publicly. Yet, I’ve done so, because sexual assault is such a prevalent issue today. I believe, as a woman who has suffered in this way and who has had years to process it, I have something to add to the conversation—which is why people are often confused that I spend much of my effort, not lamenting my victimhood and standing by other women who have been sexually assaulted or harassed, but defending men—not individual men, but men as a group.
I received this reaction recently when I wrote a post at The Federalist titled, “Can We Be Honest About Women?” In that post, I expressed my concerns that the #MeToo movement has turned into a witch hunt against men as accusations are immediately taken as fact and the definitions of sexual assault and harassment have broaden to include even benign, natural interactions between men and women.