Date rape…

is still RAPE.

January 1990, North Western PA – random weeknight frat party

Wow.  Has it really been 25 years?  This is definitely one of those experiences that feels like it happened yesterday and a lifetime ago.  At least for me.  The lifetime ago part – well, anything that happened 25 years ago is pretty much a lifetime ago, especially on an emotional level.  I know who Kang was 25 years ago but if she was still the same person today, we certainly wouldn’t be running in the same social circles.  That Kang would be a freshman in college.  This Kang is a working mom in suburbia, living the “on-paper” American dream.  As for the yesterday part, all it takes is one stupid comment from one insensitive person to bring me back to that night on South Street in my college town – back to one of those old Victorian style homes that was converted into apartments for college kids.  You know the kind, see how many kids you can cram into a flat on each floor of the home.  The stuff of any fire marshal’s dreams.  The stuff that makes the landlord profit.  The stuff that makes you hate your roommates because there is no air.

I don’t know how or why it happened but there was a class on foreign relations offered in my very first semester of college.  Being a stupid freshman, I lacked the full understanding of pre-requisites and leveled classes.  All I knew was that I wanted to take this class because I was dead set on having some sort of career in foreign service.  The kind lady who handled registration for this professor looked at me and asked if I had the approval to take a 400 level class.  I responded with a chipper and confident “Oh sure!”  I had no idea what she was talking about.  She punched whatever card had to be punched and I was in.  Woohoo.  On the first day of class, the professor, who had no idea who I was, asked me to stand up in a room of 10 students (mostly juniors and seniors) and noted the obvious “Kang…you’re a freshman.  How did you get into this class?”  I smiled and said something along the lines of “luck, I guess.”  Then she explained freshmen had no business in her class and I was free to leave.  My eyes welled with tears and I said “but I think I really need to be here.  I really want to be here.”  Resigned, she said something along the lines of – it’s your funeral.  Drop/add ends in October.  And I ended up with one of the highest grades on the mid-terms which made me an interesting candidate for a study partner:  not so stupid as everyone thought, naïve and positively adorable given that I was the size of a pixie sprite back in those days with a pretty nifty wardrobe cultivated by many hours of shopping with Kate.  I also ended up with a crush on one of the upper class fratty cakes.  He was a handsome devil and that he even glanced my way puffed my ego considerably because I felt I was largely invisible to most boys (maybe I was just too tiny to see?).

Fast forward to the beginning of spring semester.  Winter break wasn’t the best.  My boyfriend and I had, essentially, parted ways and I was a sad panda.  Young love is a bitch.  One night, news of a greekletter greekletter greekletter party made it to the lowly freshman floor we lived on.  The gaggle of girls I palled around with at the time decided we were going.  And even though I went to college in the snow belt with temperatures unlike anything I had ever experienced, I still wore a lot of cute, little skirts.  I threw on one of those, tights, loafers and a sweater.  Since it was 1990, I had to spend time embiggening my hair, too.  We grabbed our coats and off we went, to stand like sardines in a basement, drinking shitty beer out of the ubiquitous red solo cups while overplayed 70s rock droned in the background.  We did the usual freshman girl thing, formed a circle and giggled about all the boys.  Then I spied the cute guy from foreign relations.  He waved and my knees went a bit wobbly.  Then he approached our gaggle of giggly freshman girls and graced us with his upper class, fraternity, handsome presence.  Who felt like they climbed a rung or two on the social ladder?  We did.

The keg was kicked and Price Foreign Relations of Fratty Cakeland invited all of us back to his place for more beer.  By this point, I’m good and drunk.  That’s what Blatz, Mickey’s Big Mouth, Golden Anniversary or whatever other cheap swill we could weasel from the distributor would get you.  Good, drunk and marginally nauseated (in preparation for the next day:  the dreaded Blatz splatz or Schlitz shitz).  All is going well, I’m going for another beer at the fridge when the Princely One grabs me by the waist and attaches his face to mine.  Yay!?!  Ouch?  Wait…who kisses like that?  Did he just bite my lip – hard?  WTF?  I pushed him back and told him that hurt.  It was all good if he wanted to snog but chewing off my face was not an option, so cut it out.  Faces attach again with a more favorable result.  Eventually we come up for air and we’re all alone in his flat.  I’m thinking it’s time I go and I head towards the sofa where my coat was thrown.  I didn’t make it beyond the sofa.  I didn’t get my coat.  The Prince decides he’s playful and pulls me on the sofa with him for more snogging but he resumes his aggressive face gnawing.  I hissed “stop.”  He didn’t.  And then things go where they go in situations like this.  My demands to stop were disregarded as my tights were ripped off.  My pleas to leave me alone were ignored as my sweater was thrown across the room.  I highly doubt the word “No!” registered as my underwear came off.  I do remember Eric Clapton in the background as this night that started off fun became a night that made me want to die from shame.  I won’t listen to Eric Clapton, willingly, to this day.

I suppose I should be grateful though.  As I had a man’s face buried between my legs while he pinned my arms above my head, while he stuffed his penis in my mouth and held me in a position that rendered me immobile and when he decided to fuck me against my will – I didn’t have to worry too much about getting pregnant.  After all, in 2012, Missouri’s Rep. Todd Akin said that pregnancy can’t result from rape because “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”  YAY me!!!  No unpleasant calls to my father about ending up pregnant as a freshman in college!  Glad that bullet was dodged!  PHEW!

And, let’s say that I did end up pregnant (this incident happened a few months before I was told that I was infertile and the likelihood of having children was about as good as a woman being elected President in my lifetime), it’s actually a good thing!  At least that’s what Indiana’s Richard Mourdock said, intimating that rape is “Something that god intended.”  And then there’s this new one from Brian Kurcaba of West Virginia who was gracious enough to allow us the right to say that rape is awful but he also thinks “What is beautiful is the child that could come from this.”

:inhales:

Yes.  Because that’s what every victim of rape wants – yet another permanent reminder of one of the worst experiences of his or her life.  Because emotional and physical scars are simply not enough.  Because lingering trauma and shock just aren’t sufficient.  Let’s add a human that you’re supposed to love like no other to the mix and have the father be the one who violated you in the worst possible way imaginable.  That’s a fantastic setup for a great outcome.

There is a small part of me (very small) that would like to have a coffee with these asshats and share my experience with them.  I’d like to tell them what the ensuing year and a half of sharing a campus with Price Rapey was like, especially the fun part when we would walk by each other and he would elbow one of his fraternity brothers, point at me and laugh.  I’d like to tell them how I thought that night was all my fault because when the deed was done, Price Rapey ended up crying on my shoulder for well over an hour and I, being the stupid empath that I am, fucking listened to him and consoled him.  I’d like to tell them how many people, including some of my own family members, thought I was lying – that I was just being a dramallama and attention whore.  I’d like to tell them what it’s been like to relive the night when one of my galpals showed up at my dorm room in tears, with torn clothes, having experienced a similar hell and I was the only place she could go.  I’d like to tell them that no one gave a fuck about this shit in 1990; that it just did not happen because you “knew” the guy you were with and thus you must have been on a date and, oh, btw – it’s your fault for wearing a short skirt.  I’d also like to tell them how genuinely grateful I am that this happened in 1990 – before cellphones, cameras everywhere and the internet so my indignity was only shared between two people:  Prince Rapey and me.  Then I would like to tell them about the depression spiral the ordeal threw me in and the ensuing hilarity from that because, at the hands, mouth and penis of someone I admired, I became human garbage with zero value to anyone and treated myself as such for several years after.  I want to tell them all of these things and then I want them to show me the beauty of rape that I’m missing so I can reframe this and see this experience in the positive light I’m supposed to be seeing this in.  Then I will take this knowledge and I will go forth and counsel every rape survivor.  I will become the Messiah of Recovery.  I will give up the day job and minister to the wounded.  I will certainly cease all efforts to prevent rape from happening because, as we have learned from these esteemed, intelligent gentlemen, rape is just fine…so long as it’s not happening to their daughters, wives or sisters.  And…even if it does, it’s ok.  It was god’s will.  A good god, a benevolent god, a god that would never let anything happen to his devout followers.

Fuck.  That.  Shit.

25 years later, time does what it does best and makes things manageable.  Now I hear “Oh, I’m soooooo sorry I didn’t believe you and that I diminished your pain.” from those who doubted me.  That’s great.  Bring up something I put in the denial box, thankyouverymuch.  I don’t walk around with hatred – something I deem a total waste of time and energy.  As I have always done and I will always do, I push forward using my wicked intellect to logic myself away from the pain (I have a whole sack of weird coping mechanisms).  This experience certainly isn’t a daily part of my life.  I wouldn’t even say it’s an annual part of my life.  It’s just another experience that afforded me the luxury of becoming the self-actualized badass :eyeroll: that I am today.  As a matter of fact, I feel worse for those who have to listen to this story than I do for myself.

But I’ll say this, I can close my eyes for a nanosecond and I still see his face.  I still see the living room.  I still see the cd carousel.  My sweater. My tattered tights.  The 18 year old girl who lost a lot of respect for a whole lot of people in the span of a few hours.

/HPK

3 thoughts on “Date rape…

  1. Pingback: Round Robin Exercise | Random Misanthrope

  2. I feel pretty much the same way about my story. I’m pretty sure it’s more painful for people to listen to it than it is for me to tell it. But you’re absolutely right. These experiences have made you and me into the people we are today. I could write something like the two of us rising phoenix-like from the ashes of these experiences. but we both know that’s a bullshit cliche.

    Shine a light, sister.🙂

    • :snortle:

      Indeed. And, with luck being what it is at times, the likelihood of rising from the ashes with hair on fire from too much product is pretty damn high.

      The sadness and compassion is a double-edged sword. It’s nice to know that people care deeply enough for you that they’re emotionally jarred by an unpleasant experience that you endured. It’s also hard to accept, though (never have done well with pity). Or maybe that inability to accept compassion is something that still needs to be sorted out?

      :groans, lowers head and rolls eyes:

      STFU, brain, STFU.

English, motherfucker, do you speak it? J/K - it's ok if you don't.

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