I am a feminist. I am not a victim of anyone’s politics. I am a mother, daughter, sister, grandmother and friend. I will stand up and not be shut up. I am a human being, a citizen of the United States, and a damn fine cook. I take great pleasure in voting. I believe in a higher power and the Constitution. I think these entities are separate: one governs my spiritual life, the other my corporeal rights.
Rape is an act of violence and against all laws proscribed by human beings. I was ‘date-raped’ at 23 and for years I thought I did something wrong. I ran in my head a litany of shoulds and coulds. I blamed myself and internally I thought I was ugly and ‘used’.
It happened at a huge house party in a small city in Massachusetts. I did not report it because I took me years to call it rape. When I left the party I told a girlfriend, she said to me: “Isn’t that what you wanted?” For years I had no women friends. I let no one in. I told no one. I spent the next five years in a relationship with a man where everything looked fine on the outside.
When he slapped me around. I ended it. My mother didn’t understand why I could leave someone with a good job and nice care. I got therapy and started going to 12 step meetings. This redeemed my life. Gave me a guide back to myself. Taught me what it is to be loved and how to love. It taught me how to trust.
Every time I hear the word RAPE used on television like it’s nothing I get sick to my stomach. Every time I see the word on FB or social networking as a meme. I get angry. I fear the ignorance spewed on progressive and conservative news outlets. I applaud the doctors willing to take of all of women’s medical needs.
Carrying a fetus to term from an act of violence is not a choice. . . it is morally reprehensible. I know what choice is. I chose to be a mother, single, at 20. And I thank God everyday that I am a Mom.
I am your sister. I am your mother. I am your cousin. I am your wife. I am your friend. I am any one. I am everyone. And I scare people with my resilience.
Note to those who know me. . .you probably don’t know this about me. I am sorry that you hear this story from this post. But I have grown more weary and more angry these past few weeks. I hope you understand. . . enough is enough. I can no longer be so silent.