Is Rape the Worst Thing That Can Happen to a Woman?

Is Rape the Worst Thing That Can Happen to a Woman?

I’m going to tread lightly on today’s post. Rape is a very personal, very sensitive, very political issue, and emotions tend to run high around it.

But recently, I read a thoughtful, well-written piece by a UK escort named Charlotte Shane. In it, she asserts, from personal experience, that rape does not have to be the worst thing that could happen to a woman. For the author, it’s not even in the Top 5.

“Though some feminists regard ‘rape equals devastation’ as sacred fact, the notion that a man can ruin me with his penis strikes me as the most complete expression of vintage misogyny available. Common sense instructs us that it is far more ‘dangerous’ to insist to young women that they will be broken by an unwanted sex act than it is to propose they might have a happy, healthy, and sexually pleasant future ahead of them in spite of a sexual assault…

The truth is that it does not suit our social narrative to recognize that a woman can be raped and get on with her life, can maintain sexual and romantic relationships without counseling, won’t think of her rape every day, and won’t see herself as a ‘survivor’ or different in any material way. According to the cultural script, women are simply not strong enough to bear such an experience easily.”

I thought that this was a profound, thought-provoking take on things; one that I’d never seen expressed so eloquently before. I’ve had close friends who were raped before. I’ve even taken care of one in the immediate aftermath. But since I’ve never experienced it, it’s not my place to say what the appropriate response to an unwanted sexual assault is.

I will say, however, that I hope Ms. Shane is speaking for more women than just herself. No one is saying that you’re “wrong” if you let your rape define you, but then, it shouldn’t be wrong if you refuse to let your rape define you either.

Read the full article here and share your thoughts below.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Lucy

    Nathan, I’m politically on the right in Britain (which is quite different to US). In US, the left is righter than our right wing. So you can’t really compare them. Anyway, I’m not aware of any public attacks on women’s rights. In the UK, if anyone posts anything racist or homophobic on Twitter, you can get arrested and put in jail. And religious nut jobs are pretty quickly shut down. The Home Office has banned L. Ron Hubbard and Westboro Baptist Church from ever entering the UK.  If anyone said anything highly controversial in the public sphere, there would be consequences because of obscenity laws. Recently a news presenter called Andy Gray was sacked after making a sexist comment thinking he was off air. There was a huge scandal about it. 

    But I do agree that there needs to be a new dialogue surrounding rape. It is still very difficult to get convictions and there are still too many people saying that women bring rape on themselves. And yeah there needs to be more recognition of the way men experience sexual assault and sexual harassment. It’s just wrong. I’m sorry to hear about your experience. It sounds awful.

  2. 62
    Lucy

    Oh and just to add, I sincerely hope my comments didn’t insult anyone. Not my intention at all – just got lost in the heat of the moment :(

  3. 63
    Kathleen

    Evan 

    I find all your topics thought provoking and I learn something from different points of view along the way. It helps me think through different issues in more depth.

    As I said I was sexually assaulted but I am not offended and insulted by your topic nor the authors point of view. I have great empathy for anyone who has suffered and still suffers and hope they can get the help they need. The concept that some people can define themselves by their positive or negative challenges is also a valid point of view.

     I do think someone taking out their anger against you personally is misguided and offensive on this blog.  

  4. 64
    Kristen

    People might want to remember that this is Evan’s blog and he gets to decide what to post and its relevancy. I understand this topic is clearly very provacative and one can certainly conclude, rightly or wrongly, that it can be expected to stir up strong emotions. At first I didn’t find it relevant to me because I’m here for dating advice, not advice on how to deal with the aftermath of rape, but when I thought about it more broadly, I think it is relevant to most people who’ve experienced trauma.

    I am certainly not in fear of rape every time I go out on a date or anytime I go out on a date. You can live a life in fear but then you are living in the future, not the present. Likewise, if you have been experienced any trauma, and that trauma becomes the focus of your life, you are living in the past, not the present. It’s not specific to rape more than any other bad thing, although on the scale of bad things, rape is certainly near the top of most people’s lists. I think that is basically what the author of the article is trying to get across.

    People have very different reactions to trauma. Some people are just not capable of getting over trauma in my experience and will have a hard time not living in the past or future. Whether this is a caused by social conditioning, conscious or unconscious choice, or by the nature of the trauma, I’m not qualified to say. Any time you compares your own trauma to someone else’s trauma to figure out who got it worse, or who is dealing with it “correctly” or “better,” you are doing a disservice to all involved. No one on earth is going to make it through life without getting hurt. Everyone has to figure it out in their own way. This is just one woman’s perspective. If it serves you, use it. If not, don’t. Easy as that.

  5. 65
    Ruby

    This may be Evan’s blog, but but without people to read it and buy his services and products, it wouldn’t exist. And it seems to me that the majority of readers are scratching their heads over this one. As far as Charlotte Shane’s take on being raped, well, it’s not like she can report that she’s been raped by her customers to the police. So she’s left trying to rationalize it all away. 
     
    In the previous comment thread where the subject of rape came up, we were told that it wasn’t so bad because that type of crime is at an all-time low. That’s great, but it doesn’t make the potential for it any less ssary for us. Now we’re being told that the experience of a woman who engages in an extremely high-risk profession, where reporting the crime isn’t even an option, is somehow relevant to the rest of us. What’s her take on it? That maybe being raped isn’t as bad as “feminists” would have us believe? This is a woman who’s already decided that having sex with strangers for money also isn’t a problem.
     

    1. 65.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Ruby:

      1) My business existed since 2003. My blog started in 2007. I assure you, my business would exist if I shut the blog and the comments down.

      2) The majority of the readers aren’t scratching their heads. Many thousands of people have already read this. About ten of you are causing all the ruckus. Let’s get some perspective here.

      3) I offer this blog for two reasons – one, to clarify my thoughts on issues surrounding dating and relationships and two, as a free public service to readers. As a regular reader and poster, you’ve benefited from it, as have I. Frankly, I don’t care if you don’t like this one article. Wait ’til Monday. There’ll be another one then that you might like better.

      4) I’ve already said – too many times – that you can disagree with Ms. Shane but you shouldn’t yell at me for airing her view. I will repeat that to you as well. It’s not like posted an article that was pro-rape. I posted an article by a woman who discovered that her rape didn’t have to be the defining feature in her life. I thought that was a hopeful take. I shared it.

      5) No one ever said rape “wasn’t so bad”, so please don’t suggest such a thing. I did cite a study reported in the New York Times that said rape has gone down by 70%. That’s still 30% too high, so to speak. Rape is completely unacceptable. That doesn’t mean, as Ms. Shane said, that all rape victims should deal with it in the exact same way. Not sure how you can disagree with that.

      6) I have no problem with feminists, inasmuch as feminism means true equality with men. I would consider myself a feminist and certainly consider myself an advocate for women, given how much of my life I’ve dedicated to serving their best interests. Alas, some feminists have a problem with me. Generally, their issue is that I try to take an evenhanded approach to responsibility, while many feminists reflexively assume that anything a woman does is unassailable and all the ills in the world are caused by men. This, as you know, is not true. So when I criticize women on certain issues or defend men on certain issues, I get labeled a misogynist. Which is, on its surface, about the biggest crock of shit imaginable. I’d have to really hate myself if I spent the greater part of ten years talking to women on the phone to help them find love – only to learn from feminists that I secretly hated them.

      7) You want to threaten to leave this blog? I understand. But first, how much money have you spent on my services and products? Exactly. So what am I losing if I lose you as a reader? Nothing – except the aggravation of defending myself of posting an article that interests me on my own website.

      Have a good night.

  6. 66
    Fiona

    Lucy, right wing UK is right wing. Don’t kid yourself. Google Ken 
    Clarke and date rape or Jermery Hunt and abortion or Andrew Mitchel and pleb. 

  7. 67
    nathan

    I went back and read the whole article. I admit that I didn’t make it through the first time, and I wanted to see what it was specifically that turned me off. The first thing that stands out is the experience she recounts of being raped anally, needing an expensive surgery, and then seeing the same client again a month later. She claims, following his silence about the previous incident, to feel “more powerful than him,” suggesting she knows something – what that something is, who knows – more than him. As we in the literary world often ask “Is this a trustworthy narrator?” Her take on this incident sounds pretty twisted in my book.
     
    The next thing that strikes me is citing Camille Paglia, well known as a right wing provocateur. Amongst her major influences are Sigmund Freud and Ayn Rand. Every last article I’ve read by her – and I read plenty during my graduate days thanks to a certain art history professor – was filled with appeals to see the weakest points of Freudian psychology – the Oedipal and Electra Complexes foremost – in everything from Hitchcock films to Rembrandt paintings. Again, not exactly the kind of source that fosters trust in the argument being offered.

     
    Thirdly, she makes the really interesting point that our cultural attitudes about rape were shaped by men, and that some of what we see today is still playing out those disempowering, sexist narratives of the past. I totally agree, and in fact, would even support her view that there needs to be more liberation around the stories we tell about rape and it’s aftermath. Even though I suffered a lot, I rarely think of what happened to me these days. It’s mostly been dealt with, and I don’t really feel “permanently damaged.” However, her article isn’t about men controlling the rape narrative. It’s mostly an attack on feminists, and programs and ideas promoted by feminists. Not only is the thesis muddled – Are men responsible? Are feminist women responsible? Both? – but the very diverse school of feminism is reduced to a singular, boogeyman trope. Never once does she even cite an actual individual feminist writer or researcher on rape. It’s just this abstract concept – feminists – tossed around again and again, even though she also points to the fact that men historically shaped these views of women and of rape.

     
    Fourthly, she repeatedly makes the point that rape is an individual experience, and yet also appeals to us to – rightly, and I thank her for this – to address the societal level silence surrounding male rape victims, and particularly male rape victims in prison. In fact, it also seems to me as if she desires to privatize the experience of rape for women – it’s up to each of “us” to come up with our own narratives and solutions – while simultaneously advocating for a much more public response to rape for men. In a matter of paragraphs, she takes shots at rape counseling and trauma responses for women, and then suggests – rightly – that men who are raped often have nowhere to go, and no one to talk to about their experience.

     
    I could go on here, but have decided to post a long version on my blog instead. But my main point is that Charlotte’s essay is filled with contradictions, and the way she’s handled her own experiences are not inspiring, which maybe isn’t her goal, but if she’s advocating that women can fairly quickly move on and live healthy lives, I’m skeptical her take on things is all that healthy.

  8. 68
    Paula

    I think the worst thing to happen to a woman would be getting murdered. At least with rape, you can get over it. I think it depends on the severity of it. I know of one person where they were attacked at home. That would obviously be something difficult to get over but I do think we live in a society where victims are allowed to feel too sorry for themselves. I’ve experience being bullied and being robbed but you get over it.
    Our society would deem you cruel if you were to tell some crime victim, especially women, to ‘get over it’ but I do think we need to empower victims so that they can feel like they can move on with life. This goes along with Caroline Myss’ theory called Woundology. We can never move forward in life if we keep feeling sorry for ourselves and we need to define ourselves not in terms of our pains and wounds but of something bigger and more empowering

  9. 69
    Fiona

    Paula,  I am not sure too many rape victims reading your words will appreciate reading how they are feeling too sorry for themselves or having it compared to you being bullied or mugged. I am also pretty sure reading new age clap trap about how you can be empowered after trauma is totally unhelpful to this situation. In general people respond better to caring and empathy than to being told to get over it.

  10. 70
    mary

    Evan, generally I think you’re good at what you do but when conflicts happen, it’s as though you respond to shut it all down vs letting it be what it is dispassionately. I understand foul language and personal attacks cross that line.
    I’ll be brief because I could go on forever on this.
    1 Premise that 95 percent–Evan said in his comments–of rape survivors view the event as soul destroying, life changing, stigmatizing, the worst thing that can happen…
    Well, all the men and women I know of publically or privately moved on, and went on and have successful lives, but sometimes have  issues with alcohol, anxiety, depression, relationships.
       Sometimes they don’t reveal this private burden, it’s secret. I never share it. I also don’t do therapy about it anymore-when I did, I felt like a victim. 
    Nonetheless, it is soul destroying, the stigma is from others, from society, not the survivors. It’s too complicated to go into, but not only the perpetrator, the courts, cops, reactions of family–it’s all  about shame, loss of faith, breaches of trust, loss of innocence, extinguishing that buoyant sense of self and joy one had before… it’s hard to put in words. It’s not that one can’t be joyous or trust again, someone about how we view the world is changed.
    It doesn’t mean people don’t move past it to live.
    Trivializing it is dangerous.
    Comparing trauma is wrong. Murder, illness, cancer–they are all painful.
    We live in a hyper sexualized world. Molesters, creeps are what the media call pedophiles and rapists.
    Rape is an outrage. But these days anything with sex is considered valid and rape and sex are conflated to many subconsciously. It is not sex. It is violence and sadism. I bet too many have rape fantasies–the ones who say it’s not so bad, get over it.
    It’s a very sick world. I will never trivialize this outrage. As long as survivors need to heal, they should get, without being minimized.
    2 This author is a powerless victim,not even in reality, no matter how passive aggressive she is. She rationalizes. She is dead inside. One has to be, to do the sex trade. She serviced the man who sodomizedher–is she free to say no? Apparently not, to anyone.
    But in general, agreeing to engage in sexuality activity is giving her consent to some degree. Obviously, without protection, she is left open to rape. I don’t wish it on anyone. She will continue getting assaulted and continue rationalizing it until or if she ever leaves the trade.
    She isn’t “eloquent” at all. I’m really surprised you think so Evan.
    I’m not offended you brought up the subject, or even pointed to her article, but her point of view isn’t valid. We shouldn’t view rape as meaningless, or trivialize it, to avoid upsetting others. Be upset. Rape survivors do move on, but as with any trauma, need help, some more than others.

  11. 71
    K

    It’s really sad to see people in this comments section disparage other (non-rape) traumatic situations that others have posted about. What is so hard about admitting that, yes, rape is bad and traumatic, *and other things can be too*.
    You don’t have to be comparing one thing to another and bickering like little children about this is worse than that. It’s like rape has this special status and no one can express another view without being considered a monster.
    I don’t think this author is saying rape is never traumatic, but I think she’s saying sometimes it is not. And I agree with her that it does a disservice to women to automatically assume that there is one way of dealing with it and experiencing it.
    Go read about a topic like war crimes to get an idea of other experiences that can be traumatic. Again, I am not saying we need to compare which is worse and why – sadly there are a wide range of traumas that humans inflict on each other. Rape is not the only one.

  12. 72
    Paula

    Fiona,
    I’m not trivializing what a rape victim grows through but I am of the school of thought that life goes on. I do understand that it is a traumatizing experience but if the victim doesn’t ‘get over it’, they are just hurting themselves in the long run. A victim has to choose to take the high road, even though she/he may not feel like it. They have to choose that in spite of the wrong doing that has been done to them, they need to choose to love themselves and to heal themselves from their pain. This takes time. It becomes their responsibility to heal themselves. This in no way diminishes the wrongfulness of what was done.
    I think all trauma victims should practice meditation such as kundalini yoga meditation. Meditation is scientifically proven to repattern one’s brain and it can help a victim of a trauma to reprogram their mind so they can feel human again and to process the depth of their pain in a productive manner.
    If a victim wants to see themselves as a victim for the rest of their life because of something wrong someone else did to them… well they are just hurting themselves. I’ve seen on tv a holocaust survivor and they walked away from the experience, that no one can take away their dignity and this is how they survived. Like a rape victim, a holocaust survivor did not deserve what happened to them but many of us have bad things happen to us that we don’t deserve but we have to deal with the shit that comes our way. We have to fight in life and not give in to the bad stuff.  Rape victims and all victims of any crime should take that as their mentality. They should be empowered. Part of empowering them does support the grieving process and feeling their pain. This is where the meditation comes into play. 
    Whatever doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger. It might take a while to get to that place but it is possible.

  13. 73
    Paula

    Just wanted to add to Fiona’s comment. I don’t appreciate you trivializing my bullying and robbery experiences. You have no details about the severity of it but instantly placed it as trivial in comparison to rape. I felt deeply violated in both cases and for you to ignorantly trivialize my experiences was unnecessary. I did get over it through my yoga and meditation practice. Every one needs to heal themselves and people can get over things. I’ve had other bad things happen to me in life and I battle with depression as well. I know how to survive and I want everyone to be a fighter in this life. It’s not easy for many people and we have to fight and not feel sorry for ourselves. By my stating that, I am not trivializing any one’s pain but encouraging people to be survivors. Life is not easy and we all need the appropriate inner tool kit to manage the ups and downs of life. Life is not always skittles and sunshine.

  14. 74
    Kathleen

    Paula I agree that the worse thing would to be murdered.  

    Fiona Don’t speak for me! Who are you to talk of new age clap trap? I was able to fight of my attacker and that was empowering.  Are you god and an expert on how all people respond Now thats clap trap if I ever heard it

  15. 75
    Fiona

    Paula, Kathleen, this is all getting very personal. Kathleen you did well to fight off your attacker and I am pleased you were not raped. Some were not so lucky and perhaps do not feel very empowered by it. Paula, I am sorry you feel violated by my thinking bullying is not the same as rape. I went through terrible bullying in high school. I’ve suffered crippling depression.I got over it. I do not think entitles me to say that rape victims should stop feeling sorry themselves or that they can fix it all by reading a book. So let’s just say everyone deals with their pain in their own way. If you want to take the view that people should stop feeling sorry for themselves and they should just deal with it because you have issues too, that is up to you. I don’t take that view so let’s just agree to differ.

  16. 76
    Cat5

    Evan,
    I think the problem with posting this article, is that the woman in the article is in denial about what has happened to her and her reaction to it.
    Would you post an article written by a drug addict or alcohol saying that they drink or do drugs because it is their choice, they like it, and it empowers them to do, and then say it is a different viewpoint and you hadn’t considered it?  I don’t think so.
    The woman who wrote the article is responding in one of the many ways a person reacts when they have raped, and it is very sad because she is trying to tell the world she is fine, when what she needs is help…professional help.  It makes me even more sad that so few people see it.
    Cat5
     

  17. 77
    Kathleen

    Fiona 
    I was sexually assaulted but I wasn’t murdered so it could have been worse. Do I spend the rest of my life cowering in a corner? HELL NO Did I say anywhere other victims should just get over it? NO  

    People deal with all types of trauma with differing severity and some people are more resilient than others.

    The question is is rape the worse thing that can ever happen? Its everyones own unique experience.   
    Some people have different ways to cope If someone has had such a miserable life that they became a sex worker by 22 then perhaps their way of coping is detachment or disassociation Thats still away to cope.  

    You should join Alexis and Ruby! 

  18. 78
    Fake name

    It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I would not wish that experience on my worst enemy. Death would have been better.

    1. 78.1
      Blue Rose

      I agree.   It was the worst thing that happened to me.  It was violent, by a co-worker I trusted close to college graduation, when I am supposed to have my head up and be excited for the future, which included losing my grants and job opportunities due to the man who raped me being a teacher and having all the power.  How was I supposed to come out and accuse him when he was loved and popular by the college staff?   I thought I might be pregnant by him or have a STD.  Because of his status and my being his student…plus not having a parent who cared enough I could go to them…and my friends all worked with the guy who raped me and told me he was a “good guy”…it ripped my world from its foundation.
      His anal and vaginal rape of me, not to mention him hitting me until I passed out, was highly traumtic.   I thought he might kill me and I fought and got away barely.  I might have been one of many, not sure.  I had to move across the country to get the confidence to work in my field because the rap ruined my hopes of a career, because it happened at work and now being in a similar environment can cause triggers, flashbacks and even physical reactions I am not control of.   Even years later.
      When people belittle rape victims, I hate it.  How dare you.
       
       

  19. 79
    justme

    Society doesn’t want to talk about rape.  We see it right here in these very comments.  If you experienced rape and talk about it, you are wallowing in it, staying the victim, and not getting over it.  

    I only talk about mine if I feel there is a positive reason to share the experience.  Mostly, I don’t tell anyone though because I don’t want it to define me.

  20. 80
    Fiona

    Kathleen, I am sorry you feel that way. I agree that different people respond to things in different ways. I do not claim to be “god and expert” on how people respond. I do happen to know something about rape unfortunately. As we have seen on this blog there are many people who have been victims of rape reading it, most of whom have found the experience very traumatic. It is not for me to tell them they should be traumatised nor is it for me to tell them that they shouldn’t. Hiwever it has clearly been upsetting for some of them to read comments that some (not you have made) that they feel too sorry for themselves or that everyone goes through bad things. That is why I prefer to empathise with them rather than try to compare it to bad things that have happened to me or how I dealt with it. I agree that the “new age clap trap” comment was out of turn. If it helps people, that’s fine. Unfortunately, for many, it isn’t that easy.

  21. 81
    K

    I know each person is different, and for some women rape will be a traumatic experience that will potentially scar them for life.
    However, for some it’s not, and I agree with the author that society makes women feel that their rape SHOULD “destroy” them.
    I myself was raped. It was, of course, horrible, and I was very shaken up / messed up for about a month.
    I went to see a counselor for a bit, laid low and let myself heal… and then I moved on. I think that really threw people off (those that I’m close to and knew what happened) – they felt that I should be upset for longer, or something.
    But I wasn’t.
    A few years later, and I barely think about it. I mean, I’ll think about it sometimes, but it’s not this huge cloud hanging over me.
    I hate the idea that rape was supposed to be “soul-destroying”. That it was supposed to ruin my life, that I’m supposed to be some weak shell of who I once was. For me, it was a horrible thing that happened, but I am certainly not destroyed. In fact, I feel like a strong person. 
    That’s why it makes me annoyed to see comments like the one from Cat5 #81 above, that “she is trying to tell the world she is fine, when she needs professional help.” How do you know that? How do you know she’s not fine? Do we not have ownership over our own thoughts and feelings? If anyone knows if I’m fine, it’s me.

  22. 82
    Cat5

    @K

    How do I know?  Through a lifetime of personal experience, 10-years of education, and 20-years of professional experience in dealing with individuals and the issues surrounding sexual assault, domestic violence, drug addiction, and alcoholism.

    And one thing I’ve learned is that it’s not as simple as ownership over one’s own thoughts and feelings when dealing with issues of trauma, sexual assault, domestic violence, drug addiction, and alcoholism…not without professional help, for most people anyway.

  23. 83
    Karmic Equation

    I didn’t read the article, but have read most of the comments.

    Perspectives on how a woman deals with rape is cultural, and, yes, probably defined by men. How come I say this? I’m Chinese, and if you’ve ever watched a Chinese movie which includes any scenes that suggest a woman is raped, the raped woman NEVER recovers. In fact, unlike western women who become “survivors” (sometimes scared, sometimes vigilantes), the raped Chinese women in films go stark raving mad. They literally become idiots because of the rape. This was ludicrous to me as a child when I watched these movies — I was too young to understand rape, and could never understand why between one scene and the next the bitchy woman becomes a loony idiot singing children’s songs.

    Anyway, having been a molestation survivor (not raped thankfully), I do believe that our cultures shape our expectation of a raped woman’s behavior. If you were born Chinese and was raped, you’re supposed to go batty. In America, you’re supposed survive but the rape is supposed to affect you the rest of your life.

    I believe that we have control over our thoughts. And since our thoughts guide our actions, it behooves us to always choose the thoughts that help us lead good, productive, un-drama-filled lives. If you think rape will permeate every experience you have afterwards, it will. If you think rape is something that you can move past, you will. If you think rape will traumatize you, it will. If you think rape WILL define you, it will. If you think it WON’T, it won’t. Speaking as a person who moved past her molestation, I believe you can choose your path after rape, too. But choosing isn’t enough. You have to be willing and able to execute on your choice. It takes time, hard work, faith, and mental fortitude.

  24. 84
    Joe

    @ Cat5: you still don’t really know.  You only deal with the people who have problems.  The people who don’t–they’re invisible to you.

  25. 85
    Cat5

    @ Joe

    With all due respect you have no idea who the people I deal with are, nor what my experience with people who have suffered trauma, sexual assault, domestic violence, and/or addiction issues is.  Please note I clearly specificied in my previous post that this is the group I am discussing.  Since I said I was discussing those who need help, it would necessarily not include those who have received help or are coping appropriately.  I’m not sure what group you think I am talking about that don’t have problems.  They would not be invisible to me, they just would not need my assistance.

    Most of the people I deal with, personally and professionally, that have suffered trauma, sexual assault, domestic violence, and/or addiction issues, do not think they need help, and that they are prefectly fine and coping appropriately.  Most of them are also in denial and rationalizing their behavior (as do many of their family and friends).  Denial and rationalizing are coping mechanisms that may help a person survive, but they are unhealthy behaviors.

    I don’t think it is wrong to want people to be healthly emotionally, and thus, engaging in healthy behaviors.  In my personal and professional work, that most often includes recognizing the issues, and doing my very best to help them find appropriate professional assistance.  They can then choose to obtain professional assistance or not.  Sadly, many have friends and family tell them they are fine for a myriad of reasons of their own.  So most do not seek help, and they continue to engage in unhealthy behaviors (coping mechanisms) that result in their incarcaration, hospitalization, and/or death.

  26. 86
    marymary

    Cat5 at 90
    and it may not be as extreme as incarceration etc. A good clue that someone has suffered a trauma they haven’t dealt with is an inability to form loving adult relationships and/or a tendency to get into abusive relationship. Also look out for a very high  tolerance for mistreatrment. It has nothing to do with intelligence. sometimes it’s the smart ones who come up with the best rationalisations. 

     

  27. 87
    Cat5

    @marymary

    I agree that inability to form healthy relationships (whether a person is an adult or juvenile) is a good indicator also.  Most of the people I deal with have this issue also.

    I used the examples of incarcaration, hospitalization and/or death as a result, because most of the people I deal with will end up/have ended in one of those ways if they don’t get help.

    You are also correct that intelligence has nothing to do with it. I hope I didn’t imply in my comments that it did.

  28. 88
    marymary

    Cat5
    we are in agreement.
    i don’t see asking for help as weakness. It takes courage, especially when trust has been violated.
    to clarify –
    the article writer is smart and strong, but maybe she’s used these gifts to acclimatise herself to repeated horrible experiences. I don’t think anyone should have to “get used” (for want of a better term)  to this treatment but sadly it happens. I don’t agree with all that she said but I felt for her.

  29. 89
    AnnieC

    An act that attempts to force a child onto a woman is and always will be treated by women as a most grievous of crimes against women at a fundamental level.

     Sex results in a child, and regardless of the rapists intentions, the act of sex is alway’s one of procreation.  Every male is “having” sex for that reason at a biological level, if not intellectually.

    That child of rape will then require care for 15+ years a huge investment of a womans life. It is the pill, condoms, abortion that have led to this apathy over female rape and a blase attitude toward sex itself.

    The woman who wrote the article, is the one who has been conditioned through her life, to see herself as less, and therefore the act of rape as less.

    The politically correct crowd never cease to amaze in their attempt to be “tolerant” of everything, and forsake pretty much everything.

    The author stands for nothing.  She is not strong because she tolerates that which is horrible. She is weak. Any woman allowed to truly feel , will find rape horrifying. Every, single one. Unless broken.

  30. 90
    marymary

    AnnieC
    when the Austrian girl who had been incarcerated and raped repeatedly by her father, (her father killed the subsequent babies) spoke to the media she faced a lot of criticism because she was stong, acerbic even.
    but i say she had to be, to survive.
    I know what you mean by broken. Rape is used by traffickers to break women down.   They know it works. The women don’t turn to jelly. They toughen up.
     

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