Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

In Other Words: “I Was Date Raped”

The following letter appeared in a recent Dear Abby column and was sent to me by a DW reader who was outraged by the advice given. I read the advice and felt torn, which you can read about below, after the jump.

I am a junior in high school. Last year, a guy I have known for two years began showing a sexual interest in me. I rejected his advances. Last week, he began expressing his interest again, letting me know he wanted to have sex. He invited me to study — only study — but said we “might” make out.

I was a virgin and had never even kissed anyone before. I had just gotten out of a relationship that didn’t end very well, so I liked the attention. I decided I was fine with just kissing, but as soon as I got in his truck, he started to feel me up. He took me to a semi-isolated area and we ended up having sex. It wasn’t fun or pleasurable. I told him he was hurting me, but he didn’t stop until the third time I said it. He was very upset with me. He only cared about me pleasuring him.

I told two of my close friends about what happened. One said he had essentially raped me. The other said it doesn’t count as rape because even though I said it hurt, I didn’t say it forcefully enough. Abby, what do you think? — UNCERTAIN IN ILLINOIS

I hope we can all agree that the LW was clearly raped, but what we may not agree on is how we would respond to the LW. Dear Abby responded by telling her that there was a “severe breakdown in communication, which led to your being sexually assaulted,” and that the boy took the LW’s willingness to kiss as indication that she was willing to have sex with him. Um, what the fuck? No. There wasn’t a “severe breakdown in communication.” The girl never, at any point, said she wanted to have sex with him. In fact, she said several times she was in pain, indicating — if not completely explicitly — that she wanted him to stop. He didn’t stop until the third time she said it; he raped her, and that is 100%, completely on him.

Now, could the LW have prevented the rape? Could she have done or said something prior to the rape to keep it from happening? I believe she could have, though I suspect anyone who was outraged by Dear Abby’s response may disagree with me and would say the onus of responsibility in preventing rape is 100% on the people who do the raping. And while I believe that 100% of the blame for rape is with the person who does the raping, I can’t say I agree that 100% of the responsibility in preventing rape lies with those who are perverted and aggressive enough to do the raping. Here’s a quick analogy: when you go to the gym and there’s a sign that says that the gym is not responsible for stolen or lost items, the implication is that YOU are responsible for protecting your items. That’s why we lock up our stuff. We’re also responsible for protecting our bodies/ selves. We can’t lock down our bodies, but we can certainly try our best to avoid situations, positions, and people who have indicated they’re dangerous.

I agree with Dear Abby who says: “To me what happened illustrates how important it is for parents to talk to their sons and daughters about responsible behavior because failure to do that can have lifelong consequences for both.” Obviously, we parents should be telling our kids to respect other people’s bodies and to never touch someone who has expressed disinterest or displeasure in being touched. Kids should be taught that no means no, and to say no clearly when you don’t want to do something. And girls should especially be told to pay attention to signs that a boy may not be trustworthy and may have intentions of trying to have sex with her so that if that’s not something she wants, she can avoid being alone with him. One such sign would be a guy making multiple and aggressive declarations of his desire for sex with her. RED FLAG. And if that same guy then invites her to come study in a presumably private place, where “making out” has already been promised, then one should assume he will try to have sex and that pursuing this invitation is, in my book, naive. It doesn’t make a girl responsible for a rape; it certainly isn’t her fault at all. And, absolutely, the number one way that that particular rape — and any rape, in general — could have been prevented was if the boy didn’t rape her, but the second way that that particular rape could have been prevented was if the girl had paid attention to the red flags and avoided being alone with a boy who had already repeatedly and aggressively expressed sexual interest in her.

So, no, unlike the DW reader who sent this column to me, I don’t think Dear Abby’s advice was necessarily “terrible.” I think it could have been far more compassionate and should not have implied that the LW was on any way responsible for the rape. But I don’t disagree with the message that parents need to teach their kids responsible and smart behavior when it comes to setting and maintaining boundaries, communicating those boundaries, and respecting other people’s boundaries, especially in regards to their bodies and sexual intimacy.

What are you thoughts? Is it fair to suggest that certain behavior can help prevent or increase the likelihood of rape? Does making any such suggestions imply victim-blaming?

126 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Rachel April 19, 2016, 12:17 pm

    Sex almost always hurts on the first time. But it’s got to be done unless the woman wants to stay a virgin forever. So, telling the man it hurts isn’t at all the same as telling him to stop. Otherwise, every traditional wedding night is rape.

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    • avatar

      Ele4phant April 19, 2016, 12:42 pm

      This is a broad generalization and not true for many women. Also, even if there’s some discomfort, there’s a lot that can be done to minimize it. Like, making sure the woman is comfortable and turned on in the moment. Also, if a woman is familiar and comfortable with her body (read she mastrebates on her own), she will experience less, if any, discomfort her first time having vaginal intercourse.

      Just jamming it in there and gritting your teeth should not be the expectation. If it really hurts, the couple should stop. Either temporarily to get the woman more turned on, or tabled until a later date and while other sexual activities are done (alone and as s couple) until the woman is more ready for intercourse.

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      • avatar

        Rachel April 19, 2016, 1:19 pm

        Do you realize what you said? Couples shouldn’t have sex if the woman is in pain even if she’s completely willing. If the law followed your ruling, then a huge percentage of women would be legally forbidden to ever have sex. Or should women be forced to lie and say they aren’t in pain when they are?

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      • avatar

        ele4phant April 19, 2016, 1:33 pm

        If I told my partner “this hurts”, he should stop. Even if I didn’t *want* him to.

        Look, I get men and women have been conditioned to think that pain during sex is normal, but it’s NOT and that shouldn’t be the expectation. We need to stop saying to girls, “oh it’s normal and okay if it hurts” and we should stop telling men it’s okay for them to keep going if their wife or girlfriend says it hurts. Even if she doesn’t consciously want them to stop, if it hurts enough to say it out loud, or if she’s obviously wincing in discomfort, stop, her body is not ready.

        I’m not talking about whether or not pain constitutes rape. I am saying, we shouldn’t make it normal for pain to be part of a woman’s sexual experience. If a woman is in pain the couple should stop having intercourse. Switch to oral, mutual masturbation, or just slow down. Maybe just kiss and cuddle more. Try again later. Masturbate on your own more to get used to the sensation. There’s a large world between suffering through painful intercourse and having no sexual activity at all. Spend some time in that broad between area until intercourse isn’t going to hurt.

        Just powering through when the woman is in enough discomfort to say it out loud is not acceptable. It conditions women to think about sex with some trepidation and fear, to disregard what their body is telling them, and to not explore other things that they find sexually exciting that just aren’t p in v. And it sets men up to think that their pleasure trumps a woman’s comfort. It is a bad dynamic and we need to stop perpetuating it.

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      • avatar

        Rachel April 19, 2016, 3:38 pm

        This exactly what Instapundit keeps saying ‘They said that if I voted for Mitt Romney, the government would get involved in private sexual matters. And they were right.’ Maybe you want to make painful sex illegal – but you’re sure doing everything you can to discourage it.
        All of your suggestions might be wonderful. But they take time and generally require the man to be experienced. Most traditional couples just want to consummate the marriage on their wedding night and can learn advanced technique later. If I’d followed your advice, then my son wouldn’t have been born 9 months after I got married. And he is definitely worth a little discomfort.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant April 19, 2016, 3:50 pm

        99% sure you are trolling, but:

        There is a difference between making something illegal, and pushing for societal change in how we educate our children to think about sex, and what their obligations to their partners are. I have no desire to make painful but otherwise consensual sex illegal; I do have a desire to educate young adults that sex, even sex the first time, should be a largely pleasurable experience and that there’s no reason it really has to hurt right out of the gate.

        And it’s all well and fine for you and husband to wait for marriage (and I assume not only did you wait you didn’t even take a few days to work up to it with foreplay), but that’s not what most couples do. Again that is a choice the two of you are allowed to make and it has no bearing on my life, so have at it.

        But most people do not wait until marriage to begin being sexual. Even those that save vaginal intercourse until the wedding night generally do sexual things with one another that helps make intercourse more pleasurable before the wedding night. I also assume you view sex as a procreative activity more so then a pleasurable or bounding experience. Again, that’s fine, but it’s not where most people fall. Your story is not typical. So, maybe my advice doesn’t work for you, but for the vast majority of young women and men today, they are not waiting for this specific moment in time (ie their wedding night), and they’re not jumping straight from zero experience to intercourse in their first sexually charged encounter. There is no reason to teach them to expect the women to be in pain and that they should charge on ahead. It’s not necessary, and they have the time to work up to it.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant April 19, 2016, 3:58 pm

        Also my approach does require the man to be experienced. It does require time together exploring, and it does require plenty self exploration on your own to be in touch with what you like and what feels good (not a problem for most teenagers).

        If you’re happy with how your sex life played out, that’s great but it’s not a model for how most everybody else lives. And I’m not going to tell my future daughter (if I have one) sex has to hurt at first and I’m not going to tell my future son (again if I have one) that he shouldn’t worry about a virgin girlfriends discomfort because there’s nothing he can do about it.

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      • avatar

        Rachel April 19, 2016, 4:32 pm

        You just said ‘my approach does require the man to be experienced’. If so, then you’re going to be educating young people that it’s wrong to follow traditional teachings of no sex before marriage for either the man or woman. I’m touched that you’re not going to put traditional couples in jail. But I don’t want my children anywhere near your sex ed classes.

        I have six daughters, and I’ll definitely advise them that sex with an inexperienced man is likely to be painful on the wedding night. But a one time pain is much better than all the suffering that comes from ex-wives, stepchildren and old flames never fully forgotten. Half of Dear Wendy’s letters are all about those problems.

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      • avatar

        Rachel April 19, 2016, 4:34 pm

        I should also note the long-term consequences of our different choices. You have hypothetical children to teach the importance of sexual experience. I have actual children to teach the importance of sexual inexperience.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant April 19, 2016, 5:12 pm

        Also, I’ll say this again, which you’ve ignored as I assume it also conflicts with your world view, but I’ll say it again. The more a woman masturbates, it’ll likely make intercourse for her more comfortable as well. She’ll know what she likes sexually and she’ll physically be more ready.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 19, 2016, 6:21 pm

        You seem to be missing the point that this girl was a virgin by choice and lost her virginity against her choice. It has nothing to do with whether you waited until your wedding night to have sex. This girl wasn’t choosing to have sex. You seem to think it was okay for it to be painful because it was her first time while totally missing the point that she was being raped. It wasn’t okay for him to force himself on her and her crying out repeatedly that it was painful has nothing to do with your experience unless you are saying that you kept crying out in pain but you thought it was fine to go on. In her situation it wasn’t right to begin with and the fact that she was experiencing pain and he didn’t care says a lot about him. The fact that you and your husband expected you to grit your teeth and bare it says a lot about the two of you and your expectations of marital sex. The two of you could have choosen to wait until marriage and then take your time getting to know each other sexually but you didn’t choose that. This girl didn’t choose what happened to her. She didn’t choose to have this first painful sexual encounter. Your consensual marital relations are irrelevant to her being raped. If your virgin daughter was raped would you say it was okay that it hurt because it was her first time and she should expect that. If my daughter, who is a real live teen, was treated this way I would be on her side and support her. You seem to be on the side of the rapist and you have a smugness about waiting until marriage for sex without seeming to realize that this girl was given no such choice. She had no choice. She didn’t consent. She didn’t choose painful sex.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant April 19, 2016, 4:37 pm

        *does not.

        And agree to disagree on the sex Ed then. But honestly everything I advise could be done by virgins within the confines of marriage.

        It just takes two communicative patient partners. And okay, maybe you would get it in the first night, but you have the rest of your life. So why not make your first time together a pleasant for both of you?

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      • avatar

        ele4phant April 19, 2016, 4:52 pm

        *wouldn’t.

        Man, autocorrect in phones is the worst.

        TlDR – two virgin newlyweds could totally take some time to explore and work up to intercourse. Maybe that means the don’t have “sex” on their wedding night, but it sure would make their first time more pleasant and enjoyable, wouldn’t it? So what if your first child is born 10 or 11 instead of 9 months after your wedding date?

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      • avatar

        Rachel April 19, 2016, 4:53 pm

        I was just quoting your own words about experienced men a few minutes ago. If you want to take them back it’s fine with me.
        As for why not make your first time pleasant. If couples want to wait, it’s fine with me. But most couples are embarrassed by an unconsummated marriage. That embarrassment is much much more unpleasant than a little pain. You’re advising weeks if not months of shame.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant April 19, 2016, 4:59 pm

        It was autocorrect. I meant to include the n’t upfront but it didn’t include it.

        Anyways, I didn’t wait for marriage (obv) but why would you feel shame about a deliberate choice you made as a couple to benefit both of you that is nobody else’s business and that no one else (should) know about?

        Genuine question. I can understand trying and failing, but if it was a deliberate choice nobody knows about, why would you feel shame?

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      • avatar

        Rachel April 19, 2016, 5:14 pm

        I apologize for not understanding the autocorrect. I’ve had similar problems in the past.
        As for your question of why people feel shame. Clearly, you’ve never talked to anybody about this experience ever. Failure is almost always embarrassing. Failure at something as fundamental as sex is deeply humiliating for both the man and the woman.
        Your sex ed class might be enormously detailed in describing how sex can be pleasurable. I’m sure that you’re very experienced at that. But you can’t seem to imagine any other reason that people might have sex.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant April 19, 2016, 5:56 pm

        I’m sorry, I still don’t understand. How is it failure if it’s a deliberate choice to hold off a bit?

        And yes, I was taught that sex should be fulfilling, whether in a marriage or not. Don’t you want your daughters to have a fulfilling sex life – albeit only within the confines of marriage? You may not have known what you know now, but now that you know why aren’t you telling your daughters that sex with their husbands can be wonderful, and that they don’t have to assume or expect pain? That there isn’t shame in taking time to feel comfortable, even if that means they don’t lose their virginity their wedding night? That that’s not a failure, but it’s setting up a healthy sexual relationship and healthy patterns that will last them the rest of their lives?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 19, 2016, 5:04 pm

        Hah! Right. Good luck with that. Your daughters, Rachel, will just be stuck with lousy sex and lousy marriages. Can’t wait for the updates on that…

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 19, 2016, 6:01 pm

        There is no guarantee that waiting to have sex for the first time on the wedding night will result in a good marriage. Christian fundamentalists have higher than average divorce rates, probably partly due to getting married young.

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      • avatar

        Ange April 19, 2016, 6:52 pm

        Just a note Rachel: the group with the highest divorce rate in America is evangelical Christians. Carry on.

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      • avatar

        Ange April 19, 2016, 6:55 pm

        Ha! Skyblossom beat me to it, read on fail.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 19, 2016, 7:08 pm

        The Duggars immediately come to mind. Anna is most likely living a nightmare and is trapped because she doesn’t believe in divorce.

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      • avatar

        Rachel April 19, 2016, 7:59 pm

        Just checking, you do know that Catholicism completely forbids divorce? So, it’s not surprising that they have a lower divorce rate than Evangelicals.

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      • avatar

        Ale April 19, 2016, 1:33 pm

        Do YOU realize what you said? That has nothing to do with what Eleph4nt said.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant April 19, 2016, 1:36 pm

        To reiterate, I am not saying it is non-consensual if a woman is in pain but otherwise wants to keep going. That’s her choice.

        I AM saying that we should stop teaching kids that pain is normal and expected. There’s no reason sex should be so painful the first time. She shouldn’t have to suffer her first time, and men, if they are caring decent people, shouldn’t want to make her suffer either.

        It is entirely unnecessary.

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      • avatar

        Jess April 19, 2016, 1:56 pm

        I think the implication was LW did not want it, the pain was incidental. And well yeah, if you are doing something for the sake of pleasure (like having sex with your partner) you should probably make sure both people are enjoying it. Don’t you think it is kind of unfair for one person to be in pain regardless of how ‘willing’ she is to go through it? Don’t you think if there is pain occurring in something that should be pleasurable that there is a cause for concern there? Who knows what damage could be done if a woman chooses to ignore her body’s signals for the sake of pleasing her man?

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    • avatar

      SasLinna April 19, 2016, 1:02 pm

      Taken in context, it’s clear that “it hurts” was meant to signal “please stop”. She was also saying “you’re hurting me”. Not exactly normal first time sex talk.

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    • avatar

      Ele4phant April 19, 2016, 1:07 pm

      The more I think about your post, the madder I get. It should never hurt to the point of wanting to stop. There are ways to make it less painful.

      We should not teach girls to expect that it will hurt a lot their first time. We should not teach them to just power through it if it does. We should not teach boys it’s okay to keep going if their partner is in a great deal of pain.

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 April 19, 2016, 1:10 pm

      In pretty much every other context “it hurts” requires the person doing the hurting to STOP and ask if it’s OK to continue.

      For some reason, people think this doesn’t apply during sex (especially during a woman’s first time). IT DOES. Fuck that noise.

      “That hurts’ is a damn clear signal to the other person to stop and re-asses.

      Also, my first time, no pain. Maybe some discomfort, but no pain.

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    • avatar

      Ale April 19, 2016, 1:32 pm

      I also think your comment is a generalization. My first time did not hurt at all. Sex “doesn’t have to be done” even if it hurts. In this context, telling the man that it hurt meant telling him to stop, and that is what every sane person would do, stop if they are being told that it hurts.

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    • Stonegypsy

      Stonegypsy April 19, 2016, 2:25 pm

      Seriously, if someone is saying “It hurts” you stop (the first time they say it) and check in. “How much does it hurt? Do you want to continue?”
      My first time did hurt. I was surprised. I said something. The person I was with stopped what he was doing and asked if I was okay, if he could do anything differently, if he should keep going.

      So yes, even on a wedding night, plowing ahead when someone has *not* said “yes, I want this” while they *are* saying “You’re hurting me” is rape. Period.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom April 19, 2016, 3:48 pm

      If she was a virgin giving consent it would be okay but she was a virgin not giving consent and there was no indication that she wanted to do what he was doing. Just because it usually hurts for most virgins has nothing to do with this specific situation.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros April 20, 2016, 10:55 am

      If someone says something hurts, then you either stop or ask if they want to stop. You don’t just assume that they are narrating the experience for no apparent reason and keep going. People who make up stupid excuses for rape blow my mind.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant April 20, 2016, 11:06 am

        Right?! Even if it was the wedding night for two virgins for whom consummating the marriage right away was very important, wouldn’t you expect the husband to pause and ask “how much? Do you want to take a break for a little bit? Should I slow down or something?”. Despite being inexperienced, I would expect a new husband to care about his wife and her comfort and would at least acknowledge it. I don’t think the ideas of “slowing down” or “taking a break and trying in a bit” or at least asking “are you sure you’re okay to keep going like this?” are advanced technique – they’re pretty common sense to me.

        But I clearly don’t know how traditional marriages are supposed to work. Maybe they do teach all engaged couples that pain is inevitable but it doesn’t matter, the guy should just keep jack hammering away.

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  • avatar

    SasLinna April 19, 2016, 12:28 pm

    Girls (and boys) should be taught to listen to their intuition and that it’s always OK to leave abruptly (or to reject a date or to stop communicating or whatever is at issue) if someone is making them uncomfortable – even if it seems awkward. I think rapists quite often manage to get their victims alone because the latter are afraid of making a scene. I would definitely teach my kids to never be afraid of that.

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  • avatar

    AndSoItGoes April 19, 2016, 12:42 pm

    It seems important to judging the quality of Abby’s advice to note that she also wrote, “Unless a girl explicitly expresses her willingness to proceed, it is the responsibility of the boy NOT to proceed.”

    She seems to agree that this is a case of rape, but is also trying to retrace the steps of how it occurred (hence, the “breakdown in communication” line). In other words, she seems to be trying to create a narrative about how and why the boy would have come to conclude that the girl wanted sex. That, in my view, is her error. It gives the impression that she is explaining away the rape and undermines her own statement, quoted above.

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    • avatar

      SasLinna April 19, 2016, 12:59 pm

      Yes. It’s also that “breakdown in communication” suggests that both of them contributed to the problem, and that that the boy misunderstood the girl’s intentions (when rather he was ignoring her wishes). It plays into damaging myths about rape. I don’t think Abby should have used that phrasing.
      Interestingly, she then plugs an “explicit consent” part into her answer which contradicts the stuff about a breakdown in communication completely. If explicit consent is needed, then the boy should not have assumed that sex would happen and it couldn’t have been a misunderstanding.

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      • avatar

        AndSoItGoes April 19, 2016, 1:04 pm

        Just to clarify: I definitely wasn’t suggesting that the boy thought the girl wanted sex. Only that Abby seemed to want to consider that possibility.

        I guess I’m saying that I can see what she was trying to do, but don’t think she succeeded. I agree with you, in other words….

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  • avatar

    Ele4phant April 19, 2016, 12:52 pm

    It is tricky to talk about rape and what women can do to protect themselves without It turning it into the women being blamed for her inactions.

    On the one hand, rape is the rapists fault. And we should perpetuate a yes means yes culture, not a no means no. Anything less than an enthusiastic yes means things should stop.

    But the world is what it is, and frankly not talking about what women (and men!) can do to protect themselves makes it seem like women are helpless to their environment. There are some things you can do to avoid certain situations. It’s not a guarantee and your not at fault if you don’t do them, but women have some agency to look after themselves.

    So it’s a hard line to balance, empowering women to take their safety into their own hands while not blaming them if they do become victims.

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    • avatar

      AndSoItGoes April 19, 2016, 12:58 pm

      It does seem that Abby was trying to strike that balance. And you’re right that talking about what to do differently in the future or how the situation got to that point is worthwhile.

      I suspect that it’s because the question the letter writer asked was whether what the boy did constitutes rape that her response upset people. Perhaps it could have been phrased better….

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  • avatar

    keyblade April 19, 2016, 1:02 pm

    “Now, could the LW have prevented the rape? Could she have done or said something prior to the rape to keep it from happening?”

    I think most people who are assaulted end up haunted by that question. I think it is the responsibility of someone offering advice to understand that (in my opinion) answering such question for the recent victim of an assault can be not only unhelpful but very hurtful. I think parents should talk to kids about safety. Those discussions might include general tips on how to speak up, fight back, avoid being isolated, and so on. But that is different from looking at the outside of someone’s experience of victimization and trying to figure out what they did wrong. I think that is a cavalier approach to rape. I would never want my boys to apply that approach to someone in the original letter writer’s position.

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    • avatar

      SasLinna April 19, 2016, 1:15 pm

      Exactly. While the “rape prevention” advice is aimed at the future, it ends up hurting victims of rape who are blaming themselves.
      We also have to be careful that preventions tips don’t become excuses for rapists. It’s easy to turn a useful guideline like “avoid being alone with a guy you don’t know well” into the excuse “we were alone, I took that as a signal that she wanted to have sex”.

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover April 19, 2016, 2:57 pm

      I think that in general, teaching people how to avoid situations where they might get raped is important. But I think that it’s not appropriate to give advice to the victim, about the specific situation that caused their rape, after the fact. That’s the part that comes across as victim-blaming, and really what’s the point anyway, because the rape has happened and it’s too late to stop it even if she could.

      The other big reason why I hate the whole “avoid rape” topic is because a lot of the advice is such bullshit. It includes crap like what you should wear, often, and also often tells you not to drink. Some of the “rules” I’ve seen for avoiding rape basically call for women locking themselves up in their houses after 9pm. And most of the rules are for avoiding stranger rape, which is the least common type of rape out there. It seems to me that a lot of what’s currently taught is just another way to control women. If the “rules” actually helped, then they’d be worthwhile. Like what Wendy said about looking for red flags. That’s almost never brought up as a way to avoid rape.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana April 19, 2016, 1:16 pm

    Um yeah I completely disagree. I was raped by an ex boyfriend I was madly in love with– it was a terrible situation, and for the longest time I blamed myself for going over that night, letting him kiss me, believing he regretted breaking up withe m, snuggling with him and putting myself in that situation. No matter the fact I had been with this guy for 3 years and trusted him completely and he had never done anything in the past to make me think he was capable of sexually assaulting me. It is messages like THIS that made me deny what happened for the longest time, and assume all of the guilt on myself. It was my best and closest friends telling me it wasn’t really rape because I went over there and am I sure that is how it happened and since I participated in it at first, its not really the same thing. The facts are he didn’t stop when I begged him to, he didn’t stop when I told him to get off of me, he didn’t stop while I was crying. Saying that I, or anyone else in a similar situation should assume part of the responsibly, on top of dealing with the huge violation that just experienced is unfair, cruel and abhorrent. It took me a long time to unpack not just the sexual assault, but how fucked up I was from the reactions of the few people I told, and how conditioned I was to believe it was my fault and my responsibility to bear what happened that night.

    This “Now, could the LW have prevented the rape? Could she have done or said something prior to the rape to keep it from happening? I believe she could have, though I suspect anyone who was outraged by Dear Abby’s response may disagree with me and would say the onus of responsibility in preventing rape is 100% on the people who do the raping. ” is victim blaming to me. Do you not think that this poor girl has already gone over the 3000 ways she could have prevented this. Do you not think that that doubting of herself has led her to question whether or not it was even rape, because somehow the fact that she could have *prevented* it means she is also somewhat responsible for it. The LW was in the car with someone she trusted, doing normal teen behavior, and he took it too far and past the point where she was comfortable. When I was in high school I talked to guys about having sex sometimes, this didn’t mean I shouldn’t have ever put myself in a situation where I was alone with them. This rhetoric really is just terrible and makes me really sad to read. It is akin, to me, to saying that someone could prevent rape by not dressing in a certain way or not drinking too much. It is implying that the LW knew or has some way of knowing that guy would rape her when she got in the car with him. Did she make questionable decisions– maybe, but that does not mean she shares in the any responsibility for the horrible thing that happened to her nor that she could have prevented it. She could have gotten in the car with a friend that night and he could have done the same thing. So then should girls never get in cars with boys alone? Never be alone with boys? Although people are saying “she isn’t responsible” implying that she could have prevented it by just not going or some other magical intuition that he was going to rape her is basically saying she bears some part of the blame.

    I agree that parents need to do a better job teaching their children about scenarios, consent, and how to think smart and have a sense of themselves and where they are at all times. However the place for this conversation is not at all in the context of speaking about someone who was just raped and how she could have prevented it. This is an entirely separate thing and bringing it in to the conversation about a rape/sexual assault undermines the victim’s entire experience.

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    • muchachaenlaventana

      muchachaenlaventana April 19, 2016, 1:20 pm

      I wish I could edit this– I do understand no one was outright implying the girl was responsible, but to me implying to her that she could have prevented it, essentially accomplishes the same thing. At least that is exactly how it worked in my scenario. People basically being like “well if you hadn’t gone over– why did you go over” made me feel like it was 100% my fault and my responsibility.

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      AndSoItGoes April 19, 2016, 1:29 pm

      Thanks for sharing this, mucha.

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      saneinca April 19, 2016, 1:39 pm

      I think by break down of communications, Abby meant that girl did not say “I don’t want it. Just stop” to the guy. Your case is clearly different.

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    • kare

      kare April 19, 2016, 2:14 pm

      100% agree.

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  • mylaray

    Mylaray April 19, 2016, 1:32 pm

    Yes, I think it is fair to suggest certain things can help prevent rape, while also knowing that it won’t stop all types of rape. Victim blaming is also a delicate issue. I remember a letter from the old Prudie saying something along the lines of college women shouldn’t drink alcohol and get wasted. The way she worded it was not cool, and directed solely towards women. Frankly, straight culture could really take note from the queer community that conversations about preventing rape don’t need to be gendered. Everyone should be taught, regardless of gender, how to ask for consent, how to look out for things that could lead to rape, look out for controlling/manipulative behavior, and how to respect others and their bodies. It often takes a victim blaming route when it becomes so gendered.

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    Northern Star April 19, 2016, 1:40 pm

    While it’s obviously a rapist’s fault when a rape occurs—it’s practical to teach our daughters how to avoid being raped in the first place, just like we teach them to avoid being swindled, abused, murdered, or robbed. Dear Abby’s column is aimed at those girls who are naive and overly trusting—she’s hoping that they will see her words and choose not to be alone with a sex-hungry boy who has problems hearing the word “no.”

    That’s certainly a fair position. She’s analyzing the way this could have been prevented, not for the overly trusting victim (who has already experienced it), but for other potential victims to see pitfalls. Trusting your gut is step number 1. This girl didn’t, and the consequences were terrible.

    It doesn’t mean this girl is “at fault” if we use her story as a cautionary tale. People do that sort of thing with victims of all kinds of crime ALL THE TIME. How do we know that posting vacation pictures all over Facebook invites criminals to rob your home? Someone overly trusting did it once, and now we know it’s a bad idea. Doesn’t mean the victim “deserved” to be robbed. But if it keeps others safe—the example is helpful.

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  • avatar

    Jess April 19, 2016, 1:48 pm

    Phew. This is a sticky situation and people will have extreme opinions on both sides. The stark feminist in me rejects the idea that any portion of a rape is the victim’s fault. Sometimes, there isn’t anything you can do to ‘prevent’ someone from breaking the law. It is also not your job to play psychologist and have to decide whether or not someone around you is a sexual predator. I believe the phrase now is not ‘no means no’ but anything other than a sober, uncoerced, enthusiastic and fully informed ‘hell yes!’ is a no.
    Many women are already fully educated about ways to ‘prevent rape’. Like, not leaving your drink unattended, the buddy system, etc. Not a lot of men are taught about what is actually means to sexually assault someone. The confusion about what constitutes consent based on recent polls is heavy, for both men and women. No one tells men “Hey, instead of bringing home that drunk girl who may or may not be fully aware of what is happening to her, why don’t you give her your number and ask her to call you tomorrow when she sobers up?”

    All of this being said, I don’t think Abby’s advice was wildly inappropriate. She wasn’t trying to assign blame from my understanding, but rather trying to give some background as to what may have been going on in the young man’s mind.

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  • kare

    kare April 19, 2016, 2:08 pm

    A trigger warning would have been appreciated.

    That being said, one can take steps to protect their safety (don’t leave drinks unattended, don’t walk alone at night), but choosing to hang out with a guy that wants to have sex with you isn’t a dangerous behavior. Every guy I made out with in high school made it clear they wanted to do more, but of course they didn’t go further once I said no. Wanting one form of physical intimacy does not under any circumstances mean you consent to other forms.
    *
    Obviously TMI and trigger-y, but meh:
    I was date raped. We had been dating for a month, and once he seemed a bit aggressive but nothing that struck me as odd. We stayed the night together multiple times, so when we went out one night I thought nothing of it. We messed around at my place, and he wanted to take things further. I said no, he got pissed, then performed oral sex on me against my will. Yes, I had given him a blow job beforehand. But one act doesn’t imply consent for another. Especially when explicitly stated. It’s very dehumanizing to tell someone to stop touching you and not have them listen. Even when you anticipate turning down someone for sex or whatever activity you don’t want to do, you never truly anticipate that person will completely disregard that. Until it happens to you. Or unless you’re fortunate enough to have cynicism of human nature that many young girls lack.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy April 19, 2016, 3:06 pm

      Re. Trigger warning: isn’t the title itself a trigger warning?

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      • kare

        kare April 19, 2016, 3:18 pm

        I just wasn’t expecting to see “I was date raped” on the site. The title itself was jarring to me.

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        Anna April 19, 2016, 4:07 pm

        I honestly don’t think trigger warnings are a necessity in life (or in school) and I really hope DW doesn’t start doing it for a multitude of reasons. But I guess that’s another discussion on it’s own.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy April 19, 2016, 4:31 pm

        No, I won’t. I respect that there are certain topics that are sensitive to certain people for a variety of reasons, but I have an issue with trigger warnings. I’ve included a couple in the past and felt weird doing so and decided that going forward I would try to create titles that would act as trigger warnings themselves.

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  • juliecatharine

    Juliecatharine April 19, 2016, 2:12 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how many people have been sexually assaulted and then blame themselves *if* they can even admit that what happened was an assault. Scenarios similar to what this girl experienced happened to me and every single close girlfriend I’ve had since college (around 10 or 15 women). No rapes were reported; if they had been it’s unlikely there would have been successful prosecutions. The issue of sexual assault and so-called ‘gray rape’ is so much broader than people are willing to admit. Abby didn’t completely fail but her advice really didn’t cut it in my book. ‘Communication breakdown’ my ass. Teach your children that their boundaries deserve respect and to be comfortable removing themselves from situations that don’t feel right.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark April 19, 2016, 2:48 pm

    My only comment is that if somebody repeatedly tells you that they want to sleep with you and you are NOT interested in doing so — perhaps saying Yes to kissing them simply isn’t exactly the smartest move. It sends a decidedly mixed message. As does saying yes to going to an isolated location.

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      ele4phant April 19, 2016, 3:14 pm

      I think this really hammers home why we need educate kids on the “Yes means yes” philosophy, not “No means no”.

      Sometimes people don’t realize what signals they are sending, they are naive, they are scared. Maybe they felt yes before but something changed for them and now they want to back-off. It shouldn’t be anyone’s job to be a mind reader, so unless you’ve heard an explicit yes, you should assume it’s a no until you hear otherwise. Even if that person kissed you. Even if that person agreed to go with you somewhere private.

      Regardless of what has happened before or you think is happening now, you need to make sure beyond a shadow of a doubt you’re both on the same page.

      And that’s true for men, women, all sexual orientations.

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      mertlej April 19, 2016, 3:16 pm

      So… you should only kiss someone if you are prepared to sleep with them? Even in highschool? That makes absolutely no sense. In what world does simply kissing someone send a mixed message?? If I go on a couple of dates with someone, make out with them in private, and decide that I am not interested in/not comfortable sleeping with them, I’ve forfeited the right to make that decision and have it respected because I’ve kissed them? People want to sleep with other people all of the time, but they control themselves, because they are not animals.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom April 19, 2016, 3:17 pm

      He invited her to study not to go to an isolated area and said they might make out. I agree she should have turned down someone who had expressed that much sexual interest in her, especially compared to overall interest in her as a person. She was naive. Studying with a little making out sounded okay. Going to an isolated area wasn’t supposed to be on the agenda. She should probably have jumped out when he began to feel her up.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 19, 2016, 3:30 pm

        This letter at times is vague and hard to follow. How exactly did he take her to an isolated area without her knowing where they were going? I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never gotten into a car with anyone and NOT known where we were going.
        .
        She was raped. Clearly.
        .
        But sadly — it seems to me she could have prevented this in oh so many ways. And if saying so makes me a bad person, fine. So be it. But had she done any of the things this bad person or Dear Abby is suggesting, she probably wouldn’t have been raped. It’s also maddening to to me that apparently she never once even said the words NO. Or maybe she did and they were edited out… But I somehow doubt it. That would be a curious thing for anybody — LW or faux Abby — to omit.
        .
        So, yeah. I don’t have any problem with the way Faux Abby answered this one… Advice Columns are more for the readers, than the LW. And Faux Abby was simply saying to readers everywhere… Hey, here are some ways to hopefully avoid having this horrible thing happen to you. Which, frankly, is good advice.

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        RedroverRedrover April 19, 2016, 4:17 pm

        This is why “yes means yes” is so important. It’s often hard for a woman to say no. Not least because very bad things can happen to women who say no. It’s a scary thing, if someone bigger than you drove you out to an isolated area and started having sex with you. A “no” in that situation can lead to the person beating you, or maybe even killing you. After all, at that point you feel like you don’t know them at all. They’re already raping you, what else are they capable of? Many rape victims just silently wait for it to be over, as the “safest” way to get out of there mostly intact.

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      RedroverRedrover April 19, 2016, 3:19 pm

      I didn’t see the part where she consented to go to the isolated area. It says he “took” her there. He was driving, presumably she didn’t know his plan.

      Also, she might have been ok with kissing (and presumably was, since she accepted his offer). That doesn’t mean he was allowed to have sex with her. That’s all on him.

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      Juliecatharine April 19, 2016, 3:33 pm

      BGM, I often find you amusing and occasionally think you have insightful things to say but you are way way WAY off the mark. Really, my only comment on your comment is to think about what the fuck you are saying when chiming in on a thread like this. Consent to kiss is not consent to sex. That’s not a challenging concept, seriously.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 19, 2016, 3:48 pm

        I never said it was consenual. Far from. But I do think the LW needlessly put herself at risk by being vague and sending mixed signals. Look, if I jumped into somebody’s truck and they “immediately” started feeling me up — I’d jump out. But again — that’s just me, I guess.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 19, 2016, 4:00 pm

        As an adult I would immediately see the groping as a bad sign and get out. As a kid I probably wouldn’t have. The boys started groping the girls in my class in fifth grade. They all did it with no consent. Girls don’t like it but they get used to it so very sadly, the fact that he groped her probably didn’t set off alarm bells for her. It can be a fact that girls live with.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 19, 2016, 4:06 pm

        Seriously? I’d like to think your school situation was just hopelessly fucked up. Mine wasn’t like that. At all. I don’t recall anybody just randomly groping people left and right. Yikes.

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        SpaceySteph April 20, 2016, 8:34 am

        Yeah, no, I don’t think Skyblossom’s school was an aberration. I remember a kid in middle school who learned the phrase “Hump Day” and then every Wednesday would run through the halls grabbing girls from behind and humping them, yelling about hump day. He was told to stop, yes, but the girls were just told “it’s harmless” and “it’s just a joke” and he was never really punished for it.
        Little girls basically spend their whole lives being told that guys are “just joking” and that we shouldn’t get too upset about the unwanted touching, or that misbehavior means he likes you and you should be flattered. So yeah, I fully buy that a teenager would not respond to the red flags the way I as an adult would, because it takes years to un-fuck your brain from all that crap.

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      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana April 20, 2016, 10:02 am

        yeah… I remember being in 7th grade at a movie theater and being pressured by a dude to give him head by him semi forcefully grabbing my head and trying to direct it towards his crotch. This is a dude I barely knew and was in a part of a group with some girls I was with and just assumed that would happen. Luckily, I was a giant prude/scaredy cat who ran to the bathroom and hid there the entire length of the movie and never went again- but um… not an isolated incident. I didn’t even tell anyone about this because I was embarrassed to be the one who had refused and I was afraid of the rumors he was going to spread about me being a prude or a loser when in reality it should have been him afraid because of his sick actions.

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        Ele4phant April 19, 2016, 4:10 pm

        You know it’s all great for you to pontificate what would do, what with your life experience and the retrospect of actually knowing what his motivations were, but she is a kid. A kid with pretty little experience, who didn’t really know his motivations, who felt pretty scared but also felt pressure to behave and not make him feel bad.

        So I’m glad that you as middle aged gay man have some common sense, but I’m going to cut her a break.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 19, 2016, 4:25 pm

        Not everybody was an idiot in their youth. I wasn’t. Bad things happen to people who make bad decisions. Look around, that’s the way of the world. But Dear Abby trying to spell out the obvious to her readers is hardly something to get upset about. If we don’t talk about how rape can be prevented — then we don’t prevent rapes, sadly.

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        Northern Star April 19, 2016, 5:21 pm

        “If we don’t talk about how rape can be prevented — then we don’t prevent rapes, sadly.”

        THIS is the reality. I’d rather my nieces be forewarned and forearmed. Girls need as much information as possible so they have a basic understanding of how to react to a situation that’s spiraling out of control. They need real-life examples of bad ideas and how to handle them differently—especially how to peace out of an unsafe situation early.

        It’s not excusing rape to talk prevention any more than it’s excusing murder when you instruct someone not walk down a dark alley at night in a bad part of the city. Murderers and rapists don’t get “justified” because people leave themselves open to crime—they still need to get prosecuted. But rapists will always exist, just like murderers.

        I don’t think it’s enough for a girl to hear that boys “shouldn’t rape.” Rape may well be a male problem, but girls (and women) need the tools to avoid possible rape situations themselves—not hope that the random males in their lives aren’t in a rapey mood.

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        RedroverRedrover April 19, 2016, 6:10 pm

        Well, this girl wasn’t walking down a dark alley at night in a bad part of the city. She was going to study and make out with a guy who she thought wasn’t a rapist. She was wrong. The “rules of preventing rape” wouldn’t have helped her here.

        Plus, how many women don’t know not to walk down a dark alley late at night? Or to try to stay in groups with their friends? Are these really messages that women need to be constantly hounded with? Do you honestly think they aren’t hearing them? And still, we have rape. So obviously the “rules” aren’t helping much, are they? I’m not saying to never teach them, but harping on them is useless. Maybe worse than useless, because if you tell women this is what they need to do, and they don’t do it, they’ll feel like they’re at fault for their rape. Many women feel like that already, in fact.

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        keyblade April 19, 2016, 8:02 pm

        I don’t have a problem with girls getting as much information about the world as possible. But the “real-life examples” ought to be used with sensitivity and consent. This isn’t some short story, this is someone’s life. Anybody who read the letter writer’s story could see obvious signs and red flags in retrospect. On average, commentators don’t seem to struggle with speculating, putting themselves in the a letter writer’s place, and naming all of the things they would have done differently.

        I didn’t think the way DA phrased her answer was bad and it didn’t enrage me. But I think Wendy took it further, speculating on the ways the entire ordeal could have been avoided. And then she asked about our thoughts and if we thought this was fair.

        My thoughts are, duh, perhaps the entire ordeal could have been avoided if this girl had more insight into how to spot a selfish asshole, red flag situations and people, and on how not to test the waters with someone who has shown himself to be aggressive and clear on what he’s after. It isn’t that I disagree with the potential accuracy of the statements. Or that people shouldn’t learn from parents, books, websites, and whatever else. I just think there is something kind of selfish about using someone else’s victim hood to make some weird public service announcement.

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        Ele4phant April 19, 2016, 9:05 pm

        Yes I agree. It’s not what the advice was, it was the context that it was given. Using someone’s personal trauma to highlight the ways other women might avoid the right situation is not appropriate. There are other times to teach children and young adults how to best protect themselves from sexual assault. Holding up someone’s real life experience of what not to do is not it.

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        Anna April 20, 2016, 10:26 am

        Was it a personal trauma though if she went to dear abbey? It wasn’t as if Abbey published without permission…

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        Northern Star April 20, 2016, 9:49 am

        But the letter writer came forward and asked Abby—where did this situation go wrong? Abby didn’t go find a news clipping of a rape victim and hold it up as an example without the victim’s consent. A girl wrote in asking for analysis.

        She got a compassionate answer—that also included information that might help prevent future rapes. I don’t see the problem.

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        Ele4phant April 20, 2016, 10:28 am

        Well, no, she didn’t ask Abby for advice about what went wrong.

        She asked Abby if she was raped or not, because one friend told her she was and another told her she wasn’t, and she wanted a third opinion.

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        snoopy128 April 20, 2016, 11:00 am

        “If we don’t talk about how rape can be prevented — then we don’t prevent rapes, sadly.”

        I absolutely agree with the above statement; however, I’m so disappointed that it translates most of the time ONLY into your statement below:

        —>”THIS is the reality. I’d rather my nieces be forewarned and forearmed. Girls need as much information as possible so they have a basic understanding of how to react to a situation that’s spiraling out of control. ”

        Fuck that. We should be teaching children to ask for consent. To make consent and explicit part of having sex. To teach them its not ok to have sex with someone that doesn’t want to. It’s not just or mainly about “girls protecting themselves” it’s about a culture that respect’s people’s right to say no and protects people in situations where they didn’t say “yes”. It’s about a culture that puts the pressure of people TO consent. To gain the explicit yes. And then if they don’t do that, the burden of the outcome falls on them.

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        Northern Star April 20, 2016, 12:00 pm

        Who said boys shouldn’t be taught about consent? Who? Certainly not me.

        But simply relying on boys to do the right thing takes ALL the power away from girls. Wishing and hoping someone will not be terrible doesn’t actually stop a dang thing, any more than a “no guns allowed!” sign will stop an armed robber. You take the measures YOU can control. That’s what I’m talking about. Empowering girls to understand what an impending rape (date rape especially) will look like—and how it could be avoided—could keep that girl from being a victim in the first place. Or does that not matter?

        As you say: Fuck that.

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        snoopy128 April 20, 2016, 12:10 pm

        Nope. Never said that teaching girls doesn’t matter OR that someone said boys shouldn’t be taught about consent. Rather, I said that teaching girls to ‘prevent rape’ (whatever that means) is generally the only thing which is taught and is the predominant focus in most rape prevention strategies.

        It’s not about ‘relying on boys to do the right thing’ it’s about creating a culture where gaining consent is actually talked about and is taught as the default.

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        Northern Star April 20, 2016, 12:11 pm

        Obviously preventing rape is the main goal in rape prevention strategies.

        Like defense of your own person is a goal in self-defense strategies, rather than trying to get muggers and murderers to stop mugging and murdering.

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        snoopy128 April 20, 2016, 12:24 pm

        the difference is that muggings and murderings are ALWAYS a one-way street. The person who is mugged or murdered did not want these things and would never consent to them. So teaching self-defence is the only solution.

        However, with sex, it should always be a two-way street. Consent is always required. So teaching self-defence ignores the bigger issue- that of mutual consent- which benefits both parties much more than teaching one party to try to defend themselves.

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        Northern Star April 20, 2016, 3:47 pm

        I don’t understand the difference you’re trying to assert. Rape, like murder and mugging, is NOT a two-way street. The person who was raped did not want to be raped and did not consent to those things. That’s the entire point.

        A man who will rape is a man who doesn’t care about consent in the first place.

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        RedroverRedrover April 20, 2016, 4:49 pm

        @Northern Star

        “A man who will rape is a man who doesn’t care about consent in the first place.”

        Not true. A man who *thinks* he has consent because he thinks that not getting a no is the same as getting a yes, could very well go ahead and rape while believing he isn’t a rapist. In fact that might be what happened with the guy in this very letter.

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        keyblade April 21, 2016, 9:58 am

        @Northern Star

        “A man who will rape is a man who doesn’t care about consent in the first place.”

        Rapists may not care if their victims felt as though they consented, but I think some of them do care about being labeled a “rapist”. Look at Bill Cosby. He did stand-up about Spanish fly. He knew what he was doing was wrong, but as long as he had a way to justify his actions to the rest of society, he could go on raping and chalk it up to a “communication failure”. When we teach both boys and girls that a “communication failure” is on the shoulders of the person who wanted sex and does not change the word “rape”, rapists don’t have the excuse of mixed signals to hide behind, at least not as well and with less approval from society.

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        Northern Star April 20, 2016, 12:10 pm

        For Pete’s sake, many posting right here in this very thread are talking about the importance of speaking up—being assertive in saying, “no,” and bemoaning the society that doesn’t “let” girls do that.

        Brushing aside what led up to this date rape—and to be honest, the girl could have given verbal consent at first (she doesn’t say either way), silences the girl’s voice again. Because then we are saying it’s expected to be quiet. That speaking up isn’t important for girls. That fragile victim women are always at a man’s mercy, and can only hope he’s a non-rapist who has carefully studied the issue of consent.

        NO. Again, SCREW THAT.

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        keyblade April 20, 2016, 12:30 pm

        Well I think your desire to self-sooth your anxiety, create answers for what good can come out of distressing circumstances, and feel empowered may be instinctive but I don’t think an advice columnist should account for it at the expense of addressing the concerns specific to the person writing in. And that girl may very well feel fragile and victimized.
        I think this letter writer was trying to figure out if she was raped and how she should handle what has happened because she is getting mixed messages and feels confused. I don’t think she wrote in to hear about all the things she should have known, been, and done to prevent this from ever occurring. Nor do I think Dear Abby responded as though she did. But I thought this particular thread was suggesting that Abby should have, and I disagree.

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        snoopy128 April 20, 2016, 12:32 pm

        How is saying that both sides need to say ‘yes’ silencing women’s voices? We aren’t saying they shouldn’t say ‘no’. We are saying that SOMETHING has to be said in all situations. Yes or no. And it should be assumed ‘no’ unless there is an explicit yes. Silence=no. Consent levels the power relationship a bit. It requires that both parties give consent. Without consent, requiring only the person who wants to say ‘no’ to say something puts them at an automatic disadvantage.

        I find it damn empowering for someone to ask *me* what I want and to be expected to have to say what I want in each situation. And empowering to women in general to expect that they MUST be asked.
        And empowering to men to be expected to ask that question. Because hearing a ‘yes’ would be a total confidence booster.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy April 20, 2016, 12:38 pm

        Enthusiastic consent = ridiculously sexy.

        When my boyfriend and I first started dating, he was out of town for a couple of weeks. He sent me a text saying “When I get back I’m going to pick you up, carry you to the bed, and respect your agency!”
        And he did. It did not spoil the mood.

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        mertlej April 20, 2016, 2:53 pm

        Okay, but when you say “not everybody was an idiot in their youth” and “bad things happen to people who make bad decisions”, that’s saying that young women (well… all women) are idiots who make bad decisions if they consent to, say, studying and making out. That’s fucked up. Being a kid who doesn’t go into a situation with a friend or acquaintance expecting to be raped is not being an idiot, and its incredibly sad if that’s the baseline now. I just can’t personally get past this assumption that by agreeing to studying and making out, this young girl somehow sent “mixed signals”, “failed to communicate”, or had ANY responsibility for having sex when she didn’t want to.
        *
        Something like this happened to me as a teenager. I had gone on a few dates with a guy, ended up back at his place to make out (and no, no alcohol was involved), and ended up pinned and forced against my will. I thought I was dating a nice guy (who had brought me flowers! and came to the door to meet my parents!) and that we were progressing at a comfortable pace, until that moment when he climbed on top of me and I couldn’t move. I did NOT think that by putting myself in a situation where I was alone with him, having kissed him, that I was making a bad decision that would lead to a bad thing happening to me.
        *
        This whole attitude makes me incredibly sad.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom April 19, 2016, 3:14 pm

    I think the message begins with allowing young children to decide who may and may not touch them. I have never forced my kids to hug family members. It is their choice based on their comfort level. From the beginning they have been told it is okay to say no to anyone. I think this message needs to start when the child is very young, even age one. You can refuse physical affection from anyone and you are allowed to speak up and say no to any touch you don’t want.

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      Hannanas April 20, 2016, 7:44 am

      That’s so true. I often see parents who force their kids to kiss or hug a family member or friend when they’re obviously not feeling it. Everyone may laugh at their ‘shyness’, but it’s, like, not funny at all. This is one of those instances where your kid says “no!” and you have to listen to them.

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    • Portia

      Portia April 20, 2016, 9:07 am

      I think that’s great that you encourage your kids to set their own comfort level with family members. I had to push back on my parents when I was younger about that and they didn’t really get it, and in a lot of ways still don’t. Nowadays I set the expectation that “I don’t like hugs” with pretty much everyone. I basically have to apologize when I do and caveat that I’m just weird, but I’ve found it gives me more control overall on physical interactions.

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  • Guy Friday

    Guy Friday April 19, 2016, 5:15 pm

    Ok. So maybe I’m an idiot, but I don’t get how the response is so infuriating. Then again, I’m also a little surprised Wendy excerpted the first and third paragraphs and completely ignored the second. To copy and paste the response, for those who didn’t follow the link:

    It appears you and that boy had a severe breakdown in communication, which led to your being sexually assaulted. He had made no secret that he wanted sex with you, and may have interpreted your willingness to kiss him after he took you somewhere other than what was agreed upon as a signal that you were willing, even though you didn’t say so.

    Date rape happens when a fellow ends up coercing or forcing a girl to have sex without her consent. Unless a girl explicitly expresses her willingness to proceed, it is the responsibility of the boy NOT to proceed.

    To me what happened illustrates how important it is for parents to talk to their sons and daughters about responsible behavior because failure to do that can have lifelong consequences for both. If you haven’t already done so, you should tell your parents what happened. However, if you don’t feel safe doing that, tell a counselor at school.

    Taken as a whole response, I don’t see the problem. There was a breakdown in communication between what each person wanted, and given that it resulted in a rape I’d certainly call it a “severe” one. Abby explains to her what the disconnect may have been, then explicitly notes that the onus in sexual situations should lay 100% on the male (which may or may not be controversial, but I doubt it would be on this site, and certainly not in this situation.) She closes by noting that parents should talk to their kids about “responsible behavior” and advises the LW to report it immediately. Of everything she wrote, I see MAYBE getting pissed at the “responsible behavior” comment, but even that in context really seems to address his responsibility rather than hers. So why is this such a bad answer?

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      Ele4phant April 19, 2016, 6:45 pm

      So I think the rub is that there is a sense that people are Monday morning quarterbacking this young woman’s experience. And while maybe not the intent, that can be perceived as blaming her for what happened, at least in part, for something she did or did not do.

      I personally think there’s nothing wrong with talking generally about things people could do to protect themselves. Some people disagree and think we should only focus on the perpetrators, but I think that’s impractical and frankly disempowering for women.

      But, when it comes to people who have already been victimized, I think those conversations are not helpful. That person cannot go back in time, hearing what they “could” have done will only serve to make them feel more trumatized and as they are somehow culpable for what happened to them. Not good or helpful.

      I know dear Abbie was probably thinking she has a larger audience of women and that it was worth saying, but I don’t think it was an appropriate response to a woman whose already been raped.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros April 20, 2016, 10:58 am

      The issue is that in society, when discussed rape, one of the first things people do is talk about what the victim should have done differently. The list of stuff victims “should have” done is pretty long. Stuff like not walking alone, not wearing a short dress, not inviting a date or friend to your place, not drinking alcohol, not going to a party, not kissing, etc. The message that this sends overall is that rape is the victim’s fault, despite the fact that if a person chose not to have sex with someone unless that person was actually actively agreeing to it, then it wouldn’t have happened. It’s like saying that if a person steals your iphone, it’s a breakdown in human interaction. No…they are a thief and took it.

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  • avatar

    ArgyllWisp April 19, 2016, 5:57 pm

    My friend got mugged a few months back. It wasn’t her fault, but she did decide that going forward she won’t wear headphones walking in the city. It won’t prevent her from being victimized again, but it does give her some control to say “I won’t be caught unawares from behind again.”

    I don’t think victims of crime should Monday morning quarterback themselves. Anything is avoidable if you have all the facts in advance. But I also think it’s healthy to make a change that gives you back a semblance of control, even if it’s totally false. For this girl I would hope she learns to be more assertive. If she had screamed out NO NO NO would that have definitely stopped it? Maybe not. But I do think her attacker targeted her specifically for her meekness. He was sure he could coerce her, and in so doing she would come to enjoy it. She didnt, and he got pissed.

    No matter how assertive she might become, of course she can still find herself a rape victim again. But if she takes a lesson from this, at least she won’t ever second guess whether she was a true victim or not. She’ll know for sure, and no asshole friend will be able to tell her different.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeysmommy April 20, 2016, 7:56 am

    I am probably the minority here… but I don’t think she was raped. It does not sound, based only on the letter she submitted, that she ever said NO, or I don’t want to, only that it hurt. Saying it hurts is not necessarily saying that she wanted to stop. Yes, the guy was a dick for not stopping until she said it hurt three times, but if I am taking her story as the complete truth out of her mouth, no rape occurred. He is also a dick for saying he cared only about his pleasure, but still not rape. I would have encouraged this LW not to ruin a young man’s life over her post sex regret. Cases like this really hurt the legitimate date rape victims.

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      RedroverRedrover April 20, 2016, 8:13 am

      Yeah, you’re hugely in the minority if you don’t think consent is necessary. Where did she say she wanted to have sex with him? How is saying “it hurts” the same as “yes”? If there’s no consent, it’s rape. It’s not “post sex regret”. That’s exactly the attitude that creates an environment where rape is acceptable. So thanks for the contribution to rape culture.

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      • avatar

        Anon April 20, 2016, 9:51 am

        To the point you’re making here, I don’t know that I’ve ever been flat out asked “do you want to have sex?” And I’ve said “yes” … I have stopped a guy before by saying I’m not ready or that it’s too soon. But I don’t know that I’ve ever said “yes lets have sex” in the middle of making out…one thing just led to another and it happened…

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      • avatar

        snoopy128 April 20, 2016, 10:46 am

        I have actually asked someone “do you want to continue?” as things progressed. I’ve also been asked “is this ok?” AND “do you want to continue” before someone progressed (i.e. escalated from one thing which I was comfortable with to uncharted territory).

        There are many ways of gaining consent, especially if you consider consent as an ongoing process. Examples: “tell me what you want”/”tell me how you want it”/”what do you want me to do to you?”/”do you like this?”/”do you want me to ___?”/”show me what you want me to do”/making someone beg for it is asking for consent. There are plenty of ways to verbally gain consent that doesn’t interrupt the flow of sex.

        And there are many ways of non-verbally saying yes- guiding someone’s hand, taking charge.

        The point is- if the situation is at all ambiguous to one of the partners, they SHOULD be checking in and gaining consent in some way. Especially when they don’t know the person well.

        Hell, even with my partner with whom I’ve been having sex for over 5 years, if I sense they aren’t into, I stop and re-assess and my partner does the same. For us, it’s no longer about the verbal, but about the body language cues. But for people who don’t know each other well or for teenagers and those without experience to read body language, go for the verbal “YES!”. It’s not fun or sexy when the other person isn’t into it or is unsure.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant April 20, 2016, 12:48 pm

        I have definitely asked and been asked “Is this okay?” as making out transitions to something more, and when that something more transitioned into sex. Each time something new happens, check in.

        It is unobtrusive and can be sexy.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover April 20, 2016, 1:19 pm

        Like others have said, it doesn’t have to be an explicit question. If a guy is putting the moves on you and you respond by undoing his pants, that’s consent. If he’s touching you and you’re touching him back, that’s consent. Basically it’s consensual if both people are clearly into it. If one of the people is pulling back, is saying negative things about it, is trying to slow things down, isn’t actively participating in the action, or of course is unconscious or otherwise out of it, then there is no consent, and that should be obvious. To keep going forward in that case would be rape.

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      • BlueKate

        BlueKate April 20, 2016, 3:06 pm

        Wow. When losing my virginity, even though the dude ended up being an a-hole throughout the relationship, he still asked me if I was ready, if I wanted this, and that if anything, he’d stop if it hurt or I changed my mind. So yeah. People do ask. Later on in my experiences as I grew up those questions don’t get asked often, but first time, that is a damn important question to ask.

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    • Monkeysmommy

      Monkeysmommy April 20, 2016, 8:15 am

      Okay, I am definitely the only one who saw it that way… but I went back and read the letter again, and I wouldn’t change my response. I think Abby was right that there was a breakdown in communication. I am a woman, and I can’t see anything about her letter that screamed this is rape. I have a teenage daughter, and I hAve taught her to say more than “this hurts” if the answer is no. I honestly think this may have been consensual until the LW really wrapped her head around how far it was going and how much it actually hurt. Then she changed her mind- which she CAN and should do if she so chooses. It also sounds like after the 3rd time she said it hurt, he DID stop. Someone said that a caring partner would stop when told it hurt; let’s remember this is like a 16-18 year old boy. I doubt that he’s learned what it is to be a caring partner at this stage. I am sure this guy is a total asshat. He sounds like it. But is this really a rape case? Does this kid go to jail now? I mean, to me the answer is no, but that’s just my opinion.

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        keyblade April 20, 2016, 8:30 am

        I honestly think DW chose the phrasing she did because so many people think as you do and the letter writer will most likely encounter this thinking again so definitions needed to clarified.

        “Date rape happens when a fellow ends up coercing or forcing a girl to have sex without her consent. Unless a girl explicitly expresses her willingness to proceed, it is the responsibility of the boy NOT to proceed.”
        “To me what happened illustrates how important it is for parents to talk to their sons and daughters about responsible behavior because failure to do that can have lifelong consequences for both.”

        Date rape is no longer seen as the failure of the person who doesn’t want sex to not protest emphatically enough, but rather a failure of the aggressor to obtain an emphatic consent and be mindful that consent can be withdrawn at any time.

        While it may be enraging for some to consider, I do think young immature boys might not understand this and should be educated clearly by their parents and society.

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        RedroverRedrover April 20, 2016, 8:35 am

        She said they had sex, which means he may have eventually stopped, but he still had sex with her without consent. Of course he won’t go to jail, rapists hardly ever do. But yes it’s rape, if she didn’t want to have sex with him and he did it anyway. You don’t have to say “no”, you have to not say “yes”. Read the legal definition of rape. It’s having sex without consent. It’s not “if you can get her to not say no you can go ahead and have sex with her even if she doesn’t seem into it”.

        And she wasn’t even comfortable with the initial feeling up when she got in the truck, that much is clear from the letter. So what makes you think she up for having sex?

        The biggest problem here is that the guy didn’t care whether or not he had her consent, and maybe didn’t even understand what consent was. Your “no means no” attitude makes it extremely hard to teach about consent, because then people can justify to themselves that they didn’t rape anyone since they didn’t hear a “no”. But the human fight or flight response can block a person’s ability to say no. They can be in shock, they can be scared, they can be panicking. You can teach your daughter all you want, but if she ever finds herself in this kind of situation, she may not even be able to say no. And then what? The guy should just be able to have at it? That’s rape.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant April 20, 2016, 8:57 am

        The burden should always be on the person who wants sex to make sure the other person also wants it. If someone does not want sex they may be too scared or too shocked or too incapacitated to clearly and resoundingly say no, so the responsibility to make sure it’s consensual should not lie with them.

        If you have sons, you should be teaching them that if they don’t have a clear explicit yes, they don’t have consent so they need to shut things down until they know they do. Quite frankly this will protect them as well. They will not “miss” someone’s implicit no – although I still believe this hurts during sex should call for at least immediately pausing and asking if the person wants to continue; that she had to say it three times says something.

        As for this young man who was perhaps not taught consent is something *you* have to get not something the other person is in charge of withdrawing – should he go to jail? That’s a moot point because he won’t. She hasn’t even reported it and it’s tremendously difficult to prosecute even the clearest of clear rape charges.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant April 20, 2016, 9:55 am

        Also I don’t think ignorance is ever an effective defense. If I could pulled over for speeding and tell the cop I didn’t see the speed limit sign, I’m still getting a ticket. It was my job as a driver to inform myself about the rules and conditions of where I’m driving. My failure to do so is my fault, and I still endangered others through my ignorance.

        Just because a guy doesn’t realize he’s supposed to get consent and doesn’t make sure that he has it doesn’t get him off the hook. We are judged not on our intentions but on our actions.

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    • muchachaenlaventana

      muchachaenlaventana April 20, 2016, 9:15 am

      woah– so according to you it can only be rape if the girl is emphatically screaming NO. Pretty messed up way of thinking. Saying it hurts, to any rational and emotionally intelligent person would be a signal to stop at that exact moment. My first time hurt badly, my then boyfriend IMMEDIATELY stopped and asked me if I wanted to continue (asking for consent in that moment). This boy did not do that, he didn’t give her the chance to offer her consent or say no. So only if he had stopped, asked her and she said no would that have been rape? Like that logic doesn’t make sense. He failed to gain her consent. Why do you think the campaign going on in colleges right now is YES MEANS YES. According to your logic, a really drunk girl who is barely awake and doesn’t say no, clearly wasn’t raped. Ugh this and your way of thinking about rape is why it will never go away in our culture. This “post regret sex” and “ruin a young man’s life” rhetoric and making allowances for the 16-18 year old boy not stopping immediately is such a huge part of the problem that stems from the “boys will be boys” LOL mentality– how can we possibly expect a 16 or 18 year old boy to stop having sex with someone without their consent just because she says it hurts. Yeah… this is the problem right there.

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        RedroverRedrover April 20, 2016, 9:21 am

        The “ruin a young man’s life” pisses me off so much. Because SHE’s already been through a hugely traumatic event, due to him. HER life may very well be ruined. But god forbid he’d receive any punishment for what he did. Remember the Steubenville case, they were saying the exact same thing. News media, the people in the town, etc. Blaming the victim for ruining the rapist’s lives.

        If we never punish people for this kind of behaviour, it will never, ever go away. Maybe right now you could say we’re in a transition period from “no means no” to “yes means yes”, and as such it could make sense to try teens as young offenders and they go to juvie instead of jail or something. But they definitely need to start being punished. Otherwise it’s tacit acceptance of rape by our society.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros April 20, 2016, 5:52 pm

      For the love of god, I’m so tired of people saying that victims are ruining a guy’s life as though he had absolutely no control over the situation. If you don’t want your life to get ruined, then you should make sure to get consent when having sex. It’s not that difficult.
      .
      Also, the fact that you think you’re the arbiter of what legitimate rape is is really concerning.

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        dinoceros April 20, 2016, 5:54 pm

        I left out the rest of what I wanted to say. People who use this argument ignore the fact that in our society, it’s not really OK to say no. Women who say no sometimes get beaten up or killed. Or they are treated like prudes or teases. In general, society acts like a woman doesn’t really get to control her body. So, to turn around and act surprised when a woman doesn’t immediately start yelling no and clawing at someone who wants to have sex is unreal.

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      • Monkeysmommy

        Monkeysmommy April 21, 2016, 1:22 pm

        Never said I was. Neither are you.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh April 20, 2016, 8:20 am

    I feel bad for this girl who as you say was very clearly raped. It makes me sad to think of how lacking the sex education is for so many teenagers in this country. There has been a recent uproar about it in my county after the recent laws passed in NC. So many people say it’s because of sex education and kids being fed information and it just leaves me so confused to how the two are related. If anything the sex education here is pathetic. Everyone is so worried about protecting boys who will be boys. If I see one more post about modesty in girls and girls needing to protect boys from seeing women’s skin I might puke.

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      snoopy128 April 20, 2016, 8:50 am

      It’s also so frustrating the lack of focus on teaching boys how to ask for consent. Considering consent (from both sides) is a really really important part of a sexual relation, why aren’t we teaching children (boys and girls) how to get consent. How to recognize when someone may not be saying ‘no’, but also may not be consenting. How to read body language. And how fucking awesome it is to have sex WITH SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO. And how pretty shitty it is to have sex with someone who doesn’t want to.

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        RedroverRedrover April 20, 2016, 9:16 am

        Yes, and I’ve talked about this on other website forums before, and there is a group of men out there who are extremely angry that laws are now requiring consent. Because now if they don’t make sure the woman wants it, they’re rapists. They don’t seem to get that they were actually rapists before if the woman didn’t want it. It’s like they see it as a game where if you can get to the sex before you get to the “no”, it’s not rape. And now the game has changed and they’re super pissed. It’s very messed up.

        And don’t even ask why they would want to have sex with someone who doesn’t want it. They don’t see it that way at all. They just say “if she didn’t want it she’d say no”. So, yeah, huge problem. And still all the focus is on teaching women to prevent rape. Like, if it were at all possible for women to prevent it, don’t you think we would have done it by now? We’ve had literally thousands of years of women getting raped. If we could solve it on our own, we would.

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  • avatar

    Laurel April 20, 2016, 11:58 am

    This situation happened to me so I have thought about this topic a lot. I do still see what people like BGM are talking about…based on what was written, it actually sounded to me like she *did* want to have sex, and then no longer did when it started hurting. Right? Am I missing something? So based on that plus previous interactions during their time together (which I don’t know, so I’m not going to speculate about) maybe he did think she wanted to more than she actually did, and was thrown off when she said it hurt. Which is a communication breakdown in a way.

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      Emily April 20, 2016, 12:42 pm

      Firstly, I’m really sorry something similar has happened to you.

      But I have to say, based on what the LW wrote, which is all the information we have, I have no idea where you got the idea that she wanted to have sex from. She says:
      “I rejected his advances.” about two years’ worth of sexual advances. Then: “Last week, he began expressing his interest again, letting me know he wanted to have sex. He invited me to study — only study — but said we “might” make out.” So, the LW understands that he may want sex at some point in the future, but this invitation is for studying, and possibly kissing, not sex. “I decided I was fine with just kissing” – the operative word here being “just”. She agreed to the invitation for kissing (not sex. Kissing.).

      She told the young man he was hurting her, which, having been her age only a few years ago, I know I would have used in an attempt to ask someone to stop, not having the confidence in my own autonomy that I have now. Luckily for me, I was never in her situation, partly because, in the situation closest to this one that I might have been in, my mother didn’t allow me to go to a party. I would like to think that my then-“friend” would have behaved well, but I’m glad I don’t have to know.

      The boy may even have thought that she was into it, and just been supremely bad at understanding other people. He might (probably does) need some lessons in consent. But none of that negates the fact that he raped this girl and she will live with that all her life. Having experienced sexual harassment/assault (I never reported it) I think his living with bad consequences of a bad action is significantly less of a big deal than her having to live with the experience her whole life.

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      RedroverRedrover April 20, 2016, 1:15 pm

      Why would it even be a question if she’d wanted to have sex with him? She’d know it wasn’t rape. She wouldn’t even have bothered to write in. Nowhere in her letter does she say she changed her mind when it started hurting. Like Emily said, she agreed to “just” kissing, “but” as soon as she got in the car he felt her up. That isn’t phrased as something she wanted at all. So if she didn’t even want the feeling up, why would she want sex?

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        Laurel April 21, 2016, 12:30 pm

        @RedroverRedrover and @Emily, I hesitated a lot to event comment at all for the reason that I did not want to come across as victim blaming. Since she said that she liked the attention, agreed to hang out with someone clearly interested in something sexual (not just a neutral study person) and used the phrase “we ended up having sex” and not something like “he forced me” or something…when I first read the letter, I just naturally read it like she was partially interested at some point. (Obviously, that may or may not be true.). I was reading it like that was part of the reason she was conflicted about how to define the situation.
        I think we can all agree that regardless of what led up to the situation, the guy clearly chose to continue to have sex with someone who was in pain, rather than stop and check in. That, right there, I would define as rape. Also not the fault of the girl, at all, because that’s a decision he made and could have not made.
        But I know that ever since that happened to me, I *do* watch my behavior more. I am much more aware of “risky” situations and I want other women to be as well, because I don’t want it to happen to them. In my ideal world, any woman or girl could go hang out alone with a guy she doesn’t know well, without any expectation of something bad or uncomfortable maybe happening. But I do not think that is the world we live in.

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  • lynn

    Lynn April 20, 2016, 12:30 pm

    I have such a hard time with this… because I think it’s ultimately up to the LW to decide what she thinks happened to her. I say that because it’s not a black and white situation (at least to me). I also say that because I had an experience a couple years ago when I was extremely intoxicated, met a friend of a friend, went home with that friend of a friend (who was also extremely intoxicated). Anyway, we started fooling around and when one thing led to another, I said no and he was pretty upset. I said I didn’t feel comfortable/didn’t think it was a good idea, and I’m not really sure how it transitioned into what it did, but we ended up having sex just because he wanted to… I didn’t want to and had said no. I kind of laid and that was that. I’m not sure how others would define what happened that night, but I don’t consider what happened to me as rape. Maybe I should, but I don’t. And up until maybe a year ago when I was reading about sexual assaults, I never really had a second though about it. So I dunno, in this particular scenario for the LW, I kind of think she needs to define what happened to her. If she think she was raped (I’m inclined to think so since she never gave consent ), then she was. But if she doesn’t think she was raped and does chalk it up/down to “communication” issues… then that’s for her to decide. I guess I will say, after my experience, I have made sure to not get intoxicated like that again because I like to have control and although I can’t control everything that happens to me, I try my hardest to control whatever I can (and that night was a little out of the norm too).

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  • BlueKate

    BlueKate April 20, 2016, 3:18 pm

    I think the worst part is to see how everyone ignores that he essentially planned the rape. He lured her by using a friendship, he used her more/less vulnerable state from a recent breakup (2 years in a relationship with no sex), coaxed her out to study, she didn’t mind making out, but that’s it, then took her to an isolated location, via car (who knows, is this a field, an overlook, a park, etc., that doesn’t get traffic) and she had essentially no way to get out of it. He fully took advantage of her, did not stop no matter how uncomfortable she got, or even when it hurt her (because losing your v-card in the car isn’t bad enough, there’s the actual PIV pain to deal with), and finally stopped when she was hurting so bad as to cry? And then get pissy about it? Oh yeah, this was rape, and planned out rape.

    Also, we have no idea what sex ed she received, if any, or what her upbringing was regarding sexual education (consent, protection, etc.). It’s not fair to say she could have prevented it, or known better, or whatever other bullshit victim blaming thing people say. Her rapist knew what he was going to do, and he did it. For all we know, if she’s had the courage/awareness/upbringing to say “No!” or yell “No!” that he wouldn’t have hit her, killed her, or left her in the middle of whatever unknown location she was in. Would he take her phone? Would she even get reception out there?

    She was raped. She was “legitimately” raped…not even a date rape, this wasn’t a damn date, she wasn’t dating him, he’s just a “friend”.

    As for breakdown in communication, I believe the proper conversation should have gone like this:
    Rapist – so we should study.
    Girl – sure
    Rapist – oh yeah, we may make out
    Girl – just making out, maybe, sure
    Rapist – and by “making out” I mean I’m going to rape you in an isolated location in the back of the car
    Girl – …no.
    Study plans cancelled.

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  • avatar

    Stephanie May 2, 2016, 1:16 pm

    Sorry to be insensitive – but Wow that was the least rapey rape story I think I have ever read. Just as we need to draw lines for boys we need to draw lines for girls and stop letting them play the role of victim when convenient or merely confused.

    This is not a “it’s your fault” line but he stated he wanted intimacy, you went because you were consensual, he began with intimacy and he stopped when prompted.

    Your old enough to understand – so please act your age

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