Asking For It?

TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE

Most people that know me can agree that I’m an outspoken feminist. They know that I stand up for women’s rights, try to be politically correct, the list goes on. They know that I love to write or that my favorite color is yellow. They know my face, the way I smile or laugh. To most people, I’m just an average teenage girl. Thank God that’s all I am. What most people don’t know is that this image could completely disappear, tarnished forever in a matter of minutes.

How?

Rape. Already I can sense one of two reactions: fear, a freezing shiver down a spine or bile pushing to the surface, or exasperation, a sigh because this post is going to be one of those posts.

When I think about sexual harassment, I think about the horrifying statistics. One in six girls will be raped in their lives. That means that out of the girls in my grade, at least three of us will get assaulted. One in 33 boys will be assaulted. That’s at least one boy in each grade. Yes, these are just statistics and all, but most of the times that’s all we think about.

Over the summer, I read Louise O’Neill’s Asking For It, a story of a girl named Emma who was gang raped by four boys. At first, Emma is portrayed as self-centered, egotistic, and promiscuous. She is mean to her friends, constantly degrading them.

Photo Credit: cornflakegirlmusings.com

It frustrated me how rude she was, but as the story went on, the rudeness was actually unmasked as something else, self-degradation. Her entire life she was called pretty, fawned on by boys and envied by girls. She was constantly making sure to cover up, but simultaneously show off. Her mother would always tell her to put on a jacket or a longer pants, while her friends surrounded her with shorter and shorter skirts. She internalized something most girls have to.

Nowadays, the Internet is filled with selfies, pool pics, and photoshoots. Sleek hair and tanned, toned legs become a requirement before sending out an image on Instagram and Facebook. Emma’s world was filled with those kinds of pictures. She went to parties just to say she did, trying to keep up this delicate image of a girl who was respectable but still had fun.

However, that image was tattered when she was raped. She showed up to the party in a too-short dress, drank dozens of tequila shots, and tried a drug a boy gave her. Common ingredients in the recipe titled: She was asking for it.

It’s interesting to think that someone could be assaulted and instantly presume it was the victims fault. Even if she was wearing nothing, her body doesn’t become something to claim, to take advantage of. It’s sad that rape becomes so black and white, either the girl did something wrong or the boy made a “childish” mistake. No one ever gets into the nitty gritty. It’s always “She was asking for it” instead of “She was raped.”

Modern society has a fear around the word rape. People want to mask what that word means, mask the disgusting feelings around it. People hide behind anonymous names, jeering at victims, trying to make it less real. If she wanted to, then how can it be bad?

Louise O’Neill and many other have taken a stab at this ever-present issue, trying to raise awareness. I condemn these brave souls, as talking about rape is so taboo. Rape is an international issue, as this book addresses, and is not just some “feminist issue.” Rapists are let out of prison within weeks, while the victims are left with a lifetime of shame and painful memories.

Rape needs to become an outrage. Homicides are treated with heightened media attention, the deceased becoming a saint in the eyes of the public. Where is that same sadness for victims of rape? Yes, they didn’t die, but a part of them was lost when they were raped. Many are left chained to a life of stolen glances and hushed conversations.

It’s hard for people to talk about rape because they’re misinformed or it simply makes them uncomfortable. Personally, I agree. I would like nothing more than to talk about the weather report or to compliment my friend’s shirt, but sometimes I’m left fearing about out of my friends and me, who’s going to get hurt next? That’s why we need to talk about rape culture. We need to make rape not okay, make rapists see the wrong in their actions, as not to encourage repeated offenses. We need to make rape as scary as being killed, so that young girls and boys can go about their lives with one less thing to worry about.

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Sneak Peek

Hi, people.  I’m writing a book right now.  I’ve gotten about 16 pages done — aren’t you proud?  Here’s a chapter.  Hopefully you can read all of them next year, maybe even in a published book.

 

8-

I am running.

Footfall after footfall, the black street disappears behind me as a I fly through the night.

Out of breath, I whip my head around. They are still following me, almost about to catch me.

The game soon becomes a chase, similar to how a cheetah chases a gazelle.

I hop over logs, stumbling but righting my balance. I launch forward onto my hands and swing my legs up and over my body. This sets them off a few paces.

I continue running.

This is true freedom.

Fighting for my survival, fighting to win, to be safe. The wind passes through my hair and keeps it upright behind me.

I do not slow down.

They are laughing, stumbling, trying to catch up. We are all full of pancakes, bacon, eggs. It is slowing them down.

I keep going, ignoring the sharp pain in the bottom of my stomach.

I turn a corner, taking it like a race car, slanting so far down that I am almost parallel to the grass on the side of the street.

I am aware of everything around me – the gas station on the corner, the yogurt store across from it, the three boys behind me, my white converse hitting the ground.

I am exhilarated.

Never Fixed

In Journalism class, we watched Shattered Glass. Or most of it, anyways. I was having a terrible, awful, no good, very bad day, so it heightened the suckage of the movie for me.

Well, it wasn’t a bad movie really. It followed the, slightly antagonistic, days of Stephen Glass, and appeared to be a lovely movie at first. Stephen Glass seemed to be charming, witty, awkward, and an easy to talk to person. He was a journalist and was loved by his co-workers and boss, Michael Kelly. After a strange “punishment” of circling commas beheld the crew, Michael tried to defend them and ended up getting fired.

Their new boss, Chuck Lane wasn’t too hot for Stephen. Or at least lacked the bond that the last boss shared with the workers.

One of Stephen’s stories was about a teenage hacker, how Ian Restil hacked into the company Jukt Micronics’s computer system and how he became a hero among other hackers.

Guess what? The whole story was total bullcrap. Whoaaaa plot twist of the century.

Ugh.

Anyways a reporter at another company, Adam Penenberg at Forbes Digital Tool, got suspicious and researched the company. Him and his co-workers discovered an amateurish website for Jukt Micronics and nearly no evidence that any of the story actually happened whatsoever.

Aaand Stephen Glass is suspended. For two years.

That’s about where we left off in the movie. In reading of the movie’s Wikipedia page, I discovered that Stephen had admitted that 27 of his articles were fictional in at least one part.

I can understand the pressures of writing, I can. Our school’s journalism program is pretty intense, and, even as a rookie, I’ve found myself one or a few times thinking “maybe I’ll just pretend this happened…”

I didn’t though. I did my best to stick to the truth, however boring or difficult the truth may be. If Stephen had made up one of his stories, maybe two, I would’ve been a little more forgiving towards his character. But no, he had to make up 27 different stories and that is just ridiculous and weak.

Nerd Rant, Part II.

Okay, so I’ve already nerd ranted about how Cedric Diggory pwns Edward Cullen, but now I’m going to nerd rant about something else.
Something awesomesauce.
That’s right, I’m going to nerd rant about THE BEST BOOK EVER (in my opinion).

This book is called Unwind, written by Neal Shusterman, and it’s pretty great.

So! This book is essentially about what happens after the “Second Civil War” which was about Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice. After the whole huge war, there is a bill made that appeases to both sides of the war. The bill is called the Bill of Life.

Now, the Bill of Life states that from the moment of conception, a child cannot be aborted. But when the child turns thirteen, the parents have the option to retroactively abort the child until it reaches the age of eighteen. This did not anger those who were Pro-Life because when the child got “aborted” they technically didn’t die. The “aborted” child gets sent to a camp where it waits until it is “unwound.”

When you are unwound they take you apart piece by piece, but still keep you alive. After you are completely taken apart, they send your body parts off to hospitals where other people will receive your organs for transplants or if he or she lost an arm then your arm would be grafted onto them. But even when they get your arm, it’s still your arm. If you were magician, someone who always did card tricks, your arm would still hold the muscle memory of all the actions you did while holding the cards. The person who got your arm would be able to hold a deck of cards and the arm, by itself and without any thought of its new owner, would start to do card tricks that you learned.

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