So, Why Didn’t I See It As Assault When It Happened?

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Picking up from yesterday –

So, why didn’t I view it as assault at the time? (And sometimes I even still have trouble thinking of it that way…)

Well, for that specific instance, I guess I just figured since I said out loud that I’d still happily have sex with him if we moved positions – it wasn’t like I didn’t want to have sex… (I did!) I just didn’t want to be in such pain. So, I suppose kind of viewed sex as a whole as a compromise or something – where apparently his thing (of wanting to finish) was more important than mine (of wanting to stop my pain)…

When in reality, while sex can, I think, be a compromise – finding what things you really like together… I think I’m starting to realize that if I ask someone to stop because something’s painful, that’s not me “asking too much” or not being aware of his needs and not compromising… That’s protecting myself, and I’m allowed to do that and not feel bad, and not feel like it was my fault if I bled on someone’s bed after making it so clear how painful it was…

That night was weird… I wasn’t even livid when I left. I didn’t cry. I didn’t think of it as traumatic. Just, “Welp, that’s sex with a rude person.” (When of course it’s more than that.)

The only way it’s affected me is that I ask that people never call me baby in bed (or even out of bed, really). I hate being called baby now. (He wouldn’t stop calling me baby, and I hated that!)

But that is the only way (I know of), in which I’ve been affected. So, that’s not so bad! I mean, who needs the word baby, right?

Anyway, I guess that was kind of my thought process on that night specifically. But, I think overall, sexual assault is such an… I don’t even know the appropriate word here, but like a different type of crime. It’s the only crime I know of in which there’s this “gray area” (ish… I know there’s not really one… aye aye aye)…

And I think me talking about that is gonna take up more space than I have with the rest of this post… So, I will get to that tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “So, Why Didn’t I See It As Assault When It Happened?

  1. Kevin Block-Schwenk

    If you look at theft, our law analyzes it on two dimensions. One is how much the thief took, but the other is we have robustly fleshed out the various ways they could take it and that matters.

    Let’s say someone stole $100 from you. Here are various ways that could happen.

    – You accidentally handed them a $100 bill rather than a $1 and they don’t say anything. (OK technically they ripped you off $99 in this case.)

    – You leave your purse at the restaurant table when you go up to the counter and while your’e not looking they grab it.

    – They pick your apartment lock and take $100.

    – They break your apartment window and take $100.

    – They corner you and imply that you’ll be hurt if you don’t hand over $100.

    – They point a gun at you and tell you they’ll shoot if you don’t hand over your money.

    – They push you down and take your money.

    – They beat the shit out of you and take your money.


    Each of those would be tried a different way in criminal court, often with an entirely different name. (larceny, malicious larceny, mugging, etc.), and they would merit different prison sentences.

    And yet, when we look at sexual assault/rape, we have words for one dimension (e.g. groping vs. intercourse), but we have an extremely limited vocabulary. We use the some word for an 18-year old sleeping with their fully voluntary 15-year-old lover as we do what you went through as we do women in war zones being gang-raped at gunpoint. (This also leads to crazy-ass sentences, or to the guilty being let off the hook because the judge doesn’t want to toss someone in prison for 2 decades for a more ambiguous, less egregious-level crime.)

    It’s too late for me to go into criminal law as a profession, but we as a society–or at minimum our legal system–badly need to expand our vocabulary for the how of sexual assault and give it the same multi-dimensionality that we give to conventional theft.


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