I mean, look. There’s something to be said for living pretty responsibly, and letting trusted friends know you’re out with strangers and where you’re going and that you’ll check in. I’m not here to argue “be insane and reckless! Yeah!”
However, I was mad back when I was trying to give my kidney to a stranger and the psychologist didn’t understand why I wasn’t afraid to travel by myself.
And I continue to be mad if a random person mentions (after for instance, I tell a story about having sex again after being sexually assaulted, or even merely going out to a bar with men I haven’t known my whole life or something)… I get mad if someone mentions like, “But, Aurora, you were sexually assaulted. So, shouldn’t you be more careful?”
Because can I please just tell you two things about this?
1) The very most super important thing about this… I was not sexually assaulted by a stranger. I was sexually assaulted by someone I knew well – like really well. He was someone I reeeeeeally trusted (and liked).
It wasn’t a man who picked me up at a bar. It wasn’t a stranger on the street. So, no, I don’t think going and meeting new people has anything to do with it (unless you want to make the argument never meet a new person again because then you could trust them and then they could turn on you, but that’s a sad argument to me, because I refuse to lose my faith in humanity as a whole).
2) If someone’s argument is “you were a victim of a crime, therefore you should be more vigilant to make sure that crime never happens to you again,” that’s a form of victim-blaming. And I know terms like “victim-blaming” and “rape culture” and all of that are used a lot, and sometimes our brain powers down a little because it all sounds like white noise. But seriously.
It is not my job to be afraid of men. It is not my job to stop having friends, or adventures, or fun, or even sex, or any of that. Am I afraid sometimes? Yes. Do I stay home sometimes because of that? Yes. But it is time to stop my life to make the trauma any more “real”? Do I have to put ten feet between me and all men for the rest of my life? No. I refuse.