Monday, 18 January 2016

John - The "potential" rapist.

This blog is new. So I want to start with something a little less contentious. An issue that womxn everywhere face and have experienced at some point in their lives.

This is a story about the time I did not get raped, but was violated.

A few summers ago I met a person named John. John is a white male. John is in a public profession, a noble one at that - teaching.

We met through an acquaintance and as these things go, hung out a couple of times. We did not have sex on the first date, but on the second after going out for cocktails and me offering to split the bill. John was funny. We laughed a lot.

When we got to John's place we had a rendezvous that was not very memorable. Aside for one thing that I just can't forget - he refused to wear a condom, and after my insistence did not put one on and stuck it in. I tried to stop him and eventually did, but he succeeded in getting it in for a good few seconds.

I gave John the benefit of the doubt, and decided to see him again. The second time I saw him, I was not in the mood to have sex but felt like watching a movie. He asked why I came to his place if I wasn't interested in sex, but I ignored the comment. He thought I was playing coy  and kept trying to hike my skirt up. Eventually some of John's friends showed up. A rowdy bunch of characters, and they suggested we go out. I joined. They said things like, "Why are you wearing heels? John doesn't like heels". In any case. We went out. Did shots. Got drunk.

We got back to John's place where I intended on sobering up. We ended up hooking up, and when I asked him to put on a condom - no demanded it, he accused me of having a disease that I would give to him... I mean, I thought this only happened in the movies, not among intelligent conscious men. Not among white boys whose parents' were struggle allies and gave them middle names like Keketso or Fezile. Not among school teachers.

The next morning I got up and as I was about to leave, I said - "Hey my head hurts, you pulled my hair really hard last night". And he said "Well, you wanted it".

I left, got home, cleaned up and went to a braai with my best friend. I told her all about it and she instructed me to cut all contact with him, but not before confronting him for what he did.

I could not muster the strength to confront John immediately, or at all. After a few days I removed him from facebook and a few days later told him to leave me alone.

It never made sense to me why I felt so dirty and disgusted after what happened. I was certain that me being there implied that there was some form of consent and I did reciprocate - there was no brute force. Still, writing this makes me feel grimy and gross and all I can recall is his lispy voice saying that I was going to give him a disease.

I bumped into John twice after that incident. John does not know that he is rapey. He does not know how he violated me. The last time I bumped into John he asked me where my boyfriend was and why I looked so nervous, then pulled up a chair next to me and crossed boundary after boundary of personal space, stroking my hair, making intense eye contact - until a male friend showed up. John then disappeared into thin air.

I don't know what's going through your mind now - maybe similar things to what go through mine every time I recount this episode:
-Why didn't I leave sooner?
-Why did I keep believing he was a nice guy when the signs were there that he was not?
-How the fuck did I let this happen?
-I am a feminist and an independent womxn, I coudn't have seen this coming, but why did I not leave when it got awkward.

Probably because of just that - it was awkward. I slipped into flight, fight or freeze. And froze. I am so curious to know how many victims this happens to? I wish I had a superhero alter-ego that could have done the intellectually right thing - kicking the pig in balls and fleeing, but not before wrecking his life. Unfortunately, the response was primal, programmed and deeply emotional. And I stayed. And I let what happened happen. I primally compromised me.

I feel dirty every time I see or think of John - like there is a layer of grey muck on my skin. I wish I could scratch it all away. And as a liberal womxn, one who owns the responsibility of her choices, especially the risk associated with enebriated sexual behaviour, I just have to ask: Is John a rapist?

Even if he isn't. He definitely has the potential to be. He probably will never know it but John violated me, and I am still recovering from the trauma that he imposed on me. And it is not even like there has been a catharsis, I feel today as I felt the first day it happened - hollow in my gut...

P.S Names have been changed.
P.P.S John had no technique, was tiny, is a terrible lay and a generally horrible humxn being.

1 comment:

  1. if you would like to engage with me on this post, email me at