[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, RAPE CULTURE]
After posting about Emma Sulkowicz on Tumblr (I'm on Tumblr a lot), I got a ton of people in my virtual face about how she texted him beforehand asking for sex, including saying "fuck me in the butt."
I especially enjoy the people spreading this blatant rape culture narrative while telling me that rape culture doesn't exist.
But really, it's incredibly fucked up that so many people don't understand the simple concept that consent can be revoked at any time. I don't care how many times she asked for sex. If she didn't want it at the moment the sexual contact occurred, it was rape. This is not a difficult concept.
And the even more insidious part is how people are claiming that, because she "seemed fine" and talked to him and asked for more sex from him after the assault. This is what's so fucking terrible about rape culture. People don't get how traumatizing rape is, and they certainly don't understand how trauma affects the human brain and behavior. Can't you take a second out of your desperation to pretend that rape doesn't happen to imagine the possibility that if something so awful happened to you, you might want to pretend that it didn't?
Or that, maybe, in a culture that says consent can't be revoked once given, you might think that you hadn't been raped? Or that no one would believe you if you said you were? Or a combination of all three?
This is why Emma is so important. Her situation is a perfect example of how rape culture operates. You have to be the perfect victim, because the second something comes out that gives people a reason not to believe you, they'll jump on it. Because people don't want to believe that something so terrible as rape culture exists. It's easier to believe that women lie about it.
This is the uphill battle we face. But if you actually do some research on how trauma works, and try to have a teeny bit of empathy, then you'll see that how Emma reacted makes a lot of sense. And if you're not a horrible person, you'll get it through your head that consent can be revoked.
Then maybe we can end rape culture.