Some things are worth getting angry about

Living away from home for the first time – what are the rules?

Young people away from home can be very vulnerable to a particular form of grooming – love bombing – whereby the perpetrator befriends their target, their mission being to gain the target’s trust. They will test the connection by turning on their target to assess how easily that target will back down. Then, when the target is no longer useful, they’ll drop them like a stone. 

Love bombing can be done to gain anything the perpetrator wants – to find exploitable flaws in someone they see as competition or to get someone to help them with their studies. Recently a friend’s son, a student at university looking for a house share, was befriended and asked to share a house with five others; they were made to feel comfortable and welcome. Once trust had been established, the ringleader asked to copy some of the target’s work – to cheat. He refused and was immediately isolated – very sensibly and well-trained by his parents in what is reasonable; he moved out and found another house to live in with a much nicer bunch of students.

What follows are the game plans for rapes on campus – lovebomb, manipulate, then rape; please pass on to any young people you know who might fall for any of that belows. Please don’t read if you could be triggered.

“In 2012, sexual assailants contributed their side of the story for a Reddit post…One wrote:

‘I was a freshman and hooking up with this girl who got naked in bed with me, then said no. I think she just wanted to do oral. I was extremely horny and already close to doing it, so I ignored her and did it. She realized what was happening and tried to clamp her legs shut, but it was too late and I was much stronger than her.’

Another wrote:

‘I’m a good-looking guy, and I can get girls pretty easily…I wanted the thrill of the chase, and that’s what led me to forcing myself on girls. I would find attractive girls that were self-conscious about their looks. Girls who were pretty in their own unique way, but not the outgoing sort, mostly introverts, and girls that didn’t party or do wild things. Hopefully a girl who was a bit damaged, had a shitty ex-boyfriend, or had family issues, came from a small shut-in town, that sort of thing. So, when I showed interest in them they’d be completely enamored, they’d almost be shocked that a popular, good-looking, and well-liked guy would be talking to them. I’d have that initial meeting at the library, a coffee shop, a work function, or a party, where I had them convinced of that a great guy I was. I listened to them, and made them feel special, like they were a princess. Sometimes we might sort of hook-up that night (kissing, making-out, never anything more). The next day I’d call, and see when they wanted to get together again. I’d feign some excuse for not going out somewhere, but having them come over late in the night. It was college, and not a lot of people had transportation off campus, so it was typical for people to come over and watch a movie or something on a date.

They would come over, and I’d always make sure it was real cold in the room, cold enough so that when we started watching the movie I’d say something about being chilly, and grab a big fleece blanket for the both of us. We’d get kind of close, and then maybe ignore the movie for some kissing. After a while, we’d talk some more, and I’d start edging my hands around the under strap of the bra, or maybe a bit into her pants, just kind of playing on the edge to gauge her response. Some girls would stiffen up a little, and that’s when you knew they didn’t like what was going on. We were in my studio apartment, so the bed served as the couch, and it was easy to start sliding down throughout the movie so we’d be laying down. It was then that I could turn around and get on top of her. The girls usually didn’t know how to respond. Some of them were into it, and those nights were usually consensual and boring sex, sometimes followed by a few more nightly visits before getting the boot. However the great nights were the ones who squirmed, one who didn’t want to give in. I’d have to shush them down, and try to work on them slowly enough so they didn’t know what was going on until it was pretty much already happening. I’m a muscular guy, over 6′ around 200 lbs. and most of these girls may have been 125-130, really tiny and easy to pin down. To be honest, even remembering it now, the squirming always made it better, they didn’t want it to happen, but they couldn’t do anything about it. Most girls don’t say no either. They think you’re a good guy, and should pick up on the hints, they don’t want to have to say “no” and admit to themselves what’s happening. Alcohol helped. Having a few drinks during the movie, or doing a few jello shots that were “prepared for a party that weekend” would usually do the trick.

The aftermath was always different. Some girls left about 15 minutes after. Some girls would stay until the morning then leave. A few tried to call back, maybe blaming themselves for what happened or something. I never worried too much about being caught. Everyone knew me, and I worked with the police a lot, with administrators and campus officials. I was on first-name basis with the Chancellor and the President of Student Affairs, so if anything came down to a he/she said I figured I’d be in the clear. Having her come over to my place also made it seem less predatory, as she came into my domain, and “could leave at any time.”

Reading these accounts reminds me why it is dangerous when we say that rape has nothing to do with sex. The way we talk about sex absolutely feeds into rape culture. Talking to children about consent and agency as soon as you can talk to them at all is so important. Nicole Cushman, from Answer, a sex education organization, explains it perfectly:

“High-quality sex education can and should equip young people with the language and tools to understand and critique the roles of gender and power in their friendships and romantic relationships. Creating safe classroom spaces for students to explore these topics can begin to create cultural shifts in gender norms and related behaviors… Only by openly addressing these issues and laying bare the discrepancies and dissonance that underlie rape culture can we begin to create a new paradigm in which victims are believed, boundaries are respected, and healthy relationships are established.”

Life would be healthier all around if women spent less time being frightened and more being righteously indignant. Why are we afraid of “angry women”? I think we owe it to our daughters to teach them that some things are really worth getting angry about.”

From Sohaila Abdulali’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape”

#RapeCulture #SohailaAbdulali @SohailaAbdulali

Leave a Reply