February 15, 2006
The "Sorry I Date-Raped You" Card
I just checked the stats for my blog, and discovered that someone ended up at my site while doing a search for a "'sorry I date-raped you' card."
I know how they ended up here: I posted an entry where I mention that a guy I was dating once apologized for date-raping me. (Yes, the apology was warranted. Yes, I was young enough and stupid enough that I didn't break up with him, either after the non-consensual sex or the apology. Yes, the entire experience continues to affect my views on men, courtship, and issues of consent in sex.)
What I don't know is what the card means. It is a joke? Is it serious? Could such a card be used as an admission of guilt--and therefore evidence--against someone who had committed a date-rape?
I just got done teaching Night by Elie Wiesel in one of my courses. Of course everyone found it horrifying and upsetting. Everyone sympathized with the suffering of the narrator, and condemned the holocaust, and thought it completely fitting that Wiesel bear personal witness of what the Nazis did to the Jews.
This week we are reading Two or Three Things I Know for Sure by Dorothy Allison, in which she discusses being raped by her step-father when she was five years old. One guy said, "When I got to the part where she says, 'My step-father raped me when I was five years old,' I thought, 'Shit! Why is the professor making us read this crap?'" Another guy said, "Why do people need to talk about this? Why should we be expected to read about this?"
Um, maybe because in your life as a college-educated white American male, you're more likely to know someone who is the victim of sexual assault than someone who carries out or survives or dies because of genocide, not only because college-educated white Americans tend to be sheltered and protected from genocide, but because there are more victims of sexual violence in the world than there are victims of genocide? (Rape, after all, is a tool of genocide.) Maybe so you'll know how to react when your friend or sister gets a "Sorry I Date-Raped You" card? I assume, of course, that you'll never need to send one yourself.
Posted by holly at February 15, 2006 10:51 AM