Rape is Rape (and not “I had a shitty day”)

Dear people of this world,

Please don’t use the word rape unless you actually mean rape.

It’s really not that hard an idea to get your head around. Rape is pretty easy to define – it’s sexual activity without proper consent from both parties. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what you mean when you tell me on social media that you were just raped at work today.

I mean, really? Can’t you think of something more imaginative to say? Something that doesn’t automatically devalue the experiences of people who have actually been raped? Something that doesn’t make them feel like their rape is being trivialised or pushed aside as someone else’s joke?

I get that your job can be stressful, and customers can be arsehats, and you would never actually want anyone to be raped. If you were actually harassed at work, feel free to say so and call those harassers out, even if it never really gets back to them. But having a stressful does not equal rape. Having to deal with arsehats doesn’t feel like rape. You know what feels like rape? Rape.

I can think of at least ten different ways of expressing that I had the shittest day ever. Grow a vocabulary that doesn’t hurt people.

Oh, and while we’re at it? Don’t follow that up with a joke about how you must have been asking for it in that uniform, or doing that activity, or whatever it is you were doing. Seriously, don’t. I don’t care if you don’t mean it that way, I don’t care if you’re a nice person who wouldn’t ever blame someone for their own rape in real life.

Somewhere at that moment, those very words are being used by the police or a law court to make sure  a rapist is never held accountable for their actions. Somewhere those words are being used to make a person feel like it’s their own fault they were raped. Those very words are why rape culture still exists, because as you’re sniggering at them, you’re making a joke of rape – you’re fucking legitimising the idea that someone can ask to be raped.

Seriously. Just use a different word. It’s not that much effort, and it won’t make someone else out there fell like shit about themselves.

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7 thoughts on “Rape is Rape (and not “I had a shitty day”)

  1. I think Pitch Perfect is a good source: “Here’s your rape whistle. Don’t use it unless it’s actually happening.”

  2. People use offensive words for emphasis. If it’s not offensive it won’t have the same effect. You’re supposed to recoil when you hear it.

    1. That’s incredibly selfish and cruel. By definition ‘offensive’ means something that causes someone to be hurt and upset – if you want to make other people feel like shit just so you can have a laugh or make some sort of stupid point, you need to think about what that makes you.

      Please get some respect for other people before you comment here again.

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