Kneeling before Him...



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Monday, November 22, 2004

Mac and I have had a discussion about what I am about to write. He said it was something other women would understand. Perhaps He is right, perhaps women will understand the two ways in which this pulled me apart. I think some women will get it. But still. This is so personal to me that I am shocked that I am doing it.

What follows here is not pretty, but it is honest. It involves a story that is rape related so if you may be offended, please don't read on.

This is a true story about a girl I went to school with. I heard all of it through rumours that tore through the school. She was in the same year as me, but in a much lower class, and she was never my friend but she was friends with some of the girls I knew.

I don't know what your school system is like in your country, but here high school covers the ages from 11-18. We were in our third year, about 15 years old and some of the girls in my year were dating the older guys. This group of guys were in their last year, all 18 and popular. They were of legal drinking age and on Saturday nights they would party without their underage girlfriends in tow. They were all very tight lipped about what went on at these 'all boy' parties and as far as the girlfriends were concerned they were just hanging out and getting stoned and drunk. As far as I know now, for the most part that could be true. Then we all found out about Natalie. She was 15, blonde, a tiny little thing, pretty but, well, she gave the impression of being easy, short short uniform, leather bands on her wrists, black eyeliner. To me she always looked cheap. And she was not very bright at all.

I don't know the ins and outs of how she ended up at this all boy party, the rumour later was that she wasn't the first girl to be invited but she was the first that they had on her own. What happened bordered on being a gang rape, (I say bordered on because no charges were ever laid and the guilty must be proven to be so). They gave her alcohol and they got her stoned until she was pretty much feeling nothing, then they all took turns at fucking her on the lounge room floor while the others watched on. There were eight of them. She was crying and asking them to help her, they were laughing and calling her names and telling her to shut up. Then one of them picked up a banana and fucked her with it. None of them stopped him, she just cried through it all.

Someone broke the 'boy code of silence' and by the time Monday morning rolled around the whole school knew what had gone on. Girls were crying and saying that their boyfriend would not have done it if they had not been forced into it. It was "all that slut Natalie's fault". To all of our amazement she turned up at school. She hadn't told anyone what had happened to her and was carrying on just like it had never occurred. By the time I went to my third period class, "NATALIE LOVES BANANAS" had been written in huge letters on one of the school walls. When we had our break, Natalie was gone. Apparently some of the girls had threatened to beat her and she broke down completely and her mother was called. She never came back to our school. As far as I know nothing ever happened to the boys. I know none of their girlfriends left them over it.

It horrifies me. It really does and always has. I was so angry with the guys that did it and so angry with their stupid airhead girlfriends for rationalising their abuse by laying the blame of it on her. They made themselves believe that she had forced the boys into it. I don't care what she wore or how she looked or even if she flirted with those guys. As far as I am concerned she could have lain there with her legs in the air begging for it and they should have known better. She was too drunk to stand, she was too stoned to put words together, that made her incapable of making a rational decision about her body. There were some that said she didn't say no. I don't care. She was crying and asking for help, the no was clearly there. I will also admit, much to my shame now, that I said nothing of my anger or disgust to any of the boys or their girlfriends. I just made sure that I had nothing to do with them anymore and thought that was justice enough. At 15 self-preservation is high on the agenda and I didn't want to be an outcast. It still makes me feel sick.

Now comes the admission that I am very torn by. Even as I sit here now I am filled with shame. What happened to her really disgusts me, makes me feel sick in the stomach and I would never ever want it to happen to me or to anyone yet I have incorporated it into my fantasies. I have masturbated to my imaginings of it happening to me many times. For those of you now saying 'oh yes, but rape fantasies are something lots of women have', I agree, but this was not just a story for me. I knew the boys involved, I knew the girl involved. I saw the way it tore apart her life. I saw where the blame was laid. This horror was so very close to home for me. And I do feel betrayed by my sexual thoughts on this, like my groin is betraying the goodness of my heart and offending the justice in my mind.

I wish I didn't react to it the way that I do.

Some things we feel are out of our control.

Posted by Sarah McBroden at 6:59 am

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