There is a lot of talk right now about our unfortunate sitting Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, setting out on her agenda to roll back protections for sexual assault victims on college campuses, and people are rightfully pissed about this.
According to an alleged “leaked memo” from the DOJ:
Every complainant’s sexual history, if relevant, may be introduced at the hearing. Currently, questions about the complainant’s sexual history with anyone other than the accused perpetrator should not be permitted.
Now, of course, people are coming out stating no, this isn’t a real memo, and it was fake news being leaked to make them look bad…and so on and so forth.
In the meantime, there are startling number of folks supporting this thought process and stating that yes, we absolutely need to minimize the protection for rape victims as, obviously, so many women just cry rape for attention. People just really feel for the poor Brock Turners of the world, and how their good names are being drug through the mud, their futures being destroyed by promiscuous girls who want to make a name for themselves as rape victims.
What I would like to know is this:
What past sexual history of mine justifies my rape?
Was it the consensual sex I had with my boyfriend in high school?
Was it the consensual backseat sex I had after watching Crocodile Dundee with the boy who took me on a date when my high school boyfriend broke up with me because he wanted to have sex with another girl?
Was it during my freshman year of college when I had sex with my old boyfriend from the 8th grade after we met up as adults and giggled over how much we had both changed since we grew up?
Was it the sex I had with the man I worked with at a car dealership a few months prior to being raped?
Or was it the sex I had with a different young man I met while working at that same car dealership?
I’m trying to figure out which of those sexual experiences justified sexual contact against my will later on that summer. I honestly didn’t know that being sexually active could possibly be construed as me giving my permission for other men to violate me. Someone forgot to inform me of this during sex ed. Was it one? All of them? Is it the total number? Is that the problem? Or just the simple fact that I have willingly gotten naked in the presence of men and allowed them to have sexual intercourse with my body, therefore nullifying any reasonable right to say no to future sex with my body?
What past sexual history justifies the kidnap and rape of the 15 year old girl who was just brought home safely after her ordeal in Minnesota?
I’m wondering what it was about a college girlfriend of mine that might make a jury think, well, yeah, she obviously deserved to be pulled off that sidewalk and raped behind a garden shed.
And I reckon that when a sex worker has made the decision to monetize her sexuality, that leaves her open to people violating her as well. And really, will that be rape? Or is she no longer human, so we can joke that taking sex from her is shoplifting instead.
Which instance of sexual intercourse is the one where we give up our agency to men who wish to penetrate us? When are we no longer considered worthy of safety from monsters? What number of previous sexual partners is the cut off for leaving us pretty much on our own if we leave the house, no longer a credible woman deserving of legal justice when we are raped?
Asking for about 20% of my friends.