Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reading about Mary Beard and the rape she experienced and her [later] reporting of it, on the New Yorker's web site, has made me want to do the same. Her experience could be called a date rape, just as mine is/was, and she and I didn't quite know how to look at it in those days. It was only later, when the phrase date rape became a part of our lexicon, that I was able to see it for what it was.

It was long ago, in my bathtub-in-the-kitchen Sullivan Street walk-up, that it happened. A man I had always liked a lot dropped in one evening--we'd seen each other at several recent parties. Actually, I don't think it was a drop-in; I think we'd made a date. Anyway, I was of course happy to see him. (I think we called him Red for his hair, but I don't remember his real name.) He proceeded to take me to bed, my own bed, despite my objections. I thought of everything; I tried everything, including the words "no" and "stop," but nothing worked. He was determined; I was a well-behaved young lady. Hitting him over the head with a frying pan never occurred to me (it might have been possible--well, maybe a heavy book would have been closer to hand). Calling the police? Faggedaboudit. They would have laughed at me. Of course I never told anyone. I felt very much as if it was my fault. Until many years later, when date rape was invented. Then I knew what had happened.

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