((((Women))))) I identify with so much of what you've said. Being raped has made me at times terrified of being seen as an attractive woman. Yet, essentially, when I remember the process of being raped, I certainly didn't feel that any homage was being paid to my "good looks". I felt dirty, ugly. Isn't that odd? I know rape isn't about homage to your good looks, but yet part of me persists in believing it is some sign of being irresistibly attractive.
The ex-partner who battered and raped me, said he was doing so because I was a slut; it was my clothes, it was the way I moved, it was dancing, you name it. He said I needed to be taught what can happen when I "flaunt" myself like a whore. He particularly had trouble with any suggestion of flaunting my breasts; this was seen by him to issue sexual invitations to other men. It took me sixteen years to fully overcome the damage he did.
The most powerful means of doing this was to bellydance (you've seen the pic) in the Aus equivalent of "Take Back the Night". I could expose my flesh, let my cleavage show, be a beautiful, sensuous dancing woman AND still demand the right not to be raped, harrassed, threatened.
The theme has cropped up again recently too, with the rape of a very dear friend. The first thing I felt the morning after she disclosed, was this terrible sense that I didn't want to be a woman, not noticeably a woman.
I deliberately defied it, sisters. I put on the most pink, tight, cleavage-revealing thing I could find BECAUSE I FEEL GOOD THAT WAY AND I'M FUCKED IF I WILL ALLOW SICK BASTARD RAPISTS TO DICTATE WHAT I SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT BE!!!!
I love my femininity. Love it. Sick fucks can make what they will of it, but it doesn't mean they can have it.
My friends rapist thought she was beautiful. She is now naturally afraid....and I hope I'll be able to encourage her into an overcoming of it.
Social ideas about beauty causing rape are a worry because they lead to so much injustice. 2 cases: A woman was raped and walked into a polkice precinct in downtown New York to have the policeman sneer at her and say, "aww, who'd want to rape you?" In the last decade, a rape case was thrown out of court becuase the judge could not believe somebody would attack a woman as unattractive as he believed the victim to be.
Staistics show that a "beautiful" rape-complainant gets more empathy and belief that one who doesn't fit the stereotype; her "ugly" sister is assumed to be wishful thinking or attention seeking. Yet the "beautiful" victim is assumed to have "asked for it" because she was beautiful!
Can't fucking win, can we? We still have a long way to go, sisters, but we'll get there; we can nsist that the responsibility for rape rests with the perpetrator and that focus is taken away from how the woman looked.
Sorry for the ramble; I feel incredibly strongly about this. As ususal, Shell, you've given me a forum to explode some of my deepest passions.
(((((((Sisters))))))))) find what you want to be and be it.