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Citing unreported rape cases and honoring women’s experiences

(A note: while I recognize that sexual assaults happen to both women and men, I use the gender pronouns I do because rape is, indeed, a gendered epidemic that affects an overwhelming majority of women. If you disagree, all you have to do is look at the statistics; if you want to discuss pronouns regarding rape survivors, we can do it at another time, but not here and not now.)

Those of you who have known me for any extended period of time know one of the central tenets of my feminism – and one of my life’s passions, is to end rape culture. This is because of the women in my life who have been affected, and because of the many others in my life who could could be affected. I’ve sat and cried with a date as she told her story; I’ve seen first-hand when friends go through flashbacks, and I continue to be touched by the impact of sexual assaults everyday.

This, then, may seem a bit different coming from me. While I do not deny rape statistics nor do I doubt that there are survivors of sexual assaults who have chosen not to report the incidences, what I do take issue with is whether it is appropriate for the feminist movement to label rape what many women might consider bad sexual experiences.

With an ...

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