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I’m not getting over it: a personal reflection on rape culture

Trigger warning: This piece deals with stories about rape, assault and violence.

Disclaimer: I am a white, straight, able-bodied, cisgendered woman, and my personal experiences with feminism and rape culture have been influenced by those identities. This essay is meant to be a personal reflection, and as such, it’s not an all-inclusive look at how all people experience and perceive rape culture. I in no way wish to discount the experiences of people of color, queer people, transgendered people and people with disabilities, and would welcome any criticisms, corrections or additions.
This essay was originally posted on my blog. 1 In Ecuador I walk down the street, morning, mid-afternoon, dark approaching. I’m wearing skinny jeans, normal jeans, corduroys, a short skirt, a long skirt, a t-shirt, a sweater, low-cut, high neck, sneakers, sandals, boots, hair up, hair down. I’m walking slowly, walking quickly, looking at the ground, looking ahead, lost, sure of where I’m going. I pass a guy, or a group of them, and they call after me: Hey baby. Can’t you even hit on me in Spanish?, I wonder. Hola, mi amor. They laugh. They whistle. They stare. I want to shout at them, Tengo un nombre. Soy una persona. I want to ask them, has that ever worked for you? Ever, in the history of the world, has a woman heard a strange man yell something at her on the street and said, Oh hey, I actually do want to ...
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