The R Word

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The R Word

The rape discussion isn't part of a "feminist agenda."

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*claps*

A very good article, and one that I can only imagine how difficult it was to write. While I, thankfully, have not had to face this particular type of traumatic experience, it disgusts me whenever I hear that word being thrown around casually. I may not be one, but I've known more than a few rape victims throughout my life, and I have seen how it changes people. It's not a joke or something to laugh about. People who think something like this is actually funny should be thankful that they have no idea what real mental trauma is.

*hugs* I wish you well, anonymous person. Take care of yourself. :3

- Rei

P.S Whoever made it so my captcha for this post be "get over it" needs to be thrown into a portable toilet and set on fire. :o

Wow, was not expecting to read such a strong and well worded article today.

Hope the article does well for the community and doesnt get comments full discrepency rage and bickering.

Very well written. You're to be commended for enduring your demons in order to get this where gamers will read it.

I hope that, even if it seems impossible, you come to terms with your experience. You're in my thoughts, man.

Even though I read nearly every article published by The Escapist, I tend to post infrequently, because I usually don't have anything I think is worth posting.

With that in mind, I just want to say one thing to the author: thank you.

Mad props, mad support, and thanks a ton for sharing this.

Anonymous, I just want to congratulate you. This is an incredible article and I can honestly say that it will change the way I think about the world.

A very good read. I actually know a few rape victims personally, so I have a modicum of insight into how hard things like this are to talk about, and I have the utmost respect for anyone who manages to.
So, apart from me appreciating this for the good read that it was, whoever you are, you have my sympathies, but above all my respect, and I wish you all the best with your life I can possibly offer.

... That must've taken a tremendous amount of courage to write.

I really can't think of anything to say that wouldn't sound stupidly contrite, but here's to hoping it'll make somebody think twice before acting like a dipshit.

Your taking a shotgun to the subject in hopes of hitting something. I'll start out in being blunt in saying (as I've said before) that I myself was raped by a gay man when I was six. In my cause though I blocked it out, which doesn't make it any easier when you know it happened.

THAT said, you have to understand that there is more than one side to an issue like this. The feminists and their agenda are the biggest area of confrontation over issues like rape because that is the biggest front, that generally eclipses any side arguements or discussions.

The thing with rape discussions is that it usually comes down to demands for dual standards that favor women. We see this in the court system where it's basically argued that in a case where rape is the accusation that the defendant (the accused) should have to prove a negative (nearly impossible) and their own innocence, as opposed to the burden of proof being placed on the accuser and prosecution. Politics in these cases have created some massive travesties of justice, as rape is one of the few crimes where people have been convicted (sometimes regularly) on what amounts to purely circumstantial evidence, given that due to the trauma involved the victims (or those claiming to be victims) might wait weeks, months, or even years to ever say anything. Like most such things rife for abuse, it has been abused in all kinds of money grabbing schemes, black mail, or simply women wanting to ruin people's lives for "lulz" or using the system to effectively change their mind after the fact (ie if a girl sleeps with some guy, but decides it was a mistake, she can claim the guy raped her by way of justifying it to her boyfriend and then have the system remove the problem). This has all contributed to rape being an increasingly gray area.... especially as the definition of rape is being broadened beyond the intended meaning of someone forcing themselves sexually on a struggling victim, to simple things like getting someone drunk. Given the wide array of consentual sexual behavior, it can also be a touchy subject to determine whether someone who does have injuries was forced or not... which is incidently why the alleged rape victims are themselves dragged through the mud in such cases. It's also one of the reasons why a lot of the time I feel "closed door doctrine" should have made it into law (though I understand why it didn't).

The feminist arguements also come down to a dual standard as to what should be allowed. The basic arguement being that it's okay for women to produce, and read books about being ravished by pirates or whatever, but it's not okay for men to create or read the same thing.

I touched on this in a response to The Jimquisition recently about fantasy rape and the differance between it and reality. I generally don't think "rape" in a story where everyone winds up (eventually) having a good time is a big deal. It's adult material because you need to have an adult point of view to seperate that from reality. The problem of course being that a lot of feminist arguements come down to there being seperate standards for men and women when it comes to entertainment. If some lady reads about a female protaganist being tied up and raped (which is more politically changed to "ravished" in such cases) in a book with Fabio on the cover, purchused from the romance section, that's okay... but if some guy reads a book/comic/watches a movie about the same basic thing then it's to be treated differantly.

Feminism sucks because it by and large represents a dual standard, and the arguement that girls should be able to do things that get guys branded freaks or wierdos.

-

As far as rape as a TERM goes, it's use comes from the belief for many people that rape is more about power than sex. In reality that's not the case as much as many people like to believe, the belief being popularized because of the victims being upset over the loss of power and control, rather than that nessicarly being the motivating force for the rapist. I've read some analysises in the past that have pointed towards a trend where if it's about power for the rapist then the victim is unlikely to survive the experience as it usually crosses over into torture and murder as opposed to just being about the sex. The term gets used as a way of talking about dominating and using someone completly, with nothing they can do about it. Rather than saying "I'm going to dominate you and use you up" or "you got dominated" it's simply "your going to get raped". which flows better and conveys the meaning. I don't care for it myself even if I've used the term that way myself to fit in, but I don't think it's worth getting upset about either, slang changes over time, and we're liable to see this go away in a decade or so. Truthfully the more people complain about it, and the more they show their cards about it getting their goats, the longer it will stick around, as such complaints will simply fuel the subversive quality that fuels slang. Indeed I'd argue that articles like this are actually going to encorage people.... want to see the term die? Wait for it to be used non-stop, and only correctly about 20% of the time on some primetime programming that's trying to be hip (as opposed to judgemental). Have a bunch of "hipsters" running around a modern 90120 using the term constantly on some preppy beach or whatever, and that will kill it.

Well fuck.
I'm just going to admit that I lost it after the first page or so. I understand, for my own reasons, exactly what all of this feels like. A different kind of abuse, different triggers, but I understand this all too well. I'd heard Susan talking about this on the podcasts and I'm glad someone has come forward to share their experiences and really make it concrete for some people. Sometimes I want to be angry at people because of what they say, but it's almost never said out of malice or hatred, merely ignorance. Thank you for sharing sir. Thank you so much. I often forget that people know such immense pain. I wish you the best. I respect you for sharing your story when I can barely share my own. I really cannot thank you enough for this. This courage...it has helped me in its own way.

To the author, thank you.

I have never had to go through what you did, but my mother...it has happened to her. Twice in fact...and though she has done everything she could to live a normal life and did her best in raising 2 children, it haunts her to this day. She's taken pills for depression as far back as I can remember and, unbeknowst to me until I was nearly 13, she kept tequila under the sink so that she could have a shot whenever days got particularly bad...

I just don't think people understand how far-reaching an act like that can be into your continuing life. How long-lasting it is.

It almost makes me angry that the author had to go through this, because people feel they have the right to be inconsiderate...but at the same time, I'm just glad someone was willing to speak out.

I hope, Anonymous, that something good comes of you writing this article. That hopefully it will help people see. You did a very brave thing and I wish you all the best.

Just wanted to say I'm very sorry for what you went through, from your abuser, as well as from your unknowing friends and online people; and thank you from the bottom of my heart for being able to, and writing this.

I wish you all the best.

*hug*

That was an incredibly brave and thoughtful article. I think you are correct in saying that it is a limp, often permanent handicap psychologically for victims of such sexual abuse.

However, I have a very close friend who was also a victim of sexual abuse. She was abused/raped by her father regularly from ages 8-12.

She tends to use the word rape about as casually as anyone, although she's not a gamer, but if someone brings up the concept of "daddy issues" she gets uncomfortable and making light of incest makes her down-right vengeful.

I'm not trying to make a point with this, but just an observation of how differently some people take these things and what "triggers" can be from one person to another.

Certain personality types react differently to certain traumas in very different ways. The problem here is, no one can be expected to walk on eggshells around everybody because they *might* be victims of this or that abuse. Especially if they're unwilling to admit it.

It is a two-sided dilemma but I think both sides need to take responsibility. If someone says something that offends you it is, ostensibly your responsibility to inform them of your offense, then it is their prerogative whether or not they want to be sensitive to you and change their behavior or carry on as they normally would and ignore your offense, choosing freedom of speech over sensitivity.

That said, that does NOT account for the traumatic element of actually admitting to said abuse/trauma. Thus, a certain measure of sensitivity is needed on the part of the person saying those things in the case of such things.

Words are one thing but the emphasis behind those words are where the issue lies. I don't necessarily support anyone being limited to what they should or should not say but I also don't support anyone being put in a position that Mr. Anonymous has been put in over and over again just by proxy of the fact that he was a victim of such a heinous crime.

This is the single most important article I have read on the escapist, and there is nothing more I can say about it.

When I read this article, I was moved. I went to go see who wrote it, and noticed it was billed as "Anonymous". I took just two seconds to think of the various things the gaming community has done recently on anything involving women in general, let alone rape, and I thought "Yeah, that's probably for the best..." And that disgusts me.

The fact that the gaming community has become so hostile towards women, especially in matters of sexuality, that even a well-written, well-thought out piece about a very serious topic is still likely to be labeled as the "work of the enemy" and trolled to hell and back, and is sure to bring out the "Misandry is just as bad as misogyny!" crowd makes me sick to my stomach.

Thank you for sharing such a difficult experience with us, and thank you for giving us a much-needed perspective on this matter. Maybe, just maybe, gamers can actually act like adults on this matter. But I really doubt it.

I think you are one of the bravest people have "encountered" in a very long time.
I cannot imagine what kind of superhuman strength it took to write this.

As other people said, I feel the urge to hug you. Take care, you might actually have changed something in me.

(completely put aside, this article is written _very_ well. It should not be like that, but your style of writing helps broadcasting your message.)

Edit:
I tried to read something more joyous. I tried to play some diablo 3, I tried watching an anime. But I just can't. It seems so unimportant.

You have officially ruined my night, but I am grateful you did.

This was much needed. As much as I spend time campaigning for greater sensitivity and against blaming the victim in rape-related issues, I always forget that I don't, can't truly empathize with them. People on both sides of the issue dehumanize it, because discussing rights and procedures is much easier than hearing even toned down depictions and victims' feelings.

I probably shouldn't speak for everyone. I just know that I'm guilty of this, and I'll try harder from now on. Thank you.

Wow, I really have no words.

I really hope (though the cynic in me obviously doubts) that some people might actually think that the people they are playing with are real people and that words mean things.

I don't participate in smack-talking, (I've called one or two people noobs, but I've never been involved in the angry stuff- because too often I'm on the end of it. Not for playing badly, just for being female), I disagree with people who insist that this is part of gaming that cant/shouldn't change, and I think those people need to wonder why they want to keep doing it so badly.

Therumancer:
you have to understand that there is more than one side to an issue like this. The feminists and their agenda are the biggest area of confrontation over issues like rape because that is the biggest front, that generally eclipses any side arguements or discussions.

The thing with rape discussions is that it usually comes down to demands for dual standards that favor women. We see this in the court system where it's basically argued that in a case where rape is the accusation that the defendant (the accused) should have to prove a negative (nearly impossible) and their own innocence, as opposed to the burden of proof being placed on the accuser and prosecution. Politics in these cases have created some massive travesties of justice, as rape is one of the few crimes where people have been convicted (sometimes regularly) on what amounts to purely circumstantial evidence, given that due to the trauma involved the victims (or those claiming to be victims) might wait weeks, months, or even years to ever say anything. Like most such things rife for abuse, it has been abused in all kinds of money grabbing schemes, black mail, or simply women wanting to ruin people's lives for "lulz" or using the system to effectively change their mind after the fact (ie if a girl sleeps with some guy, but decides it was a mistake, she can claim the guy raped her by way of justifying it to her boyfriend and then have the system remove the problem). This has all contributed to rape being an increasingly gray area.... especially as the definition of rape is being broadened beyond the intended meaning of someone forcing themselves sexually on a struggling victim, to simple things like getting someone drunk. Given the wide array of consentual sexual behavior, it can also be a touchy subject to determine whether someone who does have injuries was forced or not... which is incidently why the alleged rape victims are themselves dragged through the mud in such cases. It's also one of the reasons why a lot of the time I feel "closed door doctrine" should have made it into law (though I understand why it didn't).

The feminist arguements also come down to a dual standard as to what should be allowed. The basic arguement being that it's okay for women to produce, and read books about being ravished by pirates or whatever, but it's not okay for men to create or read the same thing.

I touched on this in a response to The Jimquisition recently about fantasy rape and the differance between it and reality. I generally don't think "rape" in a story where everyone winds up (eventually) having a good time is a big deal. It's adult material because you need to have an adult point of view to seperate that from reality. The problem of course being that a lot of feminist arguements come down to there being seperate standards for men and women when it comes to entertainment. If some lady reads about a female protaganist being tied up and raped (which is more politically changed to "ravished" in such cases) in a book with Fabio on the cover, purchused from the romance section, that's okay... but if some guy reads a book/comic/watches a movie about the same basic thing then it's to be treated differantly.

Feminism sucks because it by and large represents a dual standard, and the arguement that girls should be able to do things that get guys branded freaks or wierdos.

You typed this better than I could have ever hoped too.

I try to convey these same feelings sometimes but it ends up sounding unsympathetic (to others at least). So I'll be saving this post for the future later.

Mr. Omega:
When I read this article, I was moved. I went to go see who wrote it, and noticed it was billed as "Anonymous". I took just two seconds to think of the various things the gaming community has done recently on anything involving women in general, let alone rape, and I thought "Yeah, that's probably for the best..."

The fact that the gaming community has become so hostile towards women, especially in matters of sexuality, that even a well-written, well-thought out piece about a very serious topic is still likely to be labeled as the "work of the enemy" and trolled to hell and back, and is sure to bring out the "Misandry is just as bad as misogyny!" crowd makes me sick to my stomach.

Thank you for sharing such a difficult experience with us, and thank you for giving us a much-needed perspective on this matter. Maybe, just maybe, gamers can actually act like adults on this matter. But I really doubt it.

You are aware that the author is male right?

EDIT: On Topic

I know you must be going through a lot of pain during the writing of this article, but it made me think of something. Since you are a male victim, shouldn't you be even more upset that many feminists (at least of the ones I've talked to) try to turn it into a "woman's only" issue.

That's the part that always causes me to argue with them and get called an apologist, which of course, I am not. I merely think that the law has to be fair to both genders, I feel like there is less support for male victims and they are taken less seriously under the law, and that doesn't sit right with me.

Phasmal:
Wow, I really have no words.

I really hope (though the cynic in me obviously doubts) that some people might actually think that the people they are playing with are real people and that words mean things.

I don't participate in smack-talking, (I've called one or two people noobs, but I've never been involved in the angry stuff- because too often I'm on the end of it. Not for playing badly, just for being female), I disagree with people who insist that this is part of gaming that cant/shouldn't change, and I think those people need to wonder why they want to keep doing it so badly.

I think people need to get over it. Rape is a word just like killed, murdered, starving, beaten, and genocide are words. There is no reason why the word rape should be treated like something special while the words I mentioned get an ok.

OP:Sorry to hear about your experience but why is this an article on a video game site?
EDIT:If the author is trying to discourage people from using the term rape, I hope that they also feel the same way about words like murder, killed, genocide, starving and beating.

Wow.
Amazing article.
Although I've already stopped using the term because I find it somewhat offensive myself, I'll definitely never use it again now.

Also lols @ people yelling "feminist propaganda" at everything.

Helmholtz Watson:

Phasmal:
Wow, I really have no words.

I really hope (though the cynic in me obviously doubts) that some people might actually think that the people they are playing with are real people and that words mean things.

I don't participate in smack-talking, (I've called one or two people noobs, but I've never been involved in the angry stuff- because too often I'm on the end of it. Not for playing badly, just for being female), I disagree with people who insist that this is part of gaming that cant/shouldn't change, and I think those people need to wonder why they want to keep doing it so badly.

I think people need to get over it. Rape is a word just like killed, murdered, starving, beaten, and genocide are words. There is no reason why the word rape should be treated like something special while the words I mentioned get an ok.

OP:Sorry to hear about your experience but why is this an article on a video game site?

you should have read the entire article. you'd know why, if you had. If you did, you should maybe read it again, because you missed it.

Darkmantle:

Mr. Omega:
When I read this article, I was moved. I went to go see who wrote it, and noticed it was billed as "Anonymous". I took just two seconds to think of the various things the gaming community has done recently on anything involving women in general, let alone rape, and I thought "Yeah, that's probably for the best..."

The fact that the gaming community has become so hostile towards women, especially in matters of sexuality, that even a well-written, well-thought out piece about a very serious topic is still likely to be labeled as the "work of the enemy" and trolled to hell and back, and is sure to bring out the "Misandry is just as bad as misogyny!" crowd makes me sick to my stomach.

Thank you for sharing such a difficult experience with us, and thank you for giving us a much-needed perspective on this matter. Maybe, just maybe, gamers can actually act like adults on this matter. But I really doubt it.

You are aware that the author is male right?

Well shoot, now i look like an idiot. I do still think there will be an ugly response or two here, but yes, that was a mistake I made, and I apologize.

Prayers go out to you.
Thank you for your story.
i knew someone who went through you did, and although I will never know first hand, I have seen it in others. It is a terrible wound that will never close.

First of all, this is one of the best and most important articles I read here.
Second, allow me to quote Mel Brooks: "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."
A thing could be considered funny or cruel depending on your point of view.
As a rape victim your friends at that Game of Thrones party seem cruel, but for a non-rape victim('s close friends and family) they seem funny.
The thing is, people can't always be sensitive to every possible baggage a person might have, even if it's as serious as rape. There can be no exceptions.

I take my hat off to you, sir. To be able to put this down in words must have difficult and I appreciate you doing so. There is far too flippant use of the term in the gaming community without any thought to those who may have unfortunately gone through this, and I think this article may make some people think twice.

Thank you.

Helmholtz Watson:
Rape is a word just like killed, murdered, starving, beaten, and genocide are words. There is no reason why the word rape should be treated like something special while the words I mentioned get an ok.

The grand majority of the Western World has trivialized starving. Violent video games by their very nature have trivialized murder, kill, and beaten. Why does sexual violence need to be brought into the picture for completely unrelated reasons? It doesn't. You don't need to make the word 'rape' mean nothing, because it fucking means something to the people who have been raped, and have to live with that for the rest of their lives. If you make a joke out of it, who's going to come forward to be laughed at?

Things like this are never easy to write, and they should not be easy to read.

I will need some time to digest everything you wrote. But all my respect goes to you.

I think little else needs to be said.

Very well written and worded. I got into a dispute recently in that while I'm not a Christian myself I actually prefer the Christian game servers and servers that emulate the same rules. The basic rule is no cursing of any kind and don't be an ass. Two reasons 1. Using the same racist/sexist nonsense devolves the game. people don't play well together or keep coming back to a server where they get called a "n" or what have you. 2. It forces people to be more imaginative with insults and it can get seriously funny.

I had a feeling that seeing the title of the article and seeing 'Anonymous', it was going to be a heavy one.

I thank you for writing that and I can't even imagine how much courage it took for you to write that, but massive kudos and respect from me goes towards you.

I don't really do smack talking, outside of telling someone to 'fuck off' (and only those words) and that's all, and I really don't understand why that word is even brought up in smack talk, it's so stupid to me. It makes me wonder if people actually realize the meaning behind the word and what they're actually implying.

I'm never one to put a stop to having people say certain things, but that word in our culture has got to go.

"like a ropy, bulging muscle inside my throat"

Now that's in my head D: Never read more striking sense imagery. It's tremendous that you're able to share your story like this. Also you're a wonderful writer and I'm jelly.

This was certainly an interesting article to read. I would have been more interested to hear what the author had to say on the subject of exploring and using rape in videogame narrative, rather than about the casual use of the word itself, but it was still an interesting read.

An amazing article. Thank you for sharing.

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