I know what you're thinking, "not another rehashing of the tragic events involving the defining of rape in 2012," and I know, it's hack. But this is seriously serious. I'm talking about rape. On a more specific, and nonetheless grave, note, I want to discuss sext rape. Rape sexting. Rapeting.
It may have happened to you, and you didn't even realize it.
Have you ever found yourself at home alone, just sitting on the couch, drinking a magnum of red wine, watching a marathon of America's Next Top Model? Then, suddenly, you receive a text message. You're excited, at first, because you don't normally get texts after...normally. But when you see the content of the text, you realize, it is anything but a pleasant surprise.
You've just received a text message from that guy to which you gave your number at that club that night when you were drunk. You gave him your number because you thought he seemed like a really nice guy. He seemed like the kind of guy that would totally call (or text) a girl that he met at a club, and maybe they would go on a date, and maybe they would go on a few more dates, and then maybe they would find themselves in love and in a relationship, and the wedding would be so much fun because your friends would love you and each other and barbecue and sunsets on the river and kegs of low gravity beer and at least two dogs with a house and a yard with a garden and Obama and a beautiful utopian socialist future.
Well, you were partially right. He TOTALLY WAS the kind of guy that would text. In fact, he just texted you a picture.
OF HIS PENIS.
Yes. I know. Your initial reaction is to laugh, and that's fine. For now.
You play coy, so as not to embarrass the poor guy, and respond with:
"who is this? ;)?"
He responds with another picture.
OF THE AREA BETWEEN HIS MOUTH AND HIS GROIN INCLUDING HIS ABS AND THAT LINE THAT FORMS, LIKE, A MUSCLE ARROW POINTING DIRECTLY TO HIS PENIS.
You continue to play coy:
"OH HI! I remember YOU! ;)"
He responds (how charming) with:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That's you. Alone at home. You're laughing because you think it's hilarious, this guy's gumption. Like he's just so sure he can get you to send him an infamous "tit pic," or "snatch chat." How cute.
ANOTHER PICTURE OF HIS PENIS"
Wait a minute. You don't remember asking this guy to send you a picture of his genitalia. Why? Because you didn't. And now, all of a sudden, because he's "taken the initiative," you've got to reciprocate?
I. Don't. Think. So. And I'm a damn feminist, mother-fucker (had to be said).
So you ignore him.
But he doesn't stop asking. And when you finally ask him to leave you alone, he says,
"But I showed you mine! Don't be a tease!"
So, now, all of a sudden, you're a tease for sitting alone on your couch on a Friday night, drinking a magnum of wine, and watching ANTM?!?!
I know. I know. My tone is changing. It's changing because I'm not talking about you. I mean, I might be talking about you, but I'm mostly just talking about me.
I don't want to parse words.
I am who I am, not who anyone else wants me to be. I imagine it's just as hard for men as it is for women, so let's be real.
Nobody is required to do anything they don't want to do, even if it seems as benign as sending a picture of his schlong or her jugs via media message. That's it.
Also, let's stop making one label for that one thing and another for this other thing. Words are just words and very often insufficient. That's why people write songs and paint paintings.
Think of the idea of rape as the same things as the idea of porn.
Maybe you don't know what it is exactly, but you know it when you see it.
I just hope you don't have to see it in the form of a poorly lit penis, photographed from a suspicious angle so as to make it seem bigger, or thicker, or whatever. I also hope you don't have to see it in the form of smooshed-together hoo-haas and duck lips.
I love you. All of you.