I was breathless. Here was what I had been waiting for all my teenage life. I had read enough romance novels that I knew just what was would happen to me, just what he would do. I was hip enough to know he was not going to bring me to a castle, marry me and give me riches for the rest of my life. Or whatever happens; the novels usually end with the impending marriage, or at least you know they will, because the hero is valiant in the end and would not fuck and go, if you know what I mean. Of course it would not be called fucking; it was making love. He would hold me roughly and I would weakly fight him but of course I would really lust for him and we would make passionate, wild, sexy, wondrous, breathtaking, triple-orgasmic love. With a condom, of course. And I was finally going to experience it. I was 16 and at a drive-in movie.
He was an incredible catch, captain of the football team AND the softball team, beautiful, sexy, strong, rough in a sexy sort of way. He was every girl’s dream in the whole school just about. At least through the junior year and I’m sure a lot of the senior girls secretly lusted after him too. His name was Rick but everyone called him Rusty. What a sexy name. Up until then I had only watched him from the bleachers or pretended not to watch him in the hallways as he passed by with nothing to say to me or anybody else except his entourage. The popular group. Popular caste, I ought to say. They really were a step above the rest of us, always wearing the right clothes, carrying the right bags and knowing the right people. They even called some of the teachers by their first names.
When he grabbed me and pulled me around a corner I realized that of course he couldn’t be seen talking to me. That kind of sucks, but I was too entranced to care. His eyes were deep aqua and looked right into mine. I was turned on by the intensity and was embarrassed. I wondered if he could tell. I knew Heather, his girlfriend, captain of the cheerleaders AND of the women’s basketball teams, had broken up with him yesterday; everyone knew. It usually lasted about 4 days and they would be together again. But now he was pulling me close as he whispered “I’ve been watching you.”
I just about peed my pants. Me? I was as dumb as a rug. Is that why they say ‘floored’? I told my mind to shut up. I was feeling a little dizzy.
“6:00 tonight I’ll pick you up for a drive-in movie. You can just meet me at your street corner.”
He couldn’t be seen at my house. Or he was just being efficient? I didn’t care. I was going out with the coolest guy in the 11th grade. I was flying high. He started to walk away and then changed his mind and hissed in my ear “And you’d better wear something sexy”.
Well of course. I needed to be able to hold his attention. I certainly didn’t want him to change his mind at the street corner, or worse, at the drive in. It hurt a little where he had grabbed me, and that was sexy. I hadn’t said a word, but he knew I would be there. And I was, in a short lace skirt and see-through top over a sexy lace bra.
So here I was, at the movie with Mr. Perfect. We decided to watch from the back seat. The movie was some sort of police car chase guns shooting people flying through glass windows sort of movie. I would have preferred the other movie, which was more romantic, but it didn’t seem like it was really going to matter, because Rusty started kissing me the moment the movie began. He put his tongue in my mouth right away, and was pushing it hard against my tongue. His saliva was dripping into my mouth. I didn’t expect to kiss well enough to please him, so I was glad that he seemed to be enjoying himself. That was sexy enough for me. After about two minutes of that, he reached up under my blouse and my bra, and started rubbing my right breast, my clothes kind of askew. He was rubbing hard. When he rubbed my nipples it hurt but I felt a twinge between my legs. This was gonna be good. I could withstand anything it took to finally give in and have endless passionate sex. Actually I was pretty much giving in right now, I realized. How pure could I be if I didn’t defend myself a little? So I started saying “oh, no, no” to him, which seemed to excite him because he grabbed both of my breasts, pulling both my bra and my shirt up over the top of them.
It was a shock, though, when I suddenly felt the bite of his fingers between my legs. He was grabbing and pulling and it really didn’t feel very good. This is the time to protest, I thought, and after he overcomes me he will be more gentle and I will love it. “Stop it” I said, almost sounding like I meant it. Part of me meant it, and part of me didn’t.
His fingers just moved around faster and then he shoved them up inside me. He was panting and I was trying to seem like I was both protesting and enjoying it. Soon would come the moment when I gave in completely and it would suddenly feel wonderful. A little doubt was creeping into my mind, though, whether this could really turn pleasant, but I tried to concentrate and ignore the places it hurt. I don’t know what he did next, but it hurt a lot. I wasn’t kidding when I pushed him away, He pinned me down so I couldn’t move my arms or legs. I was struggling and then I remembered I had to stop struggling to make it work. This was a good time for that, I thought, and forced myself to relax. “That’s better” he said, “I’m gonna make you feel good”
He knelt up a little and undid his jeans with one hand. I remember his underwear was white and looked a lot like the diaper-type underwear the kids I babysit wear. I thought that was kind of funny, but I didn’t dare laugh. When he pulled them down his penis came out. His love sword, his swollen member, his—well, the thing didn’t look very romantic, it looked ugly. It was big. That was going to go inside of me? He was still rubbing my breasts and down there, alternately, with his left hand, and hard. I was starting to feel like I was getting rugburn, which isn’t a pleasant feeling. Suddenly I didn’t want his swollen member inside me. Now I really meant it as I tried to struggle loose. He punched me in the face.
My castles in the air crashed to the floor. One hand went up to my bleeding nose and the cut under what was to become a serious black eye. The other was trying desperately to gain control of my painful privates, to push his fingers away. “Now look what you made me do”, he said, almost sounding a little scared, then more angrily “you stupid bitch”.
He pinned me down with one arm and pulled my underwear to one side. Then I was stifled. He was lying on top of me and I couldn’t move. Sheer agony rammed into my body and I realized that rape isn’t romantic. It’s awful. He moved on my body, shoving his thing into me. I cried out in pain and he placed one slimy, hard hand firmly over my mouth. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think except to know I needed to fight for survival. But I was pinned down and completely helpless. I felt like dirt.
After a forever of pain he stopped and dropped his full weight on top of me. I was bawling still but I knew enough now not to make noise. He climbed off of me and put his thing back into his underwear, which I noticed was bloody, and did up his jeans. “Look at you” he hissed, “you fucking slut. You made me do that. I wouldn’t have had to hurt you if you hadn’t fought me. You would have liked it.” I was trying not to throw up. “Wearing those clothes. Any guy would have—I couldn’t help it” and then I thought I could see fear and tears in his eyes but I must have been wrong. He stared at me in disgust, and spit out “Put your fucking clothes back on.”
Hiccupping and sobbing, I managed to get my underwear, bra, shirt and skirt into position. There was smeared blood on everything. My nose was starting to throb and I hurt everywhere, He was looking away, angrily, tapping his fingers on the door. He was angry with me. Maybe it was my fault. It hadn’t gone wrong until I had said ‘no’ theatrically at the beginning. I shouldn’t have worn that see-through blouse. And short skirt. That was slutty of me. He told me to be sexy but he probably meant elegant sexy, not show him my whole body. I climbed painfully back into the front seat, where he was sitting with his elbows on the dashboard, head in his hands. “Any guy would have done it. It’s not my fault.” he was whispering, eyes closed.
I waited desperately to see what would happen, feeling guilty about what I had made him do. Then he seemed to come to a decision. He straightened up, stayed still for a moment, then turned to me with a look of anger and I don’t know what else, it almost seemed like guilt. I had stopped crying now, trying to be adult. He started the car. Then his eyes hardened and he hissed at me “No one will ever believe it was me, anyway. They’ll never believe you.” He paused, then, turning away as if he couldn’t stand the sight of me, said “You better not say anything. You got that way by some stranger when you were hitchhiking.”
He was driving fast, dangerously fast. The last thing I was going to do was to protest at that; I wanted out of this hell truck as soon as possible. I didn’t care if we had an accident; in fact, it would be better to die in an accident than to live with what I was feeling, both physically and mentally. He was repeating, “It wasn’t my fault.,” “No one will believe her,” and “She made me do it,” alternately under his breath as he we flew along the road. At my corner he stopped the car with a screech. “You were hitchhiking, bitch” he was almost babbling by now, “You asked for it. A stranger did it. Don’t be an idiot, No one would believe—“ there were definitely tears in his eyes. He opened the door for me, leaning over me almost gently. “Get out! he said, “Just go!” He was crying open by now.
I got out so fast I almost landed on my head. His truck skid and then shot back into the night. For some reason, I noticed the license plate. Every little part of me was hurting: my nose was still bleeding, and there was blood dripping down my left leg. I didn’t know if I could make the 6-block walk home.
Almost without thinking, like a robot, I opened my purse, which he had thrown out at me before he closed the car door, and took out my cell phone. I started to dial. 9. I was trembling. I didn’t want anyone to know. 1. It was my fault anyways. I should just go home. 1. It was him that committed a crime; It wasn’t my fault.
* * *
It wasn’t her fault. Whatever he said, whatever kind of treatment the police gave her, whatever the jury and judge thought, whatever weak sentence the young man got, if anyone believed her—it wasn’t her fault, Girls and women are not responsible for rape. Boys and men are. She did nothing wrong. It doesn’t matter that she stopped saying no. It’s not whether she says no, it’s whether she says yes. If you are too scared to say no, it doesn’t mean yes. Even though she planned it before, even though she wore something sexy, even though at one point she felt pleasure, she did not cause him to sexually assault her and penetrate her. He did that. Men may try to blame their actions on something else, but no one forces a man to force sex on a woman or girl. No one but that man or boy is responsible for his own actions.
Men cause rape. Men rape. Only men can stop rape.