“MAKE HIM YOUR BITCH” These words have my full attention as I turn my head towards the direction of his room. I can hear my younger brother and his friends playing videos games and that’s where I can hear his voice yell “Get fucking raped!” followed with an echo of laughter and “OHHHHH!”
I can remember wincing at the thought that those words escaped his childish lips. I was never raped. But at that moment, I felt so violated. I remember there was a distinct mixed feeling of sadness and slow-rising anger that filled me. Like a disease, that word has reached his mind and has planted its seed and now the poison escaped his lips. To him - it was of little to no consequence, his companions felt like there was nothing wrong with the usage of the word “rape.” Instead they laughed and cheered each other on. To them, there is no consequence. To them, rape is a joke. The culture of this society had permeated itself into their minds allowing them to think that rape is not something to be taken seriously. For all I know it’s been exposed to us all since we were born. The difference between me and my brother is that we were gendered differently, which automatically forced us to walk two different paths of life.
From day one society has put certain expectations of me that ranges over a multitude of topics. I feel it everyday and it is something that still lingers on the back of my mind. It is something that I must constantly question whenever it rears its ugly head. Do I look socially acceptable in this? Do I look like a prude? A slut? What if I say “No”? What if I say “Yes”? I must be careful with how I answer this. How will they view me? Am I allowed to judge others? Must I fight against my fellow woman?
That is the daily struggle of those on the femme spectrum. We deem it okay to joke about someone from what they are covered in to her simple everyday actions...and we judge them on it. There is no right or wrong. It’s just all wrong. On every decision this person makes, they is judged. For femme identifying folks, there is intense scrutiny. There is little to no autonomy that is allowed, at least not without judgement. There is no escape. We abduct femmes and strip them of every fiber of their being whilst humiliating, villainizing, and punishing them for existing. And that is just part of what lays under the umbrella of Rape Culture.
We, as a society, are raised in it. Bathed in it. Breathing it in. It becomes us. And yet it’s something so subtle that we don’t even realize its existence and the virus that has been introduced into our system. It’s something so normalized that we don’t realize the damage it has done. It does more than just affect the femmes, the women, but also hurts the masculine folks among us. It feeds into the idea of toxic masculinity deeming anything effeminate to be something that should be criticized. The roots of Rape culture reach deep into other topics that may be associated with other forms of discrimination. The history of this culture is so long that it can be seen and read about from Greek Mythology, wars, to college girls being raped in their dorms today. This integrated pattern of violent behavior is something that has been transmitted to succeeding generations.
But we have the anti-virus. Through years of recognizing our illness we have slowly progressed in the idea of pointing out the wrongs of victim blaming, slut-shaming, and the trivialization of rape. And when we say we ‘rape’ in anything it is not only the act of nonconsensual sex, it is the act of dehumanizing someone in a violent manner. Not just physically violence it’s a mental and emotional violence as well. It’s the psychological warfare of dominance that has been passed down for generations. But if we are able to reach the masses, educate them and continue to right the wrongs of our society and fix our own habit of trivializing rape culture, we can progress as a whole into a more healthier society.
For me, that started at home. I told my brother many years ago after that incident with his friends that using rape as an excuse to dehumanize others and violently attack on their humanity is not a game. It’s not in any way fun or something to joke about. It is a weapon. It can be used against our bodies and our minds and it will most certainly not be tolerated.
Corpus Ren, also known as Kristi Fernández-Kim, is a Korean-Peruvian citizen who graduated from LSU in 2016. Her main interests are all things Human, on both a scientific and a social level, which could be a reason as to why she studies Biomedical Anthropology. When she's not spending time with her dog, she likes to paint, work on her French, and edit Wikipedia. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org