What I Learned From Dating Women Who Have Been Raped

People aren’t destroyed through being raped though. They suffer immensely, but they are just as much themselves after the rape as before.

If you told someone that a man had learned jiu jitsu after being attacked, I think the vibe would be “well, that’s pretty reasonable.” If a bisexual woman decided to date only women after being raped, the vibe would be “oh, she’s broken.

I also think that I was so lucky to have gone on those dates with those women, because I already had a deep understanding that people who have experienced sexual violence aren’t any less awesome or less complete than those who haven’t experienced it. Without that understanding, I think admitting to yourself that you have experienced sexual violence is harder, because you also have to think of yourself as “broken.”

What’s so sad about what I see is that it’s so normal. I don’t see myself as a victim in an otherwise safe society, I see myself as a completely normal and unremarkable member of the female gender. I see women who have experienced more violence than me, and women who have experienced less violence than me, but I don’t see women who don’t experience violence. The fact that some women have experienced more, worse sexual violence only means that they need more help not that *I need less help *or that my emotional response to a traumatic event is invalid.

It’s super hard work to break through the numbness that is growing up feminine here in the US. The fact that my stories pale in comparison to others doesn’t make mine smaller, it exposes a wretched, ugly truth.

Emphasis mine.