This week Kristen West Savali shared a disturbing discovery from her Facebook feed in an article on The Root.
Apparently, a woman had written a post saying she’d been date-raped and, in response, a man who’d sexually assaulted his girlfriend some years prior took her experience as an opportunity to offer up his despicable actions as an explanation for what likely happened to the woman whom he clearly doesn’t believe was raped.
Within minutes of inquiring about the veracity of the claim, I received screenshots of both the man’s original comment and his subsequent ones justifying the sexual assault, a link to his personal and professional Facebook pages, and photos of him smiling with his family, including a wife and daughters.
This man never publicly showed one hint of remorse, and in response to some of the pushback he received from one commenter, he flippantly said that he would “rape her mother next.”
Welcome to another normal day in rape culture.
Even more disturbing is the fact that, according to the man, he never faced criminal charges for what he did. And no, it’s not because his victim “finally gave up” and “let” him “beat the p-ssy up,” for reportedly teasing him; it’s because the woman never pressed charges.
Savali went on to share the stories of many women, including herself, who were sexually assaulted by a “friend.” Women, who, because of those friendly relationships weren’t quite sure they had been raped and even if they were aware, didn’t tell anyone because they believed what happened was their fault. She wrote:
Women, black women in particular, are taught that airing out our dirty laundry brings shame on not just our families but the entire community. Still, this I know to be true: If we don’t air it out, if we leave it crumbled in those dark, dank corners where mold and mildew grows, then we’ll never feel clean, not on the inside. And it is the rapists who deserve to feel like the dirty stains on humanity that they really are.
So for every woman or man who reads this who has ever been a victim of rape or sexual assault, I stand in solidarity with you.
Rape is rape.
You are not alone.
It was not your fault.
I’d also add that society needs to meet these women more than halfway and be ready to uphold the right to swift and speedy justice when these victims do come forward. And while it may be too late to make this man pay for his crime, at the very least he shouldn’t be able to taunt his victim and shame others by continuing to spread the virus of rape culture one Facebook post at a time.