It’s Saturday, and I’m a working pastor who has to lead worship twice tomorrow, so today’s notes shall be a bit brief…
Often, when we talk about rape & sexual violence there’s this strange thing that happens. People tell you to think about what would you would feel like if it happened to someone you love – your mother, your sister, your wife, your daughter.
I know they mean well by trying to personalize the issue, but it means that we, as survivors, are defined by our relationships to other people (very often as women who are somehow attached/connected to men).
It irritates me. Yes, I am someone’s daughter, and sister, and mother, and aunt, but I am somebody without all those categories. I am me, a human being, deserving of respect, and decency, and kindness, and compassion even if I weren’t someone’s daughter, sister, mother, or whatever.
That I am human should be reason enough to not hurt me. That someone, anyone, is human should be reason for them to not have to fear the violence of rape and sexual assault.
So the next time you see one of those signs or memes that invites you to think about how it would affect your sister, or brother, or some other relation, remember that we are all sisters and brothers and when any one of us suffers, we all suffer together; when any one of us is not free from violence and fear, none of us are free; when one of us is raped, all of us are raped.