Lying Sluts Who Want Attention

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Disbelief. Noun. “The inability or refusal to believe something as true.”

Note that the disbelief is not defined as “a viable way to render an issue nonexistent.” The word “inability,” however, is in the definition, a paraphrase being “the inability to accept the reality of a concept,” if what you doubt is in fact truth.

People are so quick to label the ugly parts of life as untrue. Believing in the ugly is the first step to beautifying it, as the second step is improving it. Yet when it comes to rape or molestation, we slap a euphemism on its surface and quickly move away—if we don’t respond with “liar,” “slut,” or “asking for it.”

Each response needs its own discussion; this one deals with the concept of lying. Believe it or not, very few women decide to fabricate their experience of sexual assault. Very few women elect to become a “slut” who was “asking for it” and now just “want pity” while “blaming a man that they’re really just angry at.”

It’s understandable to hope that something so horrible would be a myth. It would be wonderful to believe that sexual assault was terrible, but knowing it’s only as real as the Boogeyman. But is lying to ourselves really worth leaving our fellow men and women in the mud? Surely not. Yet it’s done constantly, daily, even hourly.

Aside from the original experience of the attack, being accused of lying has been one of the most damaging experiences for myself as a survivor. Our society is so heavy on slut shaming and victim blaming. So when you’re a victim of sexual assault and a female, you suddenly are a lying whore who is at fault for your own rape—even though your accuser insists that you’re lying. This societal mindset is what keeps survivors’ cards close to their chests; fear of being demonized for something that even they sometimes begin to believe is their fault. So when we trust you enough to show you our hand, do not knock our cards on the floor. Picking them back up gets harder every time, and we never should have been given such a bad deal in the first place.

Some of you may be saying, “But our society doesn’t blame victims! We don’t slut shame!”

Once again, I would like to remind you that disbelief is not a solution. If you need convincing, just see the photo attached, Jenna Marble’s “Things I Don’t Understand About Girls Part 2: Slut Edition,” or the Facebook page “Shit Sluts Say.” If you need more proof, feel free to Google “I Hate Sluts” or A Voice For Men’s article that speaks with the tone of any rape apologist.

In all honesty, you can’t stop sexual assault from ever occurring again. You can work to educate others. You can put forth a conscious effort. But many of us don’t feel called, or equipped, to do this. That’s fine—I’m not asking you all to take the same job. But I’m begging you to believe us when we tell you our stories.

3 thoughts on “Lying Sluts Who Want Attention

  1. theauroracrossing

    Wow—- this is tremendously powerful. I love that it ends with a request. (One of the most under-utilized powers we have, the power of request). I am beginning to learn that whenever I am going to be vulnerable, and I want a specific response, sometimes I need to front load the conversation by telling the listener what I need from them. (As in: I need you to listen to me, tell me you believe me and you don’t think it’s my fault, and then give me a hug for as long as I need.) I think this helps people who, out of plain ignorance, might not know how to respond and botch it by mistake.

    Slut shaming and victim blaming is a whole other matter entirely.

    The paragraph about the cards–so well written. The imagery was really vivid to me. So many survivors are deeply vetted with shame and guilt. This is particularly true of children, or adult survivors of sexual abuse. Kids simply can’t discern that there are other perspectives besides their own egocentric view of the universe. Therefore, they are the center, the causation, for all that happens. These beliefs are so evident in adult survivors of childhood sexual trauma.

    You know… everyone’s stories are different. Each person who experiences sexual violence responds just a little differently. AND, we all need to be believed, embraced (figuratively, and literally, only if we request), affirmed as innocent, and be treated with respect and dignity.

    One of the things I am having to learn as an advocate is that not everyone a) can handle this information (survivors and non-survivors), b) can regularly interact with it, c) have a paradigm that would motivate them to regularly interact with it in spite of the pain. This last one gets me riled, because I WANT everyone to care. (That’s why your last imploring question was so powerful–not everyone will be an advocate, but everyone can be an advocate for a friend by believing him\her.)

    Even for me, as a survivor, engaging with the issue of sexual violence has been a deliberate choice, and one I still have to moderate. I need encouragement to keep going, and I need good self care and to take breaks. I can not hold everyone’s stories. Personally, I have to lean back into my belief that there is a God who is both just and kind. Angry at injustice, and heartbroken for victims of it. I can trust that when I’m not present (because, God knows, I can’t save the world and I’m not superwoman), there is a presence beyond my own that cares, sees, knows, weeps, and understands better than I ever will. That helps me be present in the moments that I am given, without trying to save everyone, and to walk away without massive anxiety. Hard balance. Especially when the world doesn’t look the way I think it should.

    Enough. I’m writing a novel. I love your article!

    Reply
    1. maisymcdnld Post author

      Wow, thank you so much for such an in-depth response! Your comments are so encouraging for me. I really appreciate it.

      I do have a question though. When you said that slut shaming and victim blaming are another matter entirely, did you mean that you don’t find a link between them and the accusations of lying, or did you mean that those two really did need another response?

      Either way, thank you so much for your input. <3 It is very much appreciated.

      Reply

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