general-katy asked: Seanan, I could use some advice. Like a moron, I told the men of Reddit that rape was bad, and now my inbox is blowing up with death and rape threats. It's been more than fifteen years since I survived being raped, and it's still so hard to speak about it. I need something comforting and kind to distract me and calm my shakes. Any ideas?
You are a person, which is sort of like being a miracle that walks and talks and sometimes forgets to replace the toilet paper roll but that’s okay because have I mentioned miracle?
I know I do not know you (or if I do, I do not know I know you), but that is my first response—that, and the urge to give you a big hug and a bigger stick, unless you don’t like hugs, in which case you get this stick and I’ll get another one.
First, know that it is not your fault. You do not control the reactions of people who have chosen to be small-minded, and deciding that you have any right at all to do something to the body of another person is small-minded, petty, cruel, and unjustifiable. Saying “rape is bad” is not the sort of thing you should feel bad about. The fact that you are being abused for it is proof that we are not, as a species, finished becoming human.
This is the thing that people miss, I feel, when they say “I should be allowed to make rape jokes” or “some girls rape easy,” or any of the other horrible things people say about rape: we are still here. We are still standing, and we hear those words, we hear those things put out into the world like they were reasonable. Like there was a debate. There is no debate. People sometimes liken rape to murder, but I would say that rape is worse, because there is no such thing as “justifiable rape.” If someone tries to murder me, and I kill them, that’s self-defense. If I trip someone and they fall into traffic and die, that’s manslaughter. If I rape someone (and yes, women can rape, I have never denied that), there’s no justification. There’s no such thing as “self-defense rape” or “accidental rape.” It is a choice that someone makes, and that makes it eternally unforgivable.
But you know these things. So here is something comforting, or at least comforting to me, which will hopefully always be comforting to you: You are amazing. You are a person, which is sort of like being a miracle that walks and talks and sometimes forgets to replace the toilet paper roll but that’s okay because have I mentioned miracle? You have survived someone trying to unmake you, and you are present and whole enough to say “this is wrong” even at risk to yourself. You are so much stronger than you may know, and I am so glad for your existence, even if we’ve never met, even if we never meet.
I am so glad you are here.