Last September, the first time I went to Haiti, I spent my first day out accompanying a rape victim we'll call Sybille to the hospital. The way her five attackers had maimed her in addition to sexually violating her was unspeakable. The way the surgeon who was going to try to reconstruct the damage yelled at her, telling her she'd got what was coming to her because she was a slut, was unconscionable. And the way Sybille went into a full paroxysm when we were on the way back to the post-quake tarp city she lived in was the worst thing I ever saw in my life. We were sitting in traffic and saw one of her rapists, and she started just SCREEEAMING a few inches away from my face, her eyes wide and rolling in abject terror.
After this experience the reporter returned to her life in San Francisco. Or at least tried to. She started exhibiting symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder to the point that she decided to seek help from a therapist. She had her therapy while she was trying to deal with her symptoms. At one point she told her therapist:
"All I want is to have incredibly violent sex," I told Meredith. Since I'd left Port-au-Prince, I could not process the thought of sex without violence. And it was easier to picture violence I controlled than the abominable nonconsensual things that had happened to Sybille.
Eventually her therapist agreed that staging a rape that was violent would be a good idea. The therapist asked her if she knew someone she trusted enough. Apparently, she did:
We'd done this sort of thing before. But at dinner I'd told him, voice shaking, about my PTSD. This time, the fight would be rougher and the stakes higher. And so he paused. "Okay," he said. "I love you, okay?" I said, I know, okay. And with that he was on me, forcing my arms to my sides, then pinning them over my head, sliding a hand up under my shirt when I couldn't stop him. The control I'd lost made my torso scream with anxiety; I cried out desperately as I kicked myself free. But it didn't matter how many times I managed to knock him over to the other side of the bed. He's got 60 pounds on me, plus the luxuries of patience and fearlessness. When I got out from under him and started to scramble away, he simply caught me by a leg or an upper arm or my hair and dragged me back. By the time he pinned me by my neck with one forearm so I was forced to use both hands to free up space between his elbow and my windpipe, I'd largely exhausted myself.
And just like that, I'd lost. It's what I was looking for, of course. But my body—my hard-fighting, adrenaline-drenched body—reacted by exploding into terrible panic. The comforting but debilitating blanket of tension that'd for weeks been wrapped around my chest solidified into a brick. Then the weight of his body, and of the inevitability of my defeat, descended on my ribcage. My worn-out muscles went so taut that they ached. I stopped breathing.
I did not enjoy it in the way a person getting screwed normally would. But as it became clear that I could endure it, I started to take deeper breaths. And my mind stayed there, stayed present even when it became painful, even when he suddenly smothered me with a pillow, not to asphyxiate me but so that he didn't break my jaw when he drew his elbow back and slammed his fist into my face. Two, three, four times. My body felt devastated but relieved; I'd lost, but survived. After he climbed off me, he gathered me up in his arms. I broke into a thousand pieces on his chest, sobbing so hard that my ribs felt like they were coming loose
This women did women who are victims of this unspeakable act of violence a huge disservice. Rape victims don't get to decide who rapes them. Victims don't get a pillow put over their face to lessen the blows. Victims don't get held while they are crying afterwards. Victims have no choices. They are simply a person in the wrong place at the wrong time and become victimized. A trauma that stays with them for the rest of their lives in many cases.
What is most disturbing is the comments at the end of the article. Apparently to the left she is a hero. She went into the "belly of the beast" says one, another thanks her for her courage, and can feel the love and the pain in her story. There is love in this story?
If this is what it takes to be a liberal feminist, I say no thank you. I will pass. Another thing, I am not sure I want a friend like Issac. Call me crazy, but a man who is willing to beat me is not someone I want to hang out with.