As A Teen Girl I Believe We Must Speak Out Against Rape Culture & Stop It From Being Normalized

By Isabella Piper

After the many vast obstacles that women have faced throughout the years, I have abruptly decided to speak out on the behalf of myself and others. As I have matured and blossomed as a woman, I have discovered the daily struggle of what it means to be a woman today. For as long as I could  remember, women have been fighting for political, sexual, social, economic, and personal equality to men. I, along with many other women, do not feel as if this situation is fair by any means. At only 16, I am constantly reminded of the sexual pressures put on teen girls like myself, as we look ahead to adulthood.

I would like to reach the point where I can venture out into the world, in an outfit I feel gorgeous in, and not feel like I am being looked at like a sexual object. I would like to walk home from a bar late at night, and not be frightened to encounter a man or another woman, who will take advantage of me because I am vulnerable. I would like to feel comfortable on a college campus, and not constantly worry that I will be drugged, or worse, raped. I would like to let loose and not have to worry about any of the above, but I feel like I am constantly letting my mind wander to every single potential negative outcome.

I would like to have friends of the opposite sex, who will not pressure me to engage in sexual activities with them. If I clearly didn’t ask for it, I don’t want to be informed that I was. But, the more I sit and contemplate, I have realized that these problems will constantly be apparent which is why speaking up is important. The more I try and avoid these situations from occurring, the more they seem to happen, and at times I least expect them to. Telling women to “take precautions” and essentially be responsible for if they are attacked, coerced, raped etc is a massive part of the problem of rape culture which needs to be dismantled.

The more I try and remember specific instances, the blurrier they become. We almost force ourselves to forget that things like this continue to occur in daily life. It’s one of the ways our body deals with trauma, by choosing to shut down that memory or erase is completely out of self-preservation.

The first incident occurred when I was 15. I remember I was with a guy who admired me a lot, but there were times I clearly did not asked to be touched and showered with kisses. Being an adolescent, I didn’t exactly know how to feel when I was being pinned down and forced to make out with my significant other. I didn’t have the tools or emotional resources to stand up for myself.

I faintly remember myself repeating the word “no”, but with some people, that word doesn’t hold any significance. I can recall that same scenario happening 3 more times. After this person and I ended it completely with one another, he continued to touch me. He would grab my butt while everyone else was watching. I was embarrassed, I was frightened. He would treat this like it was some game. He would laugh with his other guy friends. not even putting into consideration the constant violation I felt every time he did this.

At countless gatherings with other friends, he would run his fingers up my legs, until he reached areas that shouldn’t be crossed. He would see how far I would let him get. I would push him off of me, only for him to come back and do it again. I didn’t ask to be touched. I didn’t ask to be kissed, even if was with him at the time. I didn’t ask to be grasped. Yet, he continued to think it was a test. To see how far he could get until I told him to stop.Little did he know, I cried myself to sleep every time this happened.

I felt like I was treated like an object, and not like an equal human being with dignity and worth. I am a woman, I am not an object. I am confident, I am beautiful, and I am important. My body is mine, and my boundaries should not be crossed without consent. Why did my claim over my body not mean anything to him? Could it be that he was saturated by the many messages in society that tell men they can do whatever they want with women without consequence? That he grew up being told his behavior was OK because “boys will be boys”?

Everything from sexist school dress codes targeting girls only, all the way to the President of the United States being elected by conservatives despite being outed as someone who sexually abuses women and brags about it sends the message to youth every day and reiterates that women’s bodies are for the taking. I refuse to stand for this and am encouraging others to speak out with me.

I am now almost 17. I have been in two abusive relationships. I have encountered many other obstacles daily, simply for being a woman. On multiple occasions, I have been whistled at, belittled, mocked for wearing certain revealing things, and more. I have also struggled to sustain relationships with significant others because of our differences. I push to be accepted for all of me. Too many times I felt like I am being treated as if there is no brain connected to my body.

I strive to become my true self daily, and to not these situations affect the way I think, feel, and react. I know deep down, 2 years later, that I am more than the predicaments that I have been in. I hope for the day that I can be seen as more than just a body, who makes decisions regarding so. For this to happen, we need to keep speaking out about rape culture, the need for gender equality, and be open and honest about sexual abuse especially in relationships. We need to stress the importance of teaching consent, especially to young men, rather than focusing on telling girls what not to wear and how much not to drink to “prevent” rape.

I am still continuing to expand my horizons as a female daily. Each and every day, I feel even more confident in myself than before. I will never let any sort of objectification define who I am. I will not let my past instances define my standards. I will not let the sexualized standards of society tell me what I can and cannot wear. I am young and radiant. I have the right to wear whatever I feel comfortable in, and I hope I can inspire you to do the same. I will continue to roam free in this universe feeling safe. I will go out at night and fearlessly walk home alone.

As women, we cannot let our past scare us, as well as future situations that we are trying to avoid. We deserve to feel gorgeous and safe in our skin every single day. Do not be oppressed. Speak out and be brave for all of the women around the world who are dealing with the same exact instances as you are.

 

 

 

 

Isabella piper was raised in Michigan, and has dreams of one day moving to California. Currently at the age of just sixteen; she spends her time blogging, freelance writing, and creating short poetry. She aspires to one day become a famous writer. 

One Comment

  1. Love your writing Isabella! Keep it up!

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