Archive for September 21st, 2010

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If you are sensitive to the full moon and cult holidays, please note that you are experiencing a double whammy this week. There is both a full moon AND the fall equinox on Thursday, 9/23. So, if you are feeling “off” this week, this could likely the be reason. I, myself, am finding myself unable to get enough rest (sleeping 9-11 hours a night and needing naps), anxious, and depressed. Because I know what the cause is, I am taking steps to ride it out. If you feel like you are losing your mind right now, you should feel much better by this weekend.

Photo credit: Julie Crowley

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I am reading Diana Gabaldon’s excellent book Dragonfly in Amber, which is the second book in the Outlander series. I blogged about some topics from the first book, and one reader shared that a rape occurs in all of the books in this series. I just read the rape scene from this book, and it is infuriating.

The focus in the first book was on how sadistic the rape was. In this book, the focus is on the aftermath of a more traditional stranger rape. One of the characters was a fifteen-year-old virgin who was pledged to marry into nobility (against her wishes, but women did not get a say in such matters in the 18th century). She and the main character, Claire, were attacked by masked strangers, and this young woman was raped. Claire and her husband tried to hide what had happened because they knew the young woman would become a social outcast, but the truth of the rape came out, anyhow.

This young woman was guilty of nothing but volunteering at a hospital until after dark. She was physically attacked and raped on a public street, screaming and fighting the entire time. There was absolutely no question that she was not at fault. Nevertheless, because she is now no longer a virgin, she has gone from being “priceless” enough to marry into nobility to being viewed as “worthless” and a social outcast. WTF??

I know that is how raped women used to be viewed (and still are in some circles), but it still p@$$es me off to no end. Why is a small flap of skin that goes away after the wedding night so friggin’ valuable that a lack of it through a rape turns a highly desired woman into nothing? Who are the geniuses who came up with this standard in the first place? (I know I am preaching to the choir here.)

The people’s reactions to this poor young woman made the situation even worse. People viewed her as unable to be emotionally healed. In a few minutes, she went from having the world at her fingertips (setting aside the fact that she did not love her rich fiancé) to having no future whatsoever. No man would deign to marry her because of the rape. What a stupid, stupid societal prejudice!

I sometimes wonder to what degree people might view me that way. Of course, I am married, and my husband does not see me that way, which is all that matters in that department. Nobody has been brave enough to say it to my face if anyone is actually having those types of thoughts about me. I hope that the public has been educated enough to recognize that one moment cannot define who I am. As for me, I love and accept myself as I am, so anyone who would view me as worthless for having been raped can just go to h@#$ as far as I am concerned.

Do you believe there is still a societal prejudice toward rape victims? Have you encountered it firsthand? How did you handle it?

Photo credit: Amazon.com

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