For the most part, people got the “Who Will Rape Me?” essay. They understood that the first-person perspective was a kind of rhetorical device meant to drive home the urgent, personal nature of how important it is to take rape seriously as a crime. I mean hey, even The Guardian linked to the essay today–there, Richard Adams seemed to understand the piece for what it is. But it seems many people did not.
Let me be clear: “Who Will Rape Me?” is not an illustration of how I secretly wonder, when I am piled up in bed with my boyfriend watching Battlestar Galactica, if he’s about to rape me. I don’t hang out at the grocery store wondering if carrots or cucumbers would make better weapons in case the stock boy goes bananas. (Pun unintended, but I like it.) And yet somehow, that is how many commenters on The Frisky and even RH Reality Check, both of which reposted my essay, envisioned me. Many of those readers envisioned a woman talking passionately about rape (and the likelihood of being assaulted and the fear surrounding the fallout therefrom) as a crazy, fucked up nutbag with serious issues.
Which, really, proves the point of the whole essay.