Thursday, November 22, 2007

16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children - Quiet expression from the safer outskirts

Who is to blame when she was too drunk.
And so was he.
And neither can really recall the details properly.
How did he realise what she was implying when she followed him into a deserted barn stall at the free-and-fun-for-all Ox Braai.
Who was around to clear up the misunderstanding when she climbed into his bed hoping for a cuddle, and he stumbled in after her hoping for a lay.

How did she look when he discovered her fast asleep and curled into a corner of her friends’ couch.
What were the ways that she asked to be ravaged, while she slept unawares.
How did she feel when she woke up to find a strange man shoving his fingers up her. Her top pulled over her head. Nothing making sense.
Who did she turn to when she was told her good friends did not believe her, that he in no way seemed to be a guy who would do that.

When did she start to lose count of the times and the types.
Where was she in living when she decided it was a sick life joke, just not possible.
And how old was she when she began to believe it was every girls’ way of becoming a woman.
Who would have known she would be given a nickname she despised after an incident she hurt to recall.
How much strength did it take her to reclaim her name, to show the world she was “Gorgeous”, not cheap and dirty.
Who would have guessed this was what her university education was involving, while women judged from their sidelines.
Why did life decide to cheat her of her years of frivolity and exploration.
How did the first gentle man react when he brought home this great girl who turned angry and raging and wriggled away from him to curl away in pain and fear.

When did she start just waking up to it, or feeling him climb in next to her, and start to just lie there and allow what she was realising she deserved.
Why did the friend only wait for years later to apologise that his res mates had made conscious decisions to get her as drunk as possible so to “show that silly bitch”.
Did the confused young teen in her speak up when he told his friends and dad in front of her what had happened on his becoming-a-man birthday night, while she recalled having slept in separate beds.
Does she grin now at his own newborn son and happy family.
Who understands what she means when they jokingly ask the group what was the age each lost their virginity.

Why did her body betray her by getting warm while her clit felt so incredibly ugly and dirtied.
What type of girl was she to let that happen to her. Time and again. To be in those places. Time and again.
Who tells the rich girl that there are easy ways of making her feel so cheap. So scared. So unsafe.
When did she start learning she could be treated differently, be treated how she had once expected, be treated decently.
Why does she still have tears inside of her when she types this so many worked-through years later.

How could her friend have betrayed her like this when they were only teens. When he pulled down her shorts, shoved himself and her down to the ground, and pushed himself inside her. And she banged onto his chest and beggingly repeated that this was not what she wanted.
And he did slowly register and he did eventually stop.
So it never was rape.
And she had been drunk anyway.

When will she learn to start looking out for herself.
And when will she learn to stop, and to let a man in so that he can look out for her.


RB said...

Oh god.

ChewTheCud said...


Anonymous said...

my heart is really sad when i read this:-( and I wonder how true it is for so many more people out there. A very brave post champs.

DaveRich said...

Aah Champs! Brave indeed.Thanks.

Champagne Heathen said...

Thank you to all of you. Comments on this are always appreciated on this. Not that it's the kinda thing to inspire much to say!

Ruby - that is my one main reason for finally writing it up here. To raise awareness to others who haven't experienced it, but more importantly, to those who have & do & will.

I always wish THIS had been explained to me as a big reason on why to not get stupidly drunk as a girl or lose my mates at big festivals. I always just thought people were saying "drinking is not an activity of ladies"... But I guess this was one of my lessons to learn in my life. And now I'd prefer that others learnt the theory, not through practice.

Triggermap said...

Wow, not sure what to say. I know its not much, but I think the fact that you are so passionate in helping others, through your NGO work and postings like this, is an inspiration in itself.

Anonymous said...

It always hurts, and it always kind of stays even when you feel you've worked through it, there is still a lingering memory of something being taken from you. Just remember that not all people are like this.

Champagne Heathen said...

Trigger - thanks!

Jam - there are no words of wisdom that can be said on this. To try is to demean this shite. That's one of the points.

Anonymous said...

That's what I tell myself when I am dealing with my own experiences. I did not mean to "demean" anything. Sometimes it helps me to remember this when dealing with people.
That these kind of people are assholes is apparent. That this kind of behaviour is unhealthy because of the assholes is apparent. That this lesson should be applied to every person you meet? Not the point.
In future, I'll refrain from commenting.

Anonymous said...


ATW said...

My dear angel I guessed by your prior allusions that this post, or at least something similar, had been burning and gnawing within you for so damn long, bursting to come cathartically out. Now it has, perhaps there is some release. But equally likely the rawness has returned for a while. Let it subside in its own time.

What can one offer to console or understand or empathise? Little or nothing to be said against the indefensible, without sounding all Hallmark cardy, trite and insincere.

If I could comment with sound it would perhaps be best….

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
-Aldous Huxley

Seems like part of you died again and again with each event.

“Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in Mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.”
- John Donne

But there is beauty up there in the sky and in our futures.

“…there is a story of a Swedish tramp, sitting in a ditch on a midsummer night. He was ragged and dirty, and he said to himself softly and in wonder, ‘ I am rich and happy and perhaps a little beautiful.’ ”
- John Steinbeck in the log from the Sea of Cortex

Reason is not really present in everything and nor should we expect it to be.

“If we tried to rely entirely on reason, and pressed it hard, our lives and beliefs would collapse - a form of madness that may actually occur if the inertial force of taking the world and life for granted is somehow lost. If we lose our grip on that, reason will not give it back to us.” Thomas Nagel (The Absurd)

In all of this I am grateful to you sharing your pain with us.

Have a marvelous weekend in spite of (or because of) all of this.

Champagne Heathen said...

Storm - thank you!

ATW - You nearly had me crying here. Thank you so much. The thing with finally writing this, in so calm a way, and just knowing it was time to put it out into the public realm, shows me how far I have moved on from it...although, not to say I still don't have more progression to make. It's just nice to realise it is not bogging down my daily living anymore & that it doesn't have to. And yes, one of the biggest lessons been to learn to stop asking, "Why". That more than likely will never be answered. There is no clean cut rational explanation. The answer (one of them) is not to overcome or work through this, but to come to peace with it. Maybe. I'm starting to ramble. And thank you for always being far too insightful & realise what I've been ambiguously saying. :) And have one gorgeous weekend yourself! I will be in your neck of the Eastern Cape woods in less than a month - yeah yeah yeah!

Anonymous said...

YOU ROCK!!!! Smoochy smooch

Anonymous said...

Oh...and you're beautiful also!!!

Something for you...

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." Elizabeth Kubler Ross

boldly benny said...

Hi Champers...

I cried when I read this, it is very close to home for me. Someone very very close to me lost her virginity through date rape and it has tormented her. Through therapy and the love of people around her, she has learnt her self worth and what she deserves in a relationship.

I can only offer my support - I have no wisdom but from what I know of you through your blog you are a truly special person and have some parallels with this dear person in my life. I wish you peace and contentment.

I thought of you this week when I was buying condoms and the store assistant asked me why I'm buying condoms and I launched into a speech as to why he should be using condoms if he is sexually active.


Champagne Heathen said...

Thanks Benny. Ja, there isn't really anything that can be said or much wisdom that can be offered. All the best to your friend, & to you in supporting her, cause that can't be easy either! I mailed 1 of my dearest friends this morning to say thanks to her for how much she tried to help me over the 7 years with this, but we were so young & so clueless on how to even think of how to get through it. But she still tried her best & I love her for that.

And HA! Good for you with the condoms & the lecture!! Ha ha!