This is Fuck You Week, Jezebel's first annual week of desperate emotional cleansing and unhinged psychic purging.
Fuck you, rapists. You were all over the fucking place in 2012, to the point where Barack Obama had to explain to Jay Leno that "rape is rape," in case there was any confusion. Repeat: the president of our country had to make time to appear on national television and reiterate that rape is always a crime.
In some ways, I'm glad there were so many rape-centric controversies this year. It's not the most fun topic to read (or write) about, but, according to RAINN, 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. We've talked about rape a lot over the past 12 months. But for every survivor who's brave enough to speak out, there are many more who can't and don't because our politicians and lawyers and police officers tend to criticize people for getting themselves raped instead of rapists for actually raping them.
Is it wishful thinking to hope that we've cleared up some of the confusion about what constitutes rape and what doesn't this year? Here's a cheat sheet! Rape = forced sexual penetration. Not necessarily (or usually) by a stranger. Not reported by most survivors. Did s/he verbally consent? Better make 100% sure, because rape is never warranted or deserved. No ("I don't want to do this") means no, and yes ("I would like to participate in sexual activity with you") means yes. Rape is rape.
Still confused? Here's an alphabetical list of the rape-related insanity we've had to put up with in 2012.
A is for rapey advertising. There is a thin line between "dark humor" and "offensive bullshit," one which companies seem to have a hard time figuring out, especially when it comes to making light of sexual assault. Some lowlights: Belvedere promising to make the ladies "go down smoothly," Bar Refaeli's bizarre app, one bar's "stay away if you're not D for the D" ad. Advertisers: let's reconsider the LOL-rape ads in 2012, kay?
B is for basketball players. When will we stop pretending that college athletes can't be rapists?
C is for rape culture on college campuses. From Amherst to BU to the University of Missoula, we could write an extra-special rape alphabet listing college sexual assault scandals and the administrators who don't take rape seriously enough.
D is for different kinds of rape. Here's a guide, for people (and uteri) with bad decision-making skills.
E is for emergency rape. Only women who have been "emergency raped" deserve emergency contraception, Republican Linda McMahon explained last October. Thnx, Linda.
F is for rape fatigue. Sometimes there's just no anger left. Hopefully you're not suffering from rape fatigue yet, because we're only on the letter "F."
G is for God. Because sometimes He gives you the gift of rape! We wouldn't want to be in Richard Mourdock's house this holiday season. (Or ever, for that matter)
H is for the Sanctity of Human Life Act. Remember that time Paul Ryan sponsored a bill that would allow rapists to stop their victims from aborting? Now you do! You're welcome.
I is for inane rape analogies. No, having a baby out of wedlock is not just "like" getting pregnant from rape. Weren't any of you politicians English majors?!?
J is for rape jokes. Here's how to make a good one.
K is for Kym Worthy. The Detroit prosecutor and rape kit advocate kicks major ass. What, is this some positive news in the midst of a sea of rape-related batshittery? It is. Don't get too used to it, though; it is "Fuck You" week, after all.
L is for "legitimate" rape. Presented without comment: "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." — Republican Senate Nominee Todd Akin, 2012.
M is for military rape. It's a huge fucking issue!
O is for Obama. Who, as previously stated, told Jay Leno that "These various distinctions about rape don't make too much sense to me, don't make any sense to me." A man who understands us.
P is for Pennsylvania House Bill 2718. It's that recent super-shitty bill that would require low-income women to prove they were raped in order to qualify for welfare. America!
Q is for questioning rape victims. It's something we do way, wayyyy too often instead of questioning, you know, THE RAPISTS. What were you wearing? Do you have a boyfriend? Why were you out so late? Why were you by yourself? Why did you invite him back to your apartment? Why didn't you run away screaming the second he penetrated you? Why did you text him after? Did I ask what you were wearing?
R is for Redditors. They sure do love chatting about rape.
S is for spiders. Recently, a lawyer called an 11-year-old gang rape victim "the reason" that twenty teenagers and adult men raped her, like "the spider and the fly." More like "the child rape victim and the dickhead lawyer without a case."
T is for Team Rape. Hey, they lost big this election season!
U is for underwear. Wouldn't it be cool if Victoria's Secret had a line of consent-themed panties? They don't (duh), but here's how one feminist group envisioned it.
V is for victim-blaming. Rape without victim-blaming (a.k.a. slut-shaming, "she was asking for it," etc etc) is like peanut butter without moldy, rancid jelly!
W is for Wisconsin's Roger Rivard. He once said "some girls rape easy." And some politicians lose reelection!
X is for X-Rated. It should go without saying, but sex workers can be raped — and deserve legal protection from sexual assault — too.
Y is for YES! Say it with us! Ask him/her to say it before you initiate sex! It feels so good, we swear.
Z is for zzzzz. Is she unconscious? Here's a bright idea: don't fucking rape her.
In conclusion: FUCK YOU, rapists, rape apologists, and all you politicians, comedians, advertisers, lawyers, and internet commenters who think it's soooo hard to take the time to make sure someone actually wants to do the sex with you. Fuck you guys. Fuck all of you. Consensually, that is.