I will never forget last summer. I had always read in those girly books that the summer before senior year is a magical time of romance, ice cream, and sunny soCal beaches. I wanted to make summer memorable. But not for the reasons it was.
Because he wasn't eighteen yet and I didn't fight back, they called it "unlawful sex between two minors." I thought I loved him.
Blonde hair, blue eyes, six foot; the perfect specimen. And since I had just started my freshman year and he was a sophomore, the appeal was even greater.
We were on and off again for a year and a half before he broke up with me and told me he didn't love me. I didn't believe him and I wanted him back. This mentality was supported by a girlhood of reading romantic stories where the geeky girl who pursues the uninterested heartthrob athlete ends up getting him. But this teenage wet dream was not only uninterested, he was abusive.
Because I grew up in the public school systems, dress codes weren't really a thing. I was simply taught to cover up. Of course, throughout grade school, this wasn't really a problem for most girls. But in the third grade, one night, I was visited by the boob fairy. And instead of sprinkling a little of her fairy dust on my head, she smacked me as hard as she could with a handful of the stuff.
The girls hated me, the boys tormented me.
Through middle school I was sent home on more than one occasion because the boys couldn't keep their hands to themselves. And when my grades started to fall, the teachers threatened to hold me back.
This is rape culture.
Because when you interrupt a girl's school day to force her to change her clothes or even go home because her shorts are too short or her bra straps are visible, you are telling her that making sure boys have a "distraction free" environment is more important than her education.
You are telling her that a fifteen-year-old boy who can't handle seeing a bare leg for fear of creaming his pants is more important than her aspirations of a doctor or a lawyer.
You are telling her that her dreams are irrelevant because some worthless cretin that isn't going anywhere in life can't keep it in his pants.
I was raped because he wasn't taught how to ask for consent.
I was raped because they teach girls how to guard their drinks at parties and to kick and scream and not to talk to strange men.
They don't tell you that it will be with someone you thought you loved and wanted this with. Or that it will be in your own house, your own bed, your own room.
I will never forget last summer.