One day, I met up with one of my gorgeous, vivacious, bad ass friends. We were gossiping about one of her friends who I had met on a visit. “How’s she doing [in that new city she moved to?” I asked.

“Oh great. She loves teaching, so she’s in her element, and she’s making enough money to save.”

“Cool! Did you say she had a boyfriend? Is he from here or is heII American?”

“Ah no. She’s never really had a boyfriend. She’s so shy. She dated one of my friends once. She… This thing happened while she was in college.

“She woke up naked in some guys bed. She couldn’t remember anything. It was a small school. He hadn’t used a condom. She knew him, so it was worse. They were both on the swim team.”

“So…she was date raped?”

“I don’t know. She doesn’t know. That’s what really upset her about the whole thing.”

As women, we are scared to call rape “rape”. Once you give something it’s proper name, you have to do something about it, and then you become a social outcast. You become “that girl”, most people usually believe the guy, think you’re over reacting. It’s also easier in some ways to continue by ignoring what has happened. Denial exists to protect us from truths we cannot face, giving us the brittle strength to carry on.

I am finding as I grow older and start calling things by their proper names, I have less and less friends. It scares people. No one wants to be left out of the group, out in the cold. For some reason, I can’t stop standing up, even though people and the society we live in seems to want to push me down in many situations. I hate being pushed down, but I can’t bear pushing myself down. I can’t live with myself if I do that.

So I stand up.

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