DATE RAPIST WANNABES

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

I’ve worked at DelRay Media for four years with Carlton.  Carlton is 10 years married with two children  — his eldest boy was born with Cerebral Palsy and his youngest through a harrowing breach birth.  Carlton’s very smart and we’ve lunched often.  No big deal.  Recently, Carlton and his wife have gone through a rough patch and they have separated.  Suddenly, Carlton has been very needy about our lunches and talks.  He’s been a good friend and work buddy. But it’s not fair for him to try to force me to be his next woman just cuz his life is a mess.  I’ve been really busy moving into the condo I bought off Gramercy Park.  Last Thursday Carlton begged me to have dinner with him.  So I took time out of my life and met him at a Thai place five blocks from my new condo.  Well, he’s bitching the whole time about how I never make time for him and how things are going to have to change.  He says with a queer tone in his voice, “You’re going to start doing things my way.”  I’m like, buddy, your wife had enough of this boss-man crap — why you think it’s gonna cast a spell over me?  Half-way through dinner I was completely out of it and couldn’t even hold my head up.  I didn’t black-out so much as white-out — everything went bright, blurry and psychedelic. So Carlton plays the concerned gallant and half-carries me out of the restaurant.  I remember crossing Third Avenue in his clutches.  He was trying to get me to his car.  It’s Manhattan and I’m three blocks from my home.  I don’t need him or his bloody car. I don’t know where I found the strength and will but I broke away from Carlton’s hold.  On an animal level, I knew getting in his car (or his trunk) would have been a disaster for me.  I have almost no memory of the dinner itself or how I got home. I went from being fine to having to be carried into my building from a taxi by my doorman. Once inside my place, I was tripping on the Berber carpet and furniture like I was blind drunk. God knows what Carlton had in store for me.  Now I realize I made a mistake not going to the hospital and getting bloodtests.  I know Carlton drugged me with a mickey, Rufi or GHB in my Thai Iced Tea. I suppose he intended to blast through my refusals and defenses with his weak rapist game and “make” me have sex with him.  Needless to say I’m polite but keep my distance at the office.

-Tamra E.

It’s embarassing but I’m one of those “stupid girls” who made a really dumb decision and paid the price. I belong to a health club in Murray Hill where there was an open bar by the reception desk one evening.  I had worked out but  hadn’t eaten in hours.  Like a fool, I tossed back a couple.  They were free and it had been a long week.  I was drunk by the time the gym closed and I let an investment banker Evan I vaguely knew from a law class at New York University take me home. He gave me a screwdriver as we watched the CNBC financial news.  The last thing I remember before blacking out was Evan wrestling my yoga pants off and just ignoring me and smirking when I told him to stop. My limbs were like noodles so I couldn’t fight back or get away. Then I have fuzzy memories of wandering around near Macy’s at Herald Square and finding a liquor store and asking to use someone’s phone for help. And I tried dailing numbers but I couldn’t manage to press any buttons. Next I was sitting in the back of a police car.  The policeman asked me if “the sex was consensual.” Then the cop whisked me over to Bellevue for a rape kit. That whole night seems like a bad dream and I’m a perfect example of what never ever to do.  Even with a “normal guy” you think you know.

-Kimber D.

WARNING SIGNALS

No matter if you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s or beyond, predators abound in the jungle of New York City.  These men hang around women and may play the friendly good guy for days, months or even years.  In their sexual desperation, these wanna-be rapists often get women drunk, offer them powerful drugs, screw them, and then congratulate themselves for being such a stud.  Sexual violence and exploitation remain a sad reality of dating life.

Even Dame Helen Mirren told GQ she had herself been date-raped several times in her late teens and early 20s. “I was (date-raped), yes. A couple of times.” But she did not report the assaults because “you couldn’t do that in those days.”

There are two kinds of date rapists: the ones who spike the drinks when a woman isn’t looking, as well as the sickos who believe they are just partying with women they overwhelm physically or with drugs and liquor.  Both kinds will rape women after they are either “made willing,” or passed out and might not even remember it happening.  Some guys will even take advantage of a woman covered in her own vomit or urine, and pat themselves on the back for being some kind of pimp with extraordinary sexual prowess.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

  1. Never let go of your drink. Never let it out of your sight.
  2. If a guy brings you a drink, take it slow.  Sip every 10 minutes to give yourself a fighting chance to note symptoms or shifts in the way you feel.
  3. Order drinks in bottles so if you’re distracted the opening is so small it’s hard for someone to spike it.
  4. If your drink is the same color or variety as his, distract him, swap drinks, pretend you had enough and let him drink his.
  5. If you are feeling woozy, do not leave a bar, club or restaurant by yourself.  Do not walk or drive home since you don’t know who might be waiting at your car or front door.  Wait until symptoms pass or go to a hospital immediately.  If several hours pass, they might not be able to trace drugs in your system. And you’ll want to know what you have been given.
  6. If you are already walking, driving or otherwise on the way home, call a friend to check in. Or arrange to switch your destination and stay with a friend.  I’ve seen far too many women tottering home, weaving, barefoot, giggling to themselves, alone.  It’s not just the predator from the bar; you have to worry about each taxi driver, cop on duty, fruit seller, delivery man, regular Joe etc. who can tell you are impaired.
  7. If you experience any memory loss go to a hospital immediately and get tested for a battery of possible drugs.
  8. Contact the last people you remember seeing to help you piece the incident together.
  9. Report the entire drugging and assault incident to the police.

Be safe!  And take all steps to protect yourself and your rights.

Advertisements

BLAMING THE VICTIM

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

I am a sophomore at Queens College and I have a s***-ton of exams next week.  But right now I am just sobbing as I write this. To blow off steam before hunkering down to study, I went to a house party hosted by the Hodges twins — a great, trusty pair of guys I grew up with in the neighborhood.  My boyfriend Noah couldn’t make the party.  When Noah acted like I shouldn’t go without him, I just ignored him.  He’d be happy if I just stayed in the house, got drunk with him every night and played Call of Duty XP. He has no social life outside me and classes when he even bothers to go.  Well, a couple of strange jock guys at Hodges party were doing shots of Jager and getting grabby.  At one point, two of them picked me up bodily and tried to carry me into a bedroom.  The Hodges twins two-pieced each wanna-be rapist and threw them out.   I was glad it turned out okay and got a ride home.  When I called Noah and told him about it, he had no sympathy: “You went to that party dressed all sexy after dark. You were drinking, weren’t you? You were asking for it!” First of all, I wasn’t even drinking.  I don’t heart Noah any more.

-Monica B.

I met Earl on a call when I was an EMT working the nightshift on a rainy Monday.  He had called an ambulance at the local Murray Hill frat boy BBQ spot when drunken brawling got bloody after the Indianapolis Colts lost without their star Quarterback.  Things between Earl and I escalated pretty quickly from dating to exclusive to love to eloping and three babies. Our twin boys Devin and Derek and then our baby girl Dana completed our happy new family.  Then his Mama came to live with us after her mastectomy and while her chemo was ongoing which is what families do for each other. Or so I thought. My husband Earl left me last year 2 months before our 3 year anniversary, and we stayed apart for 5 months. The whole time I was with his kids and his Mama alone, and he constantly claimed he didn’t want to be married anymore. Even before we separated he had been trawling the ‘Net for barely-legal porn, lurking in chatrooms with young girls, and even talking with some girls on his disposable cell phone after I went to bed. Now’s he’s confessed he got a Ecuadorean high schooler pregnant out in Bushwick. And now just as suddenly he’s also talking reconciliation. And he’s asking if she can come live with us to raise their baby.  I’m like, what?! I been talking to my Mom, his Mom and his sisters about it and they are unanimous in their criticism: “It’s your fault for marrying that down-low man who cheats. You should have known.”

-Shari P.

WARNING SIGNALS

It comes as a shock when our loved ones not only don’t care when we are hurt but also blame us.  It’s interesting that the victim is the responsible party — not the criminal creep who assaulted her.
Sometimes, coming from women, the blame is coming from their own unresolved feelings and guilt about some things they went through or did.  But even that insight isn’t helpful to us in our state of need.
It’s worthwhile also to consider whether this blame-game is sexism.  Like racism, sexism is presumed to be out of fashion and assumed not to exist.  But it ‘s not so long ago that women in the United States couldn’t vote, inherit or own property or work outside the home. And I think that the vestiges of sexism are still very much alive today.  And women ourselves are just as capable of being sexist as men.
But journey with me into the Sexist Animus, or mind, if you will: according to this “Men First” doctrine, women are supposed to be subservient and less worthy than men.  Men are supposed to exclusively enjoy power and control exclusively while women can’t even have autonomy or the right to choose most significant aspects of their life circumstances like making a living, whether to have children or whether to have sex.  Furthermore, sexist men have to be right all the time which means women always have to be wrong.
To a sexist man, women are sexually available always because might makes right and “no” means nothing coming from a woman. So given sexism and lawlesslness, let’s face it: all a woman has to do to ask to be sexually assaulted is have a pulse.
Another important way to decipher this blaming of the victim involves “masking.”  The perpetrator of sexual assault or cheating didn’t jump out the closet wearing black and twisting his moustache like a cartoon villain.   No, they play the nice guy role ’til you’re in a vulnerable position.  Then they trick you and do wrong. Anybody can dupe another person if they put their mind to it. Lying, acting, pretending and running game are the only requirements.
We enter relationships and social encounters with trust.  That trust makes hurting us really easy — as easy to do as it’s wrong.

Good masking is just good disguising of the self.  It’s a social skill even our best and closest loved ones can perpetrate.

You’ll say, “But I thought you cared about me.”  They’ll blink and reply, “Oh, well.  Guess you were wrong.”

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

Part of the cold, harshness of adult life is the lack of sympathy from other people. It’s especially hard to take when you have undergone trauma.  But you have to weather it and keep on keeping on.

Thankfully there are writings by other survivors of sexual assault and infidelity.  And support groups at colleges, churches, therapy offices and beyond.

Like with this blog, seeking out community of thought to talk, share and disagree is often the best therapy for understanding and moving past your pain.  The Feminist community has been tremendous for helping to bring these issues and discussion of them into the light through women’s story circles.

I urge you as a woman to find out more about supporting women undergoing this type of crisis even if it hasn’t personally touched you yet.