Rape Culture and Fatphobia

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[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, FATPHOBIA]

Rape seed caught at sunset

This is not the rape I’m talking about. (Image by jimmedia via Flickr.)

“Fat girls should be happy for any attention.”

“Oh, come on, she’s too fat to be raped!”

How many times have you heard or seen the above sentiments, or ones similar to them? How many times have you uttered them, either because you truly believe they’re true or because you’ve internalized hatred of yourself, or both?

I’ve heard and seen these sentiments a lot. I wish I had a quarter for each time, because then I’d have enough quarters for several rolls of quarters, and then I’d use them to beat people. Namely misogynistic fatphobic rape apologists.

Which, by the way, the people who utter these sentiments are.

I get it if you’ve internalized the hatred of yourself. I do. I was there for a long time. But darlin, you’ve got to pull yourself out of that trench. Please believe me when I say that a) rape has nothing to do sex and everything to do with power and b) you are beautiful regardless. And please believe me when I say that continuing to utter those sentiments contributes to rape culture and fat hatred.

This is the insidious thing about oppression: we are trained to be complicit in our own degradation. From birth we are put into this culture that tells us these sentiments, these vicious lies, and parades them about as truth. And with so many years of this being drilled into our heads, it’s understandable we may believe these things about ourselves.

So we utter these same statements and make it easier for the oppressor to keep his great big boot on our faces. We have been well-trained to hate ourselves. We have been well-trained to hate others like ourselves, to question their every move.

We have been well-trained to question if a fat girl was really raped, or if she’s just begging for attention with an outrageous story. We have been trained to believe that fat people are harder to abuse, to violate, because they’re icky or too heavy. We have been trained into thinking that if fat people get raped, they should be happy for the attention.

My personal experience begs to fucking differ.

There is nothing awesome about being raped. I’ve been through it twice, and because I am CAFAB, present as femme, and live in this society, I have already accepted that it may very well happen again. I can only hope that if it does happen to me again, that I am not so shell-shocked, so brutalized into silence that by the time I am even able to admit to myself what happened it is not too late to put the rapist behind bars.

The first time it took me 10 years to even be able to talk about it as something I was still ashamed of. It took telling someone else to even discover that it was rape.

The second time took only a year to accept it for what it was. Thank the gods for small miracles, I suppose.

News flash: I was fat both times. Both times had nothing to do with desire. Both times had to do with the rapist wanting to show me who was in charge/to break me.

Too bad for him, I’m not broken. And if he ever shows his face to me again, he better have good running shoes on because I will not hesitate in destroying him.

Too fat to be raped? Happy for any attention?

How about the notion that fat people deserve love, good relationships, and to have their boundaries respected, just like everyone else does. How about that.

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2 thoughts on “Rape Culture and Fatphobia

  1. prettylarge

    Thank you. I wish more people were aware of the fact that rape has nothing to do with sex. I wish more people could be honest and/or open-minded about sex, gender and physical appearance. I’ve come to terms with your last line, too, but it took a long time to get to that point. I wish I’d gotten there much sooner!

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    • Katje

      Total ditto. For all that I’ve reached the acceptance and self-love point now and that it’s considered fairly early to do so, I wish it had happened back in, oh, high school. Would have made everything a lot easier on me. Or, well, if not easier — better.

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