A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.



Rape is not an act of sex and will never be an act of sex.  Rape is purely an act of violence and control. Plain and simple...violence and control are the key goals of most rapists. They want to control their  victim, and most times,the rapist  gains that control through violence or threats or both at one time. Once you begin finally realizing that rape has nothing to do with sex, then you finally might really be coming to terms about what rape really is.   Anyone can be a victim of rape. You can be white, black, Spanish, Irish, male, female,, g old, young, paralyzed, drunk, sober,fat, skinny, beautiful, ugly...you get the picture.  There is no set pattern of physical appearance, clothing, nationality, or age or religion or nationality that is excluded from the crime of rape.

No rape victim asks to be raped nor wants to be raped. When society does not understand the crime of rape, then society ignorantly states that the victim asked for it. No victim asked to be attacked. If someone is stabbed or shot, society does not say the victim asked for it. If someone is run down by a hit and run driver, society does not say that the victim asked for it.  Yet, when a woman is raped, according to society, she must have asked for it.  Why is it that our focus is on those raped and not  on those who rape? Rape victims are not only subject to generally more scrutiny than other crime victims, but they are often thrust into the spotlight and into the position of having to prove their cases   more than victims of robbery, shootings, murders, scams, exploitation, or harassment.  This is why many rape cases are never reported. 

I want to share something you with that I've never shared to anyone, not a sole,  other than a therapist.   Even hubby doesn't know.  It's something I never talk about, but something today I feel I HAVE to talk about.   I was raped 45 years ago.  I was 18 years old.  The police told me it was MY fault, and I totally believed them.  I'd been out with a group of friends.  We'd gone up to this little bar in Port Jervis, New York.  At that time, legal drinking age in New Jersey was 21, in New York it was 18, so we'd often cross the border.  Well,  at some point of the night I lost my friend.  Later, I had found out that she went out to the car to 'neck' with her boyfriend.  Well, I'd had a bit too much to drink that night and really wanted to go home.    I was getting lightheaded and nauseous.

So, there were young men who I knew, maybe not very well, but I knew them.  They were acquaintances.   They, too, were from New Jersey, and when they offered me a ride home, I gladly accepted.   After all, they were acquaintances, weren't they?  It was supposed to be safe....only  hadn't taken into account that they, too, had been drinking...and alcohol lowers the inhibitions.  People do things they normally wouldn't do.  

All I can remember about that night is  being pulled from the car and tossed onto the ground.  I already suffered from a back injury, so when I hit the ground it was like a knife shooting through me.  I must have blacked out or disassociated myself because the next thing I remember was being tossed from the car.  It was dawn; the sun was coming up.  My clothes were ripped and dirty; my hair matted.  Black lines from mascara ran down my face from sobbing.  I was in severe pain.  I hobbled over to the nearest house and rang the bell.  

They brought me into the home and showed me to the bathroom, giving me a towel and washcloth to clean myself up.  Meanwhile, they called the police.  From there, I was brought to the police station where I was questioned, and when I told my story, I was told I didn't have a case.  I SHOULDN'T have been at the bar; I SHOULDN'T have been drinking.  When women do these things, they are ASKING FOR IT.  And after all that, I was asked if I wanted to press charges.  What would you have said?  Don't forget, we were in a different era.  It was common belief at the time that if a woman went to a bar alone, she was after one thing.  The fact is, I would have been put on the stand and been torn apart, and NOTHING, absolutely nothing would have happened to the rapists.

Times have changed somewhat since that time, but women still have to prove themselves. It is time that we all wake up about rape, the stats, the facts, and know that a woman who goes out for a drink and gets raped did not ask for it, a woman who wears tight jeans or short clothes did not ask for it, a woman out late at night did not ask for it. There has to be a time for compassion and now is that time.


  1. Mary, I will share with you....except for the location, the same thing happened to me. My attackers were frat boys from the frat house next door to our sorority house. That in and of itself said to the police that I was ready and asking for it. This is the part of my history that I have forgiven myself for. It took some decades to realize I wasn't at fault.
    Great post. You're a brave and kind soul to share something so personal.

  2. Sorry that you had to endure that Mary.
    and yes, IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT!

  3. Mary...I am sorry you went through this but I also know that in this sharing healing will come if it hasn't already. I too was a rape victim when I was young..starting out with incest and later on a much more violent rape. I have forgiven the men who did these things to me but it took almost until my late forties to be able to do that. I will however never, ever forget.
    I think even today some law enforcement officers still have this patriarchal view of women 'asking' for it as well as some cultures or belief systems...tis sad but true.
    Thank you for speaking up and thank you for sharing something so very intimate so that others might heal. That is Powerful!!!