Feminism | Posted by Rachel D on 03/14/2012
You Do Have A Voice
When I was 13 years old, I was raped by my then 15 year old boyfriend. For years, I held back from telling anyone except for some of my closest male friends. Why did I hold back from telling anyone? I felt it was my fault. We had gone on one date, and his parents invited me to visit at his house. At some point, his parents left without me being aware; and unfortunately I was unable to escape.
I was so terrified of my female friends disowning me or making fun of me after this incident that I held back and didn’t tell any of them. The reaction I got from my male friends was what did me in. They didn’t seem to care, and gave me the advice of not telling anyone. I went through an intense period in my life where I was extremely depressed, and nobody could understand why. To this day, I am still burdened with emotional and trust difficulties.
Each and every day I grow more anxious about the sexualization of girls that I am viewing in the media. Girls are becoming sex objects at younger and younger ages; this is not okay! Television shows like Toddlers and Tiaras are a prime example of this; where parents are dressing their young children up to look like miniature adults. These children are shown wearing small amounts of clothing, makeup, and sporting spray-on tans. Marketers don’t care about the social issues that may result from their fashion lines of infant sized padded bathing suits; they simply care about making consumers buy their product. My biggest worry is that boys are picking up on the messages that girls who dress this way WANT to have sex. The experiences I went through back then ruined my life at that time, and I would do anything to make sure that other children and youth aren’t going through similar experiences.
I am now a 19 year old student in University looking towards finishing a degree in child and youth studies. My goal is to help any child or youth out there going through their lives with difficulties dealing with the pressures of our ever-growing sexualized culture. If there is anyone out there reading this who needs someone to talk to, I will 100% be there with no judgement. You can talk to me about absolutely anything; I WILL LISTEN and I will try to help. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to offer you the support that I never got. Also, check out this article for more information on other resources available for survivors of rape.
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