Posted tagged ‘how does it feel not to be real’

“Forced In Place” – Poem on Rape and Rant on “Rape Exception”

October 28, 2012

photo by Teresa Perin

Forced Into Place

Raped she was and sure it’s her fault,
self-assault.  That she’d been dumb
keeps her mum
till covered up, can sob
choked--could he again
shakes brain –hide, pretend–

Who she is now – raped.  And shell self
shields, with scraped-together husk,
self=disgust.
He’d pushed–but how to shush
despair? – her down, must
not tell
–she works hard her face–
forces into place.

*****************************

The above is my attempt at a Real Toads challenge by the wonderful Kerry O’Connor – to write in a quite complicated rhyming stanza developed by  Paul Laurence Dunbar.  The lovely photo is by Teresa Perin.  I appreciate that this may be a fairly intense subject for a rhyming form–and I don’t think it works very well – but rape has been (horribly enough) on my mind these days.

Here’s the thing.  The recent U.S. debate on rape has focused on certain GOP candidates who have advocated prohibiting abortion even in the case of rape, and others, who may be willing to allow abortion for rape, but have questioned its definition, making distinctions between legitimate rape and “other” (I guess “okay”) rape.  The odd thing about this debate it that it has managed to make those anti-abortion GOP candidates who would allow abortion in the case of rape seem almost moderate, almost empathetic to victims.

This is just not true.   Think about it.  Let’s say that Roe v. Wade were overturned, and we were subjected to a regime of no abortion except for rape, incest, and endangering the life of the mother.  How would this work?   Would the victim have to prove rape?  Would she need to go to court before getting an abortion? Would the proof have to be without reasonable doubt?   (And how long would that take?)  What would happen if she did not initially report the rape?  (There are plenty of reasons for this.  Aside from shame, loss of self-esteem, fear of further humiliation, fear of reprisal – there is also the fact  that many counties and states require women to pay for rape kits often costing over $1000.)

Such a “loosening” of the anti-choice GOP stance would not be a loosening at all; it is a guise.  A woman who’s already been victimized does not need a state legislature to hold her down.