I’m fucking done playing nice.

Some idiots are just not worth the effort.

The past few weeks I have spent a lot of time writing and commenting on articles concerning rape culture and the Brock Turner case. 90% of my online interactions have been positive.

…And then there’s the other 10%.

I empathize with other survivors of rape, because I’ve been there. I also stand up for other survivors when ignorant comments are posted online, because I’m angry and confused by some of the things I read and sometimes I believe one or two well-thought out comments can shut someone up or help them think about it differently. I’ve done it all in a (mostly) respectful manner. I try extremely hard to limit my vulgarity and not take “low blows” at other people online, because I think it can hinder enlightening discussions and opportunities for education.

Yesterday, USA TODAY posted an article online that referenced some amazing writers on Medium and included links to their stories of surviving rape and sexual assault.

You Heard The Stanford Rape Victim, But There’s More

I’m sure you are already familiar with the pieces they highlighted: Pieces from susan wu and Robin Chase, Liz Taylor, Aubrey Blanche, Kim Saumell, and Jenn Turner. Phenomenal pieces of work that are SO important to read and encourage.

At the end of the article, my piece Dear Brock Turner: Here is How “20 Minutes” Changes Someone was also referenced. I was shocked and thrilled that this happened, because let’s be honest, we’d all be lying if we didn’t appreciate our work being noticed. I was also thrilled because it gives me a better opportunity to voice my story and connect with other survivors. It was empowering to me to see stories from “regular” people like us highlighted on a platform that reaches thousands of people on a daily basis.

However, I made a rookie mistake.

I followed the comments, both on the USA Today page and the Facebook feed. Many of the comments were super supportive. But then… there I am… getting hung up on the (relatively) small percentage of people that write really nasty, ignorant stuff:

“I believe maybe half of them. 2 people getting drunk then having sex isn’t rape unless the guy can claim rape too. Regret doesn’t turn drunk sex into a crime.
Brock Turner is a blatant rapist tho.”

“ If a woman is raped , it’s terrible. And I feel for them. But I don’t see or understand why they want everybody to know it.”

“ Respect to the true stories, but it sucks some of them get drunk, willingly have sex and then play the card. Ruining an entire life.”

I’ve got to stop there because I seriously can’t bear it.

So, like a sucker, I’m responding to this bullshit because I’m thinking “Oh, maybe I can change their mind,” or “Oh, that’s not fair, I need to clarify what really happened to me.

Hook, line, and sinker.

…And I’m getting wrapped up in it and my mood is off and I’m irritable with my husband and I’m snapping at my dog and then… I pause. To be clear:

I do not need to prove that I was raped.

I do not need to explain myself, my story, or my situation ANY FURTHER THAN I ALREADY HAVE.

I do not need to educate ignorant assholes and provide lessons on rape culture when they are clearly never going to change.

I do not need to respond to any of the negativity that comes with having my story out in the open for people to freely comment on, from men OR women.

So now? The camel’s back is broken. I am officially “bowing out,” of a debate that should never have taken place to begin with.

To everyone that truly believes rape culture doesn’t exist and believes that it’s just something that whiny chicks made up: Fuck you.
To everyone that trivializes what rape can do to a person: Fuck you.
To everyone who uses words like “feminazi” when we are standing up for what we believe in: Fuck you.
To everyone cowardly sitting behind their computers making rude, ill-mannered assumptions about our stories: Fuck you.
To everyone publicly mocking and questioning whether any of these courageous, warrior women were raped or not: FUCK YOU.
To everyone questioning whether I was raped or not just because I was drunk: FUCK YOU.

I shouldn’t have to explain to anyone (online or in person) that being pinned down and having an erect penis shoved inside of someone while they are crying, whimpering, and saying things like “no” and “stop,” is not consensual.

So I won’t.

It is not my job to teach you something you should already know. Even if some say it is, I shouldn’t have to do it agreeably. I was taught my whole fucking life to sit down, shut up, and smile. Where did that get me? Numerous sexual assaults because I had “gut feelings” these men were bad but I wanted to be nice to them. I talked to them at parties and I gave them rides home when they were too drunk to drive themselves. They sniffed me out like a vulnerable, wounded deer, separated from the pack. They raped me. They forcibly fingered me while I drove them home. They dumped me at the foot of my driveway bloody and covered with hickeys. Over and over and over.

To the uneducated assholes online: You do not get to take my voice away from me. Even if I can’t sleep tonight because I’m worried about backlash or more negativity and I spend the rest of my night doing whatever it takes not to just hit the “delete” button on this entire article. I will not give in.

To Natalie DiBlasio, thank you for writing the article. Thank you for drawing attention to all of these amazing women’s stories, and thank you for including mine. You let us regain pieces of ourselves and encouraged everyone who follows USA Today to bear witness to it.

To the survivors: I support you. Susan, Robin, Liz, Aubrey, Jenn, Kim, and every person out there like us. We need to stick together in times of triumph and in times of ignorance. We didn’t choose to be strung together by the thread of trauma, and yet here we are. People who have been wounded, clawed their way out of the depths of darkness, and managed to fucking survive and thrive. We all deserve love, respect, and kindness: Things we never had when we were abused.

To the allies: I support you. Everyone who praised us for having guts and courage. Everyone who believes the person when they say they were raped. Everyone who doesn’t feel the need to blame the victim, poke holes in their story, or humiliate them. Everyone who stands up for us. Everyone who still has the patience to continue making the effort towards educating others.

I turn my attention to you now.