#KillTheSilence: Are You A Gold Star If You Have Been Raped?

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Many of you in the lesbian community know being a Gold Star, to a lesbian, is such a wonderful sexual consciousness of life. Being a Gold Star, for those of you who are unaware, means that you have never had a male penis inside of you by choice. You’ve chosen not to simply because you are disinterested and were born gay. No penis has ever entered you – though you’ve probably have had a ton of sex.

Some straight people think that if you’ve never had sex with a man, you’ve never had sex at all. Which means all the slippery lovable lesbian sex that is happening is not sex at all. Just to set things clear. All sex is sex. Yes, gay sex is still sex and lesbians love it.

If lesbian sex wasn’t sex, there wouldn’t be a huge porn industry about it.

In saying that – the subject on whether you are still a gold star if you have been raped is a question rattling around our American minds.

I guess the real question is, should you count non-consensual sex as sex? By not counting it, does that mean it didn’t happen and therefore is continuously swept under the American carpet of shame  to never be spoken about again? As a rape survivor, would you shy away from speaking about it when someone asks you how many people have you slept with?

Your hetero-normative answer might be

Oh, I was raped once, and  never had sex again – but I make out with a lot of women.

Or your queer answer might be

About thirty lovely ladies and still going strong…

These ideas bring up victim blaming. “Women have no sense of a right to be free from these kinds of violence, “-feminist.com  The notion that women were made for men, to this day is still very common practice and ingrained in our American lives. But where did it all stem from? Who planted the seed to this notion that “deflowering” a virgin was a man’s right?

I remember years ago watching “The History of Sex” on the History Channel. They spoke about the Victorian England Era and it was most interesting to me. There is this myth that Victorians were so uptight that they had to cover the legs of their tables and pianos with cloth to keep the furniture from appearing “immodest.” Thus, the tablecloth was invented. What this really meant was that Victorian “gentlemen” couldn’t stop getting boners at the sight of sexy table legs. This did have a lot to do with fashion in that era. Women were bound tightly in their garments, so any sight of a leg would get these men hard.

How did the Victorians go about trying to separate these male animalistic sexual repressed desires from humping everything in sight to being a proper gentleman? How were they going to create a pure God fearing society? They created The Obscene Publication Act of 1846, which was an attempt to “sanitize” their God fearing lives and do away with inappropriate literature, thus creating underground pornography, which was considered a poison of the mind. The Obscene Publication Act was a bill

…intended to apply exclusively to works written for the single purpose of corrupting the morals of youth and of a nature calculated to shock the common feelings of decency in any well-regulated mind.

Unfortunately, when you take something (sex) so pleasurable away from certain people, shaming them into doing it in underground places, things can get a little weird. Prostitution was rampant. Literature was covered up about prostitutes being common women of their society and STDs heightened. Another myth at that time was that

syphilis could only be cured by sleeping with a virgin and so there was an increase in demand for young girls.

Let me remind you, this was the age of Jack the Ripper.

One hundred and fifty one years later, rape culture is still rampant. Asking if you are still a gold star if you have been raped is discounting a woman’s voice to make a choice.

Non-consensual sex is not sex. It’s assault and pain and hurt and sadness and strength and in the past and you probably never want to think about it again.

For decades I would count my sexual assaults as sexual encounters, because I didn’t know any better and the memories stuck harshly in my mind.

Maybe it was my fault. I knew the guy. Maybe if I was conscious I would have said yes. How do I know I didn’t say yes since I can’t remember. All these things.

Sometimes, when people acknowledge my gayness, they ask right away – Have you ever had sex with a man? And in my mind – those harsh moments blink in. Why that question is ever even asked, is something we should dive deep into. It’s almost like asking a warrior about the first person they killed.

Never ask a lesbian if she’s had sex with a man. That’s just tacky and rude. Why would you ask a gay person if they have ever had straight sex? What does it really matter? I never ask a straight person if they have ever had gay sex. Sex is sex. I just don’t even care and if you did – I would be happy for you. Would you be happy for me? In a culture where we aren’t supposed to “kiss and tell,” straight people sure do ask gay people about sex a lot.

But I digress. Back to the question: Are you a gold star if you have been raped?

Yes, You are a Gold Star.
A shiny, amazing, wonderful Gold Star and you shouldn’t have to answer any questions about it.