I’m a Survivor….. And It’s Not About Politics

TW: Sexual Assault

During the Ford hearings regarding sexual assault, a friend at the time texted me “what makes you think that she’s not lying?” out of the blue. To which I replied, “I’m a survivor, I know she’s not lying.”

I recently ended a friendship that was ten years old, as this “friend” invalidated my experience as a survivor of sexual assault. I won’t ramble on about the nitty gritty details, but long story short, this person told me that I was being “too political” in my standing up for survivors.

It’s not about politics, it’s about invalidating the most traumatic thing I have experienced as well as many others. When you tell me “I will never get raped because I have a loving boyfriend and I don’t put myself in those situations,” you’re not only completely missing the facts but you’re also telling me and other survivors that we put ourselves in those situations and that we should be held accountable for it. 

When in trying to explain to you why that’s an issue and what rape culture is, and how you’re buying into it… don’t tell me that “men get raped too.” I know that… women, men, non-binary people, etc. have been victims of rape. Not once did I say that rape happens to women and women only. 

Don’t tell me that I’m being “immature” by ending our friendship over something “political.” Rape and the culture that allows it to continue is not political whatsoever, I couldn’t care less about your political affiliation. The issue here is that you’re invalidating what I’ve been through and not supporting me as a real friend would. If you were my real friend, you would recognize that I need support more than anything. However, your friendship consisted of you bombarding me with triggering conversations insensitively. So am I immature? No, I’m looking out for myself. I’m healing, and keeping you around would only hold me back.

Bottom line is this: I’m okay if we differ in political views, it only becomes an issue when your views invalidate one’s identities or experiences. 

I am a survivor, and I will stand by that more than I’ll stand by a friendship that invalidates me.